Good gravy, 13 games! (somehow explodes and implodes at the same time, which ultimately means an unlikely return to form).
RANGERS 2, SENATORS 1 (SO)
-- That’s eight straight win for New York. Much like Montreal, I wonder if the Rangers’ record sometimes camouflages flaws, but they’ve been doing it long enough that they’re at least among the East’s sometimes-stale uppercrust.
On a similar note, Henrik Lundqvist moves to 10-2-2 on the season, while his Rangers now have points in 12 straight games.
-- Dan Boyle scored the shootout winner for the Rangers. The undrafted defenseman is an Ottawa native so it must have been extra fun to score that shootout winning tally. (Although I imagine his family’s bored enough with his accomplishments that he wasn’t really pointing to the stands or anything.
Kreider being who he is, he also managed to rack up 17 PIM, so his fantasy owners had to be happy.
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BRUINS 3, RED WINGS 1
-- Pavel Datsyuk is pointless after two games back. He was quieter in this one, too, only getting one SOG after generating four in his return contest.
-- Mike Green was on the ice for all three Boston goals. Ouch. He did manage an assist, and with 25:20 TOI, he's at least getting his reps. Is it just a systems thing in Detroit right now? The difference post-Babs has been stark, and not in a good way.
-- Patrice Bergeron scored a goal, was +1, and had 2 blocked shots.
-- Boston really has Detroit's number lately. They have won nine of the last 10 meetings.
FLYERS 3, CAROLINA 2 (OT)
-- Jakub Voracek scored his first goal of the season. The goal came 37 seconds into overtime to give the Flyers a rare win this season. It’s absurd that Voracek is on such a scoring pace; I think even people who were a little worried about his contract would probably agree that this is unexpected.
-- Victor Rask picked up his fifth goal of the season despite being demoted to the third line for the Carolina Hurricanes. He is not Tuukka’s brother, which is kind of a fun-killer.
-- Steve Mason improves to 3-5-2 on the season, which is the sort of work that naysayers were expecting when Philly originally committed to him. The one-time Calder Trophy winner made 19 saves for the win.
DEVILS 4, PENGUINS 0
-- Cory Schneider picked up the shutout against the Penguins. Pittsburgh has really struggled to find the back of the net so far this season. As much as that might be an issue of transition defense - their young players aren’t filling the void left by Paul Martin in particular - it’s hard not to place most of the blame on high school science teacher look-alike Mike Johnston. His system is basically caging the bird, and it’s bad enough when you’re winning ugly.
-- Mike Cammalleri scored a goal and picked up two assists. Cammalleri has six goals and 11 assists on the season. His linemate, Lee Stempniak had a goal and an assist. Starting to wonder if there’s a stat out there for best-ever season after a PTO, because I bet Stempniak is on pace to be in the running for that mark. He now has 14 points.
-- It was the first time that the Devils GM Ray Shero faced his former team. John Hynes was also in the Pittsburgh system, and considering what he’s done with New Jersey - they’ve won four of five lately, including two matches against the deadly Blackhawks - you have to wonder if Pittsburgh management isn’t regretting the decision not to promote Hynes from the AHL.
(After all, they did so with Dan Bylsma and won a Stanley Cup.)
-- Evgeni Malkin made some sad panda quotes after the game, so yeah, Pittsburgh isn’t oblivious to this meaty meltdown.
PREDATORS 7, JETS 0
-- Tempers flare in a blowout. There were 156 PIM in this one because of an extremely testy third period that saw six Jets and six Preds in their respective penalty boxes AT THE SAME TIME.
-- It was a multi-point night for several Predators. Craig Smith, and Seth Jones each scored and picked up two assists. Calle Jarnkrok had two goals. Mike Ribeiro, James Neal and Mattias Ekholm each had a goal and an assist. Ryan Ellis and Cody Hodgson each had two assist.
-- Michael Hutchinson was chased from the net after three goals in the first 12:01 of the game. Things really didn’t get that much better after he left, to be honest.
-- It was the 38th career shutout for Pekka Rinne. He's now 9-2-3 with two goose eggs and a solid (if unspectacular) .918 save percentage.
SHARKS 2, SABRES 1 (OT)
-- Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored his second goal of the season and picked up his sixth assist. He’s one of those guys who are significantly more valuable in reality than fantasy.
-- Patrick Marleau scored the overtime goal to five the Sharks the win. The last time San Jose won in Buffalo was Dec. 2, 2005, which shows that they struggle against the ‘slugs … and also shows that they don’t go to Buffalo that often.
It seems as if the latest Marleau trade rumor is to Colorado and there are murmurs that Tyson Barrie might be dangled. If that happens, just fire Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy to avoid further damage ... Barrie’s one of the few hopes on that blueline.
-- Rasmus Ristolainen's assist gives him points in the last four games (three goals and three assists).
AVALANCHE 6, CANADIENS 1
-- Yow, quite a reality check for Mike Condon, who hit a brick reality wall in this one. Doesn't mean he cannot bounce back, as the good outweighs the bad, but it's a reminder that hot starts often fizzle out, too.
-- Nathan MacKinnon scored two goals in 13 seconds, including the game-winner. He's a goober, but quite a player. Here's hoping dopey management doesn't squander his entire prime.
-- That Tyson Barrie rumor can't be true, right?
-- Reto Berra: another example that goalies just don't make sense.
BLUE JACKETS 5, COYOTES 2
-- Well, this was a little unexpected, at least with Columbus closing down a back-to-back. Maybe they’ll turn things around? I’m not really sure turning things around means much more than sabotaging their draft pick, but hey, at least winning would make John Tortorella easier to suffer.
-- William Karlsson picked up his first two goals of the season for the Blue Jackets. Solid days lately for guys with the last name Karlsson, and for once not just Erik.
-- File this under fun facts: Shane Doan received 20 PIM, including a game misconduct on the 20th anniversary of scoring his first goal in the NHL. He also wasn’t sure why he got that penalty, despite having approximately 5 million games under his belt.
-- Boone Jenner scored his ninth goal of the season and picked up two assists. His name amuses me and makes me think that he’d be Davy Crockett’s ill-fated best friend.
BLACKHAWKS 4, BLUES 2
-- Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals to give him 10 on the season. He's firing away, as he should be, with 68 SOG in 16 games, tied with Max Pacioretty for seventh place in the league (though Patches has played in two more games).
Everyone else is at least six points behind Kane and the Dallas duo.
-- Artem Anisimov got an empty-netter, giving him seven goals on the season.
STARS 3, WILD 2 (OT)
-- Wow, what a night for John Klingberg, who scored the OT GWG and two assists to give him a wondrous 20 points on the season. He leads all defensemen in production, and combines with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin to be a trio of incredible merit that only costs about $15M in cap room. Crazy.
-- So far Minnesota has generated three out of a possible four points in the first two games of a four-game road trip. After that, four straight home games and six of seven in Minnesota.
-- Despite middling individual stats, Devan Dubnyk has been worth fantasy owners' while. His 10-3-2 record and two shutouts are a nice yield, even with a so-so .911 save percentage.
KINGS 4, OILERS 3
-- Shaky start to the season for Jordan Eberle. He suffered a -3 rating on Saturday and is -5 with zero points in his last three contests. He only has one goal in five games back, too.
Kinda feel like he's the sort of guy Edmonton should sell off, albeit at a time when his stock is much higher.
-- Great game by Tanner Pearson, who generated a goal and two assists. Five of his 10 points came in the last four contests.
MAPLE LEAFS 4, CANUCKS 2
Reimer is now on a three-game winning streak, stopping 43 out of 45 shots. He's at 5-2-3 with a very nice .925 save percentage.
Reimer was especially strong in the third period, as Vancouver fired 25 of its 45 SOG in the third period. Toronto managed 40 of its own.
-- Jannik Hansen's been nicely productive with the Sedin twins. Willie D should ultimately ask himself this question regarding the Sedins' running mate: who can generate points with them, while allowing you to provide nice complimentary scoring on other lines?
Radim Vrbata is the fun fantasy option, yet Alexandre Burrows may be the ideal reality option (to spread the wealth).
-- I think people can be a little hard on Ryan Miller; after all, it's not his fault that the Canucks gave him a dumb contract. That said, talking about him makes me bored.
PANTHERS 5, LIGHTNING 4 (SO)
(Fuller injury updates for the entire league here, by the way.)
-- Vladislav Namestnikov scored two goals, which /just breaks keyboard in typo hopelessness.
-- Nice game for J.T. Brown: two assists and 12 PIM.
-- Ben Bishop slipped to 6-7-2.
-- Jonathan Drouin's stunted development remains pretty frustrating, but remember that he's just 20.
-- Nice run lately for Aaron Ekblad: three-game point streak (two goals, including one last night, and one assist) with plenty of SOG.