Tampa Bay Lightning (11-4-0), 4-2 Win Over St. Louis
If you want to know what Jon Cooper's 2011-12 Norfolk Admirals or 2012-13 Syracuse Crunch looked like when they were running all over the AHL, look no further than the first period of tonight's game against the St. Louis Blues to find a taste of that. There was speed, sustained time in the offensive zone, and periods of excellent puck control. The Lightning didn't dominate like Cooper's AHL teams were capable of, but they controlled 51.9% of shot all attempts at 5v5 and 50% of unblocked attempts.
Tampa is pretty dang good this year.
Detroit Red Wings (9-5-3), 4-2 Loss to Winnipeg
This game was frustrating. The Wings looked tired and they got outplayed all night long by the Jets. Props to Winnipeg. The refs weren't great either, but they were not even close to being an issue in the game. This one is all on the players. They just flat out played bad hockey.
Toronto Maple Leafs (10-5-0), 4-0 loss to Vancouver
Carlyle stated that last night was probably the team's worst-ever performance this season, but I'm not convinced. I'd say that the game against Calgary was at least as bad - Calgary just happened to get terrible goaltending. Last night's contest was reminiscent of the loss to Chicago in that it looked like the Canucks were just toying with the Leafs throughout the entire game.
Boston Bruins (9-5-1), 4-1 Win Over Florida
Montreal Canadiens (8-8-1), 4-1 Loss to Ottawa
Last night's game felt very familiar, in the way it flowed, the way it was officiated, and the way it ended. Unfortunately it was not a good kind of familiar.
Ottawa Senators (6-6-4), 4-1 Win over Montreal
What impresses me about MacArthur is his ability to find open ice for himself--it looks like he does so by keeping an eye out for openings and heading to them to buy time, even if that means turning back or slowing down through the neutral zone. I'm not sure I've ever seen a player quite like MacArthur... he's got a unique ability to control the pace of the play, and it's a treat to watch.
Florida Panthers (3-9-4), 4-1 Loss to Boston
...the struggling club was overwhelmed in the third period by the Boston Bruins during last night's 4-1 defeat at TD Garden. It was the seventh-straight loss for the Cats, who look destined for another top three pick in the Entry Draft. The Panthers have not won on the road since the season-opener in Dallas.
Buffalo Sabres (3-14-1), 5-4 SO Win at San Jose
The Sabres are so bad this year that they don't even accept wins
As a Sabres fan who's currently sitting through quite possibly the worst season in franchise history, I'll take a Buffalo win however they can get it, even if few people in Western New York saw the game thanks to a 10:30 EST start time. But still, with the video review technology and rules that the league employs, this should not have happened.