Welcome back to the Friday Flortheast Recap! I used to do these, then stopped, but due to popular appeal we're back in the saddle. Let's get to it!
1. Boston Bruins (28-14-2), 4-1 win over Winnipeg
Justin Florek was shaky to start his debut but made an excellent effort screening the net on Krug's first goal; he already looks a lot better than Jordan Caron in that spot. Bruins staff will have a tough time sorting out that fourth line when Thornton is cleared to come back.
Ryan Spooner needs a goal and SOON. His moves with the puck are Savardian, and this place should erupt when he finally puts one in.
2. Tampa Bay Lightning (26-14-4), 4-3 Loss to Washington
...you may be used to telling your non-hockey friends (and can you really call those people friends?) that "they don't play halves in hockey, dummy." Well, we did tonight. Six of them, as a mater of fact, which should be mathematically impossible. But due to a problem with the goal crease at the north end, it was decided that the teams would swap ends at roughly the halfway point of each period. Or as the NHL put it...
"The Capitals and Lightning changed ends at the first whistle after the 10:00 mark of the first period to accommodate an issue with the ice in the visitors goal crease. The decision was reached during a conversation between the on-ice officials and the head coach and general manager of each team. The situation will be re-evaluated after the first intermission."
That would be the case in the two concurrent periods, although the switch happened closer to the 14 minute mark in the third due to an exceptionally long stretch with no whistles.
3. Montreal Canadiens (25-15-5), 3-1 loss to Philadelphia
Friend of the blog theactivestick has taken over recap duties at Eyes on the Prize, which is great because she writes about sports very well.
I don't know how much longer I can watch Habs games without crying. Even when they win, they play so badly that I am either bored or dismayed almost to the point of tears. I wish I could quit the Habs and be a Blackhawks or Kings or Bruins fan.
And don't accuse me of not being a real fan or negative or whatever. I'm only negative because I care and this team is playing like garbage that was thrown into a tire and set on fire. A hybrid garbage and tire fire. It's gotten to a point where I get horrifically bitter when I see fans of other teams get excited about wins or win streaks.
Your 2013-2014 Montreal Canadiens cannot break out of their own zone. They have speedy, skilled players, and they cannot get out of their own zone. They have played against some underwhelming defense and goaltending as of late, and they cannot break out of their own zone.
4. Detroit Red Wings (19-15-10), 4-1 loss to San Jose
You know the Detroit Red Wings? Those guys in the red and white jerseys who play hockey? Well, you see, tonight they played against the San Jose Sharks, and boy if the Wings didn't lose to the Sharks. Again.
Now for you young kids, I know that this is a normal feeling for you. After all, the Sharks have beaten the Red Wings 86 straight times (don't look that up, I'm older than you so I'm right), and no matter how well the Wings play, it's never good enough to beat the Sharks. Maybe it's because the Sharks dive to draw penalties, maybe it's because the Wings make one too many mistakes, or maybe, just maybe, it's because the Sharks are better (my money's on the last one).
But it wasn't always that way. Nope. There used to be a time where the Wings would beat the Sharks on the regular. You see, the Sharks weren't always good (although with parity, "good" is a relative term these days), and the Red Wings used to be very very good, and as you'd expect, the Wings would beat up on the Sharks often.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs (21-19-5), 5-3 loss to New York Islanders
...the Leafs only managed to get 26 shots on goals against a team who played the night before, slept on an airport runway, and took fives penalties (for a total of 9:38 of PP time) as tired teams are oft to do. How does that happen to a professional hockey team? The Toronto Maple Leafs, that's how. Kevin Poulin was exactly Kevin Poulinesque as he let in 3 of those 26 shots (Side note: 26 shots is expected for a team on a B2B, not a team that's two days rested) for a .885 sv%, but it didn't really matter because at the other end of the ice Jonathan Bernier was Kevin Pouliner, letting in 4 of the 24 he faced including some absolute stinkers.
6. Ottawa Senators (19-18-8), 4-3 Win over Winnipeg
It's been frustrating to watch Zibanejad's usage this year -- sent down to start, playing limited minutes with mediocre linemates -- but all he does is keep producing. He had a goal and an assist in the game, and continued His ten goals has him tied with Kyle Turris and Erik Karlsson for fourth in team scoring, and he's done that in ten less games (and with far fewer minutes) than either of them.
7. Florida (17-21-6), 5-4 Shootout Win over Nashville
Props to Horachek for picking up the win in his first try coaching against Nashvillle, an organization he worked ten years for before being let go last season. Had to feel good for Horachek to get the best of mentor Barry Trotz.
Brad Boyes' goal was his team-leading eleventh, one more than his total over last season's lockout-shortened 48-game schedule with the New York Islanders. Boyes is on pace to have his best goal-scoring campaign since 2008-09.
8. Buffalo (12-26-5), 4-1 loss to Minnesota
All three Minnesota Wild goals were the result of horrid backchecking that led to defensive breakdowns, and on two of the three goals, the team left Ryan Miller out to dry. It did look like Miller could have stopped Jason Pominville's shot, which snuck in under his pad, and it was only so odd to see him let in a goal he usually stops because, well, he hasn't really let any of those in the past month. It wasn't Miller's best night, but he still managed to post a .905 save percentage.
Buffalo avoided the shutout late in the third period thanks to a Matt Ellis goal (whoopee) thus justifying his funny comments from yesterday about how he and John Scott are the team's new second scoring line. It's not so funny anymore, Matt, now it's just depressing.
Always good to hear that Buffalo is losing, especially at the hands of Minnesota. What a week!