1. Boston Bruins (34-16-3), 6-2 win over Florida
Then Brad Boyes scored. Oh no former Bruins dot jpg!
The third period got a bit silly - Shawn Thornton scored the most beautiful backhand top shelf wrister of the night, David Krejci scored unassisted, and then Tim Thomas punched Soderberg in the face. TYPICAL THOMAS, but we wouldn't have him any other way, would we?
No, we would not. Not even a little bit.
2. Tampa Bay Lightning (31-18-5), 3-2 loss to Toronto
For some reason this seemed to go (mostly) unreported, but James van Riemsdyk got away with a nasty elbow to the head of JT Brown late in the third period that forced Brown to the bench. Officials conferred after blowing the play dead due to the injured player on the ice, but decided not to call what was a blatant penalty on van Riemsdyk, who went on to score the game-winning goal just minutes later (when he would have been in the penalty box). Them's the breaks sometimes.
I'm sure Leafs fans that were alive in 1993 or ever read anything ever written by Down Goes Brown can relate to a player that should have been penalized scoring the game-winner. (Honestly though, show me a team that can't.)
3. Toronto Maple Leafs (29-21-6), 5-4 OT loss to Winnipeg
The Leafs' breakout really, really struggled against the Jets. And they've continued their PK strategy of "don't cover anyone."
Byfuglien is off screen to the left, playing high on the umbrella-style PP. McClement is pressuring the puck carrier, Kulemin is watching the cross-rink pass, but the Leafs' defensemen are, uh, decorative, mostly. Gardiner is more than a stick's length away from his man, Phaneuf is fronting, I guess? Ladd has a perfect screen of Reimer and is completely uncontested, and the slap-pass ends up deflecting off Little's stick and in. Stuff like this is how you get a second-to-worst PK unit with 16th place 5v4 goaltending.
That is some pretty piss-poor PK work. And yet, they're now 3rd in the Flortheast. What a conference.
4. Montreal Canadiens (29-20-5), 5-0 Loss to Washington
That's....not a lot of Fenwicks. Not very many at all, actually.
5. Ottawa Senators (24-20-10), 3-2 win over Columbus
The Blue Jackets' strong play continued at the outset of the second period, but they were unable to sneak anything past a very confident-looking Craig Anderson. I was going to write more about the hockey, but then:
- Dean Brown said something like, "Zack Smith filled in Nathan Horton like a Krispy Kreme donut";
- Denis Potvin talked about players having giant knobs; and
- Dean described Denis as having "hands the size of bananas."
As I pondered this inane, vaguely hilarious nonsense and questioned the life choices that had led me to hearing it, lightning struck again.
Silver Seven Sens is almost always hilarious. So are these next guys:
6. Detroit Red Wings (23-19-11), 5-0 Loss to Philadelphia
*Obligatory prefacing complaining about the referees by saying they weren't the reason my team lost.* I guess the referees were like the Red Wings tonight and playing a bunch of call-ups and fill-ins because I have no idea what they were doing half the time. Garbage calls, missed calls, changing standards, getting in the way of play: this game had everything from the stripes. They were bored at the outset and decided to take over then absolutely mailed it in once the score got out of reach.
Normally when you hear "5-0" in Detroit, it means something other than "Boy, the Flyers scored a shitload of goals."
7. Florida Panthers (21-26-7), 6-2 loss to Boston
Other than finally picking up a power-play goal, there's not much positive to take from this one. The Panthers were completely overwhelmed by the Bruins, basically from start to finish. I was hoping the Cats would catch the B's a bit on the tired side after they beat theIslanders on the road Monday night, but that was just not the case. Unfortunately, the Panthers got off to their usual flat start and paid for it by getting completely dominated in the first period. The Cats did show a little bit of moxie by cutting two goals from the deficit, but the Bruins are simply too good right now to let a team come all the way back on them. The Panthers need to right the ship and tighten things up in their own end next time out against Toronto or they could surrender another six-pack to the Maple Leafs.
And what do you know? Surrender a sixer is exactly what they did.
8. Buffalo Sabres (15-30-8), 5-4 OT Loss to Washington
Jhonas Enroth once again took the loss, and he just can't ever seem to find his groove or get the team to play with any kind of consistency in front of him. Earlier in the year it was a lack of goal support that doomed his efforts, now there's plenty of offense but the defense wasn't great tonight and Enroth himself wasn't at his best. Enroth's situation certainly makes the argument for trading Ryan Miller more interesting, if anything.
Yeah but, like...how are you going to fully tank without trading away Miller?