NHL General

Crashing the Zamboni: Thrashed By Lightning

1. As Ugly As It Gets
Talk about a severe shellacking: Tampa Bay demolished the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday night by an astounding score of 8-0. Where did this offensive explosion come from? It came, in large part, from Vincent Lecavalier, who scored a hat trick and also added two helpers to the stat sheet–now that’s a monster night by any human beings’ standards. Marc Denis recorded the shutout but had a relatively easy night, only having to sop 21 shots from a usually potent Thrasher offense. For the Lightning, it concluded a four-game losing streak, and kept them in the middle of the road in a Southeast Division led by Atlanta.

2. BIZZARO NEWS BREAK: Florida Beats Buffalo?!
No, folks, you do not have to adjust your computer screens. The headline was correctly written, and we apologize for any sudden outbursts of shock or disbelief. Strange things happen in this game of hockey, and a very strange thing happened on Thursday in Florida: the Panthers defeated the Sabres, 3-1. Stephen Weiss had a solid night for Florida, contributing to the tune of a goal and an assist. For the Panthers, it was their second straight victory–but perhaps more importantly, their offense was able to put pressure on Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller. Miller made 35 saves, and gave a solid performance despite the loss. Don’t look now, folks, but we think a Panther comeback is in the works…

3. Beantown Shreds The Leafs
The Boston Bruins made sure that Toronto stayed cold on Thursday night, downing the Leafs by a score of 3-1. Boston’s Wayne Primeau had a goal and an assist– and also assisted netminder Tim Thomas to a easy night. Thomas stopped 23 of 24 shots to earn his twelfth victory of the season. It was the sixth straight loss for Toronto, who has dropped back down to the middle of the road in a busy Northeast. The Maple Leafs could be in danger of slipping to last if they keep performing as they have been of late.

Check It Out
CBC Sports takes a look at the retirement of Joe Nieuwendyk, and explains why he decided to hang it up without regret. With a guy like Joe Nieuwendyk, it doesn’t seem too surprising that he’s not dissatisfied or unhappy with his decision.

Game of the Night: Edmonton at Dallas
Stars have won three straight games

The Last Shot
San Jose winger Mike Bell was arrested and charged with a hit-and-run as well as a DUI on Thursday. Reports say his vehicle slammed into a truck waiting at a stop sign… can you say “dumb”?

NHL General

Crashing the Zamboni: Make Up Your Mind, Clarke!

What’s he smiling about?

1. Which Way Did He Go?
On Monday, the incredibly hockey savvy wizard Bobby Clarke announced his return to the Philadelphia Flyers. This time, however, he’ll be back as the senior vice president of the franchise- and not in the General Manager position that he left in late October. For those Flyers fans that need to be remembered, he abandoned his GM spot on the same day that then-coach Ken Hitchcock hightailed it out of Philly (he is now living a life of equally torturing work in Columbus). Clarke’s resignation also came within a few days of an injury to captain Peter Forsberg- so needless to say, it was an atrocious week for the City of Brotherly Love. At 8-15-4, Philly is duct-taped to the fiery pit of the Eastern Conference.

2. Masterful Marty
Marty Turco helped the Dallas Stars shut down the flaming hot San Jose Sharks on Monday night, posting 25 saves in a 1-0 shutout effort. Every save counted, because the Dallas offense had absolutely nothing cooking against Evgeni Nabokov and the Sharks. Nabokov only faced 13 shot the entire game, letting one by in the first period off the stick of seasoned vet Mike Modano- who would leave the game with an injury a period later. The goal was Mike’s 495th tally… for the mathematically challenged, that’s only five behind 500 for his career. Dallas remains in third place in the Pacific behind San Jose and Anaheim, who are both among the NHL’s best teams this season.

3. See Ya, Sutton
For the next two months, Atlanta will have to proceed without the services of defenseman Andy Sutton, who will be having surgery to repair a torn tendon in his ankle. He was reported to have injured the ankle during a practice session. Sutton’s numbers on the season aren’t impressive- only one goal and seven assists- but he’s a solid defenseman who has nine years of pro experience on the ice. Atlanta is 17-7-4 this season, and sitting comfortably in the lead of the Southeast Division.

Check It Out
In this week’s edition of Winging It, Eric Mcerlain looks at journeyman Rory Fitzpatrick’s run for a spot on the all-star team. The Vancouver Canuck racked up more than 31,000 write-in votes on the ballot, and has a relentless campaign strategy- as seen here:

Game of the Night: Chicago at Minnesota
Blackhawks look to improve to 4-0 under new coach Denis Savard

The Last Shot
At the Toronto Maple Leafs’ skills show on Sunday, Chad Kilger blasted a 106 MPH slapshot, reportedly breaking a 13-year-old record set at the 1993 All-Star game.