Ducks lead the Pacific
1. Call Them The Mighty Ducks
Even with the new look, the Anaheim Ducks are still mighty good. The boys from the Pond captured their fourth straight win on Thursday night in British Columbia, outlasting the Vancouver Canucks by a 2-1 score. Ryan Getzlaf, who has been on an absolute roll ever since the season started, tallied the game-winning goal in the 3rd period to give the Ducks the win (he also scored the game-winner on Tuesday against the Oilers). At an astounding 19-2-6, Anaheim has the best record in the NHL.
On Vancouver’s side of things, Alex Edler scored his first career NHL goal- he was the only player to get the puck by Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who earned his league-leading 15th win of the year. For the Canucks, it is essential to get back on the right track: having lost three of their last four, they’re second to last in the Northwest Division.
2. Atlanta’s Had Enough…
…of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ dominance. The Thrashers’ 5-0 victory on Thursday snapped an eight game losing streak to Toronto, dating all the way back to October of 2003. Give the credit to Marian Hossa for the offensive firepower–he added an assist to his Hat Trick, and let goaltender Kari Lehtonen do the rest on the defensive side. Lehtonen stopped 36 shots from Toronto for his fourth shutout of the season (he also had one on Saturday). Slava Kozlov produced for Atlanta with four assists on the night, capping off an impressive all-around performance for the Thrashers. It was Atlanta’s third straight win, sending the Maple Leafs to their third straight loss.
3. Brewing Up A Storm
The Carolina Hurricanes showed glimpses of last season’s squad on Thursday night as they defeated the Montreal Canadeiens in Raleigh, 4-2. Eric Cole had a nice game for Carolina, scoring two goals to help his team keep up with Atlanta, who is ahead of Carolina in the Southeast Division. The `Canes went into the 3rd and final period down by a goal, and were able to get a pair before the final buzzer sounded at the RBC Center in North Carolina.
Even with the loss, Montreal goalie Cristobal Huet had a nice night, saving 44 of the 48 shots he was peppered with.
Check It Out
We’re counting down the days until January, when the NHL is set to unveil their new jerseys. The new uni style will feature “increased flexibility” and is said to be “less bulky” than the ones currently in use.
Game of the Night: Detroit at Minnesota
Marian Gaborik of the Wild to play for first time in more than a month
The Last Shot
More developments in the NHL gambling ring investigation. According to the AP, a key cog in the scandal is to plead guilty on Friday, and could face up to a year in jail. Not much to say here, except the entire situation is just plain silly, and it is a shame that the NHL has to deal with something like this while they’re still on the road to recovery from the lockout.