NHL General

Crashing the Zamboni: Weekend Recap

1. Bondra To Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks received a much-needed offensive boost on Sunday, signing veteran sniper Peter Bondra to a one-year contract. Bondra currently sits with 489 career goals, which, for the mathematically challenged, is only two short of 500. According to AP reports, the five-time All-Star selection could be in the lineup for the Blackhawks on Tuesday, pending a physical. Chicago could benefit from the goal-scoring abilities of Bondra–the Hawks are an unimpressive 27th in the league with only 67 goals scored on the season. While he could help Chi-Town in that area of things, it’s doubtful anything will be able to pull this team into playoff contention… the Blackhawks are currently 12th in the Western Conference.

2. Comfortable At Home…
When they’re playing at the Pangrowth Saddledome, the Calgary Flames are doing an awesome job of living up to their name. Calgary has been red-hot at home of late, winning nine straight on the warm comforts of home ice. Their most recent victory came on Saturday night against the Vancouver Canucks, with the Flames prevailing in a 5-3 effort. Aside from being their ninth straight win at the Saddledome, it was the fifth win in the last six games for Calgary. Jerome Iginla netted a goal with two helpers, and Mikka Kiprusoff had a solid game with 26 saves, securing his 14th win of the season. The Flames, who started the year at the bottom of the Northwest Division, have surged up to third place–only three points behind Minnesota and Edmonton for the lead.

3. …And On The Road
The Anaheim Ducks cushioned their dominance of the NHL this season, with a 4-3 win over a struggling Tampa Bay club on Saturday night. It was the fifth consecutive road triumph for the Ducks, and added to their NHL-leading 52 points. Dustin Penner recorded two goals for the Ducks in the victory. Anaheim picked the right year to thrash the league: in the Duck-dominated Pacific Division, second-place Dallas would be leading four other divisions with an impressive 42 points. For the Tampa Bay Lightning, it was their fifth loss in the last six games.

Check It Out
Jim Matheson of The Edmonton Journal explains why he thinks online voting for the All-Star Game is a joke. The evidence he provides is quite relevant, focusing around Rory Fitzpatrick of the Vancouver Canucks. Rory has been in only 16 games this year, with no points recorded on the season. Hey, all of his campaign efforts have been fun to check out, so here’s hoping he makes it anyway.

Game of the Night: Pittsburgh at Washington
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin meet Alex Ovechkin in a showcase of NHL youth

The Last Shot
In an incredibly unfortunate turn of events on Friday night, 25-year-old Laura Gainey was thrown off of a vessel by a huge wave that hit the ship. Extensive ocean searches have yielded nothing thus far in regards to finding her at sea. Gainey is the daughter of Montreal Canadeins GM Bob Gainey, who is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame (Gainey won five Stanley Cups in his playing career). Our condolences go out to the Gainey family.

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: Edmonton Gets One Back

1. Exacting Revenge
It sure wasn’t the Stanley Cup Finals, but the Edmonton Oilers were able to take out some revenge on the team that ended their miracle run in last year’s playoffs. Edmonton downed the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 3-1, moving the Oilers into first place in a busy and tight Northwest Division. None of the teams in the Northwest can be counted out at this point, so it will be interesting to see who’ll come out of the jumble on top. Jussi Markkanen had a nice night between the pipes, stopping 28 shots in a rare start. Carolina still sits several points behind the Thrashers, who are having a solid year and aren’t showing many signs of letting up. Some bad news for Canes fans: Rod Brind’Amour left the game with what’s being dubbed a “lower body injury”. Hopefully it’s nothing serious–but knowing Brind’Amour, he’d be on the ice even if it was.

2. Best of the West
Two of the NHL’s titans squared off last night in a battle of Western Conference supremacy, with Anaheim shutting out Nashville 4-0. This was a bit of a statement game for the Ducks, who now hold the league lead in points (surpassing the mighty Buffalo Sabres). Temmu Selanne came up big, as he tends to do while in the spotlight. His two goals and assist boosted Anaheim to a win, leaving no doubt about who’s the best in the Western Conference. Chris Kunitz also contributed offensively, netting one goal and tallying three assists. Jean-Sebastien Giguere was “Giggy”, turning away all 21 shots he faced to send the Preds to their third straight loss.

3. Nieuwendyk Retires
Joe Nieuwendyk, who knows about winning better than anyone, announced his retirement on Wednesday night. Back problems have made the NHL to big of a mountain for Joe, who is 40 years old. In his 20 year career, he played for Calgary, New Jersey, and Toronto, before spending last season and the first quarter of this season with the Panthers. He won three Stanley Cups in those 20 years, and was named the playoff MVP in 1999. Here’s hoping he sticks around to call games in the booth, because it would be a shame if this kept him out of hockey for good.

Check It Out
The West Central Tribune discusses the declining rate of concussions in the NHL, and how to continue playing the game injury free. Perhaps the noticeable increase in penalties has something to do with the lack of these serious head-related injuries

Game of the Night: Montreal at New York Islanders
Canadeins: Lost three of last four games

The Last Shot
On Wednesday, the Edmonton Oilers announced plans to retire Mark Messier’s #11 on February 27th. Messier won five Stanley Cups with Edmonton, and is the NHL’s second-leading scorer of all-time. The New York Rangers raised his number to the ceiling of Madison Square Garden last year.

NHL General

Crashing the Zamboni: Can Anybody Stop the Sabres?

1. Briere Blitzes Tampa
Daniel Briere led the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-1 bashing of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, scoring three goals for the first Hat Trick of his career. It is hard to believe that he’s never had one before this, seeing that he’s playing in his tenth NHL season (perhaps this is because he spent his first six seasons with Phoenix). Chris Drury also netted a tally, extending his goals-scored streak to four straight games. (Tampa’s Vincent Lecavalier also scored to continue his own streak of games with goals to four as well). Ryan Miller had another solid game between the pipes for the boys in the yellow slug jerseys, stopping 29 of the 30 shots he faced. Buffalo holds an 11 point lead in the Northeast Division, and still has not been below the number two spot in Matt Jordan’s power rankings this year.

2. Fredrik Fantastik
A sign of the apocalypse: the Columbus Blue Jackets have won two straight games, and their opponents haven’t hit the net in two full games. Say hello to Blue Jackets’ goalie Fredrik Norrena, who earned his second consecutive shutout in a 3-0 effort over the last-place Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday (his other victory came in a 4-0 win over Edmonton on Saturday). Norrena received help from Anson Carter, who racked up a goal and an assist in the game to lead the Jackets to their first-ever victory at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Readers, take it from us: you might want to read this paragraph again, because it may be a long time before we see “Columbus” and “won two straight” in the same sentence.

3. Hull To Rafters
The Detroit Red Wings crashed a nice little pregame celebration at the Scottrade Center, winning over St. Louis 5-1– shortly after Brett Hull’s #16 was raised to the rafters. Hull played 11 seasons for the Blues, and was able to tally up some impressive numbers in 19 NHL seasons (we won’t count last year’s brief stint in Phoenix), scoring 741 career goals and falling nine points shy of 1,400. The celebration, which came before the Blues lost their fifth straight game, seemed fitting to come on a night which featured two of Brett’s former teams (he played three seasons with the Red Wings). We highly doubt they’ll be retiring his number in the Glendale Arena, where he played five games for the aforementioned Coyotes before packing his bags and announcing his retirement.

Check It Out
Tuesday’s meetings to discuss possible changes to the schedule and the playoffs worked to no avail. NHL officials are keeping the schedules the way there are for the time being, meaning rare trips for Western Conference teams to the east coast, and vice versa. They also decided on keeping the playoff seeding format untouched, though there were some rumors that the postseason would be changed to a bracket-style tournament.

Game of the Night: Nashville at Anaheim
Top two teams in Western Conference battle it out

The Last Shot
Who doesn’t like a good hockey fight?

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.

NHL General

Crashing the Zamboni: Weekend Recap

1. The Kings of the Island
On Sunday night, the Islanders and Rangers battled it out for the crown of second-best team in New York (the Sabres play there too, remember). In the end, the Isles come away victorious, snatching a 7-4 win from their in-state rivals and moving to the top of the Atlantic Division. Viktor Kozlov had an incredible night for the boys in blue and orange, netting four goals for the first time in his 14 year career. His performance overshadowed the Rangers’ trusty veteran Brendan Shanahan, who posted a hat trick of his own on Sunday at the Garden. Defensively, Rick DiPietro had a nice night for the Isles, stopping 39 of 43 shots for win number 11 on the year. The Islanders have now won five of their last seven games.

2. Ovechkin’s rite of passage

Alexander Ovechkin’s 17th goal of the season in the first period of Saturday’s game helped the Washington Capitals down the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 7-4. Just one period later, he was thrown from the contest with a game misconduct- the first of his young career. Congratulations on the accomplishment, Alex. Of course you’ve never really solidified yourself in the NHL until you’ve been tossed from a game, as Mr. Ovechkin was for his check from behind on Buffalo’s Daniel Briere. Washington’s Matt Pettinger picked up the slack after Ovechkin left, slipping the puck past Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller two times in the game. It was the third win in a row for Washington, who has moved up to the middle of the pack in the Southeast Division.

3. Is Savard The Answer?
After his first three games behind the bench, the Chicago Blackhawks certainly think so. After a 4-3 overtime win over the Preds on Saturday in Nashville, Chicago improved to 3-0 on the year under new coach Denis Savard, who took the head coach spot from Trent Yawney a week ago. Chicago’s Jeff Hamilton netted a hat trick and added an assist in the game against Nashville, who has lost all three decisions against Chi-town this season. Who would have thought that nearly half of the Preds’ (who are second in the Western Conference) losses would come at the hand of the Hawks (who are in the bottom five in the Western)?

Check It Out
The Calgary Sun’s David Unkle talks about the Flyers’ season so far, and the youngsters they’re looking to for victories, thanks to injuries and poor play from the everyday veterans. Obviously it isn’t working out for Philadelphia this year, who are dead last in the Eastern Conference.

Game of the Night: San Jose at Dallas
Sharks look to improve to 4-0 on four-game road trip

The Last Shot
Hope Sebastien Caron’s parents weren’t in attendance:

Thanks to Off Wing’s Eric Mcerlain for the pointer.

NHL General

Crashing the Zamboni: Ducks Quacking Along

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.

NHL General

Crashing the Zamboni: Islander Injured

1. Alexei Y”ouch”in
New York Islanders captain Alexei Yashin could be out for up to a month, thanks to a sprained knee suffered in Saturday’s game against Washington. This has to be some disgusting news for Isles fans, especially when you consider Alexei’s numbers so far this year: 10 goals, 18 assists, and 28 total points for a +10 rating. He’s the team leader in assists and points, so a big chunk of New York’s offense has just been forced off the ice (the set timetable for his return is officially 2-4 weeks). This was a very untimely injury, seeing that the Islanders are just beginning to heat up–winners of six of the last eight games, they look to be alive and kicking in the Eastern Conference.

2. Devils Deteriorating
New Jersey remained in a bit of a funk after last night’s contest with the Los Angeles Kings, dropping their fourth straight game. L.A. pulled it out in shootouts, with Alexander Frolov scoring the game-winning goal for the 3-2 Kings victory. New Jersey held the lead in the Atlantic Division not long ago, but the significant play of both New York teams has dropped the Devils down to third. For Los Angeles, it was their second consecutive victory (but we’re not too sure that it would even be worth it to explain their chances in the Pacific). All regulation scoring in this game came in the 2nd period, when the Devils and Kings each scored twice. Despite the loss Martin Brodeur played well, stopping 26 shots.

3. Wings Unlock The Secret…
…to winning again. What is it? Simple: Just play the entire game shorthanded, and chances are they’ll come out as victorious. Detroit got a pair of 3rd period shorthanded goals en route to a 2-1 victory over the Dallas stars. Kris Draper and Mathieu Schneider were both able to beat Marty Turco while playing with the disadvantage. Dominik Hasek ensured that the two goals would be enough for the win, ending up with 20 saves on the night. It ended a five-game losing streak for Detroit, who had a nine-game winning streak snapped to begin the slump. For the Stars, their three-game win streak ended–thanks in large part to Detroit’s penalty kill, who held Dallas to 0-5 on the power play while tallying the two decisive shorthanded goals.

Check It Out
Darren Eliot reports that the NHL’s new rules have stripped the game of its physical component. Just based off of observation, the increase in penalties has been clear since the introduction of the new rulebook. It truly does take some flow from the game– knowing that roughly a quarter to a half of the contest will be played with one team shorthanded.

Game of the Night: Anaheim at Edmonton
Chris Pronger returns to Rexall Place–this time as a member of the Ducks

The Last Shot
Monday was arguably the best day of Trent Yawney’s life, while Denis Savard is left to wonder: “Why me?”

NHL General

Crashing the Zamboni: Chicago fires coach Yawney

1. Blackhawks fire Trent Yawney
You think going back to work today was tough for you?  Consider Trent Yawney, fired today by the Chicago Blackhawks who have lost 12 of the last 15 games.  He was replaced by assistant Denis Savard.   No word on whether Yawney said during Thanksgiving dinner, “I am thankful for my job as head coach of the Blackhawks.”

2. Lighting Up The Sens
Tampa Bay goalie Johan Holmqvist chalked up 22 saves on Sunday night in a 3-1 win over a somewhat mysterious Ottawa Senators team. Holmqvist is hot, now having won a miraculous eight of his last nine starts to lead the Lightning back into the thick of things in a crowded Southeast Division. It prompts this question: why even have goaltender Marc Denis on the roster (this year, new Denis is 5-7-1, while Holmqvist is 8-3-0). Holmie’s terrific performance in net snapped a four game winning streak for a second-to-last Sens team, and also ended a seven game point streak for Ottawa sniper Daniel Alfredsson. Offensivley for Tampa, Brad Richards had an impressive night with a goal and an assist–helping the Bolts to their fourth win in the last six games.

3. Kari Goes Krazy
Thrashers’ netminder Kari Lehtonen produced one of the best performances thus far in the NHL season, leading Atlanta to a 1-0 win on Saturday night. He stopped all 37 shots that came his way from the sticks of the Florida Panthers, paving the way for his third shutout of the year. Florida has had no answer for the boys from “Blueland” this year, now dropping to 0-4 against Atlanta. This can be credited in large part to Atlanta’s penalty kill against Florida, who has been shut down to the tune of 1-for-23 in the four meetings between the teams. Ilya Kovalchuck increased his team lead in goals on Saturday, tallying the lone score for Atlanta.

4. BIZZARO NEWS BREAK: Columbus Wins
In an event that can only be considered bizarre, the Columbus Blue Jackets actually showed up to play on Saturday night against the Minnesota Wild. They walked off of the ice as a 5-3 winner in the contest, which is probably the most amazing thing to happen in the NHL in recent memory. Sergei Fedorov had a productive performance for the Blue Jackets, scoring two goals and adding two assists. Still, with only five goals and seven assists on the year, he has to be considered an underachiever (but it is tough to blame him completely, when he’s usually the only Columbus player awake on the ice). The win ended an abysmal stretch of eight straight losses for the Blue Jackets, and also gave new coach Ken Hitchcock his first victory behind the bench. For Minnesota, who is tied for first in the Northwest, it was not the first time they have lost to a last-place team. The Wild dropped a 4-3 decision to the Phoenix Coyotes on November 14th.

Check It Out
In an interesting story from The New York Times, this edition of NHL Notebook discuses the impact of Bo Schembechler’s loss in the NHL. It revolves around Rangers’ defenseman Aaron Ward, who has roots in Ann Arbor. Stories like these just cushion the stories we’ve all heard about Schembechler as not only a coach, but a man.

Game of the Night: Dallas at Detroit, 7:00PM ET
The Red Wings have lost five straight after winning nine in a row

The Last Shot’s Brian Cazeneuve releases his thoughts on a crowded Western Conference, as well as other notes from around the NHL. Brian tends to agree with us in thinking that Anaheim holds Western Conference supremacy.

NHL General

Crashing the Zamboni: The E-Train is still running

1. Stars Stymie Avs
In a crazy see-saw battle on Monday night in Dallas, the Stars defeated a stuttering Avalanche club, 5-4. Brenden Morrow scored two early goals for the Stars before leaving with an injury, setting up Dallas for what would be a satisfying comeback victory. After Marty Turco gave up two first period goals, he was unexpectedly pulled and replaced by backup Mike Smith, who stopped 16 of 18 shots on the night. An early 3rd period goal by John-Michael Liles gave Colorado a 4-3 lead, but it would not last long. Halfway through the frame, Colorado (back then Quebec) draft pick Eric Lindros tied it up with his fifth goal of the year. Less than three minutes afterward, Antti Miettinen got the puck by Peter Budaj to give the Stars the eventual 5-4 victory. For Colorado, it was their fifth loss in the last seven games.

2. Sabres’ Spectacular 2nd
Last night, Buffalo hosted another dominant Sabres victory as the guys with the ugly logo downed the Tampa Bay Lightning, 7-2. The night was highlighted by a bananas 7 goal 2nd for Buffalo, who received a nice 24 save performance from goaltender Ryan Miller on the other side of the ice. Offensively, Paul Gaustad and Thomas Vanek were hot, scoring two goals each (Gaustad also added an assist). Ales Kotalik also had a good night tallying a hat trick for assists with three. This was Buffalo’s fifth game in which they’ve scored six or more goals, so they certainly have everything covered on offense. If there was no such thing as the second period, Tampa’s Marc Denis would have had an awesome game between the pipes. Unfortunately, 22 saves was not enough to beat the Sabres, who still have not lost back-to-back games this season.

3. He knows it’s the Flyers, right?
One month after being booted up to the position of head coach for the Philadelphia Flyers, John Stevens has signed a two-year deal to remain in that spot (what was he thinking?). He replaced Ken Hitchcock as head-honcho 12 games ago, and has posted a 4-7-1 record. A coach cannot win the games for the Flyers– they have to get it done on the ice, and that’s what this team is missing. Their offense is defunct, and the defense couldn’t keep the other team away from the net if it were two states over. In goal, Antero Niittymaki has been anything but impressive since taking over the #1 spot, posting a 3-10-2 record this season.

Check It Out
Kevin Allen of USA Today takes a look at the youth of today’s NHL, and how it is impacting the game. It is clear that the kids have taken over… just take one look at the trio on the Pens (Staal, Crasby, and Malkin)–those youngsters are the new image of the NHL.

Game of the Night: San Jose at Anaheim
Sharks have won six of last seven games

The Last Shot
Pittsburgh defeated Philadelphia 5-3 last night, improving the Penguins’ record against Philly this year to 4-0.