Check out my ugly uni!
1. Awesome in OT
The Buffalo Sabres continue to take care of business, and look to be a Stanley Cup contender come playoff time. They racked up another win on Saturday night, drowning the already dead Philadelphia Flyers. The 5-4 overtime victory was the third straight win for Buffalo in the extra period. Daniel Briere had an outstanding game, scoring two goals–one to tie it, and another to win it. While the Sabres continue to roll along, the Flyers continue to fall to the pit of the NHL. The giant wing on their jerseys has been clipped this year; at 3-11-2, Philly is dead last in the Eastern Conference. Even Flyers fans are having a hard time remembering the times when team was actually good. That’s an unfortunate thing, since it really wasn’t that long ago. It doesn’t help that they’ve been without captain Peter Forsberg, who has been battling a nagging ankle injury and is listed as day-to-day.
Friday’s post on Crashing the Zamboni featured the Anaheim Ducks and their emergence to begin the season. With their 12-0-4 mark, they set a record for most games without a regulation loss to start a season. On the same night of the post, the Ducks suffered a 3-0 loss at the hands of the Calgary Flames–and it didn’t come in overtime or a shootout. Our apologies go out to the Ducks and their fans, who we’re sure were hoping to see their team go without a regulation loss this year. But don’t just blame us: Mikka Kiprusoff had a stellar performance, stopping all 37 shots that came his direction on the way to a shutout victory.
Anaheim would avenge the loss with another victory on Sunday night over the Wild, 3-2. Currently, their record stands at 13-1-2, by far the best in the Western Conference.
3. Preds Victorious
The Nashville Predator skated to a 1-0 victory on Saturday night, attempting to keep up with the Red Wings in the Central. Chris Mason was a brick wall between the pipes, saving his way to a shutout win with a career-high 42 saves. As a backup to Tomas Vokoun, it was his first shutout in the four games he’s started on the year. Scott Upshall scored the only goal of the game in the first period, but it was enough to fend off the Avalanche, who have slipped into last in the Northwest Division. This was the third 1-0 game in the NHL in the past week, which is exactly what the league is trying to stay away from with the rule changes put in effect last year (the other two games were a Dallas victory over Phoenix on Thursday and a Chicago win over Columbus last night).
Check It Out
SI.com’s Allan Muir looks into the struggles of the Columbus Blue Jackets, perhaps the most irrelevant team in the league. He suggests sniper Rick Nash is the problem, and if the Columbus Blue Jackets want to get rolling, then that is the guy that needs to put up numbers. Playing in the same division as Detroit and Nashville, it may be quite a while before the Blue Jackets actually have an impact on this league.
Game of the Night: Buffalo at Carolina
Rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference finals (Hurricanes won in seven games)
The Last Shot
The Chicago Blackhawks actually won a game on Sunday night. Oh, wait… they faced Columbus. Does that really count?