Finally, the San Jose Sharks were handed their first regulation loss of the 2013-2014 season Thursday night. David Krejci, tipped in a shot with 0.8 seconds left in the 3rd period to end the Sharks impressive run. The Sharks doubled the Bruins in shots last night, 39-17, but Tuukka Rask was able to backstop his team for 2 points. You have to ask at this point, who will be Finland's starter at the Olympics because Rask is making his case and it will be a tough call because Antti Niemi is also in the running. Niemi didn't have his strongest showing last night, stopping 15 of 17 shots and coming up just short. With San Jose about to have their first back to back games (Ottawa/Montreal), you can bet back up Alex Stalock, will see a game this weekend. Brent Burns was out again for his 2nd game in a row, after taking a stick to the mouth against Ottawa the other night. In his place, the Sharks gave Freddie Hamilton the top spot, Freddie also brother of Douggie Hamilton (Boston D-man). Freddie though, hasn't recorded a point in his 2 game stint, and it isn't because his linemates aren't good. Anchoring that top line, Hertl and Thornton, have also gone pointless the last 2 games and my guess is, they miss having a toothless caveman to set them up.
Igilna registering his first goal as a Boston Bruin, and Milan Lucic with an assist to extend his point streak to 3 games. With Loui Eriksson out with a concussion, Carl Soderberg was in the lineup and even saw some time on the 2nd PP unit. Brad Marchand was back on the top line due to injury's (been back and forth on the 1st and 3rd line), but isn't seeing any PP time though, should fantasy owners be concerned?
Looks like Luongo has bested Schneider again, twice this year now. Both contests have been in OT, but I don't think they would have gone that far if Brodeur was in net. I love Marty, don't get me wrong, the man is going to be a hall of famer for christ sake's. But at this point, he himself has said that Cory Schneider is the teams starter and even in the numbers so far, it has shown to be that way. Ryan Kesler looks like he's having a great time skating on that top line with the Sedin twins, Kesler with 1 goal and an assist last night. Henrik Sedin with 2 assists, while his brother Daniel with 1 goal. Henrik, now is on a 7 game point streak, while Daniel now has 11 points in 12 games. David Booth was back in the line up after missing a little time with injury, but left this game early to, no way? Since being dealt from Buffalo, it seems that he's been the poster boy for injury.
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS vs. NEW YORK RANGERS:
Well for Claude Giroux saying, the Flyers will make the playoffs, he sure isn't helping back that up. Giroux's 3 game point streak came to an end last night, but they did manage to get 2 points against the Rangers. A very depleted Ranger team, Rick Nash, Ryan Callahan, and Henrik Lundqvist all out due to injury. Matt Read though, with a short handed goal and an assist, leads the Flyers in shots and seems to me like anytime I check a boxscore his name seems to be popping up? Vinny Lecalvier was back in the line up after missing a week with an injury, saw 20 minutes of ice time and 6 minutes with the man advantage. Scott Hartnell is set to return to the line up this weekend (Saturday). I don't think Brad Richards is being given enough credit, he had the lone goal for the Rangers last night, and now has 8 points in 8 games. I constantly see how much the Rangers are struggling and what they use to be, and yet no one mentions what I stated above, Richards is having no trouble keeping them on the map. Rookie goaltender Cam Talbot saw action last night with Henrik out, and from the highlights I can see why the Rangers put Biron on waivers. He wasn't tested to hard, but made 25 saves and was fluent and consistent, I expect big things to come. Steve Mason is another person who I don't think is given enough credit with what he has in front of him, last night he came up big for the Flyers with 31 saves to get the win. Mason's record isn't impressive (2-7) but the guy posts great numbers, .930 SV% and a 2.17 GAA, I like his odds against Emery.
ANAHEIM DUCKS vs. MONTREAL CANADIENS:
The Ducks outshot Montreal last night, but Carey Price once again with another strong performance turning aside 31 of 32 shots. Tomas Plekanec is now on a hot streak, with 1 goal and 2 assists last night, he now has 7 points in his last 4 games. Ride the hot streak. Brian Gionta is starting to find his groove, also with 1 goal and an assist last night and former rookie Alex Galchenuk had an assist to end his 5 game pointless skid. The Ducks only goal came from their 4th line, Patrick Marron which is surprising. Michael Bournival, 2 points (1G, 1A) now is on a 4 game point streak, you might want to keep an eye on him.
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING:
Well this game was nothing short of, uh goaltending? Tamp Bay with a 6-5 OT win, with Ben Bishop not having his best performance (38 saves, on 43 shots). But the guy keeps piling up the wins, he now has a 6-1-0 record but a good amount of that credit has to be given to his offense squeaking this one out. Steven Stamkos with another monster night, 2 goals and 2 assists, and Martin St.Louis with a goal and an assist of his own. When the Lightning decided to sign Valtteri Filppula, I thought they over paid for a mediocre player, but with another 2 PP assists last night, he shut me up. He has quietly strung together 4 goals and 4 assists, giving him 8 points in 9 games this season. Nikolai Khabibulin was in net for the Hawks and looked drunk, I mean bad. I never understood why Chicago signed him for 1 year, when their system is stocked with goalies such as Antti Raanta, who is more than capable of carrying as the teams back up this year. Antti is in Rockford, and was the MVP of the SM-Liiga and best goaltender of the year with a 21-10-11 record, with 5 shutouts and a league leading 1.85 GAA and .943 SV% last year. If you're in a keeper league, wait for him. I'm telling you it will pay off. What won't payoff is Bryan Bickell, started on the top line and PP unit this year and did nothing, and then gets demoted to the 3rd line and now has goals in 3 consecutive games. He should have probably done that when he was on the top line, right? Check out what I mean about Antti Raanta, his higlight video is at the bottom after my quick hits.
David Legwand with 2 assists last night, and Patrick Hornqvist with a goal to help beat the Jets 3-2 in OT. Pekka Rinne is out 4 weeks, due to a bacterial infection in his hip that he had surgery on last spring. Which leaves the net open for back up Carter Hutton who had 34 saves last night, and oddly enough the only other game he's played this year was also against Winnipeg who he also beat that game with what I think if I recall correctly, 39 saves. Nashville recalled prospect Magnus Hellberg, who I've yet to see play, but have heard he is a monster in net. Ovechkin with another goal last night, giving him 10 goals in 10 games for a total of 15 points to lead the league. Can he do it? Be the first to have 50 goals in 50 games? I don't think so, I think he'll go goaless one night, but I've been wrong so damn much in my life. Marcuss Johansson and Nicklas Backstrom both with 2 assists and good to see the top line clicking after I picked Marcuss up after a buddy dropped him in our league. Brandon Miller, you were smart by passing on Mike Green so far, but I'm sure you'll kill yourself at one point this year, but so far it's paid off for you. Green, only has 1 point in the last 7 games? The top line in Edmonton last night was Nail Yakupov, RNH, and Jordan Eberle which didn't work at all. Each player going a -4 which I think the Oilers are missing the absence of Taylor Hall. Buckle up Edmonton, you thought you sucked now, doesn't look to hopeful now. Good to see one thing going right for the Oilers though, the trade that landed David Perron there, picking up an assist last night with 6 SOG. In goalie news, Cam Ward and Josh Harding both leaving the game due to LBI which isn't good news for either team. Anton Khudobin is also out right now with a LBI, so Justin Peters has been called up and I assume will take all the starts. Harding hurts because the guy was on fire seeing as how they just got their starter back from injury, but looks like Nicklas Backstrom is back in the crease.