Monday, November 2, 2009

NHL Recap 11-1-09

Doing something a little different this time.

Non-star of the night
Cam Ward, who gave up five goals in a 5-1 loss to San Jose. Among the goal scorers for the Sharks were Brad Staubitz (2nd of the season, 3rd in 44 career games) and defensemen Kent Huskins (1st of the season, 7th in 157 career games) and Douglas Murray (1st of the season, 2nd in 224 career games.)

Yes, I'm trying to exorcise some fantasy hockey demons here. Sigh. Here's a tip: Never draft any Hurricanes the season after they have a long playoff run. They missed the postseason after winning the Stanley Cup in 2006 and now they're awful after making it to the conference final. This doesn't appear to be a problem for fantasy drafting for the 2010-11 season.

Non-Three Stars Selection of the night
Columbus center R.J. Umberger, who scored two power play goals, including the winner in overtime, as the Blue Jackets came from behind to beat Washington, 5-4. Raffi Torres, the game's No. 1 star, had two game-tying goals in the third period, one at 3-3 and one at 4-4, the second coming with 23 seconds remaining and one tick after a Blue Jackets power play ended. Rick Nash had three points, including his ninth goal, and was the second star, and third star went to Washington's Brooks Laich, who scored twice.

This might be a fun new feature for me to add. Because you know, these things aren't long enough as they are. Eye-roll.

Most notable though from this game was Alex Ovechkin left in the second period with an upper-body injury after logging just 7:43 of ice time. Coach Bruce Boudreau labeled Ovechkin day-to-day. But aren't we all?

Clean sheets
--Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves and Marian Gaborik scored in his first game back from injury as the Rangers defeated Boston, 1-0. It is the King's first shutout of the season and 21st of his career along with his 150th victory.
--Andrew Raycroft showed his former team why they should've re-signed him instead of Craig Anderson, making a whopping 18 saves for his seventh career shutout in Vancouver's 3-0 victory over the Avalanche. Who needs Bob Luongo? By the way, Colorado went the first 10 minutes of the third period without a shot, finishing with five in the period.

Quote of the night
"We suck."
Carolina coach Paul Maurice

(OK, I'm kidding. He didn't say that, at least not to the press. Still exorcising those demons. Here's the real quote.)

"It's not any one consistent thing through the bunch of games -- it's a different fire each day. I probably can't explain how frustrating that is."
This one was from Maurice. Carolina is 2-8-3. If you're scoring at home, and I know that you are, only the Maple Leafs have fewer points. Yeah, even the Islanders have more. Almost twice as many, in fact.

Marquee matchup
Monday, Nov. 2 (3 games)
Los Angeles (8-4-2) at Phoenix (9-4-0), 9 p.m. ET. Once again, count the heads in the stands. I think there were eight last home game. But also, these teams meet for the third time this season, having split the first two, with the Desert Dogs winning the teams' opener, 6-3, and the Kings winning the second game, 5-3. Both wins came by the road team.

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