Thursday, November 26, 2009

NHL Recap 11-25-09; Mini-Wild recap: Boston 2, Wild 1 (SO)


Nick is more than welcome to write a longer Wild recap (aren't I nice and gracious to give him permission to write on his blog? Anyway) but I'll post the briefest of recaps. I didn't see the game and I'm not going to pretend I did, so I'm just going to glean information from other sources.

Boston 2, Minnesota 1 (SO)
There's going to be games like this kind for every team at some point during the season. You control play, minimize scoring chances against you, and you just can't score. So you don't win. Minnesota got a win at Pittsburgh in a game just like that when the Penguins played as described. Wednesday, the Wild were on the other side of the equation, limiting Boston to 16 shots, getting 29 of their own, but losing 2-1 in a shootout.

Andrew Ebbett made a nice debut for the Wild, scoring in his first game. I don't know why Minnesota passed on making a claim on Ebbett in the first place, but that wasn't as nonsensical as Chicago claiming Ebbett. Anyway.

Turning point: Seems to be when Andrew Brunette failed to corral a chance with a gaping net in overtime.

Stud: Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask.

That's all I'm going to do on the Wild. Onto the rest of the league.

Stars of the night
--Martin Brodeur, 24 saves in the Devils' 3-1 win over Ottawa.
--Brian Boucher, 28 saves as Philadelphia edged the Islanders, 2-1.
--Carl Gunnarsson, three assists for Toronto in a 4-3 win over Tampa Bay.
--Sidney Crosby, one goal and one assist in Pittsburgh's 3-1 win over Montreal.
--Daymond Langkow, one goal and one assist to help Calgary defeat Phoenix, 2-1.
--Wayne Simmonds, ditto numbers in LA's 3-1 victory over Edmonton.
--Jean-Sebastien Giguere, 28 saves in his second straight strong outing in Anaheim's 3-2 win over Carolina. Corry Perry extended his points streak to 16 with an assist and Teemu Selanne had a goal and assist.

Clean sheets
--Semyon Varlamov continued his stellar recent play by stopping 25 shots in Washington's 2-0 win over Buffalo. Alex Ovechkin scored but was also ejected after committing a major penalty for boarding. No suspension apparently according to the AP recap.
--Atlanta's Ondrej Pavelec blanked Detroit in Joe Louis Arena, 2-0, by making 40 saves and getting goals from Nik Antropov and Slava Kozlov.

Working late
--Henrik Lundqvist's chance for a shutout was ruined by Dominic Moore with under five minutes remaining, but the Rangers rebounded to beat Florida in the shootout, 2-1. Marian Gaborik netted his 19th goal of the season and P.A. Parenteau had the only goal in the shootout.
--Goals by Andy McDonald and Brad Boyes lifted St. Louis to a 4-3 shootout win over Dallas. David Backes, Erik Johnson and T.J. Oshie scored in regulation for the Blues. Brenden Morrow scored in the final 30 seconds to salvage a point for the Stars.
--David Legwand willed a puck just past Craig Anderson in overtime to give Nashville a 4-3 victory over Colorado, the Predators' seventh straight win.

Have the Blackhawks become unstoppable? They scored the first seven goals against San Jose in what became a 7-2 win, and that's not even the "holy s---" part. Three of the goals came shorthanded, including two - one by Marian Hossa - on the same penalty kill, 28 seconds apart. How does that happen to any team, especially the Sharks? Yikes.

Hossa finished with two goals in his first game of the season. Another scary part is only Duncan Keith (three assists) had more than two points for Chicago. Not scoring goals were guys like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. And the Blackhawks still scored seven? Look out, NHL. Chicago looks so loaded that not even Hossa's seemingly-negative karma can stop it.

Four of the goals came against Evgeni Nabokov, who was chased just before the end of the second period.

Non-3 Stars Selections of the night
There were so many games (14) Wednesday and so many choices that I'm doing my own 3 Stars of guys who weren't 3 Stars. Note that these weren't necessarily the best players of the night, just players with strong performances who weren't a Star in their respective games.

3. Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh; 18 saves, some very timely and huge)
2. Teemu Selanne (Anaheim; one goal, one assist)
1. Niklas Hagman (Toronto; two goals)

Quote of the night
"I don't think frustration is the word. We should be embarrassed about the way we came out and played. That was ugly. Seven goals? That's breakdowns from everybody. That's just bad hockey."
Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle

Marquee matchup
Thursday, Nov. 26 (2 games)
Los Angeles (14-9-2) at Vancouver (12-11-0), 10 p.m. ET. Anze Kopitar seems to be really struggling without Ryan Smyth in the lineup. Smyth could miss up to a month. Kopitar doesn't have a goal since Nov. 9 (seven straight goal-less games) and has five assists in those seven games. Thrice he's been held without a point in that span.

Lastly, happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it. To those who don't, you're missing some good turkey.

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