Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Some goalies good, others not so much

'twas a night of all-or-nothing if you were an NHL goalie on Tuesday. We'll look at the one near and dear to most readers of this blog.

Was Hulk Hogan in the building?
'cause Minnesota ran Wild on Roberto Luongo and the Canucks. Get it? Ran Wild, 'cause they're the Wild? It's funny, people! Or should I say, punny? Hey? Hey everybody? Get it? Pun-ny? Alright, I got nothing.

Anyway, Luongo's struggles in Minnesota continued Tuesday. He gave up five goals in his last two outings in the X, and this time, he wish he gave up just five. In just under 34 minutes, the Wild poured six goals behind Luongo, chasing him after two periods, and coasted to a 6-2 win over Vancouver.

What's funny is Daniel Sedin scored less than a minute into the game for the Canucks, and it looked like the rout for Vancouver would be on. But no.

Minnesota's power play again clicked like magic, converting all three of its chances, including goals by Marek Zidlicky and my boy Cal Clutterbuck in the first period. Sandwiched in between was Guillaume Latendresse's second of the season. A trio of goals came in the second, from John Madden, Andrew Brunette and Matt Cullen.

Zidlicky, Mittens (that's all I'm going to refer to him as now; we all know who I'm talking about) and Martin Havlat each had two assists. Cullen and Latendresse had two points each. Niklas Backstrom made 25 saves, and Sedin's second goal of the contest very late in regulation put a slight tarnish on an otherwise excellent night.

You know who else isn't good? Antti Niemi
Anyone wondering if San Jose's front office is wondering if Evgeni Nabokov is still taking calls?

Making his third start of the season, Antti Niemi let in five goals, with two coming in the first 7:05 of the third period, and Carolina took down San Jose, 5-2. Chad LaRose posted a goal and two assists, Eric Staal had one of each, and Erik Cole, Patrick Dwyer and Joni Pitkanen also scored for the Hurricanes. On the flip side when it comes to goalies, Cam Ward made a whopping 41 saves.

Patrick Marleau made an appearance for the Sharks, scoring twice.

Three Stars snub of the night
Belongs to once-again-No. 1 Boston goalie Tim Thomas.

The netminder who apparently has found new life with a new goalie mask stopped 35 shots, including 18 in the third period, and led Boston to a 3-1 win over the Capitals in Washington, a place the Caps rarely lose. Yet Thomas wasn't named one of the game's stars.

Two of those went to Milan Lucic and David Krejci, who both scored a goal and notched an assist for the Bruins. Matt Hunwick's goal early in the third period gave the Bruins a bit of a cushion, making the score 3-1.

Marcus Johansson scored for Washington, the first of his NHL career.

For some reason, midway through the third period, Alex Ovechkin decided to bat a puck out of midair with his hand straight into the net. The goal was immediately waived off.

Happy returns
Two players returned from injuries in the Calgary-Nashville clash. Both played well, but only one got two points. The other settled for one.

Rene Bourque knocked a puck past Pekka Rinne 2:10 into overtime to give the Flames a 1-0 victory. Bourque returned from a concussion - word I saw said he probably wouldn't return until later this week - and scored his first of the season. Rinne made 34 saves in the loss, as did Miikka Kiprusoff to record the shutout.

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