Thursday, November 11, 2010

Marquee teams still struggling; Halak hit hard

To steal a line from Pierre LeBrun, fans from a number of cities are pretty damn disappointed these days.

We may suck, but you suck more
Nowadays, $100 million buys you a misfire on a breakaway near the end of overtime then a whiff on a potential game-ending shootout attempt. So goes Ilya Kovalchuk.

Kovalchuk shot over the net from close range as overtime dwindled down, then lost control of the puck on his shootout try needing to score, and Buffalo defeated New Jersey, 5-4, in a battle of the two worst teams in the East.

Buffalo rookie Tyler Ennis scored midway through the third period to tie the score at 4-4. Tyler Myers regained his rookie form for one game, scoring once and adding two helpers, Derek Roy posted a goal and assist and Jason Pominville netted his first goal of the season. Jhonas Enroth made 28 saves.

Jason Arnott scored twice and Jamie Langenbrunner and David Clarkson also scored for New Jersey.

See, bad defense leads to bad goaltending
For all the heat Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has gotten, most of the idiot Pittsburgh fans seem to blame just him and not the woeful play in front of him. Well, now that the defense committed a series of horrid giveaways that led to Brent Johnson being bad, maybe they'll see the light.

And maybe I'll steal Hilary Duff away from Mike Comrie.

Anyway, in one of the more epic fails, Pittsburgh allowed Boston to score five times in the third period (one into an empty net) as the Bruins roared back (get it? Bears, roaring? Anyway) from a 4-2 deficit to earn a 7-4 victory.

Although I predicted a 3-0 score, I knew this was what would really happen. See, I knew Tim Thomas, whom I own in a fantasy league, would get lit up for at least three, probably four goals. But he'd also find a way to win, doubly dooming my night. He finished with a whopping 42 saves as Pittsburgh out-shot Boston, 46-33.

Seven different Bruins scored: Mark Recchi, Brad Marchand, Nathan Horton, Zdeno Chara, Shawn Thornton, Blake Wheeler and Milan Lucic. Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists for Pittsburgh.

We're the defending champs, and we suck against a backup
Not good times in the Windy City either.

Not after Phoenix backup Jason LaBarbera stopped 35 shots and two goals in a 25-second span in the second period pushed the Coyotes past Chicago, 2-1. Kyle Turris and Eric Belanger scored, erasing Bryan Bickell's first-period tally for the Blackhawks.

Law of averages, right?
Jaroslav Halak was bound to have a bad game sometime. Right? Boy did he ever.

Get this: Halak allowed as many goals in 24 minutes as he had allowed in his previous FIVE games combined. Columbus torched Halak for four goals then did to same to Ty Conklin as the Blue Jackets bombarded St. Louis, 8-1. Seriously, Halak had given up four goals in his previous five games. He had three shutouts in that time. Yikes.

Who did some of the damage? That's right, Chris effing Clark. That sumbitch scored twice as did Jakub Voracek. Rick Nash had a goal and assist and Jared Boll, Antoine Vermette and R.J. Umberger also scored. The good Steve Mason showed up and made 29 saves.

Seasonal tidings
It's autumn, which must mean the Maple Leafs are continuing to fall, and fall hard.

Yeah, I went a long way to think up a joke like that.

Florida scored the game's first four goals and heaped more misery on Toronto by earning a 4-1 victory. Michael Frolik had a goal and two assists, Shawn Matthias one of each, and Bryan Allen and Steven Reinprecht also scored. Tomas Vokoun made 32 saves.

Those SOBs did it again
Somehow, Anaheim finds a way to win a game it has no business winning. Like Tuesday, when the Ducks were out-shot 41-20. Then again Wednesday, when Anaheim had more penalty minutes than shots on goal despite there being only one fight in the game.

For about 55 minutes, Anaheim recorded only 10 shots on goal, but one of those was Saku Koivu's goal early in the third period which held up as the Ducks blanked the Islanders, 1-0. Curtis McElhinney made 27 saves. Anaheim finished with 14 shots on goal and 17 penalty minutes.

--At some point, Ray Shero has to add a player who has some kind of offensive capability. This strength down the middle bullshit isn't working. Jordan Staal returning won't cure that team.

--Man, the Devils are bad. John MacLean's still safe though, eh, Lou? Congrats though for finally cracking double figures in points, the last NHL team to do so.

--"8-1 Columbus" might be the most stunning result we see all season, considering the Blue Jackets haven't been a strong offensive team and how unbeatable Halak has been.

--I'm not entirely sure Anaheim had any right to win any of the five straight games the Ducks have won, but they're finding ways to do it, which makes them dangerous each night.

--Has anyone seen Patrick Sharp? Since becoming the first NHLer to hit 10 goals, he hasn't scored in six straight games with just two assists in that time. Also, the Blackhawks lost another game in which they allowed 26 shots or less (six now.)

No comments: