Is it just me or are goalies figuring shooters out better these days? Seems like we're getting more shutouts lately. Also, the Kipa reverse jinx did NOT strike Niklas Backstrom! Banner moment for the blog.
OK, it didn't work on Matt Cullen either, but I expected Backstrom to get torched. I own him in four fantasy leagues I think.
But first, the stupid backup
Before we discuss Minnesota, let's take a moment to rail against Mathieu Garon, who is not making Steve Mason owners feel good. Garon stopped all 29 shots he saw and led Columbus to a 3-0 victory over Montreal. In his three starts, Garon has allowed three goals. He's won each start.
Reports of Rick Nash's demise were exaggerated - the Kipa Call Out strikes! Nash scored the game's opening goal and Derick Brassard and Kyle Wilson also scored. Jakub Voracek had two assists.
So much for Montreal's offense getting a boost with Andrei Markov's return, eh? I'm sure it'll just take time for him to get back to being on the ice, but the Canadiens have just one goal in their last two games. Not good, Johnny. Not good.
So, I have questions
OK. I mentioned Backstrom up above. Sounds like he was super good. Like anti-Steve Mason good. Stopped 36 shots. Minnesota beats red-hot San Jose, 1-0. Andrew Brunette scored a power play goal.
But I'm curious about something. The box score says the Wild had nine power play chances. One came in the final minute. Still, eight power plays we'll call it. So my question is, how the hell did the Wild have only 16 shots on goal, total? Shouldn't 16 power play shots sound somewhat appropriate? Sixteen total? Was it as ugly as it sounds?
Whatever, I guess. Two points in the bank. That's what matters.
No fight? WTF!
Where was Matt Carkner's latest rematch against Colton Orr? Did fans in Toronto get a refund for there being no fight?
Here's another question. Hypothetical situation. If I said Ottawa is a bad team, and if I'm right (biggest 'if' of all), and if the Senators beat the Maple Leafs, what does that make Toronto? A really bad team?
Ottawa scored once on a penalty shot and twice on a power play, then escaped a late collapse to earn a 3-2 victory. The Senators tried to give the game away, allowing 18 third-period shots and two goals, one on a delay of game penalty. But Brian Elliott stood tall with 33 saves.
Mike Fisher had the penalty shot goal and Sergei Gonchar scored his first goal as a Senator. Gonchar assisted on Erik Karlsson's goal. Karlsson also had an assist.
Clarke MacArthur had a late power play goal and also an assist on Nikolai Kulemin's goal.
Know who we haven't heard from this season, like, at all? Kris Versteeg. He had an assist tonight, upping his season total to a goal and two assists in 10 games. His first two points came in the same game, so he's been pointless in eight games.
Also, did karma hit the Leafs? Some fans booed captain Dion Phaneuf (and let's face it, he's been bad) and then Phaneuf leaves Tuesday's game with a deep cut in his leg and has to go to the hospital. Ouch. More for Phaneuf though.
Success in Alberta
For some reason, Raffi Torres was a hot commodity at last season's trade deadline. Total bust once he was moved from Columbus to Buffalo. Apparently this guy only needs to be around Edmonton to play well.
The former Oiler who totaled 62 goals in three seasons in Edmonton netted a hat trick, doubling his goal total for the season, and Vancouver recovered from blowing a 3-0 lead to defeat the Oilers, 4-3. It was the first road win of the season for the Canucks.
Torres scored twice in the first period and Daniel Sedin once to give Vancouver its 3-0 lead. Edmonton roared back on goals by Dustin Penner and two early third-period goals by Ryan Jones and Gilbert Brule to tie the game. Torres struck with 9:07 remaining to break the 3-3 score.
Kevin Bieksa had three assists for Vancouver and Roberto Luongo had one. Oh, he made 23 saves too.