Thursday, January 13, 2011

Roloson strikes again; Flyin' Ryan

Get it? 'cause Bobby Ryan is a Duck. Ducks fly? OK, to the results.

The pwnage, it is reversed
The key to winning the Southeast Division is apparently Dwayne Roloson.

In two previous meetings with Washington, Tampa Bay was out-scored 12-3, losing by scores of 6-3 and 6-0. Embarrassing performances that cost a team a chance to win a division title and earn home-ice advantage.

Enter Roloson. For the second time in eight days, Roloson shut out Washington and wasn't even very busy, making 23 saves as the Lightning earned a huge 3-0 victory. He even had an assist!

Sean Bergenheim had a goal and assist and Dominic Moore and Simon Gagne also scored for Tampa, which bounced back from another horrid loss, a 6-3 decision to New Jersey.

Speaking of which, Tampa also had that 8-1 blunder against Pittsburgh a week ago, another 8-1 loss this season (to Boston), plus another 6-0 loss (to Florida). It's mind-boggling that a team can have that many blowout defeats yet be leading a division. That means something but I have no idea what.

Ryan tricks Blues, keys Anaheim rout
Anaheim capped off a six-game homestand in style.

Bobby Ryan scored his third career hat trick and also had an assist as the Ducks routed St. Louis, 7-4. The game was close, and then not. Anaheim led 3-0 after the first period before David Backes netted a pair in the second for the Blues. The Ducks responded by scoring four straight times in the final frame before St. Louis got a couple back in the final minutes.

Lubomir Visnovsky had a goal and two assists and Corey Perry tallied one of each. Jason Blake and Brandon McMillan scored and Cam Fowler and Teemu Selanne each posted two helpers. Jonas Hiller made 30 saves.

The Ducks have won six of seven.

What the hell got into that team?
There would be no Benoit Pouliot owning the Penguins tonight.

Pouliot took three penalties and Pittsburgh scored on two of them, somehow converting for a season-high four power play goals on six opportunities and did not blow a multi-goal lead to defeat Montreal, 5-2.

Alex Goligoski (two goals), Jordan Staal (one) and Kris Letang each recorded three points for Pittsburgh. Chris Kunitz had a goal and assist and Tyler Kennedy also scored. Marc-Andre Fleury made 20 saves.

Tomas Plekanec and David Desharnais scored for the Canadiens.

Another shutout
Corey Crawford had as much to do as Dwayne Roloson.

Crawford fended off all 24 shots he saw and led Chicago to a 4-0 shutout of one of the league's highest-scoring teams, Colorado. Dave Bolland and Fernando Pisani had a goal and assist and Troy Brouwer and Jack Skille also scored. Brent Seabrook had two assists.

--That's the kind of game Jordan Staal needs to have for Pittsburgh to succeed, with or without Sidney Crosby. The question is can he do it consistently. Evgeni Malkin was better but needs to produce on the scoresheet.

--It shouldn't come as much surprise that Roloson is faring well in Tampa Bay. It is something of a surprise so much of his success is coming against Washington.

--It took a couple games, but Bobby Ryan is doing in Ryan Getzlaf's absence (six goals the last three games) what Malkin needs to do while Crosby is out. Ryan's kind of on fire.

--Seriously, can't Pittsburgh swap Paul Martin for Ryan? Penguins need wingers, Ducks need defensemen, the contracts are virtually the same. Why doesn't this deal make sense? Except for the fact that Pittsburgh would be getting a far better player...

--Marty Turco to Washington. I'm calling it now. OK, maybe not Washington, but at what point does Chicago trade Turco? That experiment did not work out, did it?

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