Thursday, February 3, 2011

Brent Johnson > Rick DiPietro; A Franzen fiver

Johnson, Penguins beat down DiPietro, Islanders
We can talk if we want about "Sidney who? Evgeni who?" after the Penguins won their fourth straight game and seventh in eight, shutting out the Islanders 3-0 for the second time in nine days. How the team defense in the absence of offensive skill is rivaling anything the Steelers have ever put on the field.

But we all know what we want to see. This:


Twitter was abuzz - ABUZZ I tell you - afterward about Brent Johnson. It was fun.

There's also a video from the Islanders' broadcast in which the announcers suggest Rick DiPietro initiated the fight, which I doubt. The announcers also cited Matt Cooke as the instigator of the scrum - which is understandable, and we can all get behind DiPietro giving Cooke a shot - but then they later backtracked a bit after seeing another replay. They were right when they said Cooke didn't need to go anywhere near DiPietro though.

As for the game, oh yeah! There was a game, wasn't there? Tyler Kennedy and Chris Kunitz scored in the first period and Max Talbot broke a 25-game goalless streak with an empty netter that gave him 50 career goals and 100 career points. Paul Martin had two assists.

Johnson made 20 saves but does not technically get credit for a shutout since he was ejected and Marc-Andre Fleury finished the game. So if you have him on your fantasy team - in which case, WTF's wrong with you? - you lose out.

Five...five dollar...five dollar Franzen
Is that song stuck in your heads now? I hope so. Boom.

Even though the last one was into an empty net, mad props to Johan Franzen for going off for five goals in a crazy 7-5 Detroit victory over Ottawa. Three of Franzen's goals came in the third period. The first two came 48 seconds apart in the first.

Some other zaniness: One minute after Franzen's second goal, Peter Regin scored for Ottawa. In the second period, Detroit scored twice in 13 seconds (Kris Draper, Niklas Kronwall) for a 4-3 lead, then Milan Michalek struck for Ottawa 29 seconds later.

Michalek did it again, scoring 29 seconds after Franzen's third goal put Detroit ahead 5-4. Then Franzen scored his last two.

Henrik Zetterberg had three assists and Brian Rafalski and Nicklas Lidstrom two each. Jimmy Howard made 29 saves. Peter Regin, Alexei Kovalev and Chris Campoli each had a goal and two assists for the Senators, who have lost eight straight.

Scared yet?
Are teams in the West as scared of Vancouver as teams in the East are of Philadelphia? If not, the time can't be too far off. (OK, unless you want to think of their - and Bob Luongo's specifically - past playoff failures. That might take some fear away.)

Anyway, five different players scored and Luongo needed to stop just 23 shots as Vancouver ran over Phoenix (get it? Coyotes, road runner? OK yeah, that was a bad one) by a 6-0 score. Ryan Kesler scored twice, Mason Raymond had a goal and assist and Mikael Samuelsson had two assists. No one else had multiple points.

Screening the Oilers
Ryan Smyth got a piece of two shots from the point by Drew Doughty for a pair of power play goals in Los Angeles' 3-1 win over Edmonton. Jack Johnson had a goal and two assists and Jonathan Quick made 32 saves.

Hanging on
--Brian Gionta's goal midway through the third period stood up as the winner as Montreal hung on to defeat Florida, 3-2. The Panthers scored late to cut the gap to one. Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban each had two assists and Alex Auld made 33 saves for the Canadiens.
--San Jose opened up a quick 3-0 lead, chasing all-star Jonas Hiller, then narrowly avoided a collapse in a 4-3 win over Anaheim. The Ducks trailed 4-1 before two goals narrowed the lead to one. Ryane Clowe had a goal and assist and Antti Niemi made 27 saves for the Sharks.

--The guess here is Brent Johnson was the #1 star just for the knockout.

--The Islanders are not fans of Consol Energy Center. They were the first road team (in four tries) to lose there and then they were shut out there in two straight games. Also, they had a goalie knocked the eff out.

--The Sharks, who smell blood (5th in the West) are circling.

...OK, sorry. Good night everybody! I'll be here all week, don't forget to tip your waitress.

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