Friday, February 4, 2011

Dallas and Boston fight to the finish

Bad blood between Bruins, Stars
If you arrived late to the start of Dallas-Boston, shame on you for six weeks, as Penguins announcer Mike Lange would say.

Three fights in four seconds - which honestly leads to the question of what was that third pair waiting for? Why wasn't it three fights in three seconds? - preceded goals 45 seconds apart in the first 1:20 of Boston's 6-3 victory.

Then there was a fourth fight a few minutes later. In the second period, Steve Ott and Zdeno Chara received 10-minute misconducts. Then Daniel Paille made an appointment with Colin Campbell after head-shotting a player and getting tossed.

By the way, these teams are in different conferences. Does anyone know why the hatred? I'm understanding there's some bitterness between Ott and Gregory Campbell, so I get those two fighting. But everyone else? Good lord.

Anyway, Patrice Bergeron (two goals), Brad Marchand (one) and Mark Recchi (none) all had three points for Boston. Tuukka Rask made 30 saves, receiving more goal support than in his previous 16 appearances combined. (That's true, you can look it up.)

(You didn't look it up, did you? I hope not, because it's obviously not true. As far as you know.)

Trifecta of treys
--New Jersey chased Henrik Lundqvist by scoring the first three goals then had to hang on for a 3-2 win over the Rangers. Dainius Zubrus had a goal and assist and Martin Brodeur made 25 saves.
--Jeff Carter had a goal and two assists and Ville Leino scored two third-period goals in Philadelphia's 3-2 win over Nashville. Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves and Claude Giroux had two assists.
--Tim Brent was a beast apparently blocking shots to help James Reimer's 27-save shutout for Toronto in a 3-0 win over Carolina. Clarke MacArthur and Kris Versteeg scored.

Fabulous fours
--Mikael Backlund's late unassisted goal helped Calgary to a 4-2 win over Atlanta. The Flames, getting a goal and assist from Mark Giordano and 22 Miikka Kiprusoff saves, have won six in a row.
--Jose Theodore made 38 saves, including 17 in the third period when Minnesota was out-shot 19-3, to guide the Wild over Colorado, 4-3. Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored on one of those three shots for the winner. Bouchard also had an assist and Andrew Brunette scored twice. Milan Hejduk had a pair for the Avalanche.

--Seriously, every Devils fan (all four of them) is asking himself why Jacques Lemaire had to go and retire. New Jersey is 8-1-1 in its last 10 and looks more and more like last year's team with each game.

--If the Devils keep winning 80 percent of their games like they have been, they'd finish with 88 points, roughly. That's what it took for Philadelphia and Montreal to qualify for the Eastern playoffs last season. That's not factoring in loser points either, by the way.

--Uh, that can't really happen, can it?

--Sure it can't. Just like Boston can't blow a 3-0 series lead, or a 3-0 lead in Game 7 at home.

--Remember when Atlanta was good? Me neither.

--Minnesota's 7th now! WITH GAMES IN HAND. Believe!

--Geezus. Seriously, the Wild could end up fifth soon. Or even fourth. I guess Pittsburgh won't be trading for Andrew Brunette this season.

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