morning shot of hockey to go with your coffee.
THIS WEEKEND’S PICKS:
Quick Hits Today. Here are my picks in case you missed them. Asterisk indicates who I picked
Blue Jackets edge Devils* 2-1 (SO). – Another shootout loss in pick’em. To make it worse, the only goal in the shootout was by Cam Atkinson, an Avon alum. Pssh, Avon. Go Bears. The Devils only took 17 shots and gave the puck away 8 times, I’m surprised Columbus couldn’t close the deal in regulation. Then again, they are the injury-riden Columbus Blue Jackets.
Blues* rally, defeat Blackhawks 6-5 (SO). – Another shootout. At least I pulled out a win here. This was a wild game. Hawks go up 3-1, Blues tie it at 3, Hawks score two more to go up 5-3 and then St. Louis scores two goal towards the end of regulation to send it to OT. One note: there were 47 shots taken between both of these teams. You’d think that there’d be more shots in a game with 10 goals. Just more proof how great both of those teams’ offenses are.
Sharks* snap Ducks’ streak; win 3-1. – I didn’t touch on this on Friday but the Ducks had a 10-game win-streak coming into this one. But I didn’t care, the Shark Tank got those Ducks. Just a good-clean game here, three total penalties! That never happens anymore. Antti Niemi played outstanding in this one, stopping 30 of 31 Anaheim shots.
And last but not least, from Saturday Night…
Flyers rally twice, edge out Oilers 4-3 (SO). – I’m going to try to make this short, because I could go on forever about this game. The first period was awful. Taylor Hall and Michael Nugent-Hopkins made the Flyers pay for their horrible puck control. Mark my words, the Oilers are going to be great in a few years and those two will lead the charge. Anyway, the Flyers only played well during five minutes of that first period: when they were on the penalty kill. Once they killed off Vinny’s penalty at the start of the second, things started to turn around; the Oilers started taking penalties. And the Flyers made them pay. In case you didn’t know, the Flyers how one of the best road power play units and they continued to dominate in that aspect, going three for five on the man advantage. Wayne Simmonds deflected a slap shot from Claude Giroux on the first power play and then the Flyers passed back and forth across the ice to fake out Bryz with Wayne finishing it off. Ah Bryz. He made some great saves on the Flyers, including a great breakaway opportunity from Jakub Voracek twoards the end of the second period. So we get to the third and it’s 2-2. Half-way through, Kimmo Timonen takes a tough holding call and the Oilers immediately reaped the benefits. All seemed lost. Then, a penalty, and then another one. A five-on-three, could this be the time the Flyers finally score on the two-man-advantage? YES IT IS! SCOTTY HARTNELL FINISHES IT!!! TIE GAME!!! Regulation comes to a close and overtime was uneventful so we go to a shootout. Damn shootouts. Jordan Eberle flies in and scores. Flyers miss. Oilers miss. The Captain; Claude Giroux comes down onto his former goaltender annnnnddddd BURIES IT FIVE HOLE! Sam Gagner misses. Now, the rookie, Michael Raffl. He’s never attempted a shootout shot in the NHL. Comes in, fakes, pauses, AND SNIPES!!! I went nuts:
2-1 over the weekend. 35-31 on the season now.
Highlight of the Night:
Bryz’s response is fantastic.
The Road Trip continues. The Flyers travel to Vancouver tonight to face the former bench boss of the Rangers: John Tortorella. The Canucks have plays Torts’ system well, scoring 106 goals while letting up 93. These two teams faced early on in the season, where the Flyers were sooo close to winning but lost it late in the third period. The key for the Flyers tonight is to get the Sedin brothers out of the picture early and screening Luongo. Roberto Luongo has proven the Canucks right after choosing to keep him and let go of Corey Scheinder, posting a 2.24 GAA with a 92% save percentage. Keeping a man in front has paid off very well for the Flyers recently and it has allowed them to score more goals from outside. Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux, and Jake Voracek will be looking to continue their point streaks tonight and you can catch this one at 10:00 on Comcast SportsNet.
There are three more games around the league tonight: Washington @ Ottawa at 7:30, LA @ Chicago at 8, and Detroit @ Nashville at 8. Washington over Ottawa: Ovi hasn’t scored in a few games, he wants to change that. Chicago over LA: the best matchup of the night. It’ll be a fast, offensive game, but it’s in Chicago; it’s hard to go against the Hawks when they’re in Chi-town. Detroit over Nashville: Detroit has had scoring troubles, but they’ll play this to their advantage: Nashville likes to keep it low-scoring. Detroit has been great on the road this year, and they’ll want to come into the Winter Classic hot.
LET’S GO FLYERS!!!!!