morning shot of hockey to go with your coffee.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!! So the intern messed up on Tuesday and I had to deal with the aftermath. That’s why there was no year-end Hockey Roundup on New Year’s Eve. Damn Intern. So here’s the wrap-up of my final picks from 2013 as well as a quick Flyers wrap-up as well as a Winter Classic recap that’ll come later today.
Quick Hits Today. Here are my picks in case you missed them. Asterisk indicates who I picked:
Senators top Capitals* 3-1 – Fire away boys. This game featured a total of 73 shots on goal and only 4 goals; major props to Craig Anderson and Phillip Grubauer on some spectacular goaltending. I was wrong about Ovi breaking out of lull in this one and about the pick, I blame the intern.
Blackhawks* blank Kings 1-0 – Congrats to Antti Rantta on his first career shutout. It’s no surprise this game was low-scoring. Chicago gave and took the puck away eight times and LA took three penalties and let Chicago take a penalty shot, which the Blackhawks missed. 75 hits in this one as well, wow.
Preds blast Red Wings* 6-4 – Talk about Smashville. I was completely wrong about the “low-scoring” game. Well if you took away the third period, I would have been right. This one also featured a double-minor penalty, you never see that in the NHL. The pride of the Preds, Seth Jones, had a pair of assists in this one. Jones was expected the to be the number one pick in last year’s draft but fell down to Nashville at the #4 pick.
1-2 on Monday. 36-33 on the season now.
The Flyers, played a pair of games on Monday and Tuesday while their roadtrip through the West continues. On Monday night, the Flyers rallied twice to defeat the Vancouver Canucks in a shootout, 4-3. The first period was a well played game, with Mark Streit knocking in a rebound for the Flyers to lead 1-0 through one. The Canucks came out and scored to tie it up quick and then scored again about 12 minutes later. And then, GIROUX.
The full highlight will be below, but through two, it was knotted up at 2. After playing evenly in the third, Daniel Sedin scored late for the Canucks to take the lead. But the Flyers were able to rally again! This time it was Braden Schenn with the goalie pulled. The two teams took once again to a shootout. Steve Mason shut down the Canucks’ scorers while Jake Voracek provided the only goal.
On Tuesday, the Flyers traveled to Calgary. To be honest, I was a little worried about a second game in two days after two straight shootout games. But it’s the Flames, the Flyers rocked these guys. The Flyers only took 20 shots, but the goaltending in Calgary has a been a huge weakness for the Flames ever since Mikka Kippserof retired. Wayne Simmonds and Braden Schenn both had multi-point games in this one while the Captain’s career-best point streak came to an end. It was a great run Claude but I’m sure you’re more excited about four-straight wins. What a way to ring in 2014.
Highlight of the Night:
Team on his back.
The Road Trip continues on. Tonight, the Flyers travel to Denver to take on the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs and Flyers haven’t played yet this season so this will be the first time since the 2011-12 season that these two teams played. Colorado started off red hot in the surprise of the early season. Since then, they’ve cooled off to be comfortably in third place in the Central Division. With 52 points, they sit seven points out of second place but five points above the fourth place Dallas Stars. The Flyers’ four-game winning streak has brought them back to .500 at 20-16-4. The road-trip has started off extremely well but this will be a tough test for the Flyers. They haven’t won in Colorado since 2002 and the Avs have been playing extremely well defensively under rookie head coach and goalie legend, Patrick Roy. The good news is that the Flyers’ forwards have all started to score more, proof of the better passing and puck control recently. You can catch this one on Comcast SportsNet at 9:00.
Nine other games around the league tonight. Three games to keep an eye for are: Jets @ Senators at 7:30, Kings @ Blues at 8:00, and Canadiens @ Stars at 8:30. Senators over Jets: the Sens’ win on Monday was their first winning streak in almost two months, they want to keep that going. The Jets are riding a three-game winning streak but two of them were at home and the other was in a shootout; simply said, these guys aren’t very good on the road. Blues over Kings: Another great inter-division matchup in the West featuring LA. I talked about last week how good St. Louis is at home, not much has changed (15-3-2). Canadiens over Stars: Montreal is pretty good road team and Dallas has been so-so at home. I like Danny Briere and the Habs in this one.
Check back later for the Winter Classic recap which include the US Olympic Hockey Rosters!
LET’S GO FLYERS!!!!!