Your morning shot of hockey to go with your coffee.
LAST NIGHT’S SCORES:
Quick Hits Today. Here are my picks in case you missed them. Asterisk indicates who I picked:
The Hurricanes and Sabres game last night in Buffalo was postponed last night due to snow!? How much snow must there have been is postpone a hockey game in Buffalo?
Islanders beat Maple Leafs 5-3 – How does John Tavares follow up on a five point night? A three point night. No goals, all three were assists . The Leafs didn’t control the puck well in this one, giving the puck away 10 times. The Islanders were able to capitalize off of these turnovers but were only able to convert one of five power play chances.
Preds hold off Sharks, win 3-2 – SMASHVILLE! This was all about physicality. The Preds took 5 penalties and the Sharks won the hits battle. The Sharks just couldn’t capitalize on those power play chances. They were without Tyler Kennedy (flu) and Logan Couture (hand).
Lightning down Jets 4-2 – Tampa Bay has been the only Eastern Conference team this season to consistently defeat Western Conference foes; last night was no different. The Lightning doubled up on the Jets in shots and took the puck away. That’s not the story here though. The real story is that these teams combined for 66 penalty minutes. The Lightning had 6 six power plays and the Jets had 5 so there wasn’t just some big fight like in the legendary Flyers/Sens game.
Coyotes blast Flames 6-0 – Shane Doan’s return has re-sparked the Coyotes. He had a goal and an assist last night. The currently sit as the 2nd Wild Card team in the West and would play the streaking Ducks if the playoffs started today; the very team they had been trading 2nd place the Pacific Division with at the beginning of the season. They have an opportunity now that the Canucks have cooled off, but LA is going to get hot now that Quick is back. The next month is crucial to all campaigns. You want to be in a good striking distance after the Olympics.
Blues down Oilers 5-2 – Edmonton was way outshot and gave away the puck way too many times. No surprise there. St. Louis is close to catching the Blackhawks, they only trail by two points now.
Penguins* edge Canucks 5-4 (SO) – The Pens really rallied here. Letang and Crosby scoring with 1:11 and :55 left respectively to send it into OT. The win makes Dan Blysma the Penguins’ all time winningest coach, in less than five seasons; extremely impressive. Well the Senior EP is tired of reading a Philly kid talk about his Penguins, he’s ready to give you all of his opinions. Get ready for the man, the myth, the legend himself: JSB. He’ll give you a full recap about this game and Blysma as well as plenty of other great insight.
Ducks* rock Bruins 5-2 – It doesn’t surprise me that Anaheim won 5-2, but it does surprise me that the Bruins outshot the Ducks 32-20. Big props to Jonas Hiller on his 30 saves, and on his Olympic selection.
Wild edge out Kings* 2-1 (SO) – Damn shootouts. The Wild only took 17 shots while the Kings took 40. Darcy Kuemper, the Wild backup, made 39 saves in this game. Josh Hardding isn’t in any trouble to potentially lose his job, but that’s an extremely impressive feat to accomplish in Los Angeles.
2-1 last night. 44-38 on the season now.
The Flyers wrapped up their seven game road trip last night in New Jersey. The last three games had featured shutouts from the losers so when the Devils were up 1-0 through two periods, I’ll admit I was a little nervous. The Devils’ first goal came from the ageless wonder himself, Jaromir Jagr. Jagr fed the puck through an impossibly small opening to Adam Henrique for a one-time goal only 57 seconds into the game. Ray Emery played extremely well through the first two periods. He made up for poor play from the Flyers.
Things started to pick up in the second period, but still nothing. Luckily the Devils weren’t capitalizing either. Finally, things started to turn on the power play when Captain Claude SNIPED a slapper from the point through two Devils and Wayne Simmonds and Scott Hartnell, who were screening Martin Brodeur. A few minutes later, Scott Hartnell and Brayden Schenn were able to go on a fast break. The Flyers’ passing game had been awful through the first 40 minutes of play and whenever they had the chance to go on a fast break they mishandled the puck and the chance fell through. But this time, a crisp pass from Schenn to Hartsy results in a Flyers goal for the lead! It seemed like all was going well when the Devils took a penalty after pulling Brodeur with less than a minute left but then Michael Ryder made the Flyers pay. The Flyers didn’t hold onto the puck and Ryder, like so many times before with Boston, buried it. In OT, Brayden Schenn did it again! Nick Grossmann wound up for a slapshot and looked ready to blast one. He blasted a slappass to Schenn in the backdoor and he SNIPES it by Brodeur! FLYERS WIN!!!! They move about .500 for the first time this season!! The big story about Brayden Schenn, the first star of the game, was that in the first period he cut a huge cut across his stomach after finishing a check. Talk about toughness, it’s no Pascal Dupuis or Ron Swanson, but that cut was pretty big. It’s a little squirmy to look at, so go google the picture if you want to see it.
Highlight of the Night:
Gotta love a wrap-around.
The Flyers return home for the first time since December 23rd to face the Montreal Canadiens. This is the final matchup between these two teams this year. The last time these two teams met, it was apart of the Flyers’ current nine-game home winning streak. The Habs been playing so-so hockey recently, but this won’t be an easy victory. Not in the slightest. This will be a thrilling matchup for the Flyers first game back in Philly to start 2014.
Just two other games tonight: Rangers @ Blackhawks at 8 and Senators @ Avalanche at 9:30. Blackhawks over Rangers: NBCSN’s Wednesday Night “Rivalry” won’t nearly live up to a “rivalry.” Especially since it’s in Chicago. The Blackhawks have dominated Eastern Conference foes that have come to the United Center. Av’s over Sens: A little more interesting, but still an easy one to pick. The Sens are awful on the road. The are streaking which is why it’s more interesting. Ottawa lets up a lot of goals which will cost them against in Denver tonight.
LET’S GO FLYERS!!!