morning shot of hockey to go with your coffee.
January 21st, 2014
LAST NIGHT’S SCORES:
Quick Hits today. Here are yesterday’s picks in case you missed them. Asterisk indicates who I picked:
Bruins down Kings:* 3-2 – This was a very evenly matched game. Both teams took 23 shots and controlled the puck very well. The 23 LA shots was the difference though. Boston’s defense stepped up big-time as they out-hit the Kings and blocked 16 of the Kings’ shots. Brad Marchand scored both the opening and final goals of this game.
Panthers blast Penguins 5-1; snap Pittsburgh’s 13-game home winning streak – The game just complete dominance by Florida. The scored 5 goals on 28 shots while their goalie Scott Clemmensen stopped 35 of 36 Penguins shots. That is an extremely tough feat to accomplish in Pittsburgh. The most telling stat for the Penguins was Sidney Crosby’s play. Crosby took two penalties, was -3, and only one shot. Sid the Kid’s never had the best +/- rating, but he’s -1 over his last ten games.
Blues* beat Red Wings 4-1 – Not really a big surprise that this was the result. The big story here is Jimmy Howard injured his knee last night. This will affect both the Red Wings and Team USA as Howard could have made a case to be the starting goaltender in the Olympics.
Leafs down Coyotes* 4-2 – The Maple Leafs are getting back into their groove. This is their first five-game winning streak in seven years. A big contributor to this is their goaltending. Jonathan Bernier played outstanding last night stopping 39 of 41 shots from the Coyotes. Goaltending will need to continue if the Leafs want to make the playoffs. Only five teams in the Eastern Conference don’t have a negative goal differential. The Maple Leafs currently aren’t one of them but outstanding goaltending can change that.
Preds smash Stars 4-1 – The Predators keep getting the offense going through their defensemen. It’s pretty tough to put together a string of good games doing that but Nashville has done it. They’ve gone 4-4-2 in their last ten games and have overtaken the Stars in the Central Division standings. Granted they’re still eight points out of a playoff spot so their forwards are going to need to start scoring more often.
Pavelski lifts Sharks over Flames 3-2 – The AMERICAN scored two goals last night; that’s 27 on the year, 6 in his last three games, and 11 in his last ten games. Wisconsinites rejoice, he’s making a case to center Patrick Kane and the first line in the Olympics.
1-2 last night. 56-50 on the season now.
The Flyers played a day game up on Long Island yesterday. Once again, goaltending carried the Flyers through a slow first period as the Islanders had plenty of chances but Ray Emery stopped everything that came his way. The second period featured fantastic play from Matt Read as he threaded the needle on a short-handed opportunity and then again as the period was coming to a close. But once for the Flyers, the team trailing entering the third made an adjustment and rallied. The Flyers had been doing such a great of it when they were the team trailing but this game looked like the Flyers at the beginning of the season; they couldn’t control the puck at all. The Islanders kept the puck in the Flyers’ zone for a WHILE in the third period before drawing the Steve Downie penalty that led to the Islanders’ tying goal. Overtime was standard procedure for a Flyers game: barely any shots on goal. And once again, the shootout needed more than three shooters. The Islanders’ Kyle Okposo buried the fourth-round goal for the Isles while Sean Couturier missed the Flyers’ final shot. Isles win 4-3 in the shootout and avoid the season sweep from the Flyers. The most disappointing thing is that Ray Emery played so well in this game making 40 saves that included a few highlight reel stops.
Highlight of the Night:
The Flyers return home tonight to host the Carolina Hurricanes. This is the third of four meeting between these two division foes, the first in Philadelphia; the Hurricanes have won both of the meetings so far. A lot has changed since the Flyers blew a late 1-0 lead on November 5th. The Flyers have charged ahead into the top three of the Metropolitan Division while the Hurricanes have been near the bottom of the standings. Carolina has been playing relatively well as of late and are now only seven points back of the Flyers for third place. The key for the Flyers will be to play a complete game. Keeping guys in front of the net, finishing checks, tape-to-tape passes, and no dumb penalties. The puck drops at 7 from the Wells Fargo Center and you can catch this one on Comcast SportsNet.
UPDATE: This game has been suspended due to the snow storm. The NHL has not set a date to reschedule this game.
LET’S GO FLYERS!!!
Nine other games around the league. Three games to keep an eye out for are: Islanders @ Rangers at 7, Maple Leafs @ Avalanche at 9, and Canucks @ Oilers at 9:30. Rangers over Islanders: The Isles are 7-3 in their last ten games but so are the Rangers. The difference here is that the Isles played yesterday while the Rangers had the day off. The Islanders aren’t a particularly deep team so a short-turnaround doesn’t bode well in their favor on the road. Avs over Leafs: Yes, the Leafs are very hot but the Avs aren’t very far behind them. The Avs are riding a four-game streak and are 8-1-1 in their last ten. The fact that this one is in Denver is why I’m going with Colorado. Oilers over Canucks: As the title pointed out, Torts is out! The Canucks’ head coach received a 15 day suspension for last Saturday’s fight while Calgary’s coach Bob Hartley did not receive a suspension, but only a fine. Debatably, the fight was caused by Hartley by putting out his fourth line. Nonetheless, the Oilers will want to take advantage of this loss. Yes, they’re worst team in the league and riding a four-game skid, but every dog has its day.