morning shot of hockey to go with your coffee.
February 4th, 2014
LAST NIGHT’S SCORES:
Quick Hits today. Here are yesterday’s picks in case you missed them. Asterisk indicates who I picked:
Oilers edge Sabres 3-2 – Ah the Battle of the Basement. While they were only separated by four points going into last night, Edmonton has been a much better team than their record shows. They’ve now scored 150 goals on the year, which is good enough for 4th place in a prolific Pacific Division. They do have the worst defense in the league but the Sabres have far and away the worst offense, only scoring 107 goals, 26 less than the next worst team. Simply put, this result doesn’t surprise me.
Penguins drop Senators 2-1 in OT – The Pens winning was excepted, but not by a 2-1 score. You have to give Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson a lot of credit for saving 46 of the 48 Pittsburgh shots he saw. Malkin’s assist on the game-winner redeemed his poor play earlier in the game after giving away the puck three times.
Red Wings blank Canucks 2-0 in John Tortorella’s return – Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson combined for the shutout on 24 Vancouver shots. The Canucks seemed out of sync is their coach’s return to even being able to speak with his players. Torts issued an apology on the whole incident.
Avs rally over Devils 2-1 – The Avalanche scored was 1:47 left in the third to tie it up and the Devils took tough slashing penalty a minute later. That penalty would ultimately what did the Devils in as the much faster Avalanche were able to take advantage of the 4 on 3 power play in overtime only 28 seconds in.
Bob and the Blue Jackets shut down the Ducks 4-2 – Bob made 34 saves against one of the best offenses in the league in one of the toughest places to play. The Ducks have now lost 4 of their last 6 games at home. This streak won’t last and luckily for them, they have a substantial lead in their Division so they can afford a little cold streak like this.
Blackhawks down Kings 5-3 – Get out the brooms, the Blackhawks have swept the Kings on the season. Patrick Kane scored two goals and an assist last night in the wake of losing his grandfather. Check out the interview here, it’s very emotional and amazing.
1-0 last night. 66-61 on the season now.
The Flyers defeated the San Jose Sharks 5-2 in San Jose last night. They were flying last night and the Sharks matched that intensity in the first period. The Flyers struck first on the power play for a their seventh straight game with a power play goal. San Jose showed why they’re one of the best in the league by scoring two unanswered to lead the game 2-1 by the end of the first period. Matthew Nieto had both tallies as one was a perfect execution of a crash the net play; players of the NHL franchise take note. The intensity carried on through the second as both teams had multiple chances but ultimately no goals were scored on either side. The third period began and the Flyers came out and tied it up quick. Matt Read flew down the with Steve Downie and burried the game-tier. 1:18 later, Michael Raffl put away a big rebound let up by Antti Niemi after an Erik Gustafsson shot from the point and the Flyers took back the lead. About a minute later, Captain Claude joined in on the fun SNIPING one from above the left circle on the glove side of Niemi. Scott Hartnell showed great awareness by just coming back onside when Giroux was racing down. Jake Voracek joined in on the scoring as well late in the game sealing the Flyers victory.
In his post-game interview, Claude Giroux told Steve Coates that this was one of the best team wins and that while it’s great to have all these comebacks, they need to work on their scoring earlier in the game. The Flyers finish their trip to California 2-1; better than most people, including myself, thought going into the trip. Last night’s in proved to be crucial as those two points keep them tied for third in the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers return home to host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.
Nine games around the league tonight. Three games to keep an eye for are: Canucks @ Bruins at 7, Avalanche @ Rangers at 7, and Lightning @ Wild at 8. Bruins over Canucks: Torts may be back but the Canucks are still ice cold (no pun intended). This game will test if Torts’ apology is legit (see the cover photo). The Bruins are one of the best teams at home and they have the best defense in the NHL. Torts’ system plays well for low scoring games, but it won’t break through the Bruin defense tonight. Avalanche over Rangers: The Avs are great on the road and the Rangers are subpar at home. Colorado won’t need to rally late tonight. Patrick Roy for coach of the year. Lightning over Wild: The Lighting have an explosive offense and a great defense. Minnesota’s offense has been better lately, but I have a feeling their players are ahead to Sochi more than they are to tonight’s game.