Florida Panthers 4; New York Rangers 3
Playing their fifth game in seven days; the Rangers gave the Panthers an early lead. Being up 3-1 over the New York Florida fans were on the edge of their seats when the Rangers surged and tie the game back up at three before Mike Weaver got a fourth past Henrik Lundqvist with the only shot on goal from the Panthers in the third period. Rangers rookie sensation Mats Zuccarello assisted on all three Rangers goals and earned 3rd star for the night. In 16 games with the Rangers Zuccarello has 3 goals (and 4 shootout goals); 5 assist, and a +/- of 3.
New York Islanders 0; Pittsburgh Penguins 1
Penguins had announced earlier in the day that Evgeni Malkin would be joining captain Sidney Crosby in sitting out the NHL All-Star weekend; then turned around to face the team that ended Crosby’s point streak earlier in the season. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 29 shots on goal to earn his second shutout of the season. The Islanders in the tail end of a five games in seven days (final game tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes) have a 1-3 record. In the midst of the five in seven the Islanders have been dealing with the office fallout of claiming goaltender Evgeni Nabokov off of waiver from the Detroit Red Wings. Nabokov has refused to report to the Islander due to a NMC (No Movement Clause) in his contract; therefore the Islanders announced before the game that they have suspended Nabokov rather than re placing him on waiver.
Anaheim Ducks 3; Columbus Blue Jackets 2
There has been lots of chatter this year about the Red Wings Nicklas Lidstrom and the spectacular season he is having, not to mention for his age; however, he is not the only elder statesman having a great season. Anaheim Ducks Teemu Selanne racked up a goal and an assist last night against the Blue Jackets. At the age of 40 Selanne is currently in the top 20 in the league in points notching 45 in 43 games played. Ducks All-Star goalie Jonas Hiller made 35 saves and lead the league in wins with 25. Blue Jackets Steve Mason made 19 saves for Columbus while Grant Clitsome added 2 more assist to his resume.
Montreal Canadiens 2; Philadelphia Flyers 5
The Flyers made history with their win over the Canadiens. They became the first expansion-era team to win 1,000 games and to accomplish that feat against the hockey hotbed of Montreal. In their route to beating the Canadiens, veteran defenseman Chris Pronger had four assist while rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrobsky won his sixth straight start after making 29 saves. Just leaves to question: Are penalties becoming a problem for the Canadiens?
Buffalo Sabres 3; Ottawa Senators 2 (OT)
Two teams that are not having the type of season they were hoping for needed extra time to decide their outcome. Shaone Morrisonn scored the overtime winner just shy of two minnutes into the extra period marking his first goal of the season. Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller blocked 27 shots and helped Buffalo move within 4 points of a playoff seat. The Senators have now lost seven in a row at Scotiabank Place; and is the worst home losing streak for the franchise in 15 years (in 1995-96 Ottawa lost 10 in a row at home). Currently the Senators sitting 13th overall in the Eastern Conference with only 42 points in 50 games played.
Toronto Maple Leafs 0; Tampa Bay Lightning 2
The Maple Leafs goaltending swap saw James Reimer return to the ice but sometimes age and experience just outshines youth. Dwayne Roloson may have been Steve Yzerman’s best acquisition since becoming the new General Manager for the Lightning. Roloson, age 41, earned his third shutout within the 10 games he has played this month.
Minnesota Wild 4; Chicago Blackhawks 2
After being named a replacement to the NHL All-Star game Minnesota’s Martin Havlat took 3rd star honors of the night over his former team. Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Chuck Kobasew each had a goal and an assist for the night. Beating the Blackhawks in regulation gave the Wild an advantage in pulling within one point of the Blackhawks whom are currently in 8th place in the Western Conference – the Wild also have a game in hand. After the lackluster start to the season the Wild’s playoff hopes are alive and well heading into the All-Star break.
Edmonton Oilers 4; Phoenix Coyotes 3
The Oilers might be sitting in last place in the Western Conference but they have not called the season in and gave the Coyotes a run last night. Oilers’ Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist earning himself the third star of the game – the only star to go to the winning Oilers (first star was Scottie Upshall and the second went to Kyle Turris). At least Coyotes fans got to see Keith Yandle added to the All-Star roster as a replacement for the injured Tobias Enstrom.
Up into the Netting
With the NHL All-Star game is just around the corner there is much speculation as to how this new format with the fantasy draft is going to work. The eldest All-Star the Red Wings own captain Nicklas Lidstrom whom was also nominated as captain for the game (with alternate captains Patrick Kane from the Chicago Blackhawks and Martin St. Louis from the Tampa Bay Lightning) has been discussing possible out comes for the draft.
“We’re going to have a talk amongst each other here and try to figure it out,” Lidstrom said, “I don’t have a teammate that’s going to be part of this All Star game but they do. I want to get their input, see what they want to do as well. Maybe there’s some guys they don’t want on their team either, so we’ll have to discuss that.”
Will Kane and his Blackhawk teammate (and captain) Jontahan Toews end up together? Will St. Louis be spending time going against Steven Stamkos? How will the Sedin twins react to playing on opposite teams for the first time in their career? Should Lidstrom draft Carolina’s Cam Ward first so as to split the home crowd loyalty? Where will former first overall NHL entry draft choice Alex Oveckhin end up in the All-Star fantasy draft?
The count down is on to see these answers and more.
The world of college hockey is vastly different from other collegiate sports. While most see incoming freshman coming straight out of high school it is not uncommon for a college hockey freshman to be 19-20 years old. Why is this? The simple answer is there are just not as many programs. Athletes are fighting for limited spots; and if it will be beneficial for their long term success some recent high school graduates will take a year to play junior level hockey to work on skills and conditioning before making their collegiate debut. Some times an extra year for an extra edge is all that is needed to win one of the few full ride scholarships.
Hockey is a family sport. From parents taking their kids to watch games or to the rink to learn to skate usually if one enjoys it others will follow. So is the case for Taylor Crosby. She is a freshman at Shattuck-St. Mary’s and is making a name for herself in net.
“I literally woke up one morning and was like, ‘Mom and Dad, I want to play net,’” she said; “It was a weird position. No little girl really grows up wanting to play goalie. But I wanted to play right away.”
She even considers herself part of the reason for Sidney Crosby’s early season scoring surge. Why? Well because over the summer playing goalie to Sidney Crosby – her older brother.
“I like to take credit for why he’s been scoring so much this year; because he got the chance to shoot on me,” she said, beaming.
The latest in NabbyWatch2011:
The New York Islanders have decided to suspend Evgeni Nabakov for his refusal to report after being claimed off of waiver from the Detroit Red Wings.
According to TMZ former 3rd round pick of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft Jason Bailey is suing the Anaheim Ducks. Bailey is claiming that coaches from the ECHL team he was assigned to by the Ducks discriminated against him for being Jewish.
For the 134th birthday of McGill University men’s hockey team Stephen T. Molson and his wife are donating $1 million to the program. The program at McGill is credited as being the first organized hockey club. They took to the ice for the first time on January 31, 1877
Last but not least – Happy 50th birthday to Wayne Gretzky.