There was quite an exciting abundance of events peppered throughout the evening in the NHL last night.
Maxim Lapierre tallied his first career hat trick and Le Bleu-Blanc-et-Rouge picked up their 3,000 NHL victory, the most by any NHL team. You gotta love that name Maxim Lapierre, it has the ring of a Roman age Gladiator or perhaps one of Napolean Bonaparte's top Generals. A beauty hockey name nonetheless.
Over in Colorado, Cody McLeod recorded his first two goal game and kept the surging Avalanche at 7-3 over their last ten games.
With long term injuries to heart and soul Joe Sakic and Sakic heir apparent Paul Stastny, the Avs are going to have to take full advantage of a January schedule that only sees them playing 3 out of 13 games on the road if they expect to stay in the playoff hunt. I think if Slash Granato can pull the troops together and somehow find a way to get this bandaged bunch into Spring hockey he will deserve serious consideration for an Adams trophy nod.
One more bit of news that might shock you. You may want to sit.......you sitting down?
Rick Dipietro is injured. This time it is a groin strain.
As of today he is on pace for the following season stat line:
GP W L GAA PCT SO GA
9 2 4 3.03 0.906 0 22
Looks like Charles Wang and Garth Snow are getting every penny of that 4.5 million guaranteed Dipietro is earning this year. I'm not a huge believer in Karma, but this is a case of that boomerang slapping bugger.
It is simple.
Had they not gotten rid of Ted Nolan, Dipietro would be healthy and playing strong.
You know why?
Sit down Annie Sullivan, outta the way Patty Duke, Coach Nolan is the true Miracle Worker.
It is common knowledge that Nolan and Pat Morita (Mr. Miyagi) were teammates for one year back in 77' on a chippy Johnstown Jet squad in the NAHL.
Rumor has it that Morita taught Nolan the special pain inhibition tactic that he used on the half crippled Daniel-San that helped propel him to victory in the All-Valley Karate Tournament against those fiendish Cobra Kai's.
It is also serious folklore that Nolan incorporated the tactic many times with Bob Boughner, Rob Ray and Matthew Barnaby back in Buffalo.
Alright, on to the reason we are here, the fight of the night.
Our featured bout displays two up and coming brusiers who are sure to reside in the top ten, if not the top five, of the heavyweight circuit for many years to come.
We got Mitch Fritz of the Islanders trading bombs with Colton Orr of the Rangers.
Fritz is a 6'8 rookie who has yet to discover that inner enforcer mean streak.
Now a mean streak is not a prerequisite to being heavyweight king, look at Georges Laraque, but it helps.
Of all the tools I like to see in a top tier fighter the mean streak is all that Fritz is missing. He can tag with both hands, he has decent stamina, nice balance and as displayed in last nights clash with Orr, he can take a punch.
The Fritz chin is legit.
Anybody who can take a few Orr chin sculptors and not crumble to the ice has a serious chin.
Orr arguably has most disastrous right hand in the game today and would certainly be a serious contender for the crown if Ranger coach Tom Renney let him loose a little more. He is 5-2-1 this year with losses to David Koci and Micheal Rupp, guys he should be able to beat, but he just is not active enough to stay fresh and polished and is prone to having a cold outing.
That being said, Orr is one my favorites and it is a treat anytime he is allowed to drop'em.
In any case, this is a beauty scrap between two of the leagues toughest individuals.
Orr-Fritz (For more on Fritz check out......http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/303958-monster-mitch-and-lappy-le-feroce)