NHL's The Good the Bad and the Ugly
This is my new daily Blog where I will discussing many highlights of the previous night in the NHL. The following is a list of what I will be looking at:
1. The best performances from forwards and defenders alike.
2. The best goalie performances
3. The worst goalie performances
4. The "Bad Boys," those that spend a lot of time in the Box
5. The heavy hitters, the ones that players fear most
So away we go...
Top Offensive Performances
Some nights will produce few top performances, while others will produce many. As far as I am concerned about last night there were in fact, 3 Stars on the ice.
First up is Jordan Staal of the Pittsburgh Penguins. In route to a 5-2 win over the Atlanta Thrashers, forward Staal had a power play assist along with his two goals. With this effort Staal recorded his first three point game of the season and is in good shape to eclipse the 50 point mark for the first time in his NHL career.
Second on the list of top performers is Boston Bruins forward Blake Wheeler. Bruins got off to a fast start with the help of Wheeler against the Ottawa Senators as he recorded a power play assist along with two goals. This certainly helps Wheeler get back on track as he now has recorded goals in his last two games after going 15 in a row without one.
The top star of the night goes to Vancouver Canucks left winger, Alexandre Burrows. Burrows the Canucks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets when he recorded a hat trick. One of Burrows' goals was shorthanded which certainly went a long way. Burrows has been producing a lot lately, which is a sign that pairing him up with the Sedin brothers was a good idea.
Top Goalie Performances
There were several goalies worthy of a top performance last night, but I have left out most and will only mention the top two of the night.
My number two goalie last night has to be Jonas Hiller of the Anaheim Ducks. He has been getting the majority of the starts lately and why not? Last night Hiller shut down the Detroit Red Wings only letting in one goal on a whopping 38 shots on goal. Hiller picked up the win in a 4-1 victory.
My number one goalie of the night was an easy pick, and he seems to be that pick many nights. This one has to go to New Jersey Devil's standout goalie Martin Brodeur. Brodeur recorded yet another shutout tuesday night as he stopped all 28 shots on goal that were produced by the Dallas Stars. His offense helped him out with 4 goals, even though they really only needed one. This was his 5th shutout of the season giving him 106 in his career.
The Worst Goalie Performances
There were more than enough goalies to choose from for this category because all in all there were 8 goalies who allowed 4 or more goals last night. I have selected three of these goalies to put them to shame.
First is the Edmonton Oilers netminder, Jeff Deslauriers. Deslauriers allowed 4 goals while stopping 25 shots. It could have been worse, as the Oilers managed to get a point out of the game by taking Phoenix to overtime, before losing 5-4 in the shootout. Deslauriers has now allowed 3 or more goals in 7 of his last 10 games.
Next up is Brian Elliot of the Ottawa Senators. Elliot got yanked in the first period after allowing 4 goals and only recording 12 saves on the first 16 shots on goal. Pascal Leclaire came in for him and cleaned up shot as he stopped all the shots the Boston Bruins put on goal, but his effort was not enough to salvage Elliots poor performance as the Sens lost 4-1 to the Bruins.
The worst goalie of the day has to be the man in front of the net for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Steve Mason had a night to forget as he allowed 6 goals on just 17 shots, only stopping 11 in his 30+ minutes of work. The Blue Jackets would lose the game 7-3 to the Canucks. Mason has now allowed 9 goals in his last two games out.
The Bad Boys
The first bad boy of the night was Boston Bruins Defensman Johnny Boychuck. Boychuck served 10 minutes for misconduct on Senators forward Chris Neil in the third period. Boychuck did however have a more important impact on the game as he recorded 2 assists, one of which was a powerplay in the first period.
My second bad boy of the night was Chicago Blackhawks forward Ben Eager. Eager went to the box for 10 minutes for misconduct in the second period. It wasn't all bad for Eager though as his team prevailed 4-1 over the Minnesota Wild.
My top bad boy of the day goes to the man involved with my first bad boy, Johnny Boychuck. Chris Neil spend 12 minutes in the penalty box tuesday night as he served 10 minutes for the misconduct against Boychuck, and another 2 minutes for elbowing Daniel Paille. The misconduct call was a result of him elbowing Paille. So all in all it ended up being a 12 minute penalty for Neil.
Last, but certainly not least is our Heavy Hitters of the night. There were 8 players who recorded 5 or more hits last night, I have chosen the top two, both who recorded 7 hits as my Heavy Hitters of the night.
Making his second apperance in this blog, is Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil. To go along with his 12 penalty minutes, Neil recorded 7 hits in the physical, lopsided matchup against the Bruins. Neil's hitting was to no avail as his team lost 4-1. Since returning to play on December 23, Neil has recorded 36 hits in just 7 games.
My other heavy hitter award goes to Nashville Predators forward Ryan Jones. Jones recorded 7 hits as well, and just the same as Neil, his team lost 3-1.
The blowout of the night goes to the Vancouver Canucks as they smoked the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-3. Washington goalie, Seymon Varlamov returned to Washington to recieve some treatment on his lingering groin injury. Flyers goalie Emery expects to return back to action on Saturday when the Flyers take on Tampa Bay. Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro will return to action soon and will back up Roloson tonight. Edmonton Oilers goalie Khabibulin isn't seeing any signs of improvement and will consider surgery if problems persist.
Thanks for reading my blog and if you feel I missed anything please comment! Your input and suggestions will be greatly appreciated
Thanks and tune in tomorrow for another edition!