Another weekend of the NHL’s regular season has come and gone, and one thing is starting to become a bit of a reality: a few of the teams who used to hand out points like candy on Halloween might just be on the other side of the door this year.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently first in their division, and second in the Eastern Conference. They’d be even higher if it weren’t for yesterday’s loss to the fourth place team in the Conference, the Ottawa Senators.
Ottawa has won six straight hockey games in the National Hockey League, which is something I can’t believe I just wrote.
Of all the reasons to love the NHL, parity has to be one of my faves.
The general feel of these surprising contenders boils down to a youthful confidence with a dash of speed, and they don’t look ready to back down yet.
While the weekend revealed that fact, it also gave us some fantastic highlights.
This is your Monday morning “Weekend That Was” – here are the top 3 plays.
In the battle between two of the top teams in the East, Ottawa drew first blood with this fantastic stretch pass from David Rundblad to Colin Greening.
Usually a forward has to be cutting across the far blue with speed to make this work, but Greening found a soft spot with the two d-man caught too wide, took the fantastic pass, spun, and never hesitated.
You know a shot is good when the tender reads it and still can’t get over. Plus, a lefty going high glove? Not an easy shot.
Goalies deserve love too.
This play by Jordan Eberle to Taylor Hall is a thing of poised beauty – if only Hall had matched Eberle’s poise and hung on to the puck for a second, it’d be in the back of the net.
But, Jaroslav Halak does all he can to make the stop, and manages to steal what looks like a sure goal from Hall.
That’s some lateral mobility right there, boy.
And last but certainly not least, came this gem from Phoenix.
I’m all about offense, and I love a good passing play, but sometimes you have to acknowledge the bad guys too. This highlight isn’t that scintillating in real time, but watch the replays – holy hell, Ms. Conduct has to love this Jonathan Quick splits-save.
We’ve got lots of great content planned for you this week – check back in a bit to enjoy episode four of the Backhand Shelf podcast with myself and Rob Pizzo.