Annnnd we’re back!

The first weekend of the NHL season has finally come and gone, and in the most predictable thing ever, outcomes would’ve been tough to predict.

Yipes. Of that group only the Blues and Devils found a way to chalk up a win, while the New York Rangers, Phoenix Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers find themselves pointless after two contests.

Let’s dive into our “things of note” from the weekend, including some highlights, some opinions and a few stats.

* Part way through this weekend, the NHL’s top-10 looked like you accidentally set the year to the late 80′s. Or possibly for the future. Or that names were randomly drawn out of a hat. I have no idea.

Had you cribbed this screenshot a few hours earlier, it would’ve had your two scoring leaders as Jaromir Jagr and Teemu Selanne up top, with Alexei Kovalev, the new Florida Panther, and Martin St. Louis trailing them by one. Fortunately, we have the 19 year old Jonathan Huberdeau to balance them out.

Fun random fact though: the NHL named Selanne, Jagr and St. Louis their three stars on opening night. Those three guys combine to be 119 years old. For context, the Oilers top line equals 62.

* Erik Karlsson, your defending Norris Trophy winner, has huge offensive expectations this year. Not a bad start, I’d say.

For those of you who can’t quite read that, one goal, two assists for three points, plus two, and a boatload of ice time.

* Specifically, Karlsson played 25:35, which was slightly more than that of new Sabres acquisition John Scott, who got three shifts for a total of 2:10 (When do you think Scott catches Karlsson’s first game total? March?). Still, you want to be sharp when you get your minutes, right? Hit that ammonia stick, brother. (S/t to @SeanGentille and @AndrewBHDL)

Those things really do provide with this crazy moment of clarity. It like, refocuses your eyes for a second, or something.

* Henrik Lundqvist didn’t have his best weekend, and found himself yanked from the game against the Pens in the second period.

…but he did do this the night before…

…so we’ll forgive him.

* Vladimir Tarasenko made his St. Louis Blues debut, and holy shit, was he fantastic:

 
The Red Wings defense, mind you, was another story all together, but we’ll focus on the positives for now. (They were positively dreadful.)

* Okay, apparently I really lied about keeping it positive. Check out Rangers “defense”man Stu Bickel on this play, #41. I don’t even know if it’s worth giving the Systems Analyst treatment to this goal, cause frankly, he just takes a terrible angle while running at a guy:

It’d be a short post.

* Nazem Kadri, the oft-talked about Leafs’ prospect opened the scoring for the Leafs this season, as Toronto took down Montreal 2-1 to get their season going. Something called a “Ben Scrivens” got the win.

*  It took the Canucks about 30 minutes to have goalie controversy. First they sign Cory Schneider to a deal and name him the starter. Then they don’t find a trade for Luongo. They start the year with a combined cap hit of $9.33M in the crease. Then Schneider gives up five goals in his debut and gets yanked for Lu, who gives up two. Lu starts the second game and stops 30 of 32 to earn the Canucks their first point of the season.

NOW WHAT?

* When you don’t have a ton of depth, you tend to ride your stars more. After day one of the NHL season, the Islanders had five players on the front page of the time-on-ice leaders, including John Tavares (an absurd 25:31) and Andrew MacDonald, who saw over 27 minutes in the Isles first contest, a 2-1 loss to the Devils.

* The Wild’s big off-season acquisition, Zach Parise, got on the board with this bomb, the only goal in the Wild’s 1-0 win over the Stars. Wild are 2-0-0 to start the season, which must feel good after going all-in this summer.

* The Rangers big pick up got involved too. He scored a short-handed goal, and a pretty sweet one at that to make the game 5-3 in the third against the Pens:

* Mike Smith was less than pleased with the goal that put the Blackhawks up 6-4, and he took it out on the post. Or his stick. Probably both.

* This summer the Minnesota Wild goaltender Josh Harding was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Yesterday he got his first start since finding out the news, and posted a shut-out. I’m pumped for him.

* And last but not least…Jordan Eberle went Backhand Shelf:

Not your typical “Backhand Shelf” breakaway move, but hey, we’ll take it.

Hockey’s back!

Comments (16)

  1. Here’s another backhand shelf from the weekend, this time from Artem Anisimov: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msQ0cSxQQ-M

  2. Nice weekend review! i think you got it all.

  3. If it seems like I’ve missed anything glaring, I pulled a couple things out to use as full-length posts, so you can expect those later today.

  4. I absolutely love that the Nucks already have a goaltending controversy and that they lost both games. It’s all kinds of awesome to see the Nucks fans cry.

  5. hooooo boy Tarasenko…welcome to the show. Two very nice goals for his first two in the NHL. He won’t even have to lie to his kids about how great they were.

    John Scott.. waste of a nice looking sweater.. I think March might be optimistic Justin:)

    Bickell../snicker. He would make a good ECHL dman…maybe..

  6. Everyone always talks about Winnipeg having the loudest stadium in the league but the fans in philly came across as being waaay louder on saturday. Does NBC turn up the in stadium audio for their broadcasts?

    • Not taking anything away from Philly fans but yes, NBC normally does amp the crowd noise, or has in the past.

    • Winnepeg has the loudest stadium because it’s the smallest (or nearly the smallest) and it’s full. Philly fans are maniacs though.

  7. Watching the Flames last night, for the first 15 minutes I was pumped. It was a fresh start, seemed like a new philosophy.

    Then I realized they were actually sitting on a 1-0 lead in the first period and, amazingly, continued their habit of not bothering to try in the second period.

    The end result was an awfully depressing home opener, which reminded me of most games from last year.

    On the plus side, we don’t have to face the Penguins or Flyers, so we get to avoid any embarrassing blowouts from them. I guess we’ll still have to take our medicine from the Hawks though, they look scary good.

    • If the Flames continue not to blow up that team, you can expect a lot of games like that. If they had made big changes and rebuilt years ago when they should have, you’d be finishing up your rebuild by now.

  8. Our franchise cornerstones (Iginla and Kiprusoff) got outplayed last night.

    At least I know I can count on them to give it 100% when we’re all but mathematically eliminated, just to give me glimmer of hope before getting shut out by the Blue Jackets in the last week of the season.

    Yeah, blow the team up, seriously. That game was so depressing. I watched almost every game last year and I don’t remember being that let down. And it was the first. game.

    • I think Iggy and Kipper give their all every single game and that they’re very good players, but they just can’t carry the franchise on their backs. Meantime, the rest of the roster (for the most part) is middling at best. Even if Iggy and Kipper had career years (and let’s face it, their best days are behind them), what? Maybe they slip into the playoffs and lose in the first round? The Flames need to trade them while they still have value and make damned sure that they get something meaningful back. Lose (and I mean, really lose, not this 9th-10th spot they’ve been pulling for years) and draft high.

  9. No love for Ilya Kovalchuk’s sick saucer pass over a sliding Mark Streit to hit the newly extended Travis Zajac to open up scoring for the Devils against the Islanders? Also no mention of 40-year-old Martin Brodeur making 18 saves on 19 shots in a 2-1 victory? That’s as 1995 as Selanne, Kovalev and Jagr showing up at the top of the points leaders.

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