Pavel Datsyuk


Detroit 3
Boston 2

Edmonton 2
Washington 4

Minnesota 2
Buffalo 1


Notable Numbers

* Alexander Ovechkin had a goal and an assist versus the Oilers, which takes us to a very predictable situation – he’s now tied with Sidney Crosby for first in NHL scoring. I mean, we were always going to end up here I suppose, might as well get there early. Sid scored three on Saturday to get his name to the top of the leaderboard. Neither lead the league in goals though – that honor still belongs to Tomas Hertl.

* Ovy’s partner in crime, Nick Backstrom, had three apples against the Oil.

* Josh Harding made 22 saves on 23 shots against the Sabres.


What Happened

Eastern Conference teams are going to get real tired of the Red Wings

The Wings and Bruins met for a Monday matinee in Boston, which saw Detroit take the game by a narrow 3-2 score. The highlight of the day was a Pavel Datsyuk dangle which saw him make Zdeno Chara look like an AHL call-up. My favourite part of this goal is rookie Reilly Smith on the back-check – he correctly identifies his guy (Zetterberg), catches up to him, and is completely unaware that when it’s Datsyuk dishing, unless you’re draped on your check like a backpack, he’s open. Checks off about four of five necessary defensive boxes, still gets a dash.

Just so slippery. The move was reminiscent of his dangle against the Predators last year that got the NHL ’94 treatment from the league.


Jason Pominville scored the GWG against his old team

The Wild snuck past the awful struggling Sabres last night, which had to be especially difficult for Buffalo considering it was their former captain who put the game winner in.

That pushed the Sabres to 0-6-1 in seven contests on the year, meaning they’ve basically already missed playoffs. I mean, they feasibly could dig their way out of that hole, but the roster’s just not there. (Oh, I should mention – the power went out during the game for awhile, which was weird.)

They’re already saying what they have to say – there’s no give up, we’ll keep pushing, it’s still early, it’s a long year, etc, etc. – because what else are they supposed to say, but wowee, are they in some pickle. And if they move their two big name UFAs in Vanek and Miller as part of the rebuild, it’s likely to get even worse.

Start scouting them junior leagues, Sabres fans. That’s where some of your best talent is right now.


The Oilers goaltending seems like it may be a problem

The Capitals scored three times on three shots in the second period against the Oilers, meaning the questions about goaltending are starting to get louder. Devan Dubnyk was comparably decent last season, but this season in four games he’s been scored on 19 times for a .829 save percentage, and for a young team scrapping to take the next step, that’s killing them.

Maybe he’ll get it figured out, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the Oilers are considering other options at this point.

On an unrelated note, Mike Green made one heck of a line change during the game yesterday:


Other News

* Nail Yakupov was healthy scratched by Dallas Eakins for the second straight game, which is curious (also, it launched KHL rumours - settle down everyone). The idea seems to be that he wants Yakupov to play better without the puck, so I get sending a message for a game, but the whole multiple games thing is stupid.

I really do get what Eakins is doing – I had multiple coaches tell me that I was a player who skated better with the puck than without it, meaning when I didn’t have it, there might not have been enough effort being put in. You should be pushed to provide consistent effort, not just when there’s offensive opportunities. But at some point – at this point, actually – you’re willingly dressing a lesser lineup. No offense to a guy like Will Acton (who scored his first career goal last night), but really, that’s who you want in the lineup over Yakupov?

* Remember when Brad Stuart got suspended three games for his hit on Rick Nash? Well, now the Rangers star is going to miss longer than that, as he’s been diagnosed with a concussion.

And finally…

* One of the most egregious own goals in recent history was scored over the long weekend…

…which took us to one of my favorite hockey pictures in some time, this beauty by CP’s Darryl Dyck.

Oh that’s just lovely.