Matt Moulson


Pittsburgh 3
Carolina 1 (Recap)

Dallas 4
Buffalo 3 (Recap)

 Montreal 2
NY Rangers 0 (Recap)

Chicago 5
Minnesota 1 (Recap)

Vancouver (Recap)


Notable Numbers

* Man. While I’m sure Matt Moulson is thrilled to have a two goal night, make a great debut in Buffalo, and likely earn more money for himself this summer, it has to be slightly disheartening for him to be like “welp, that’s about all I can offer, and if we can’t win when I’m at my best, this could be ugly.” You can see both goals here, but for now, watch the one he scored less than four minutes into his first period as a Sabre.

Great start for him.

* Peter Budaj got both his second start and second win of the season, stopping all 27 shots he faced in helping the Canadiens shutout the Rangers 2-0.

* Daniel Sedin scored a goal and added an assist to help the Canucks sneak past the Capitals 3-2. Luongo stopped an Ovechkin penalty shot in this game, which is fun.

* Tyler Seguin‘s goal and an assist took him past a point-per-game, getting him to 12 in 11 contests. At all of 21 years old, there’s a good chance he becomes a PPG guy full time.

* Sidney Crosby had two assists to hit the 20 point mark just a dozen games in.


What Happened

This goal will receive much praise, but it wasn’t a great decision

Here’s video of Brandon Saad passing up a great scoring look to put a pass directly on his opponent’s tape (Mathew Dumba) that will be revered as one of the great plays of the year, because Dumba completely muffs it and let’s it slide through to Patrick Kane.

Sorry to be a downer – it did look slick and all – but how the hell does that go through the blade of Dumba? Most coaches will kill you for making that decision…but, it worked, so I’ll shut up now.

Okay, let’s actually praise Saad on a play.


The Minnesota Wild may have made an error in coverage

Whoops, that’s not praise. Okay – Saad makes a nasty little backhand five-hole move to cash in on a great scoring opportunity. Amazing finish.

But f’real though, a full Systems Analyst post on the video of the Wild below would be similar to the one I did on this Leafs mess up. Essentially: “nope, this isn’t good. Not one bit.”

And now everyone thinks I hate Brandon Saad, when really, I am entirely indifferent about Brandon Saad.


The NHL made fun of one of its players

Well not directly, but here’s the video they put online of Steve Oleksy after his skate blade popped out. It happens once in awhile, usually after taking a hard pass or shot of the foot, and getting to the bench is never easy.


A new-ish powerplay tool

As I tweeted last night, it’s becoming more and more common for powerplay units under pressure to pass into the PK box to relieve pressure. The Stars did it last night beautifully, and got the puck to Alex Goligoski who buried a beautiful wrister. The little Vine vid I took didn’t get the shot, but that’s not the point.

That’s something the Sedins have been doing for years in Vancouver, and it’s gotten quite popular. The Sharks do it a lot too.


An Opinion

Daniel Sedin’s two point night gives him 14 points in 14 games, good for T7 in league scoring, while his brother Henrik is T2 with 17. If you don’t think the type of game these guys play lends itself well to succeeding well into their 30s, you might wanna rethink that stance. A guy like Brendan Morrow is 34 and seems all but used up, while these two 33-year-olds are more out of the Teemu Selanne mold. They don’t miss a lot of games because they play in control, and they get their points with their hands and heads. Everyone is quick to point out that with them getting older, the Canucks Stanley Cup window is closing. It is, but I think it’s closing slower than most assume.


Other News

* Martin Hanzal was suspended two games for his hit on Jeff Petry, but if we’re being honest, they only suspended him because it was charging, elbowing, and to the guy’s head. Otherwise it was totally clean.

* Kyle Clifford got fined a crazy specific amount of money (I’m sure it wasn’t arbitrary, I just find it funny - $2756.41, eh?) for kneeing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. You can read more about the progression of that here in this story stack.

* Alex Steen is smart enough to shoot down comparisons between himself and Alex Oveckhin/Brett Hull types, because he’s a sane person.

* St. Louis Blues’ goalie Brian Elliott’s Halloween costume is to go as…Elliott. From ET.

* On the other hand, you may be someone who likes horror movies. If so, you’ll like Brandon Dubinsky’s digs better.




One of the rare times a guy can write “This athlete hired a pro” and everything’s on the up and up.

* Rob Blake reflected on his time with the Department of Player Safety, which you can read here. I liked this snippet:

“Patrick Kaleta or Raffi Torres? You can tell two or three shifts before that they’re looking for somebody, then it happens.”

That’s out of context though, I recommend reading the whole bit to get a feel for the point he’s making.

And finally…

* Lindy Ruff was mic’d up last night in his return to Buffalo. He doesn’t say anything particularly meaningful in the video, but it is fun for people to see how often a coach is just chirping borderline unintelligible things behind the bench. The game of hockey is so fast you have to speak in soundbites and single word commands to be of any help, really.

Comments (13)

  1. Moulson’s really struggling without JT, eh? Poor guy, no skill, just carried on JT’s back all these years. (/Sarcasm)

    Moulson’s one of the most underrated players in the NHL. I get that he was playing with a great player, but not many guys have multiple 30 goal seasons by accident. Is he probably more of a 20 goal scorer without JT? Yeah, probably…but it’s not like that’s something to scoff at.

  2. man, that “welcome to Buffalo, NY” surely has to be disheartening for someone to hear… although Uniondale, NY doesn’t sound much better

    • You DO know that the players don’t sleep in cots at their teams’ arenas, right? And that Uniondale is pretty close to NYC? I’m pretty sure that playing ~45 minutes out of NYC is at least slightly more appealing than being in Buffalo.

  3. That play to pass into the PK box is such a great way to relieve pressure as most PK units try to really play high pressure to cause turnovers and create easy clears. One quick pass in and out and you have space to manoeuvre again.

    That pass by Saad should have been broken up and the coach won’t like him passing up the opportunity to shoot on the rush – but at the same time – he created a play which is infinitley more likely to be a goal by drawing the goalie to one side of the net and getting it to a guy on the other side of the crease. I’d say 80% of the time a goalie makes a save on a shot in that situation because he’s square to the shooter and can use his size to make any shooting area very small. Once Kane gets that pass – there is probably a reversal in save % (or more). Questionable decision that worked out – but at the same time the decision was to go for the far more likely to be successful scoring opportunity.

    • In general terms, yes, pulling the goalie across the net then passing it back across is a good idea.

      In this case though, Saad had essentially a mini-breakaway presented to him, and took a bad angle to the net, which allowed the d-man to recover and pressure him. Bad decision #1.

      Once he’s he’s pulled the goalie across with him with his less than direct approach, he should be shooting. Shoot low to the far post – if it goes in, great, and if not there’s a good chance that a save generates a hard-to-control rebound for Kane to finish off.

      Instead he goes with an almost blind behind the back pass that should have been intercepted. Bad decision #2, that risked turning a mini-breakaway to a turnover without even a shot.

      When given a breakaway, you damn well better get the puck on net. Like Bourne said, he’s lucky.

  4. Man that Ranger offense is terrible. 1.5 average goals for; ouch.

    • It’s been a problem for them for years, but it is worse this year, and their D and goaltending are also underperforming.

  5. I missed the game last night, but Mike Boone over at Hockey Inside/Out pointed out that while Peter Budaj stopped all 27 shots on goal, his teammates blocked 28. That means they blocked more than 50% of the shots taken by the Rangers, which I think is insane.

  6. On the Saad screwup/assist: It’s more effective to chew guys out for not shooting low far side when their mistake ends up in the net.

  7. Moulson is so under the radar he even uses an “STX Prototype” stick. Wtf? The only thing I can find on this is which is a Lacroxx/field hockey company branching out in to ice hockey. They won’t release their line until 2014. Look at the way he celebrates his first goal in Buffalo. The guy is cold blooded, I’d love him for a teammate.

  8. Can you please do a system analyst post on the Hawks goal? I would love to see what caption you put on the screenshot where there’s three Wild players tripping over each other at the blue line

  9. I can almost hear Chris Berman’s “whoop whoop whoop” impersonation while the Wild trip all over each other.

  10. I think you should go back and check out the Sedins’ 2 back to back shifts in the 3rd period that turned the game from WSH 2 – VAN 1, to WSH 2 – VAN 3.

    Washington looked absolutely helpless against that game winning goal; boys against men.

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