* Valeri Nichushkin scored his first NHL goal on Sunday. It was a nice shot, but given what we saw from this kid in pre-season…
…I was kinda hoping it would be more Nichushkin-y.
* Speaking of firsts, Reto Berra of the Calgary Flames got his first career start and win, downing the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime. He stopped 42 of 44 shots to get the job done. That earned him this NHL.com headline which really confuses me.
He smokes a lot, maybe? I’m lost.
* Bobby Ryan, Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson all put up one and one for two against Dallas, but the Sens still managed to lose the game in a shootout.
* Josh Harding added to his league-best numbers (among goalies playing a substantial amount) by stopping 19 of 19 shots from the New Jersey Devils. He’s now 7-2-1 with a .950 save percentage and a 1.10 goals-against average, noooo big deal.
* New Jersey, you’ll note, was on the wrong end of that shutout, which now means they’ve gone seven straight periods without scoring a goal.
* Ray Whitney got his first as a member of the Dallas Stars. I like the monkey-off-back motion he gives in the celebration.
Sens steal a point late
The Senators may have lost, but at least they got something for their trouble. The point they earned came thanks to a Bobby Ryan goal with 9.3 seconds left. Dude seriously leaned into this shot, as his snapped stick attests.
Borowiecki own goal
Sometimes in hockey you just mess up. Things happen fast, a lot of what you do is reactionary, and…I’m trying to help Borowiecki out here.
This was one of the more blatant own goals in recent memory. He got that thing back on (his own) net with some force.
Craig Anderson is okay, so let’s shift the focus
Anderson left the game on a stretcher after this scary collision with Valeri Nichushkin jammed his head back. (GIF via The Sporting News)
Turns out he only has a stiff neck, so let’s talk about the HO-LEE S**T moves Nichushkin makes to bring them into contact at all. Sick pick up from between his legs, subtle weight shift that damn near breaks Erik Karlsson’s ankles, and he almost finishes it for what would’ve been my favourite goal of the year.
If you’ll notice, what he did there is similar to what he did to the goalie in the GIF at the top of this post. He has this way or making subtle body fakes that seems to leave people completely dumbfounded.
Pat Kane scored an odd beauty
Kane danced around the offensive zone with the puck for like “12 seconds” as the commentator says, but it’s an odd one. All credit is due to him for being hard to handle, but I don’t really get A) why the guy covering him up top suddenly stops pursuing him (it’s probably because he thinks he’s going to drop the puck in a scissor-play with the Blackhawk who goes behind Kane and he’s cheating on the read), and B) why Reto Berra looks like he’s trying to defend a pass to the back door on the far side. It must’ve hit something on the way in? Really odd reaction.
OT winner, Kris Russel
I was gonna make fun of the Flames for having someone like Kris Russel on the ice in overtime, but credit where credit is due, this is a heavy shot that kisses post. Shaw’s shot block “attempt” leaves a little something to be desired.
If you had to organize an NHL game between two teams to create the most lopsided score possible, you’d probably go with the Buffalo Sabres (two wins in 16 tries, league worst -23 goal differential) versus the Sharks (10-1-3, league best +26 goal differential), and you’d have them play in San Jose. Welp, Tuesday night, that’s a thing that’s happening. At one point in the NFL this year, the Broncos were 28 point favourites versus the Jaguars. We’re about to see hockey’s version of that.
* Tyler Seguin went 1 for 14 on faceoffs versus Dallas, prompting Lindy Ruff to request he “get mad.” As in, don’t be content with just playing center between the whistles – win us some gosh darn draws while you’re doing it.
* There was more self-dentistry in the NHL last night. Check this out here to see Krys Barch pull his tooth out, then toss it to/at a fan. It comes complete with home video from the folks who ended up with the tooth.
* And finally, I think the most interesting part of this interview with Darcy Regier about sending Patrick Kaleta to Rochester in the AHL is the line “It’s about playing more hockey in your shift.” As in, quit being a dink and focus on helping our team win, instead of hitting, hurting and agitating. “Play more hockey.” Sound advice.