Ryan Miller

Scores

New Jersey 3
New York 2 (Recap)

Philadelphia 5
Ottawa 0 (Recap)

Colorado 1
Carolina 2 (Recap)

Los Angeles 2
Buffalo 3 (SO) (Recap)

Nashville 1
NY Islanders 3 (Recap)

Columbus 3
Washington 4 (OT) (Recap)

San Jose 3
Calgary 2 (OT) (Recap)

Phoenix 3
St. Louis 2 (OT) (Recap)

Winnipeg 3
Detroit 2 (OT) (Recap)

Tampa Bay 2
Montreal 1 (SO) (Recap)

Anaheim 2
Florida 3 (Recap)

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Notable Numbers

* The Tampa Bay Lightning played their first game without Steven Stamkos, and managed to make it a win over the Canadiens in Montreal. The one man who you can’t fault is Carey Price – he made 44 saves on 45 shots (in front of Team Canada’s GM Steve Yzerman, the rumour-makers point out).steve mason

* Ellen Degeneres’ long-lost twin Steve Mason stopped all 24 shots the Ottawa Senators threw at him.

* Ryan Carter scored two goals for the Devils in a close win over the Rangers, meaning they’ve now won three of their last four.

* Scottie Upshall had a goal and an assist to help the Panthers kill their nine-game losing streak.

* Another two goal performance: Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers, who almost look less-than-bad lately.

* Ryan Miller winning in the shootout is not a new thing:

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What Happened

Upsets!

*Buffalo beat the Los Angeles Kings

Ahem. So, yeah, it’s not like they out-played the Kings or anything, but they got the job done. It was also their first home win of the season. And it’s not even December yet!

* The Winnipeg Jets beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2, despite Pavel Datsyuk scoring two powerplay goals for the Wings.

* The Florida Panthers beat the Anaheim Ducks by a score of 3-2 as well. Brad Boyes got the winner in regulation. I can’t decide if the best part of this is Scottie Upshall saying “Good teams don’t lose 10 in a row,” which he legitimately did say, or the Panthers tweeting this:

Later today I’ll be posting a compilation of great quotes from yesterday’s PrimeTime Sports Management Conference, in which Brian Burke explains how dumb giving away free tickets is.

***

Pining for Stamkos

Even though the Tampa Bay Lightning got the job done in a shootout last night, it never should’ve gotten that far for them. They had three powerplays between the final minutes and overtime of their 2-1 win over Montreal, where they repeatedly teed up a guy for a bomb from the left side.

Only, that guy on the left side wasn’t Steven Stamkos, it was Teddy Purcell. A good player and all, sure, but y’know…not Steven Stamkos.

***

Late push gets the job done 

The Washington Capitals were trailing 3-2 with under two minutes to play when Mikhail Grabovski buried one to tie the game up. That set the stage for Alex Ovechkin’s game winner.

***

Speaking of OT winners…

Oliver Ekman-Larsson got one for the Phoenix Coyotes to push them past the St. Louis Blues…

…While Brad Stuart got one for the San Jose Sharks to help them avoid being tossed in the upset pile last night.

Man, had the Sharks lost to both the Sabres and Flames I wouldn’t really know what to say.

It sure is nice when games end in overtime instead of a shootout. More on that in “Other News.”

***

Robbery

Claude Giroux was named one of the games three stars thanks to his two assists in the Flyers 5-0 rout of the Ottawa Senators, but I feel like he’d trade in those points for some goals right now. Last night he had one taken away in the dying seconds of the second period when he faded back to the goal line (as so many goal scorers are doing these days) and fired one on net. Craig Anderson made an amazing desperation save.

***

An Opinion

This is not exactly a banner year for parity in the NHL. We’re not yet at the 20 game mark and 21 points separates first from last in the Pacific Division alone. The Flames and Oilers aren’t making playoffs, that’s already established. The Sabres and Panthers are done. It’s just awfully early to be able to make declarations like that, given that we’re not halfway through the second month of the season.

On the other hand, there’s going to be one division that’s going to be awfully interesting to watch: the oh-so-terrible Metropolitan Division, that might not end up so terrible after all. To standings-watch, I mean. It might still be terrible hockey-wise.

The Penguins recent slide make things look closer than they are, but here’s how the standings sit:

STANDINGS

Early in the season you heard a lot of people saying “The Rangers are awful,” but they played their first 1009 games on the road (roughly) because of renovations to Madison Square Garden. You heard people saying the Flyers were terrible, but their shooting percentage was remarkably low, which could point to some bad luck in the early going. You heard people saying the Devils were terrible, but two shutout wins in the last week make you wonder if their not finding their stride.

Pretty much every team in this division started the year with a roster that looked better than the previous season (Columbus, check. Islanders, check. Hurricanes, check.), yet they all got off to slow starts.

So, my point is this: the Metropolitan Division, like all divisions, has to send at least three teams to playoffs. Not a single team in that Conference is more than five points from grabbing one of those, so there’s plenty of time to get the ship righted and sneak into playoffs. We all know it’s a new season from there, so this should be sort of fun for fans who may have thought their Metro team was hopeless. They’ve all got a legit shot at getting in, and nothings been decided for any of them yet. As bad as the division has been, that’s allowed them all to stay hopeful. And that’s a lot more fun than being, say, the Sabres or Oilers right now.

***

Other News

* The GMs meetings took place earlier this week, with a few key topics:

I’ve been looking into hybrid icing after hearing a lot of rumours about it, and I’m not so sure the NHL is entirely pleased with how it’s gone. More on that later.

As for extending overtime, I’m all aboard. 10 minutes is a bit much, but as I’ve made clear for years, I’d looove to see the league go to four minutes of 4-on-4, four minutes of 3-on-3. Apparently something like that is gaining traction.

Oh, and they aren’t going to do a thing about goalie fights because goalie fights are awesome and fans love them and the league can always hide behind goalies skating the length of the ice to “even out the numbers” in a line brawl.

* Jonathan Quick left the Kings game with an injury, so that’s something to keep an eye on.

* Ryan Carter made a nice effort to beat Carl Hagelin to the puck (which should never happen), but Vigneault was more upset that the save wasn’t made.

* Nice facial hair, Ryan Miller:

* The Preds are looking into Jonas Hiller, while Vern Fiddler wants a trade out of Dallas, apparently.

* Bob McKenzie’s insider trading is up, and there’s always lots to be learned in there.

* And finally, here’s Alex Stalock winning an Academy Award:

Comments (12)

  1. “I’d looove to see the league go to four minutes of 4-on-4, four minutes of 3-on-3.”

    No No No No NO NO NOOO! Bad Bourne, bad.

    3 on 3 is a worse gimmick than the shootout is. Just play 10 minutes of OT and call it good. I still don’t like the 4 on 4 in OT, but at least sometimes that happens in a game. When was the last time you saw a 3 on 3 that lasted more than 2 seconds? I’ve seen lots of penalty shots more recently than I’ve seen a 3 on 3.

  2. How about this for a gimmick: Let’s copy the NFL.

    They get to overtime, and I believe each team gets a shot at max points, and if it’s still tied, they try again, right?

    So let’s have one team get a 2min 5 on 4, 5 on 3, or 4 on 3 (whichever seems to make sense). If they score, keep going until 2min are done. Then the other team gets a shot. Maybe we end up with 11 goals in OT, maybe just the one.

    Unlike the shootout or 3-on-3, powerplays happen all the time. And by having teams do both, you use more of your roster – for example, Douglas Murray should never step on the ice during a 4 on 4 or 3 on 3 OT, but if the Habs are shorthanded, he’s not a bad choice. Similar thing with Ryan White.

    I’m not actually sure if I like this idea or not, but I don’t like the 3 on 3 one very much, and shootouts… well, the Habs all time are around 27% shooting, whereas league average is closer to 33%, so get rid of the shootout?

    • I like it, it’s basically the college football overtime. Each team gets a PP ‘possession’, if one scores and the other doesn’t, game over. If both score do it again. If a PK goal is scored, game over.

      It would be the saem hockey we see all the time, no gimmicks, and it would be full of excitement. How much fun would it be to watch your team bang one home with 2 seconds left on their PP chance to win the game? A hell of a lot more exciting than watching a shootout attempt.

      • Thats a horrible idea, and forcing a team onto a power play or a penalty kill is a gimmick. 4 on 4 OT opens up space, 10 minutes of that should be enough.

        • Why should 10 minutes of that be enough? We frequently see 5 minutes of 4 on 4 without much for scoring chances. If you want a system that still leads to a shootout you can have it, I personally find it incredibly boring and a complete farce.

  3. Let’s go 4×4 for the entire game. Hockey used to be played 6 skaters aside until players got too big and fast for the ice surface, at which point the NHL reduced the # of skaters to today’s 5×5. Today’s NHL players are waay too big and fast for the available ice, and rebuilding the rinks to the Oly size just isn’t gonna happen.

  4. So the entire division formerly known as the Southleast all won last night and Buffalo too!

  5. If you look at the other angle, it’s pretty obvious that Stalock gets cross checked in the face.

  6. The problem with the 5×4 or 4×3 idea is that there will be more slide-shot-blocking, thus more injuries to key players. Who wants their stars injured to save the “loser” point?

    5×5 x 10, or 4×4 x 10 makes sense.
    Stopping the game for 4×4 x 4min/5min + 3×3 x 4min/5min is a little silly – at least keep whatever ratio going for whatever time. Else, what’ll be next – 2×2 for 5min in a few years, then 1×1 action a few years after that?
    Oh, then just end it with a goalie fight!
    Oh, wait, maybe that IS a good idea…

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