alex ovechkin


Columbus 4
Ottawa 1 (Recap)

St. Louis 1
Washington 4 (Recap)

Los Angeles 1
NY Rangers 0 (Recap)

San Jose 1
Chicago 5 (Recap)

Dallas 2
Vancouver 1 (Recap)

Winnipeg 1
Minnesota 2 (Recap)


Notable Numbers

* If you’re on Twitter, you probably noticed last night that your feed looked something like:

@KingsGuy: Scrivens!

@KingsDude: Ben Scrivens is now leading all goalies in save percentage (.955), goals against (1.24) and shutouts (3). #ScriVezina

@KingsChick: Scrivens!

With the Kings’ 1-0 victory over the Rangers, what KingsDude had to say is true (though, Josh Harding has almost identical numbers in twice the games played). Scrivens’ performance gives him two consecutive shutouts and seven consecutive shutout periods. He does, indeed, lead the league in those three big categories.

* Mikko Koivu scored his third and fourth goals of the season to help the Wild sneak past the Jets 2-1.

* Capitals netminder Braden Holtby stopped 46 of 47 shots from the St. Louis Blues, while team captain Alex Ovechkin scored twice to pull into a tie for the league lead in goals with Alexander Steen at 17. Nicklas Backstrom had three assists, including a nifty one you can find below.

* Ryan Johansen and Fedor Tyutin both had a goal and an assist in Columbus’ win over Ottawa.

* Patrick Sharp had two goals and an assist, while Kris Versteeg added a goal and an assist, giving him three points in his first two games back with Chicago.

* Kari Lehtonen made 42 saves in the Dallas Stars win.


What Happened

Nicklas Backstrom put on a show

His three assists looks fine enough on paper, but man, was his on-ice performance something to watch. It was poetry, if poetry wasn’t mostly awful. Alex Ovechkin scored a goal that some people are calling “vintage Ovechkin,” but I tells ya what, this tip-pass Backstrom makes to get Ovi the puck with speed qualifies as vintage for him too.

Anyone else find it kind of bizarre that Ovechkin’s first reaction after scoring a goal is always to take his mouthguard out? He must really hate that thing. Doesn’t he ever drop it in the celebratory ruckus?

Oh, one other thing I think you should see: how amazingly agile is this Nicklas Backstrom spin-o-rama? It’s like you put four body builders in a teacup at DisneyWorld and told them to start the thing spinning.




The Canucks lost by a single goal at home, and had a single goal taken from them for…I guess, goaltender interference, was the call? I mean, I know that was the call, just…how does it possibly get made? And it’s not even like Lehtonen dives or asks for the call, the ref just had the wrong angle to see the play clearly and made an oopsie.

It’s okay though, Canucks fans, it’s not like you’re going to need the points in that division or anything. (Note: their 11-8-3 record has them fifth in the Pacific.)

I’m in favour of making goalie interference reviewable after a no goal call.


The ‘ol heave-ho

Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki got ejected for the hit below on Jared Boll.

As a winger, these plays where you have to extend yourself to get the puck out are always dangerous, as the tend to bring your head lower.

I think this is a great example of how refs can properly dole out discipline so the league doesn’t have to. This was probably worth five and a game and an ejection. Great call, now the league probably doesn’t need the league to supplement that.


Kris Versteeg scored his first goal as a Blackhawk

Wait, that sub-heading is totally wrong. Kris Versteeg scored his first goal since being reacquired by the Blackhawks. Great play from Brandon Saad.

The Blackhawks thumped up the Sharks 5-1, which I don’t think is indicative of how these teams stack up. I’d love to see ‘em meet in playoffs this year.

By the way, I love this acquisition by Chicago – you get depth scoring at a discount rate, thanks to Florida eating so much of Versteeg’s deal. And really, did you give up anyone that’s likely to make a huge difference at the NHL level?

…You did not.


An Opinion

I feel like everyone is waiting for the Ottawa Senators to suddenly straighten up and fly right and start to climb the standings, but I’m thinking there’s a legitimate chance that’s just not a thing that’s going to happen. When they look bad, they look “I can’t ever see that team being good” bad. Just…lethargic, or something.

Check out their cumulative shot differential over the years and the direct tie to their overall team success. This year’s situation looks…bleak.

Going into this season I thought Ottawa had a big range. You know, the Penguins are gonna be somewhere in the top-five seeds in the East, Buffalo/Calgary were always gonna be somewhere in their bottom fives, but Ottawa…Ottawa confuses me. Two years ago I thought they’d be terrible, and they were anything but. This year I saw people picking them to win their division, the conference, the GD Stanley Cup…and here we are. You rarely know what you’re going to get with this group.

At this point, my call is that they’re probably going to end up somewhere around .500 and finish around the 8/9 seed, which is a faaaaiirrlly big difference to say, the “having a job next year” thing for coaches.


Other News

* Ryan Suter is playing over two minutes more per game than the guy averaging the second most ice time in the League (Erik Karlsson). He’s up around 30 minutes a night, which he explains is doable because he’s a positional guy, not a run-and-chase guy. (Nick Lidstrom could handle huge minutes for the same reason, not to compare the two.)

* This was my favourite NHL thing this weekend, so I’m including it: Corey Perry snapped his stick in OT against the ‘Canes. Instead of skating back to his own bench, hollering at a trainer or a teammate for their stick (or even having to change), he just…steals Semin’s.

Like, he was in full, straight-up, 100% “yoink” mode. Suddenly Semin is wasting time on the bench waiting for a new stick and Perry’s back in the action. How great is that?

Answer: SO great. More on the play here.

* Matt Duchene is going to be out a week with an oblique injury.

Ted Nolan’s approach seems to be “roll ‘em over the boards and hope,” which, with all due respect, only works with talented rosters, which the Sabres do not have.

* And finally: HURRAY, Ilya Bryzgalov is back in the league! It’s more fun with him in it.