alex ovechkin

Scores

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.

Artful.

***

Robbed

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.

Comments (12)

  1. Is there any rule like “visual goaltender interference” in the NHL? cause here in Germany there is such a wierd rule. I saw that one time called in an arena and for me it looked ridiculous.

    greets from Hamburg, Germany

    • If a player is in the crease and doesn’t allow the goalkeeper to make a save, contact or not, the goal should be disallowed – penalty only comes if there is avoidable contact initiated by the attacker.
      In this case though, D. Sedin seems like he is not in the crease. In the 2nd replay it seems his right skate is barely in, but in doubt the goal should stand. Actually, Lehtonen was able to make the save, he just couldn’t recover for the rebound – when Sedin was already way out of the way.

      • I agree! that goal scould have “legal”.
        But his right skate is (like one inch) into the blue paint…so he interferce Lehtonen visually…i guess

      • To add to what Eduardo said – the crease gives the goalie right-of-way to establish himself. But if he is established outside the crease, he does not therefore become “fair game” – players don’t have to avoid him, but they can’t initiate contact. He still has the right to attempt the save.

        As near as I can tell, the ref might have seen Lehtonen established on the initial shot, and thinks that Sedin brushed him, causing him to be unable to recover. Even if Sedin is not in the crease, he can’t cause contact to hinder Lehtonen. Now, Sedin actually falls in the effort NOT to hit Lehtonen, but the ref is fooled into thinking Sedin actually tripped over Lehtonen somehow.

        It was a good goal, and most likely the ref is not pleased about it now.

  2. Actually what Ovechkin is doing is blowing a kiss to his brother Sergei who died when he was young. He does it after nearly every goal he scores.

    Great Backstrom highlight. He had an incredible game as well.

  3. That Perry gank was the best thing from the weekend!

    • That was classic.

      Semin’s response is hilarious. He kind of looks stunned for a second, like, “what the hell just happened,” and then he starts complaining to everyone he can see.

      • A couple years ago in a Wild – Ducks game Mikko Koivu lost his stick and yanked Bobby Ryan’s stick. Ryan picked up Koivu’s stick and then scored with it. And then rubbed it in by showing Mikko his stick.

  4. If Perry wanted my stick that badly I would just give it to him. In the teeth.

  5. As a Cornell alum, I’m thoroughly enjoying every bit of ‘Scrivens-mania’. I remember him going on a similar shut-out streak in the ECAC playoffs his senior year. Of course, that ended badly.

  6. So how does Borowiecki not get called here? It looks like he uncoils himself into the hit (I think his left skate is off the ice at impact). If he stays at that same crouch level, and doesn’t raise himself up, is the call still made? Or as extensive?

  7. So we’re just ignoring the 4 body builders in a tea cup description eh?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *