* The Ottawa Senators finally won in a shootout, topping Philadelphia thanks to a nasty Jason Spezza deke.
* Pittsburgh snuck past the Blue Jackets on goals by some dudes named Crosby and Malkin. Marc-Andre Fleury looked a-okay in stopping 32 of 33 as well. More on him below.
* Eddie Läck got his first career shutout, helping Vancouver blank the Hurricanes 2-0. Chris Higgins assisted on both goals.
* Corey Perry helped the Ducks beat the Islanders in Anaheim 5-2 by scoring twice, including a fancy one you’ll see below. Meanwhile Daniel Winnik (three assists) and Cam Fowler (goal and two assists) both had great nights too. John Tavares had one and one for two in the losing cause. (Ugh, that last sentence gets written a lot.)
Close, but no cigar
Marc-Andre Fleury thought he’d take getting an insurance marker for the boys into his own hands, and took a shot at the empty net. You can’t come much closer than this:
Fleury’s quote after the game was an odd one: “It was like a slap in the face. I just wanted to get a goal and score. Good thing we got the win and the two points. That’s all that matters.”
Okay, so…it mattered a lot to me, but it didn’t matter to me. Got it.
Well that’s just not fair
The Islanders were actually hanging in there with the Ducks until the final minute of the second period when things came unglued. Perry scored this dazzler in the dying seconds, and looked pretty pleased with himself for doing it:
Craig Anderson make a couple beauty stop on Claude Giroux late in the third period yesterday…
…which reminded me – didn’t he rob Giroux earlier this year too? Yes, yes he did. That has to be getting frustrating for ol’ Claude.
Too big, too fast, too slick
Evgeni Malkin’s goal was very Malkin-y. (Though, I’m not exactly sure why the commentator says he goes “coast to coast” when he picks up the puck on the o-side of center.)
It’s unfortunate, but at some point, the New York Islanders are going to part with Jack Capuano and bring in Paul Maurice or Peter Laviolette (again) or someone with more NHL experience. I say “unfortunate” because Capuano is a great guy, but at some point you have to give a group a fresh start, and ideally before it’s too late in the season. They’ve now lost 10 in a row, and it’s December. (…Oh God, it’s too late already, isn’t it?)
I played briefly under Jack, and again – great guy – but he’s a little light on the X’s and O’s, and he creates an environment that’s a little too lackadaisical.
It’s certainly not his fault that their goaltending has been a trainwreck (I don’t see how this surprised anyone, but okay) or that the d-corps has been underwhelming, but you can’t be the organization that’s content with failure. You have to at least try something new. Sorry Cap. That’s how I feel.
* Hey Winnipeg, you’re getting an outdoor game! Here’s what team president Mark Chipman had to say:
The league’s commitment to doing an outdoor game in our city is fantastic. It’s something we’ve been talking about for some time and it’s part of a significant strategy to do outdoor games and it will be great to be a part of it. We just have to firm up some details and hopefully we’ll have a date to announce fairly soon.
* Oof – Brooks Orpik doesn’t remember anything after the anthem on Saturday.
* The NHL approved the Canadian TV deal (shocker), which means the salary cap will go up up up in the next few years. Next season it’s set to go up around seven million to $70-$71 mill, but that has nothing to do with the TV contract.
* And finally, I loved Craig Anderson’s adorable celebration after winning, like he’s a little kid who just found out the family is going to the zoo.