Scores

Columbus 4
New York Rangers 2 (Recap)

Montreal 1
Philadelphia 2  (Recap)

Buffalo 1
Ottawa 2 (Recap)

Detroit 1
Tampa Bay 2 (Recap)

Colorado 4
Winnipeg 3 (Recap)

Toronto 3
St. Louis 6 (Recap)

Dallas 1
Nashville 3 (Recap)

New York Islanders 3
Phoenix 6 (Recap)

Carolina 1
Calgary 2 (Recap)

Boston 4
Edmonton 2 (Recap)

Minnesota 1
San Jose 3 (Recap)

Notable Numbers

* Goalies be getting yanked around the NHL on Thursday night: Henrik Lundqvist was pulled after giving up three goals on 13 shots against the Columbus Blue Jackets; James Reimer didn’t make it through the first period in St. Louis after allowing three goals on 15 shots against the Blues; and Devan Dubnyk rounded out the trio by taking a seat after one period after the Boston Bruins scored two goals on 15 shots through 20 minutes.

* Lundqvist, by the way, has given up 14 goals in his last four starts.

* On the bright side, Ottawa’s Craig Anderson stopped 40 of 41 shots in a 2-1 win over Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres, possibly adding some spice to Team USA’s Olympic goaltending conversation.

*Alexander Steen moved back into second in the NHL in goals with his 22nd of the season against the Toronto Maple Leafs. His previous career-high was 24 and he could top that before Christmas so that’s a bit of a breakout.

* A bunch of guys notched a pair of goals on the night: David Backes scored two in a 6-3 win over Toronto, Blake Wheeler dropped two on the Avalanche in a 4-3 shootout loss while Matt Duchene countered with two of his own, Mikkel Boedker and Rob (best last name in hockey) Klinkhammer both scored a pair in Phoenix’s 6-3 over the Islanders, and Joe Pavelski notched two in San Jose’s win over the Wild.

* Finally, two other guys scored a pair in the Boston / Edmonton game. Jarome Iginla registered his first multi-goal game as a Bruins in his home town as Boston continue its Western Canadian road trip, while David Perron scored his 13th and 14th goals to take the team lead for the Oilers, ahead of, you know, all those first-overall picks.

***

What Happened

Briere Returns to Philly

Daniel Briere received a nice ovation from the Flyers faithful in his first game back in Philly after being bought out by the team this past summer.

Matt Duchene continues to impress

Matt Duchene did a Matt Duchene thing, and, as per usual, it was pretty awesome.

Sprawling Poulin

The Islander have had their goaltending issues this season, but this save by Kevin Poulin off the stick of Mike Ribeiro was not too shabby.

Niemi makes Wild save

In another candidate for save of the night, Antti Niemi took a seat and kept the puck out with his elbow. Pretty standard save, really.

Perron scores on one-handed wraparound

[Courtesy Sportsnet]

Just, wow. As Thomas Drance notes, it’s even more impressive considering who’s he’s fending off on the play.

***

An Opinion

Fighting. Advanced stats. PK Subban for Team Canada.

So the Calgary Flames fired general manager Jay Feaster on Thursday, and while Brian Burke was sporting an interesting new look, he was kind of saying the same old thing as the organization prepares to move forward.

Forever citing his Ducks team that won the Stanley Cup in 2007, Burke said he wants to hire a general manager that shares his love for truculence and hostility, and that he’s looking to build a team that bangs because they want “black and blue hockey in Alberta.” Doesn’t it make you just want to grunt?

The problem is, other than Anaheim and possibly the Boston Bruins in 2011, the Stanley Cup hasn’t been won by big, banging, truculent teams in the post-2005 lockout era. The Carolina Hurricanes? Please. The Red Wings and Penguins? Not so much. The Kings and Blackhawks? Yeah, not really. In fact, maybe only the Cup-losing 2010 Flyers fit into that category, and they, like the ’07 Ducks, featured a guy named Chris Pronger. And that’s a key point right there. As much as Burke wants to tout this Anaheim prototype, he had the benefit of having both Pronger and Scott Niedermayer on the blue line, and that’s a pretty good starting point for ANY team, regardless of a preferred style of play.

Further to that, many of the most recent Cup winners (including those Ducks) have been backed by exceptional goaltending, which, in my mind, is where the Flames need to start.

James “the real deal” Reimer to Calgary, anyone?

***

Other News

* As if Brendan Shanahan doesn’t have enough to worry about these days, Montreal’s Alexei Emelin may get a call for this hit on Steve Downie.

* Tim Thomas of the Florida Panthers left practice early on Thursday with an apparent injury, so welcome back Jacob Markstrom.

* T.J. Oshie really wants to play in the Olympics.

* Finally, I made this shortly after yesterday’s press conference in Calgary and remain extremely proud of it. Consider it an early Christmas present.

Comments (13)

  1. As a Flames fan I was disturbed to hear Burke use the T word during the presser. Heard an awful lot of the T word in Toronto before he constructed the rocketship headed nowhere that is the leafs roster and prospects. If he somehow signs Dion Phaneuf to come back to the Flames I will quit acknowledging the existence of NHL hockey.

    • Oh please, please, please let Phaneuf go back to Calgary. Let this be a thing. Not because as a Leafs fan, I think he’s particularly bad: he eats up big, tough minutes and produces as good as to be expected. Just for the hilarity factor. And given how much money he thinks he deserves in this next contract. Subban is getting 8-10/year. Phaneuf should not be getting 8-10/year.

      • Would be an unhealthy slice of irony if Burke fleeced the Flames to get him (with all due respect to Matt “Centre” Staj-an), created a situation in Toronto (captaincy awarded to a guy who could write the book of douche and more minutes than he should play if a team hopes to contend) which caused him to feel more valuable than he is by several million dollars a year, and then signed him back to the Flames for said overvalued price. That would be some classic Flames management and completely justify my fears that Calgary is all aboard the truculent express to mediocrity. Slim chance it ever goes down but it would destroy the NHL as a thing of interest for me. Praying the Leafs can lock him up for way too long and much. It’s funny that Burke said Albertans want “balck and blue hockey”, because I don’t recall him asking anyone and I’d be willing to bet the average hockey fan here just wants to win hockey games and not suck ass.

        • You’d have to assume that rumors of Burke being a Leaf double-agent would start cropping up a wee bit….

  2. You sir, are awesome. That just made my day. And I haven’t watched Home Alone yet this year so thanks for planning my evening for me. Keep up the great work man, I tune into your blog everyday.

  3. That Emelin hit on Downie is a weird one… the way Downie goes to chip the puck and avoid the hit puts his head forward and low, and it looks like Emelin was not expecting that (notice how Emelin kind of ends up flying face forward towards the boards, forced to reach an arm out to protect himself). I’d like to see a slow motion video of it, but the quick one seems to suggest his arm was fairly close to his side?

    Anyway, Habs fan, so I’ll keep my biased opinion on suspension length (or lack thereof) to myself.

    • he reaches trying to make contact which results in a bad hit but if he doesn’t try for contact he is completely burned on the play and end result getting crapped on for committing on play. right idea bad result tough break. and no I hate the canadians

  4. Looks more like Downie took a dive. If Emelin had made contact it would have been bad. but I’m pretty sure getting hit in the head from the side doesn’t make your arms go up and you fall backward…not that I care much for either team

  5. “Rob (best last name in hockey) Klinkhammer” – negative ghost rider … that title is now and forever more held by one Cal Clutterbuck of your own Islanders.

  6. I would argue that LA won the cup playing like a big, Brian Burke style team. Even their finese players like Carter and Kopitar are huge.

  7. Yeah, not sure I agree on the Kings not being a big tough team either — look at the two series they’ve played against the Blues. Those are hard, physical series, and the Kings won both of them against quite good Blues teams.

    Also… if the Blues hadn’t traded Perron… can you imagine a Backes/Steen.Perron line? Not that Steen could be scoring at a much greater clip than he already is, but I’m so sad Perron went to the Oilers.

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