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