Scores

Boston 2
Buffalo 4 (Recap)

Phoenix 1
Toronto 2 SO (Recap)

Columbus 4
Philadelphia 5 (Recap)

Minnesota 2
Pittsburgh 5 (Recap)

Calgary 2
Detroit 3 OT (Recap)

Florida 4
Ottawa 2 (Recap)

Nashville 2
Tampa Bay 4 (Recap)

Montreal 1
St. Louis 5 (Recap)

Vancouver 1
Dallas 4 (Recap)

Edmonton 2
Colorado 4 (Recap)

San Jose 1
Los Angeles 4 (Recap)

***

Notable Numbers

* Brad Marchand scored two goals for the Bruins just hours after GM Peter Chiarelli said he’s wasn’t trading the 25-year old forward.

* The Flyers erased a three-goal deficit to beat the Blue Jackets and move into third place in the Metropolitan Division, and captain Claude Giroux scored a pair including the game-winner and the 100th of his career. More on that later.

* And speaking of scoring in pairs, Chris Kunitz, Alexander Steen and Daniel Alfredsson all notched two goals in their team’s respective wins. Alfredsson also registered his 700th career assist.

* Martin Jones continued the ridiculous start to his NHL career with a 31 save performance against the Sharks. Overall, he improved to 7-0-0 on the season with a .971 save percentage and a 0.85 goals against average. Stupid good.

* On the flip side, Carter Hutton was yanked by the Predators after allowing four goals on 14 shots (get well soon, Pekka Rinne), and Roberto Luongo was pulled after giving up four goals on 19 shots.

***

What Happened

Hertl Injured after knee-on-knee hit from Dustin Brown

Sharks rookie forward Tomas Hertl was injured on this dangerous collision with Dustin Brown. The Kings’ captain was assessed a major penalty for kneeing and a game misconduct, and Sharks’ head coach Todd McLellan is “very concerned” about the apparent injury.

[Courtesy CSN]

Giroux goes backhand shelf while falling to the ice

Everyone knows that the Flyers in general and Giroux in particular got off to an incredibly rocky start to the season, but Thursday’s game against Columbus may be the ultimate turning point. Philadelphia erased an early three-goal deficit, and Giroux scored the team’s final two goals to propel them into a playoff position (for now, at least). The winner was, in short, spectacular.

Crosby dropping dimes

Team Canada faces a tough decision when it comes to Chris Kunitz. He scored his 20th goal of the season last night, and Sidney Crosby apparently knows exactly where he’s going to be without even looking.

Spezza walks around the Panthers

All is not well with the Senators these days, but Jason Spezza made it look easy on this one.

Stars play tic-tac-toe

For my money, the Dallas Stars are one of the most entertaining teams to watch this season, as evidenced by this bit of passing that led to a goal by rookie Valeri Nichuskin.

Mr. Jones could be a big, big star

As mentioned above, Martin Jones has been preeeeetty, pretty good. Doesn’t hurt when the puck seems afraid of the back of the net.


***

An Opinion

I’m about to say something incredibly controversial, but please bear with me.

Hockey is the best.

Before you close the window and walk away from your computer in feigned outrage (because that’s what we do when we read something on the Internet these days), take a moment to scroll back up and look at some of the things that happened around the NHL last night. Giroux’s goal, Crosby’s pass, the legend of Martin Jones: all of these things remind me that the sport we love so much is fun to watch, and the stories that it tells can inspire and remind us that we don’t have to be so freakin’ angry all the time.

It’s way too easy to be cynical these days, looking for any and every angle we can find to stir things up and try to be clever. It’s good to think critically and not take things at face value, and incidents like Brown on Hertl or Tom Wilson on Brayden Schenn or Shawn Thornton on Brooks Orpik need to be examined and dealt with. But sometimes critical thinking just leads to being overly critical, and all too often the seemingly negative aspects of the game overshadow its inherent good and bury the fact that hockey is meant to be fun and entertaining.

Maybe this is just the holiday spirit talking, but being outraged and cynical about this game is getting exhausting.

In short, instead of talking about Martin Jones’ eventual regression, just enjoy what he’s doing to start his career and Happy Holidays.

***

Other News

* Speaking of Tom Wilson, he’s not getting suspended for his hit on Brayden Schenn.

* Linus Omark was traded to the Buffalo Sabres for a sixth round pick.

* And good try, good effort Mason Raymond.

Comments (25)

  1. With all due respect to Kunitz, I imagine his inclusion on Team Canada would lead to a lot of awkward moments if Crosby got injured! “Why are you here?” “Well, uh…”

    Good regroup, but short on poker analogies. I challenge you to get at least 6 (six!) in next time.

  2. “An Opinion” needs to be read to Ryan “buzzkill” Lambert. I don’t even read his articles anymore just because of all the negativity. He sucks any and all fun out of hockey.

  3. You know whose writing doesn’t suck all the fun out of hockey?

    Ellen Etchingham.

    I used to enjoy her posts here, but she is apparently long gone. There was a promise one time (from Justin) to explain why this is, but I don’t recall ever seeing one. What gives?

    • I’ve wondered about this, too.

    • I concur. She’s wonderful. Let’s get her back please!

    • Yup. There is a empty hole in this blog since she is no longer contributing. The last two plus years this was the best place on the internet to read about hockey and the only place one really needed to check each day. Now with no podcast, 1 1/2 posts a day and no Ellen it is a pale shadow of its former self. I hope the powers that be at theScore are happy with the increased money savings.

      • Word. No podcasts, no Ellen, and hardly any posts at all beyond the daily recap? I recently dumped puck daddy out of my feed reader for being gross, now this blog is basically dead…what other sites are out there that have league-wide coverage with insightful commentary?

        • Know SBNation has good team-specific content. Can’t speak to the league-wide aspect of the site though.

          • Yeah, the various SBNation blogs are good for team stuff, but I’m actually really lucky for team-specific stuff – multiple blogs, podcasts, print publications, comics, etc.

            What I liked the old Backhand Shelf for was the league-wide aspect and the varied viewpoints (stats! behind-the-scenes! philosophy! medicine!) but now that they don’t have that there doesn’t seem to be another site that provides anything similar. Such a shame.

    • I concur with the sensibility and back-to-basics wisdom of the above ‘Opinion’. I mutter things along those lines when I read a lot of hockey commentary, particularly by young journalists attempting to make a name for themselves by being world-weary cynics who are skeptical of everything. It’s a game, for crying out loud, and the best one on the planet. Thanks for the pithy and admirable reminder.

      On the blog, I also agree. Somehow the various avenues of content have all dried up here, and I am of like mind in saying that it materially detracts from the ‘must-read’ nature of this blog from past years. My guess is budget cuts combined with a new focus on what I assume to be the lucrative media market of Toronto. Could be wrong on that last, but I swear I see a lot more Leafs commentary on here and in the podcast.

      • I think part of the Leafs thing may have as much with Bourne moving to Toronto as anything else. I am not saying the bosses aren’t pushing it (they probably are) but having the main writer in the center of the hockey media frenzy probably tips the scale in favour of what he hears all day.

        Also chiming in, was recently wondering what happened to E as well. I rarely check BS this season, whereas in the past it was always the second on my list (only after my teams SBN).

        I understand being slow around the holidays, but its been coming to this for a while. What gives?

    • She’s living in Taiwan right now, so it might just be an issue of time and access. Then again, considering how sparse the site is these days, it might not be.

    • I am another person who misses her writing.

    • I agree wholeheartedly.

      Ellen is the best writer of hockey prose out there. Start the new year right and bring her back.

  4. No mention of the 19 year old Pens defenseman Olli Maatta’s penalty shot? It was the 2nd time in Penguins history when a defenseman scored in such a manner. Check it out on NHL.com.

  5. I don’t see a penalty, forget a major, on that Brown/Hertl ‘hit’. This definitely seems like one of those ‘the guy got hurt so he must have done something bad’ kind of calls. Hertl tries to cut back to absorb a straight hit but Brown looks like he already decided to go around him. That little cut back leads to the leg on leg collision. If I didn’t know the outcome I would have guessed Brown was more likely to come out worse on that one.

  6. Podcast ??? When are we going to get more podcasts ?

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