* 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.
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.
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.
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.
* 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.