* Ryan Miller stopped 28 of 29 shots in the win for the Sabres, while Philipp Grubauer stopped 30 of 31 at the other end. Alex Ovehckin had six shots in the game, which put him past Jeremy Roenick on the all-time shots list (56th in history). At 28! In less than half the games of Roenick! This dude gets a billion shots it’s crazy.
* The Islanders were trailing the Stars 2-1 in Dallas with under five minutes to go in the game…and won 4-2 in regulation. Kyle Okposo scored twice, while Thomas Vanek had two assists, and John Tavares had one and one for two.
* Jonathan Bernier made 36 saves on 38 shots, then stopped three shootout attempts to help the Leafs pull off the win over New Jersey. They now have won two of their last 26 games in regulation.
* Henrik Lundqvist saw the same amount of shots as Bernier, but he made 37 saves. Meanwhile, Chris Kreider had a goal and an assist.
* There were two shutouts yesterday: Darcy Kuemper of the Wild made 23 stops for his, while Jonas Hill made 22. The Anaheim Ducks have now won 17 of their last 18 games(!).
Ryan Miller, thief
The Buffalo Sabres beat the Washington Capitals in a shootout, one that they never would’ve been in were it not for this ridiculous save by Ryan Miller. These are called “slump-starters” for players. They get in your MIND.
“Goal by Boyd Gordon”
Only, not really. Ah, the classic “pull the goalie for the extra attacker” own goal.
I have no idea if Calvin de Haan knew Tavares was there or not – he seemed to – but either way, it ended up in the back of the Stars net to give them their sixth straight loss, while the Isles extended their road winning streak to seven.
Not all the goals in the Edmonton/Chicago game were ugly. Take, for example, this move by Jonathan Toews.
I’m a little suspicious that the Washington Capitals – second in the Metropolitan Division, fifth in the Eastern Conference – might be a bad hockey team. I was led to this theory by a very subtle sign: yesterday they lost to the 30th place Buffalo Sabres, at home. (Also, Jason Brough of Pro Hockey Talk tweeted “The Caps are not a good team,” which helped.)
The Caps aren’t doing particularly well in one telling category: “ROW” (regulation & overtime wins). They’ve only stacked up 14 of those in 45 tries tries, but they don’t look so bad in the standings thanks to their eight wins in the shootout. Their goal differential is a completely unimpressive +1. And all this is taking place with goaltending that’s been absolutely fine. Hell, They’ve even amassed their deceiving 22-16-7 record while having played five more home games than road while playing in the league’s weakest division.
The Caps might not truly be a “bad” team, per se– maybe that’s a bit much. But they certainly aren’t good either.
* Claude Noel was let go by the Winnipeg Jets this weekend. That sort of thing is bound to happen when you miss playoffs for three straight years, and the GM doesn’t want anyone to notice that the roster he’s assembled is pretty weak. Paul Maurice is going to take over, which…shouldn’t change things too much, I guess?
* Mikhail Grigorenko got sent back to junior by the Sabres, but he didn’t report. No word on what his plans are in the meantime, but I’ve got a hunch we could see him resurface in the KHL. (Update: he finally did report.)
* Dave Bolland is gonna get back on the ice this week, which is great news for Toronto. Dude hasn’t played since November 2nd, and the shallow Leafs have sorely missed him.
* Steve Downie’s getting healthy scratched in Philly already? That was a short honeymoon. Apparently he hasn’t been intense enough for Berube. “He needs to play on the edge, but without being undisciplined.”
* Jagr’s got Gretzky’s all-time points record in his sights. He just needs to play “until he’s 70.” Speaking of playing until you’re 70, Brodeur’s making noise about playing again next year. He’s kinda doing the whole Eeyore routine about it… “Buuut if there’s no place for me here, I guess I’ll have to take my hobo stick and shuffle over to some other team…” Why would he even be talking about other teams in the middle of this season? How far ahead is he thinking?
* Ryan Getzlaf got hurt on Saturday night, and didn’t skate yesterday morning. Doesn’t sound too serious though, so Ducks fans don’t need to panic.
* James Reimer couldn’t practice for the Leafs yesterday, so they went straight throwback style:
Reimer not on the ice at Leafs skate but this is … pic.twitter.com/6dHhcqaY3p
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) January 12, 2014