Archive for the ‘Amazing’ Category

167106578 islanders

There are a lot of highly-enjoyable storylines to follow during the playoff chase. During the Game 48-to-Game 82 stretch in a normal season, a couple of teams that don’t belong fall out of the chase (last season it happened to be the Minnesota Wild and the Toronto Maple Leafs) but this season there’s some added excitement because teams that specifically don’t belong are in the chase.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will make the playoffs for the first time in nine years—the playoff team with the worst shot differential numbers since the 2002 Montreal Canadiens, as per Elliotte Friedman at Hockey Night in Canada. The hockey blogosphere is abuzz with the success of the new-look Columbus Blue Jackets, or “New York Rangers West”, or quite simply “Lumbus” and as of Sunday night, they hold a slippery grip on the 8th spot.

The more games are played, as in, if there were a normal season, I think those two teams might fall out of the race. I’d be a little worried about the Anaheim Ducks. That being said, some math is being re-written this season. I wrote over at my PDO post on NHL Numbers last week that:

after 40 games or so games, we should expect just 5% of the teams in the league to be outside 1.025 or .975 (great work here by Snark SD). The actual number is 23%, as this is officially a silly season and has made an absolute mess of things.

So it’s not the low number of games that is keeping Anaheim and Toronto in the playoffs, Pittsburgh and Chicago picking up points like gangbusters, and Florida unable to make a save while the New Jersey Devils could become the best team to miss the postseason probably ever. There’s something else happening this season. Perhaps the short turnaround, the extra days off, the more four- and five-game weeks is giving an added boost to certain teams. Who knows.

I don’t like it. Let’s start the playoffs.

Hopefully the New York Islanders were in them.

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Flames forward Mike Cammalleri couldn’t hold back the laughter after looking at a sign made by the Green Men in Vancouver last night.

The sign showed a retired Jarome Iginla #12 jersey beside Mario Lemieux.

The KHL’s major junior league doesn’t usually get any attention in the media, but after seeing this Artem Voronin shootout goal to give his team, MHC Spartak, the win, maybe we should start to check in a little more often, especially during any future shootouts.

S/T to: Yahoo! Sports

Vancouver Canucks v Dallas Stars

Canucks forward Daniel Sedin scored his second goal of the game after a perfect bank pass off the boards from brother Henrik.

Boston Bruins v Florida Panthers

Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is not known for scoring highlight reel goals, but you can put this one in that category for sure.

Chara took the puck at the blue line and made a spin move (can we call it a pirouette?) and goes Backhand Shelf on the “future” in Florida, Jacob Markstrom.

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Yesterday I shared a video of Kari Lehtonen going behind his own back to catch a puck that was clearly headed in, because holy hell did you see that? Man.

Lehtonen’s goals-against-average sits at 2.58, which is just fine, but when you note that his save percentage is .926, you know that he’s getting hung out to dry by his team in Dallas.

Last night it happened again, only this time it was a nifty feed from Pavel Datsyuk that caused the crease chaos. How on earth this doesn’t end up in the net I’ll never know, assuming the tender doesn’t have access to some sort of force field he strings along the goal line.  The .GIF shows it best:

Here it is in real time, if that’s more up your alley: Read the rest of this entry »

If you missed it last night, Kari Lehtonen made a ridiculous save on a great play from Columbus Blue Jacket’s defenseman Jack Johnson. The initial save is impressive, but that he manages to track it back behind him as it’s heading in, catch it, and roll his wrist over to keep it out was incredible.