After the New York Islanders put up four and lost against the Carolina Hurricanes last night, the Islanders best player by a mile – one of their leaders, their future, their dude – just looked beaten. Whether he was mad at himself or his team, I have no idea, but John Tavares was personified “ugh” on the bench after the game.
You have to feel for the guy. He has goals in three straight losses (of the five straight as a team), he’s eighth in the NHL in scoring (15 points in 12 games), and it just seems like there’s nothing he can do. Hamonic can “snap” all he wants – batting in game-winners for your opponent would be annoying…
… – but Tavares is under contract until 2018, and stuck being the guy trying to drag an Isles team whose ownership has shown no interest in winning to the playoffs. Guessing the ice feels tilted uphill at this point.
Tomas Vanek finds himself atop the NHL scoring leaderboard as of this morning after putting up five points (three goals and two assists) against the Boston Bruins last night. He leap-frogged Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau who are stuck on a ho-hum total of 14 points with his 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th last night.
Here are the three goals he scored – a one-timer off a 2-on-1, a savvy re-direct, and a naaasty dangle on a semi-breakaway.
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.
Sometimes junior hockey games go off the rails. You’ve seen NHL games get nasty, you’ve seen refs lose control of the game, but I assure you, neither compare to what happens at some junior games. The reffing is worse, there’s less pressure to act like a professional, and sometimes you end up with what you see above. I personally witnessed a coach shimmy across the glass to get at the other bench, another hurl a stick like a javelin into an opposing team, and a metal gate used as a weapon in a coach-on-coach fight. This stuff happens.
The not-so-politcally-correct video below takes place after Noah Nelson, captain of the Wenatchee Wild of the NAHL, had been ejected, causing assistant coach Chris Clark to lose his mind and get himself ejected too. This is how he reacted.
The joke, you see, is that the refs don’t see too good.
As you likely know by now, there will be no NHL All-Star Game for the 2013 season. The reason being – and this is complex, stay with me here – there was no NHL season until January 19th, and the game was supposed to be on January 27th. But never fear! Backhand Shelf is here. We’re going to conduct a simulation of the game based on the players you vote in to make it all better.
Obviously we can’t conduct a player-style draft, so for our purposes, we’ll let the fans pick the teams, with the top vote-getters being named starters. Enter your votes below – the game will be “played” later this week!
Okay this picture makes Schenn look a bit villainous.
Those of you who have long-ish hockey memories may recall that back in May of 2012, Anton Volchenkov absolutely wrecked Brayden Schenn during his rookie season behind the net. I didn’t remember the hit until today when it suddenly occurred to me, “Hey, maybe the car accident of a hit from last night had a little deeper meaning to it.”
Here’s Volchenkov on Schenn less than a year ago:
Volchenkov throws thunderous body checks with consistency, and doesn’t seem like a guy you’d get on a tee for revenge too often. So last night, when Brayden Schenn hopped on the ice and saw Volchenkov digging the puck off the wall on his backhand side, you can’t fault him for licking his chops. Read the rest of this entry »