Archive for January 2011

The Saturday Recap - January 29th

St. Louis (4) @ Detroit (3)

The Blues drove into The Motor City and clipped the Wings 4-3. Detroit tried as they might to come out on top by firing 41 shots at Nik Backstrom but he was the difference in this one by turning aside 38 of those shots. Devin Setoguchi scored twice in the game, including the winner for the Blues on the powerplay midway through the third, in fact three of St.Louis' four goals were scored on the powerplay. Ryan Smyth and Peter Forsberg had a pair of assists also for St.Louis. Eight different players registered a point for Detroit but it wasn't enough. Evgeni Nabokov who was tagged with the loss for the Wings, made 18 saves on 22 shots.

Calgary (3) @ Carolina (1)

The Flames scored all the offense they would need, in the second period as they scored three times in the period, two of those on the powerplay. Carolina would score once in the third to ruin rookie Sergei "Bob" Bobrovsky's shot at his first career WCHL shut-out. Joe Corvo (1-1-2) and Marian Gaborik (0-2-2) led the offense for Calgary. Ales Hemsky half way through the third was the only 'Cane to find the back of the net.

Toronto (0) @ Washington (5)

Unlikely goal scorer Scott Nichol instilled he's own style of Capital punishment on the Maple Leafs as he fired three goals in a 5-0 white-wash of Toronto. Anssi Salmela (0-3-3) and Sean Avery (0-2-2) also had great nights for the all checking line scoring line. Jose Theodore stopped all 23 shots he faced to record his second shut-out this season. The game wasn't the only thing the Leafs lost, rookie center Ryan Stone was lost to the team for at least a week with what the team is calling a lower body injury.

Tampa Bay (7) @ New Jersey (1)

No I didn't write the score backwards, The Lightning went into "The Swamp" and made New Jersey's night a living hell as they handed them their second straight loss (after eight straight wins). Tampa scored twice in the first and second periods while turning the trick in the third, the only blemish on Brian Elliot's record for the night was a Chris Kunitz's goal midway through the second. Brian Rafalski and Jere Lehtinen led the Lightning (2-1-3). The Devils fired a low 12 shots at Brian Elliot in Tampa's net.

NY Rangers (4) @ Philly (3)

The Rangers broke the Philly's three game win streak with a 4-3 road win. The game started well for the Flyers as they jumped out 1-0 at the 1:18 mark of the first period, but it was pretty much downhill from there as the Rangers would score four of the next six goals. Anze Kopitar (0-3-3) and Shane Doan (2-1-3) led the Rangers while King Henrik made 25 saves. Matt Moulson (0-2-2) continued to carry a hot stick and Scott Hartnell (1-1-2) led the way for the Flyers, who are 6-4 in their last ten home games. The Rangers are alone atop the Eastern Conference with a 8-2 record in their last ten games. Scott Hartnell and ex-Flyer Chris Phillips renewed acquaintances as they dropped the gloves in the third period, with Hazel May's grey skirt calling it a draw.

Nashville (3) @Colorado (6)

Colorado got out to a 2-0 lead after one pretty evenly played period but the two teams exploded for seven goals on 30 shots in the second and after the smoke settled the Avs had sent Nashville packing on the wrong end of a 6-3 drubbing. Troy Brouwer not known for his goal scoring did most of the damage for Colorado as he had a career four goal game, Blake Comeau and Nick Lidstrom both had three helpers. Guillaume Latendresse and Jesse Niinimaki led Nashville with (1-1-2), Jiri Hudler chipped in a pair of assists.

Atlanta (6) @ Boston (3)

The Thrashers, trying to keep pace with the Rangers doubled up on the Bruins 6-3. The Bruins kept it close after two as they were only down by one after fourty minutes but Atlanta came out in the third and put the game away with three goals. Atlanta had five players with two points including James Neal (2-0-2) but it was Mason Raymond and Patrik Berglund that led the way (0-3-3). Brendan Morrison led the Bruins (1-1-2). Martin Brodeur got his 14th win of the season.

Phoenix (3) @ Dallas (1)

The game was tightly played for two periods as the two teams were deadlocked at one. Phoenix came out in the third and scored two early period goals to put the game away. Eric Brewer had two goals for Phoenix and Alex Auld had 20 saves for his fifth win of the season. Brian Gionta had the lone marker for Dallas as Roberto had an off night allowing three goals on twenty shots.

Reporting for The WCHL Network
Peter Pucker

Posted in | Leave a comment

The Saturday Recap

Columbus (5) @ St.Louis (3)

The Blue Jackets went into St.Louis on a two game win streak and early on it looked like that's where it would stop but then, cue the come back. The Blues were up 3-1 just three minutes into the second period, then just eighteen seconds later the Blue Jackets started their come back. Four goals in an eleven minute span was more than enough to send the Blues' faithful home signing a sour note again. Leading the way for Columbus was Jason Speeza (1-2-3), Johan Hedberg registered the win stopping 21 of 24 shots. Daniel Paille scored twice for the Blues and Steve Mason stopped all 6 shots he faced after relieving Niklas Backstrom (in the second period), who allowed 5 goals on 20 shots. Marcel Goc was lost to Columbus in the second period with what the team is calling back spasms but is not expected to miss any games.

Vancouver (4) @ Calgary (1)

The Canucks went to Cowtown and doused the Flames by a score of 4-1. Vancouver scored 4 goals on 22 shots and led 4-0 after two. Calgary finally decided to play some hockey in the third as they fired 17 shots on Miikka Kiprusoff beating him just once, alittle too little, too late. Alex Ponikarovsky (0-3-3) and Pavel Datsyuk (1-2-3) led the offense for the Canucks, while Marion Gaborik was the only Flame to beat Kipper who stopped a total of 29 shots.

Dallas (6) @ Chicago (4)

A total of eight goals were scored in the game's first 16 minutes as the Stars put up a five spot and led 5-3, each team scored one more in the third. Both teams used their back ups in the game in hopes of swinging the momentum. Rookie Mike Lundin had a pair of goals to led Dallas. Jason Blake (1-2-3), Bryce Salvador (1-1-2) and Evgeny Artyukhin (0-2-2) led Chicago. Roberto Luongo perserved the win for John Grahame, as he stopped all seven shots he faced in relief.

Colorado (5) @ NY Islanders (1)

The Avs went to Uniondale and left the Isles feeling stranded after a 5-1 defeat. Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov lost his shut-out bid with just over a minute remaining in the third on the powerplay with Brendan Morrow serving a questionable interference penalty, Brzy stopped 32 of 33 shots he faced for his 11th win of the season. Mike Cammalleri had three helpers while, Braydon Coburn and David Jones both had (1-1-2) for the Avs. Mike Rozsival was the only one to find the back of the net for the Isles.

Anaheim (6) @ Tampa Bay (4)

The Ducks must love playing on Saturday nights as they won for the third time in a row playing on Saturday. This game was looked to be a laugher early as the Ducks jumped all over the Lightning, perforating Brian Elliot for 5 goals in 19 shots before being replaced by Dan Cloutier who surrendered the final goal of the half sack before Tampa woke up and struck for four goals on 16 shots in the final sixteen minutes of the game but came two goals short of a come back. Andrew Brunette scored a pair while four other Avs had two points in the game. Adrian Aucoin (1-1-2) and Curtis Glencross (0-2-2) led the attack for Tampa Bay.

Minnesota (3) @ Florida (5)

The Wild out-shot Florida 11-2 in the first but the game was tied after the first twenty, and that could very well have been the turning point of the game as the Panthers came out and scored the next three goas to take a 4-1 lead by the 6:41 mark of the second. Minny scored twice in the third to cut the lead to a signle goal but Florida would score the insurance marker on the powerplay late to secure their sixth win in their last ten games. Matt Stajan (1-1-2) and Chris Campoli (0-2-2) led the Panthers and Pekka Rinne registered his 8th victory. Minnesota was led by Paul Kariya (1-1-2). Rookie Darcy Campbell was lost to the Wild early in the first period to what team reps are calling an upper body injury and could be out of the line up as long as three weeks, Campbell is the latest to join the ever growing list of injuries to the Wild, which now sits at five players.

Edmonton (2) @ Nashville (0)

The Oilers went hunting for a victory in Nashville and came away with a 2-0 win. The game was as close as the score would dictate as were the shots with Edmonton winning that stat also at (24-23). Nashville never could find an answer for Jordan Leopold's powerplay goal midway through the first which ended up being the winner. Kurtis Foster had Edmonton's other marker while Tomas Vokoun registered his first shut-out of the season, stopping 23 shots. Ondrej Pavelec stopped 22 shots and played very well for Nashville.

Toronto (1) @ New Jersey (4)

New Jersey's latest win streak reached five games as they powered past the Maple Leafs, 4-1. The Devils lead 2-0 after one and 3-0 after two periods before Toronto got one back on the powerplay in the first minute of the third. Vinny Lecavalier scored eight and a half minutes later also on the PP to restore New Jersey's three goal lead. Dwayne Roloson keeps piling up the wins as he recorded his 12th of the season putting him third in the league in that catagory. Chris Kunitz and Dan Cleary had (1-1-2) on the night for the Devils. Eric Fehr scored the lone goal for the Leafs.

Washington (1) @ Buffalo (3)

The Caps had hoped to build on their modest one game win streak with a visit to Buffalo but the Sabres proved poor hosts as they handed the road team a 3-1 defeat. The game was tied at one after one but the Sabres added a goal in each of the next two periods to salt the game away. Tomas Plekanec and Marian Hossa each had a goal and assist to lead Buffalo. The Caps lone goal was scored by Niklas Bergfors. Jimmy Howard got the win for Buffalo while Jose Theodore was tagged with the loss for Washington.

Pittsburgh (3) @ Boston (4)

Boston is currently riding a three game win streak after defeating their Eastern Conference rivals from Pittsburgh 4-3. These two very good teams left it all out on the ice but if not for the heroics of Marc-Andre Fleury it could have been alot worse as he stopped 29 of 33 shots he faced before being pulled in favor of Martin Gerber who stopped all seven shots he faced in relief. The reasoning for Fleury's hook was being down played by Pens GM Pat Matthews who was quoted as saying "Mind your damn business !!" when questioned after the game. It was rumoured that Matthews was unhappy with the way Fleury had whiffed on the winning goal by Marek Zidlicky and sent the message down to the coach to pull him. The Bruins were led on the score sheet by Chris Pronger (1-1-2) while another defensemen Dan Boyle led the Pens (0-2-2). Bruins' Craig Anderson stopped 18 shots for his 12th win of the season. Pittsburgh lost two players to injury in the game, Andrei Markov took a shot off his right foot and Pat Marleau seemed to be favoring his groin as he exited the locker room after the game. It was thought Markov's injury is nothing more than a stinger and won't miss any time but Marleau could be lost to the team for upto 3 weeks with a badly strained groin.

Atlanta (4) @ Philly (3)

Could the season get any worse for the Flyers? Once the toast of the league, they lost their third in a row and now see themselves in a four-way tie for 2nd in the East. The Flyers were up 3-0 on Atlanta with less than a minute remaining in the second period but surrendered a Tom Poti powerplay goal which seemed to deflate the team and when they returned for the third only one team came to play. Atanta would strike for three straight in the period, on the strength of two James Neal pwerplay goals. Three other Thrashers had two point nights. Jeff Carter had a pair of helpers for the losers, Chris Mason looks as if he maybe tiring having played all 18 of the Flyers games so far this season, allowing four goals on 15 shots. Another one of Philly's troubles was the fact that the team failed to score on ten man advantages on the night.

Reporting for The WCHL Network.........
Peter Pucker

Posted in | Leave a comment

Season 12 Power Rankings - 2nd Edition

The Dallas Stars celebrate their 7th goal in an 8-0 win over the Leafs

The second edition of the Season 12 Power Rankings sees a lot of movement as every team moves beyond the 10 game mark of the season. Moving up the ladder, Dallas jumped 12 spots by reeling off 5 straight wins including an 8-0 thumping of the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs. Going the other way, the biggest drop belongs to the New Jersey Devils who fell 12 spots due to 5 losses in 6 games after starting the season 6-0.

Toronto has been the league's stat-padder so far as they've been shutout 5 times already, and have losses of 10-0, 8-0, 8-0 7-0 and 5-0. Two of those big losses came at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins who also have a 10-0 tally over Florida that has helped vault them to a league leading 4.55 goals per game.

Surprisingly, there is a 4 way tie at the top of the scoring race, with two Canucks (Datsyuk and Alfredsson) an Av (Ericksson) and a Flame (Gaborik) all stuck on 18 points. The surprising part isn't that these players are at the top, as they're all big names, but rather none represent a team in the top 5 of this week's Power Rankings.

Here are the second edition of the Power Rankings for Season 12:

Posted in , | Leave a comment

The Saturday Recap

Vancouver (6) @ Philly (1)

After the Flyers ripped off seven straight wins, they have allowed eleven goals in the past two loses including six tonight against the Canucks. The game was tied at 1-1 after one period with the Flyers out-shooting the Canucks 12-5, but an early goal (eight seconds in) by Alfredsson and two subsequent powerplay goals before the end of the second period had the Canucks up by a pair. Vancouver would add two more in the third to complete the rout. Ex-Flyer Scottie Upshall led the Nucks with (2G, 1A) and Wojtek Wolski had three assists. Scottie Hartnell had the lone goal for Philly while being (-3) on the night.

Colorado (3) @ Chicago (5)

The Blackhawks avenged an overtime loss at the hands of the Avs just three nights earlier with a 5-3 win on home ice. Colorado was up 2-1 after one, but Bryce Salvador's second of the season tied things after two. The 'Hawks scored three in the third (two by Josef Vasicek) including the insurance marker by Geno Artyukhin who also had three asists to lead Chicago,Tim Thomas stopped 27 of 30 shots in the win. Ex-Hawk Patrick Sharp led the Avs with (1-1-2).

New Jersey (0) @ Buffalo (4)

Another of the Eastern Conference elite (so far this season) lost their second of the season. The Devils not only lost but were shut-out on the road by the Sabres who presently occupy eighth place in the East. Matt Cullen led the way for Buffalo with (1-1-2), Jimmy "Howie" Howard got his first goose egg of the season stopping all 21 shots he faced. Dwayne Roloson allowed all four goals on 16 shots before being replaced by Jonas "the Monster" Gustavsson just short of the five minute mark of the third for New Jersey.

New York Islanders (1) @ Atlanta (3)

One of the league's top teams that seem set to stay on top won yet again, this time beating a struggling Islander squad 3-1. The Thrashers took a 2-1 lead into the third period where Sergei Gonchar's 4th of the season on the powerplay at the 1:53 mark was the insurance marker. Daniel Sedin and Martin St.Louis both had a pair of assists for Atlanta while Martin Brodeur stopped 23 of 24 shots for his 6th win of the season. With his two points on the night Daniel stretched his team scoring lead over his brother Henrik by two. Corey Perry with his 3rd of the season was the lone goal scorer for the Isles.

Detroit (6) @ Minnesota (7) S/O

Two Western Conference teams that are struggling to find their indentity went toe-to-toe right to the end. The Wild led 4-1 just six minutes into the second period and seemed to sit back a bit, that is all the Wings needed as they scored three times in just over six minutes to tie things up after 40 minutes. Both teams scored twice in the final frame and nothing could be settled in the extra five minutes, so off to the shoot-out where Sergei Fedorov burned his old team as he was the only player to score and Halak stopped Mike Knuble on the final shot to perserve the win for Minny. Six Wild players had two points on the night including the team's leading scorer Martin Hanzel (1-1-2) on the night. Steve Reinprecht (2-1-3) and Marco Sturm (0-3-3) led the Wings.

Edmonton (2) @ Nashville (1)

Yet another Western Conference battle saw the Oilers go into "Music City" and tune the Preds by a 2-1 score. Nashville took a 1-0 lead into the middle of the third on a first period goal by defenseman Kevin Bieksa but goals by Yannick Riendeau and Oilers scoring leader Ray Whitney on the powerplay with four and half minutes remaining, dashed any hopes of a home ice win. Tomas Vokoun stopped 20 of 21 shots, while Ray Emery took the loss stopping 18 of 20 shots for Nashville.

St.Louis (0) @ Anaheim (5)

Two teams at the opposite end of the standings met in "Disneyland" and the Blues must have thought they were an amusement ride (without the amusement) as the Ducks scored early and often in their 5-0 white-wash of the Blues. If it wasn't for Nik Backstrom's heroics in the Blues net the score could very well have been in the double digits as he stopped 39 of 44 shots. Four Ducks had two point nights leading the way was Ryan Malone (1-1-2). Tuuka Rask stopped 21 shots for his first shut-out of this early season for Anaheim.

Posted in | Leave a comment

Season 12 Power Rankings - 1st Edition

The Wings are a bit embarrassed following the Canucks' 7th goal in last night's action

The first week of the season saw some huge blowouts with Pittsburgh embarrassing Florida 10-1, Calgary avenging an opening game loss to their provincial rivals in Edmonton with a 8-1 thrashing of the Oilers and in Vancouver, the Canucks crushed the Red Wings 7-1 on home ice. In all, teams managed to score 5 or more goals 32 times in the first 60 games of the season, and though it's incredibly early, San Jose's Eric Staal and Zach Parise are on pace for 180 points each. Is this the start of a new high-scoring era in the WCHL?

Here are the opening set of Power Rankings for Season 12:

Posted in , | Leave a comment