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Hockey Daily Dose

Dose: Drouin draws in

by James O'Brien
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Let’s dive into the recaps friends and frenemies.

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-- Usually, when someone espouses the virtues of the 2-1 game - "It's just as exciting as a high-scoring one!" - I roll my eyes, if not barf.

This game presents the rare bit of evidence that there's that rare evening where it's true.

So let's put down some ground rules.

1. Aim for 70 SOG combined (this one hit 71.)

2. Get the crowd to care, as what seemingly happened for one of the few times during an NHL game at Barclays Center.

3. Put a nice array of elite players on the ice.

If those standards are met, then maybe you'd have a good number of enjoyable 2-1 games.

I'd still beat on the 4-3 game being more exciting, though.

-- John Tavares scored his 12th goal of the season while Viktor Stalberg provided the Rangers' tally. Kyle Okposo grabbed an assist and was the only shootout scorer.

Speaking of Okposo, the latest rumor is that the Islanders seemingly don't believe they can afford to re-sign him, but they're too deep in a battle for a playoff spot/for playoff advancement to trade him. Hmm.

-- Great performances from Henrik Lundqvist and Jaroslav Halak in this one. Lundqvist and maybe Roberto Luongo are the only two goalies I'm truly confident about heading into any season. That said, Halak is quietly a pretty solid goalie ... when he's healthy.

-- This was a physical game, but the 104 hits (52 credited to each team_ seems a bit much.

Hey, I'll take that over having to count hits myself, though ...


-- So much for Garret Sparks' hot start, as he allowed six goals on 35 shots. It really wasn't all his fault - take a look at Drew Stafford's first goal of the game, Sparks had little chance - but allowing six goals is still a downer.

James Reimer backed Sparks up in this one, but Mike Babcock never made a change, so it's tough to say if Sparks will get another shot. I'd lean toward "not for a while," but we shall see.

-- Connor Hellebuyck may be more interesting than Sparks in the grand scheme of things. If nothing else, Winnipeg has a better chance of giving the Michigan native goal support.

Hellebuyck has now won two games in a row to begin his NHL career, allowing a single goal in each contest. This was his better performance, stopping 32 out of 33 shots.

-- Mark Scheifele collected a goal and two assists, Drew Stafford connected for two tallies and Mathieu Perreault generated two helpers. Otherwise, Winnipeg's offensive output was pretty evenly spread.

-- No surprise that it was a brutal night for the Maple Leafs defense, with Dion Phaneuf's -4 night being the worst evening.


-- Matt Hendricks scored a goal and an assist in this one, giving him four points on the season. That's worth an "attaboy" and that's about it.

-- Mark Letestu's goal was the first shorthanded tally for Edmonton and the first SHG allowed by Boston so far in 2015-16.

-- Zdeno Chara scored the tying goal of this one with about three and a half minutes remaining in the third period. Chara now has four goals and 12 points in 21 games this season.

-- Tuukka Rask was great (stopping 34 out of 36 shots), but Anders Nilsson was even better, kicking aside 38 out of 40. Nilsson improved to 6-7-1 with a respectable .915 save percentage this season.


-- Jonathan Drouin played in his first game since Nov. 14, scoring a goal and an assist while only receiving 13:41 TOI.

The talent stands out at times, but that lack of ice time says enough about his potential, at least for now.

Is he ever really going to be set free with John Cooper in charge? The Lightning need offense, and Drouin can provide a shot in the arm.

-- Ben Bishop continues to own the Ducks, and he's been red-hot in general lately. He's now won four of his last five games. Bishop allowed one goal or less in those wins, with three given up in a loss against the Islanders standing as the only blemish.

-- John Gibson fell to 2-2-1 on the season after allowing two goals on 22 shots. Tough loss for the Ducks.

Anaheim's in trouble guys. Not saying they can't dig themselves out of this hole, but it won't be easy.

James O'Brien
James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than four years. Follow him on Twitter.