Ever get one of those eye-socket/behind-the-eye/will-my-eye-fall-out headaches? Yeah, those are no fun.
Recaps? They can be fun.
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SENATORS 4, BLACKHAWKS 3 (OT)
-- Michael Hoffman continued to show why he is a legitimate top six forward, scoring two goals. Hoffman is enjoying a career-high six game point scoring streak, including generating the OT GWG. Hoffman grabbed an assist as well.
-- Patrick Kane extending his point scoring streak to 21 games, tying Bobby Hull for the Chicago Blackhawks franchise record. He was involved in all three goals, as Artem Anisimov (one goal + one assist) and Artemi Panarin (one goal + two assists) found the net as well.
-- Hey, Mark Stone's been fantastic in his own right. He scored a goal in this one, giving him 22 points in 23 games. About the only bummer is that he's a -5 in his past three contests and a -3 overall.
PANTHERS 2, PREDATORS 1
-- I thought I was pretty coo with my "Pekka Rinne is the elite goalie no one talks about on the elite team no one talks about line." Then the Predators played poorly and Rinne started laying eggs.
GUESS I CAN'T SAY NICE THINGS ABOUT YOU FELLAS HUH?
I think Florida should film a buddy cop movie called Jags and Barks. Like, ASAP.
-- Not sure how much that trio is enhanced by the general blandness of the Panthers, however. I wish more NHL underdog teams were fun and weird rather than Florida's typical underdog case of being measured, defense first-second-third and generally unfun.
Granted, Jagr + Roberto Luongo still makes them relatively easy to like.
CAPITALS 3, CANADIENS 2
-- T.J. Oshie has been just fine in Washington; not saying he's been spectacular, just that he gives them the potential for more "zip." I could see him carrying the offensive for a small stretch in which the usual suspects were starring.
With two goals on Thursday, Oshie has three tallies in as many games and 14 points in 24 contests in 2015-16.
-- This one was all Braden Holtby, as he stopped 33 out of 35 shots to improve his record to 16-4-0. He's now on a career-best eight-game winning streak, which is saying something because 2014-15 was a season in which he set a lot of impressive benchmarks for the rest of his career.
-- Max Pacioretty did not score in this one, but he sure did try. He failed to get a goal on nine SOG and also added two hits and two PIM to at least appease his bummed-out fantasy owners.
-- Sign Evgeny Kuznetsov has arrived: people are mad when he goes on two-game drought, even when the two games before that included five points.
He may be primed to slow down a bit, just to let you know: that 18.2 shooting percentage hints at at least a little slippage (maybe a cold streak?).
-- Six straight wins for Washington, and the Capitals are clearly currently the class of the Metro Division … if not the East?
AVALANCHE 2, RANGERS 1
He scored his 14th goal of the season, yet it's all about his streak: 13 goals and nine assists in a torrid 16-game run. Wow.
-- Semyon Varlamov stopped 24 out of 25 shots to improve to 6-7-1, although he's still under .900 save-percentage-wise at .892.
Speaking of shots and saves, the Rangers and Avalanche combined for just seven SOG in the first period. /gag
-- Oscar Lindberg continues to be a surprisingly quick study for the Rangers. With Thursday's goal, he has 10 tallies and 17 points with a +7 rating and 16 PIM in 27 GP. The 20.8 shooting percentage is a little ... well you know.
RED WINGS 5, COYOTES 1
-- Am I the only one that Keanu Reeves whoa’d while realizing that the Red Wings are 6-0-3 in their last nine games? Just about every contest has gone into OT, so it’s not like they’re slaughtering opponents, but it’s still bewildering.
Nov. 16: 4-3 OT win at Ottawa
Nov. 18: 2-1 OT loss vs. Washington
Nov. 20: 3-2 win vs. Los Angeles
Nov. 21: 4-3 OT win at St. Louis
Nov. 25: 3-2 OT loss vs. Boston
Nov. 27: 4-3 OT win vs. Edmonton
Nov. 29: 2-1 OT loss vs. Florida
Dec. 1: 5-4 shootout win vs. Buffalo
Thursday night: 5-1 win vs. Arizona
Heading into Nov. 16, Detroit was at 8-8-1. Now the Red Wings' record is at 14-8-4.
-- Rough one for Mike Smith. Not only was he pulled from the game after allowing three goals on 16 shots through one period, but that last goal via Gustav Nyquist was from almost center ice. With a .905 save percentage, Smith is doing what many expected, although his 10-7-1 record is a nice break ... relatively speaking.
DEVILS 5, HURRICANES 1
-- Mike Cammalleri continues his surprisingly strong start to the 2015-16 season, scoring his eighth and nine tallies while collecting his 17th assist.
The talent's more or less been there for years, but the health and/or consistency has not. Maybe it helps that Mr. Calamari knows that New Jersey's scoring rests on him and a handful of other guys, and then helps?
-- Tyler Kennedy got two assists, crossing the 200-point mark. Odd career for that lil fella.
-- Patrik Elias is generating solid offense for a guy who was kinda sorta left for dead (figuratively of course). He has three points in his last four games after failing to score in his return to action on Nov. 25.
-- Keith Kinkaid stopped 30 out of 31 shots for his second win of the season. His overall numbers aren't great, but he's been strong when he's been on, stopping 28 out of 31 for his other victory (winning two of his last three games).
WILD 1, MAPLE LEAFS 0
-- Look, I’m not going to go over every controversial replay this season. It sounds like there was an iffy offside situation in this one, and the Predators were on the wrong side of at least a whistle and … yeah it’s just not that interesting for fantasy purposes. Agreed?
-- Matt Dumba scored the only goal of the game here.
When did he stop going by Mathew Dumba, by the way? I'm bewildered, even though I think it's always a good idea to pivot away from ... you know, living your life with a misspelled first name.
(It’s not your fault, Pheonix Copley; it’s not your fault.)
-- Devan Dubnyk already has four shutouts in 2015-16 after kicking aside all 28 Maple Leafs shots. He also has two goose eggs in his past five games.
The big goalie might have a little baby coming, which prompted a sort of weird quote.
-- Sheesh, what a "just his luck" stretch for James Reimer going back to when he got hurt.
After that hot streak, he's lost three games, but at 0-1-2.
Nov. 21: 35 out of 36 saves (regulation loss)
Nov. 23: 26 out of 39 saves (loss beyond reg.)
Thursday: 27 out of 28 saves (regulation loss)
Jeez, give the guy some goal support. His 7-4-4 record is fairly mediocre, but his .935 save percentage is fantastic.
STARS 4, CANUCKS 2
-- Central Division teams flexed their muscles on Thursday, yet the results didn't always go their way. The Stars did get their win, even if things were quite close considering the 34-16 SOG advantage Dallas generated.
-- Valeri Nichushkin scored a goal and an assist, showing what he can accomplish when given a solid opportunity. He's one of those guys who simply doesn't make a ton of sense in grinding/bottom-six roles, if you ask me.
-- Kari Lehtonen is now 10-1-0 on the season. His individual stats are considerably superior to Antti Niemi's numbers, so it will be interesting to see how starts are handed out with both goalies healthy.
-- It feels good to see the Stars succeed, because they're so high-octane and fun. This doesn't make the greater world better, but it sure improves the NHL, even if it's only in a subtle way.