Hey, Wednesday’s games were pretty great. I’d wager that fans of most (if not all) of last night’s four contests elicited emotions like “excitement” and “joy” and “passion” from observers. And not just those who were rooting for players to score for purely fantasy reasons.
Part of me wonders if this is the universe’s way of cloaking the hockey world in a short-lived blanket of puck-based joy while we come to grips with the fact that Connor McDavid probably won’t be in NHL action again until 2016.
You know what? It’s better than nothing.
DUCKS 3, PANTHERS 2 (SO)
-- Say what you will about Corey Perry (within your inner monologue, I don’t want you getting fired for muttering profanities at your cubicle), but his celebration on a goal with about six seconds left in regulation was one of my favorite moments of this young season.
People compare it to Willem Dafoe in Platoon, and that’s probably the best parallel. I also thought of it as that clichéd shot where a character looks to the sky and screams out/cries out while being covered in rain, too, though.
Anyway, it was a heck of a time for Perry to score his first goal of the season (!) and a heck of a way to celebrate that fact.
With that, the Ducks are (gasp) on a winning streak, albeit a modest one.
-- My feeling was that Anaheim might save its season/Bruce Boudreau’s job by taking advantage of a home-heavy stretch to start November. So far, so good, but boy was this one close.
-- Both Roberto Luongo and Frederik Andersen had some truly fantastic saves, especially late in the game. Andersen even shut down a 2-on-0 opportunity during a blistering 3-on-3 OT session. It's remarkable that he has a 2-5-2 record considering his fantastic .934 save percentage.
I still would have leaned toward giving Bobby Lou the first star, but you know, homers almost always pick the three stars so go figure.
-- Speaking of Luongo, who generated remarkably comparable stats to Andersen early on: 3-4-2 record with a .936 save percentage.
-- Rickard Rakell is the latest Ducks player to go down with an injury, leaving them awfully thin down the middle ... at least for a little while.
As usual, it's unclear how serious the issue might be.
-- Solid start to Chris Stewart's Ducks career, as he scored a goal and the shootout-winner, even if the latter doesn't count for fantasy (aside from maybe some real specialty leagues I haven't heard about).
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BLUES 6, BLACKHAWKS 5 (OT)
-- Boy, this was a weird and wild one, to the point where I’ll clam up about the NBCSN curse for at least … a week or two?
Anyway, the first period ended with Chicago up 5-2, only for the Blues to tie it 5-5. Vladimir Tarasenko remarkably didn’t have a point … until he scored the OT GWG.
-- It wasn’t just odd because of scoring. Ken Hitchcock briefly pulled Brian Elliott for Jake Allen as an elaborate faux timeout. In that same first period, Elliott really did need to leave the game after a hard collision with Jonathan Toews. No further word on Elliott’s condition, but either way, it’s just another step in the direction of Allen becoming the clear No. 1.
This is a good time to remind you to consult the Rotoworld NHL injury page in case the Dose lacks anything/teams update things during the day. I’ll say this, though: keep a particular eye on John Tavares, who at least wants to play on Thursday.
-- I half-jokingly wondered if Colton Parayko might be a Calder possibility with McDavid out … but is it that off base? He tacked on two more assists in this one, and his mammoth shot really seems to create havoc for opposing teams. For all we know, he may have been the missing piece for St. Louis, especially if he’s kept in the mix to a prominent degree even when their injuries (theoretically) dissipate.
-- Two more points for Patrick Kane.
-- Teuvo Teravainen scored a goal and an assist while getting almost 20 minutes of ice time. Even with overtime in mind, that's promising, and I wonder if it speaks to increased chances going forward. Honestly, I think Chicago should really give him room to operate, because he's awfully slick.
PENGUINS 3, CANUCKS 2
-- Pittsburgh is on a roll, even if the Penguins are really attracting a lot of naysayers (at least about a defense many aren't really sold on). I think those people might have a point, but it's not as if management is going to divert from plans with wins piling in.
-- Sidney Crosby scored a nice one and Phil Kessel continues to be a useful producer for the Penguins. Apparently Kessel hit a shot so hard that it connected with the post and then went into Pittsburgh's bench.
-- Eric Fehr scored an absolute beauty which was a 3-0 goal that ended up being a game-winner. He's shown that he can fit in quite well with high-end players, so keep an eye on his linemates.
-- David Perron is heating up, as if his agent pulled him aside recently and said "Hey dude you need to earn another contract, remember?"
-- Boy, stat-leaning Penguins fans REALLY don't like Rob Scuderi. Like "this is getting a little weird"-type hate.
-- Daniel Sedin looked a little shaken up at the end of the game, so keep an eye out.
-- Ryan Miller being 5-3-4 is both funny and fitting, as he's very much a middle-of-the-road netminder on a middle-of-the-road team.
JETS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 2
-- Alexander Burmistrov has been very quiet so far this season, but man, his GWG was pretty. He got the puck - either by luck or design - right after he left the penalty box, hesitated in just the right way to get the biscuit to Blake Wheeler and then fired in a video game-perfect pass by said American winger. It was, to use heavy hockey jargon, purdy.
-- Whether he deserved to be suspended or not, Dustin Byfuglien played and scored less than four minutes into the game.
-- Random thought: the Jets are high on players with low jersey numbers, as Mathieu Perreault's 85 is the outlier in a group that stops otherwise at Tyler Myers' 57. Is Kevin Cheveldayoff weird about numbers like Lou Lamoriello? (I notice no #13, for example.)
-- The playoffs would be more fun if the Jets make it. That won't be easy in a ridiculously loaded Central, but just saying.
-- Beastly game from Leo Komarov: one goal, four SOG, two PIM and 10 hits.
-- Nazem Kadri frustration update: 48 SOG in 12 games, just one goal (plus five assists). He narrowly missed a goal in an especially jaw-dropping way last night, too.