Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Day After

Now that I've had some time to digest what I saw last night at Madison Square Garden and see some highlights of that game and others last night, I have to write a little bit more on the game and some other league-wide news.

First, on the game:
  • That was more than the most entertaining game of the season.  The only game in recent memory that I've seen live or on the tube that was as entertaining from start to finish was the Ovechkin-Crosby hat trick game in last year's playoffs.
  • This game had the most shots of any double shutout ever...BY FAR.  The previous record was 75, set in 1968 and tied in 2006. (credit to NHL on the Fly)
  • Both goalies set career highs for saves in a single game.  It was also the most shots Brodeur had ever faced in a single game.  (Elias Sports Bureau)
  • I don't know how I forgot to mention this last night, but Brandon Dubinsky had another outstanding game playing on the wing.  I don't see any reason for him to move back to center this season unless there's an injury.
  • Also, in general I liked the officiating last night.  There was lots of end to end action without whistles, and I think close to 10 minutes in the first period without one.  However, I thought the call on Christensen was weak, especially after a period and a half of calling nothing either way.
  • The Rangers now have points in 12 of their last 13 games.  The only blemish on their record was that forgettable 6-0 loss to the Flyers.  They've allowed an average of 1.77 goals per game over that span (1.42 if you take out that game) and are 8-1-4 (20 pts).
  • I turned to the person sitting next to me last night and said, "Does anyone want to argue that a 0-0 game can't be more exciting than a 7-5 game?"  No contest in this one...0-0 won by first round KO.  This game was an instant classic and I just wish it was on MSG so I could watch it on Rangers in 60 today.

    Other NHL news:
    • Marian Gaborik is on a little scoring skid and Patrick Marleau has taken over the season goals lead, scoring his 30th and 31st goals last night.  Sidney Crosby has 29 and Gaborik is 3rd with 28 goals on the season, but only 2 in his last 9 games.
    • In case you missed it, Vancouver's Alexandre Burrows accused referee Stephane Auger of threatening to "get [him] back" for a 5-minute major call in the last Canucks game Auger officiated that was later rescinded by the league (video).  There is video footage from the pregame skake showing the two talking, though you obviously can't tell what was being said, but the third period interference call that Auger made on Burrows was one of the worst calls I've seen all year, and the earlier diving call wasn't much better.  The NHL fined Burrows $2,500 for his comments and found no need to punish Auger after investigating the incident.  I've never liked Auger, and it wouldn't surprise me if it was true, but TSN's Bob McKenzie had a very interesting and insightful take on this.  It's not short, but it's well worth the read.  UPDATE: McKenzie's follow up, after the investigation.  An even better read.
    • In another dicey situation from last Thursday, FSN Pittsburgh sent replays to the Toronto replay room for review of a shorthanded no-goal call on the Flyers' Simon Gagne.  Problem is, they just happened to forget to send the one replay (overhead) that showed the puck clearly across the line.  It's easy to blame who they blamed (the producer who's been suspended), but I'm wondering why the NHL didn't request the overhead view before ruling.  They had to know it existed...isn't there a direct overhead shot of every goal in the league???
    • All of the Kovalchuk chatter around the league is starting to amuse me.  A few things:
      • He's not coming to New York.  The Rangers don't have cap room and have no way to create it.
      • He's not going to the KHL.  This Zherdev goal should be taken as a barometer of the level of play in the KHL.  Zherdev wouldn't have been allowed anywhere near the goal if he tried that in the NHL.
      • $10-11m per season for a guy who doesn't backcheck with any degree of thanks!  Someone will probably pay it, and they'll get some highlight reel goals out of him, but it's still hard to ignore his defensive deficiencies.  He has 50 points this season and still has managed to be in the red in the plus/minus column...that's hard to do.  (Brad Richards and Marty St. Louis are the only others out of the 11 50-point players, and all but 1 of the rest are better than plus-10).
      • The front runners are reported to be Chicago and LA, but my guess is LA.  They have plenty of cap room and he fits their system much better.  Plus, he'd look really nice next to Anze Kopitar.
    • Curtis Joseph hung 'em up officially yesterday.  CuJo retires as #4 on the all-time wins list and #1 on the all-time loss list.  He's a sure thing for the Hall of Fame; they should start making the plaque now.

      1 comment:

      1. Thanks for the stats. I have always hated 0-0 or even 1-1 games. I want goals lots of them, call me greedy! But, last night was an exception. WHAT A GAME!

        Burrows vs. Auger is a disgrace! The video of the conversation is enough of a smoking gun to me. It doesn't happen often and proves him guilty without hearing a thing. Like McKenzie says you can't have Burrows doing what he did. But, don't treat the whole NHL fanbase like a bunch of idiots. They need to answer the questions and make the ref accountable for that disgrace to the league and his position!

        The replay is just another black eye in a few short days to make people laugh at the NHL and it's integrity.

        You are not the first person I have read that thinks that Kovy should not get league max. I agree but, juslike you said someone will probably give him it if he hits FA. I am torn though. I think Atlanta is dumb to let him go and he is dumb to stay...We shall see