A Day in the NHL: Wednesday November 24


Well that was exciting, wasn’t it? Just one game in the NHL last night isn’t something we’re really used to, but fans made the best of it and we’re back into the swing of things Wednesday.

The Night that Was:

It was the only game going on in the NHL last night, but that didn’t mean that the Phoenix Coyotes were going to relax, trouncing Edmonton 5-0. Ilya Bryzgalov made 23 saves while Martin Hanzal and Lee Stempniak each had two. Actually…five players had two points for the Coyotes. The other three were Eric Belanger, David Schlemko, and Wojtek Wolski. Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle each played 19 minutes and somehow found a way to only be a minus-one combined.

What’s on Tonight?

It’s a much busier night tonight with 13 games, but most of them are awkward matchups. Boston visits Florida in the return of Nathan Horton, and hopefully the reception he gets is better than the one Dennis Wideman got in Boston. Although probably not. Washington will try to get away from its losing ways against Carolina, and fortunately enough for the Caps, I don’t think there’s anyone there for Ovie to joke with afterwards, win or lose. Sergei Bobrovsky and Niklas Backstrom should be an interesting matchup as both have ridiculous stat lines so far this season (Bob has a 2.29 GAA and a .925 save percentage, while Backstrom has a 2.11 GAA and a .932 save percentage). If you like Central Division matchups, then Nashville and St. Louis will be tangling, while Jonathan Bernier takes on Carey Price in Montreal. If I was going to suggest a matchup, it’d be the Kings/Habs or Flyers/Wild.

The Injury Bug:

Marc Savard is now taing part in contact drills, meaning that he’s getting closer and closer to return, meaning Boston is getting closer and closer to making a decision in terms of what to do about their cap situation.

The early indication is that Patrick Lalime will get the start against the Penguins tonight with Ryan Miller still a little tender. Miller’s groin is improving though as he’s practiced this week.

Erik Karlsson might be sitting out tonight’s game, not because of illness or injury, but because Cory Clouston thinks he needs the rest, and likes the way his defense played the last game with the 20-year old.

Rostislav Olesz still can’t grip a stick with his broken finger, meaning he’s not very useful out there on the ice. He’s still a couple of weeks away from returning.

How about a Joffrey Lupul update? Well he’s a week to two weeks from getting back on the ice, which is great news because that back injury/infection has certainly derailed his career for the past season and a half.

Rumours and News Around the League:

Ryan Carter went unclaimed on waivers for the Ducks, so they turned around and traded him instead. Carter was sent to Carolina in exchange for Matt Kennedy and Stefan Chaput.

On the same day the Wild announced a claim of Patrick O’Sullivan off of waivers from Carolina, they also said that Guillaume Latendresse will undergo two surgeries on Wednesday. Latendresse will have a torn labrum in his hip repaired, along with a bilateral sports hernia. He hasn’t played since October 25.

Marc Staal of the New York Rangers will not see and disciplinary action from the league after destroying Matt Stajan Monday night. While he escapes the wrath of the league, Staal’s hit is now the interest of hockey fans everywhere, who battle over whether or not it was a violation of the new rule instituted on headshots.

The Overlooked Fantasy Line of the Night:

If you count shots on goal and plus/minus in your league, then Radim Vrbata is probably as overlooked as you can get. If I’m avoiding a Coyote that had a point, although Vrbata didn’t end up on the scoresheet he had four shots and was a plus-one. That’s as overlooked as I can get with one game.

All photos courtesy of YardBarker Images.

Bryan Thiel is a columnist for TooManyMenOnTheSite.com and Hockey54.com—The Face of the Game! If you want to get in contact with Bryan, you can e-mail him at bryanthiel74@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter at BryanThiel_88.