A Day in the NHL: Tuesday November 30


With five games going on there was a little bit of everything. There were some great goaltending performances, a star player who may have avoided some hot water with the league, and two matchups to further blur what was already the tightest division in the league.

The Night that Was:

The biggest news last night probably came from the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers game, but it really had nothing to do with the score. Pascal Dupuis would be the only player with multiple points in this one as Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to 13 games, but it was another one of Crosby’s actions that drew headlines. On a play where Ryan Callahan was called for interference, he and Crosby got crossed up going through the neutral zone. If you watch Crosby’s feet, his right foot sweeps underneath Callahan’s taking him out with a slew foot. The incident sparked a war of words during and after the game, and Crosby and Sean Avery got into it a bit. In addition, the blogosphere opened up with those wishing Crosby got ejected for the foul or would at least be considered for suspension. As a point of interest, if it’s called, slew-footing is a match penalty in junior hockey and the NHL.

In Calgary, the Flames earned a point in the fifth of their last seven games as they beat Minnesota 3-0. Jarome Iginla had a goal and an assist, giving him 12 points over his last nine games while Alex Tanguay had two assists. Both Miikka Kiprusoff and Jose Theodore had their work cut out for them facing 32 and 31 shots respectively, but it was Jay Bouwmeester’s second-period goal that gave Calgary the win—his first game-winner since March 1st of 2009 when he was with Florida.

The Edmonton Oilers closed out their November with three wins over their last five games, beating the Ottawa Senators 4-1 last night. The team’s leading scorer Ryan Whitney was held pointless, but Andrew Cogliano scored his third of the season, Dustin Penner had two assists, and Taylor Hall scored his third goal (and fourth point) in the last five games to give Martin Gerber the 22-save win. Gerber has won both games in his return to the NHL.

Two big battles also played out for the Pacific Division last night. The Stars continued their hot play winning their fourth-straight, moving farther away from the last-place and suddenly stumbling Kings. If the Kings had won they would’ve remained just a point back of the Stars, but the Anaheim Ducks won instead, moving themselves into a tie with second-place Phoenix. The Pacific is the closest division in the league right now, with all five teams separated by just three points.

What’s on Tonight?

Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning visit the Toronto Maple Leafs, while four  Central Division teams are in action: Phoenix visits Nashville, St. Louis takes on Chicago, and Detroit plays San Jose. Atlanta takes on the now Chris Stewart-less Avalanche in Colorado too.

The Injury Bug:

Joffrey Lupul has one game left on his conditioning stint before the Ducks have to ask for an extension or call him up. He’s been playing well though, so expect him back. He may also get off to a quick start, seeing as most teams will be more concerned with the Getzlaf/Ryan monster.

Marian Hossa has been made questionable for tonight by the Chicago Blackhawks. The reasons haven’t been disclosed though.

Good thing the Avalanche acquired another defenseman yesterday (you’ll read about it) as Adam Foote is doubtful for tonight’s game. The Avs have seven players on IR (counting the newly hurt Chris Stewart), and a probable, a questionable, and a doubtful for tonight.

Rumours and News Around the League:

No rumours today, although it’s World Junior time again—the most exciting tournament in the world! Team Canada named their roster for their selection camp, including three (potential) top picks from this year’s Entry draft and one from the 2012 class. The camp runs in mid-December while other countries will be naming their teams over the next few weeks.

One of the most beloved coaches of all time was laid to rest yesterday in a touching ceremony. The memory of Pat Burns however, will always live on. He was one of the best. Fittingly, his ashes were placed in an urn shaped like the Stanley Cup.

To try and free up some cap space, the Boston Bruins traded Matt Hunwick to the Colorado Avalanche for Colby Cohen. The Bruins are trying to prepare for Marc Savard’s return to the lineup (and their financial records).

And for those concerned, MLSE President Richard Peddie has given you a year’s notice on his retirement. He’ll be stepping down as President on December 31, 2011. You know…just so you’re not caught off guard or anything…

The Overlooked Fantasy Line of the Night:

Pascal Dupuis is the winner today. Two assists, a plus-two, and two shots gives him multi-category efficiency on a team where you won’t own anyone consistently out of maybe Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Fleury, Goligoski, and maybe Kunitz.

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, e-mail him at bryanthiel74@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter at BryanThiel_88.