A Day in the NHL: Thursday December 2nd


It’s snowing here in Southern Ontario.

So along with watching hockey, today is dedicated to winter tires—a very wise investment if you live in chilly climates. Trust me.

The Night that Was:

In Philadelphia last night, things were testy the entire time. There was pushing and shoving all over the place, including between Tim Thomas and Scott Hartnell, but it was Thomas and the Bruins getting the last laugh in a 3-0 win. Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin scored in the first as Milan Lucic added an empty netter and Thomas made 41 saves for a mind-boggling fifth shutout this season to go along with an 11-2-1 record and a sub-1.50 GAA (1.46 to be exact). He was also as unorthodox as ever last night, but you probably weren’t surprised by that.

Les Habitants had a two-goal lead over the Edmonton Oilers last night, but the young were restless and came storming back. After Scott Gomez and Kurtis Foster exchanged power play markers in the first, Mathieu Darche and Roman Hamrlik scored. Then, midway through the third, Ales Hemsky cut the lead to one and three minutes later, Sam Gagner tied things up shorthanded on a two-on-one. In overtime, Dustin Penner hopped on a pick that was mis-handled at centre ice and buried it. For Edmonton it was their second-straight win, while Montreal dropped their third in five games.

Things were close in Calgary until it got to the third period. Leading 2-1 at the end of the first and 3-2 after the second, the Vancouver Canucks exploded for four goals in the third. Mason Raymond had a shorthanded goal and a power play goal in the third to give him the hat-trick (his first was even-strength) as Alex Burrows and Dan Hamhuis added tallies. When Henrik Sedin assisted on his brother’s second-period goal, it was the 600th point of his career. One question I have however, is out of their combined point totals, how many times have the Sedins gotten in on the same goal (either both assisted or one has scored he goal)? There has to be a website for this doesn’t there?

Nicklas Backstrom had three points in Washington’s 4-1 win over St. Louis last night. For the Caps however, their newest acquisition Scott Hannan wasn’t in the lineup. Speaking of in the lineup, Pierre-Marc Bouchard was back in the lineup for the Minnesota Wild after more than 100 games missed. He was held pointless in his 14 minutes of ice time and was a minus-two, losing the only faceoff he took.

What’s on Tonight?

While Lebron goes back to Cleveland in the basketball world, Dany Heatley goes back to Ottawa in hockey circles! This should be fun…especially after a local Ottawa radio station re-wrote a song for his return…which I can’t find. If you’re curious though, try searching terms like “F*** You” and “Dany Heatley parody”. It’s good—it involves a Zamboni horn. The Oilers continue their visit of Canadian teams as they visit the Leafs, while the Islanders and Rangers square off to go along with five other games.

The Injury Bug:

In yesterday’s Predators/Blue Jackets game, referee Gord Dwyer took a puck to the face and left the ice in the second period. To my knowledge he wasn’t out on the ice during the third period (unsure about OT/shootout) and I can’t find an update on his condition.

Mike Brown is officially out 4-6 weeks with a broken finger he suffered Tuesday night. Ken Beckett of HockeyBuzz however, is reporting that Colby Armstrong could be back in the Leafs lineup Saturday, which would solve the roster shortage.

Rumours and News Around the League:

While it was surprising to some that Ottawa defenseman Brian Lee cleared waivers, don’t expect Bryan Murray to sit idly by now. Instead of sending him to the AHL, Murray has feelers out on the 23-year old defender in hopes of finding a trade partner.

There’s a nasty report of the Oilers relocating circulating around. It’s not true, but I did find this funny coming from the Edmonton Journal:

“Heaven help us if the Edmonton Oilers’ charter flight has to set down in Winnipeg for refuelling en route home from Toronto tonight. Because somebody with full access to the Internet and half a clue will hurriedly and mistakenly interpret the Oilers’ presence at Portage and Main as proof of their intent to move lock, stock and ugly third jerseys into a city that once boasted a National Hockey League franchise and is desperate for another.”

Also, if the Buffalo Sabres are sold, it’ll be for around $175 million if Tom Gollisano gets his wish. That’s what he’s asking for from Terry Pegula.

The Overlooked Fantasy Line of the Night:

He was third star for NHL.com last night, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention George Parros’ two-goal effort in Anaheim’s 5-3 win over Florida. And yes, he did have a fighting major so all is well in the world of mustache.

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