While the schedule was light yesterday with just three games, there was enough scoring to go around for twice as many games. In addition, we talk suspensions and fines, Evgeni Nabokov, and Marco Sturm.
The Night that Was:
The series of unfortunate events that has become the Washington Capitals continued last night. The Capitals lost their sixth-straight in the most embarrassing fashion yet: a 7-0 trouncing at the hands of the New York Rangers. Highlight reel goals from Artem Anisimov and Marc Staal were the most impressive goals of the evening, but one of the most surprising turns happened when Alexander Ovechkin dropped the gloves. After laying a hipcheck on Dan Girardi, Brandon Dubinsky took offense and dropped the gloves with Ovie. It was number eight’s second career fighting major, but it wouldn’t spark his team. Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves, cementing the shutout.
In another blowout, the Anaheim Ducks really only needed one line to beat the Minnesota Wild. Both of Minnesota’s goals came from defensemen (Brent Burns and Marek Zidlicky), while the Anaheim Ducks got all six goals out of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Bobby Ryan. Ryan had to settle for a solo tally as Getzlaf had two and Perry scored his first career hat-trick as Anaheim moved into a tie for the Pacific Division lead. Perry had two assists as well for five points, as Mikko Koivu notched assists on both Minnesota goals.
The Edmonton Oilers lost for just the second time this month, and while it was close on the scoresheet that may be a bit misleading. The Oilers gave up just one goal in each of the first two periods, but mustered just one third period shot. Fortunately enough, Jordan Eberle made it count for his sixth, avoiding total embarassment
What’s on Tonight?
Los Angeles looks to prevent a further fallback in the Pacific Division, but they’re in tough against the West-leading Detroit Red Wings tonight. Canada plays host to two matchups tonight as the Atlanta Thrashers visit the Senators in Ottawa and Calgary hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets. San Jose could tie Dallas for the Division lead with a win against the Stars tonight, while the Islanders make their way to Nashville and Chicago will try to outscore the NHL’s second-highest scoring team.
The Injury Bug:
Vincent Lecavalier may be nearing a return from his broken hand as word is he will be on skates soon as he continues to try to work out the scar tissue from his surgery. The team is targeting a return around Christmas time.
Jordan Staal’s immediate future doesn’t look as bright however. Marred by numerous injuries and illnesses, Staal may have suffered a setback in his rehab as there may be another broken bone in his hand. The Penguins are sending him for an x-ray for “clarification.”
Rumours and News Around the League:
Jody Shelly will have a hearing today (Monday) for his hit on Boston Bruin Adam McQuaid. Shelley ran McQuaid through the end boards over the weekend with a cross-check to the small of the back nearly sent McQuaid in head first, if not for him getting his hands up for protection. McQuaid was able to get to his feet eventually and was helped off the ice.
Alexander Semin was fined for his cross-check to the head of John-Michael Liles of the Colorado Avalanche over the weekend. Semin cross-checked Liles in the back of the head after Craig Anderson froze the puck.
Evegni Nabokov was released from his KHL team over “family reasons”, but if his numbers are any indication, a return to the NHL would be a long shot. Nabokov was 8-8-5 at the time of his release with an .888 save percentage and a goals-against average over 3.00. He was also pulled during his latest game.
Update: According to Darren Dreger, the NHL is a possibility. Nabokov would have to clear waivers though.
The Marco Sturm trade finally went through. Sturm goes to the Los Angeles Kings for future considerations. Peter Chiarelli defined the return on Sturm as “nothing really.” I suppose “fair value” is outweighed by cap space in today’s NHL.
The Overlooked Fantasy Line of the Night:
Devan Dubnyk stopped 30 of 32 shots last night and put up with a lack of offensive production from his own team. We mentioned Edmonton’s one third-period shot earlier, but they had just 12 all game. Dubnyk not only had to stop a lot, but he had to watch his team fail to generate much either.
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 email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at BryanThiel_88.