A Day in the NHL: Wednesday December 15


Hopefully you’re a fan of the Leafs, Oilers, Penguins, or Flyers because those were the only teams in action last night. To be interested in today’s report, you may also be a fan of ‘The Price is Right’.

The Night that Was:

Sidney Crosby went in to Philly with a massive point streak on the line, while the Penguins had a twelve game winning streak to extend. Only one of those things happened, and if Crosby finished with two assists you can guess which one ended. In a game where Pittsburgh came back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits, there was nothing they could do when Scott Hartnell put home the winner on the man advantage partway through the third on the powerplay for his second point of the night, making him the only Flyer with multi-points. Marc-Andre Fleury had his work cut out for him, facing 37 shots from the league’s top offense, but in the end the Penguins could have used one more goal. Philly’s win hurdled them over Pittsburgh to lead the Atlantic Division, and the League, by a single point.

The Edmonton Oilers found out that the Toronto Maple Leafs weren’t such an easy team the second time around. While the Oilers rolled to a 5-0 win the last time these two teams met up, Toronto decided to return the favor with a 4-1 victory in Edmonton. It took a while, but Dion Phaneuf finally scored his first goal of the season to open the scoring, while Phil Kessel and Kris Versteeg each had a goal and an assist. Mikhail Grabovski also had his fifth point in five games as J.S Giguere recorded his second-straight win in his third-straight star.

What’s on Tonight?

There are eleven games in action with Boston and Buffalo pairing off and Montreal hosting Philadelphia (the two who look to be game of the night candidates) while the Rangers and Penguins should also be good. Detroit and Chicago will play host to St. Louis and Colorado respectively, while Vancouver hosts Columbus as the only other Canadian team active.

The Injury Bug:

Speaking of Montreal, Scott Gomez and Jaro Spacek will be back in the lineup for them tonight. Gomez has missed the past two games, while Spacek didn’t miss any time but was questionable following the Leafs’ game Saturday.

Evegni Malkin returned to action last night after missing four games for the Penguins as well. He had two goals in his return to the lineup.

Jim Vandermeer has been added to the Oilers’ injury list with a sprained ankle, joining Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky as Oilers who didn’t play last night. In terms of the Leafs, Mike Brown, Mike Komisarek, and Jay Rosehill didn’t play.

Rumours and News Around the League:

The Philadelphia Flyers recalled Michael Leighton from his conditioning assignment yesterday. Leighton has missed the first two and a half months of the season.

For gameshow fans, Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, and Jeremy Roenick will be appearing on ‘The Price is Right’. The Showcases will be NHL-themed that day, with one of them revolving around the Winter Classic.

The Anaheim Ducks have extended coach Randy Carlyle’s contract for another year. In a season where not many expected big things out of the Ducks he’s got them in a battle for the playoffs and the division.

The City of Glendale has now approved the lease agreement for the Phoenix Coyotes. Essentially this means that the sale of the Coyotes to Matthew Hulsizer can now go through as planned.

New Jersey Devils’ forward Brian Rolston has also cleared waivers. He was put there yesterday by the Devils, and the thought is that some teams might be interested in him if he goes on re-entry waivers and is available at half the price. It’s simply an exercise in trying to clear out cap space in ‘Jersey.

The Overlooked Fantasy Line of the Night:

Ryan Whitney had an assist last night and was a plus-one for Edmonton. Whitney has been overlooked in a big way this year production-wise as, while he has yet to score a goal, he’s got 22 assists to lead the Oilers in scoring and averages over 26 minutes a game.

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