A Day in the NHL: Monday December 20


The NHL had four matchups going on, and each of them were interesting in their own way. If there wasn’t a streak getting broken or something important on the line, then the teams were connected through history. You’ll see what we mean.

The Night that Was:

We’ll start with Dallas travelling to Detroit which, historically, is a place the Stars have had a bit of trouble winning. Initially it looked that way when Pavel Datsyuk scored before the game was even five minutes old, but by the end of the first things were tied up at 2. While Johan Franzen gave his team the lead in the second, Brenden Morrow tied things up and forced overtime, where Loui Eriksson’s 14th of the season gave the Stars the win. Eriksson didn’t just score the game-winner though; he also had his first 3+ point night since November 5 against Phoenix. With the point(s), both teams moved four points up on their closest competition in their division.

The Chicago Blackhawks have rebounded nicely since losing two-straight last week. They started things off with a win over Detroit Friday, and wrapped it up with a 3-2 win over Los Angeles last night. The closest this game was, was when Kyle Clifford tied it at 1-1 for about 20 seconds to start the second. Then it was Duncan Keith’s third that put the ‘Hawks up 2-1, and Frenando Pisani made it 3-1. The late goal went to Wayne Simmonds who now has points in five of his last six.

It took a comeback, but the Washington Capitals finally won a game yesterday. After a monumental losing streak, Washington showed some fortitude by coming back from an early two-goal deficit thanks to Ryan Shannon and Chris Kelly. Mathieu Perreault was the big star for the Capitals, scoring the Caps’ first goal and the third, while Eric Fehr chipped in as well. Alexander Ovechkin almost got in on the scoring as well, but it was ruled his tally was kicked in. Michal Neuvirth got the win, his first in seven appearances.

The two teams that hooked up in the Patrick Roy deal a few years ago took to the ice in Colorado, and while Carey Price has been channeling Roy all season, Craig Anderson stole the show for his (and Colorado’s) sixth-straight win. Ryan O’Reilly had two assists for the Avs, while Alexandre Picard had a big goal to give Montreal a 2-1 lead at one point in the second, but he also had a big turnover that led to a Colorado goal as well.

What’s on tonight?

Seven games on in total including the Maple Leafs hosting the Thrashers and the Flames traveling to Minnesota. Other than that the most interesting matchup would be a divisional one between Carolina and Tampa Bay. Florida is visiting Philadelphia, Phoenix is in Pittsburgh and the Anaheim Ducks take on the Boston Bruins in Boston.

The Injury Bug:

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Kyle Quincey has been lost for the season to shoulder surgery. He hurt it sliding into the end boards, and it’s said to be in Quincey’s best interest to have the shoulder fixed now through surgery and forfeit the season.

Columbus, who doesn’t play until Tuesday, might be without Rostislav Klesla. He’s questionable with a lower body injury.

Alex Pietrangelo might be returning tonight from an upper body injury. The St. Louis rookie has missed three games so far with it.

Toronto Maple Leafs’ goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere continues to have groin problems. Word was entering the weekend that he’ll be seeing a specialist to figure out what’s wrong. Although he hasn’t rushed his return from the injury earlier, it seems that the injury never fully healed.

Both Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa are getting ready to return for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Trade Rumours and News:

There’s not going to be anything to really report until December 27. That’s the date the NHL Trade Freeze is lifted.

What might be newsworthy though, is that Tom Renney sees his Oilers as a candidate for a playoff spot in the West. At this point in the season, it’ll take a lot of points and a lot of consistency to hold on to one of those spots in the West, but that’s a big step for a team that’s so youth-centric.

Overlooked Fantasy Line of the Night:

Craig Anderson stood on his head in Colorado’s win yesterday, stopping 27 of 29 shots, but don’t forget about Brenden Morrow either. The Star scored two goals in Dallas’ win, including the game-tier.

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.