A Day in the NHL: Monday January 17


On a weekend that was devoted to the NFL, the NHL was pretty busy itself. 12 games on Saturday and another five on Sunday saw both the top teams in the East and West hit the ice. There were also some key injuries and a much-anticipated signing that finally happened.

The Night that Was:

In a battle of Capital Cities, Ottawa took a 1-0 lead into the third, but the Senators couldn’t hold on against the Capitals. John Carlson continued his great rookie season with the winner after former Sens prospect Brooks Laich tied things up at one, as the Capitals won 3-1. Michal Neuvirth won in just his second start since boxing day, making 22 saves. Ottawa has won just once this month, going 1-5-1, while the Capitals won for the first time in four games.

The Vancouver Canucks hadn’t been shutout since November when they came in to January, but over their last three games they’ve been shutout twice. Anton Khudobin, after starting Friday as well, made 32 saves for his first NHL shutout as the Wild won 4-0. Matt Cullen recorded just his second multi-point game since early October, while Andrew Brunette scored the winner on the power play early in the second period giving him goals in back-to-back games. Cory Schneider has now lost back-to-back starts, both of them the shutout losses, while Henrik and Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler were a combined minus-five on the night.

After 16 points in 36 games with Phoenix, Wojtek Wolski now finds himself in the file folder containing the names of players who have been helped out by trades this season. Wolski had a goal and an assist for the New York Rangers in their 3-2 loss to the East-leading Flyers, giving him two goals and one assist in four games in the Big Apple. Mats Zuccarello had two assists and now has four points in his last five, and seven in 12 this season, while Ville Leino and Matt Carle continued their quiet (yet productive) seasons. Each had two points as Carle is now on pace for 41 points, and Leino could be in line for 20 goals and 60 points.

To steal an old, and overused line, deuces were wild in the finale of a home-and-home between Nashville and Chicago yesterday. Chicago won on home ice 6-3, as Dave Bolland, Troy Brouwer and J.P. Dumont all had two goals in the game. Bryan Bickell and Tomas Kopecky had two points too for the ‘Hawks who have won four of their last five. Shea Weber was able to continue his nine-game point-streak for the Preds with an assist. He’s got three goals and 10 assists over those nine games.

Quick Hits:
Teemu Selanne had his second two-goal game in his last five games and his third two-point game in that same stretch while Lubomir Visnovsky had two assists to compound what should be an All-Star season as the Ducks won 3-2 over visiting Edmonton.

What’s on Tonight?

Carolina visits the Boston Bruins while the New Jersey Devils go up against the New York Islanders, who are separated by eight points at the bottom of the East. San Jose and Phoenix tangle, while the all-Canadian matchup is Calgary at Montreal. Atlanta also visits Florida while Los Angeles hosts Dallas.

The Injury Bug:

-The Red Wings lost Tomas Holmstrom and Jimmy Howard on Friday. Holmstrom broke his hand and will be out roughly four weeks. Howard bruised his knee on Friday and is questionable for Tuesday’s game.

-Florida’s Bryan McCabe was hit in the face by a shot over the weekend and suffered multiple facial fractures. Those fractures require surgery and McCabe will be out for the foreseeable future.

-The Avs Ryan O’Reilly won’t require shoulder surgery after going head-first into the boards during a game against the Wild. He will be out for a couple of weeks.

-Milan Lucic remains questionable for Boston’s game against Carolina. He’s missed three-straight games.

Rumours and News Around the League:

-After rumours and false reports, Kyle Wellwood is now a member of the St. Louis Blues. Wellwood had spent this season in the KHL.

Ray Emery is apparently getting closer to an NHL return…or at least trying for one. Emery is a couple of weeks away from being completely healthy, and then he says he’ll monitor the interest from teams.

The Overlooked Fantasy Line of the Night:

One of Dave Bolland’s two goals was a candidate for goal-of-the-year against the Predators. Along with that he was a plus-three (a team best), and won 11 faceoffs. All in all, a pretty good night for the former OHL’er.

Follow Bryan on Twitter at BryanThiel_88. You can also e-mail him at bryanthiel74@hotmail.com.