Around the NHL: The Weekend Edition

On Mondays, we’ll take a large look at what happened over the weekend and see if we can’t pull some trends out of there.  We probably will not be able to, but hey, I’m willing to gamble on anything.

– Broncos 29, Steelers 23 (OT) – I include this only because I had the Broncos in a playoff pool, and I’ve now advanced to the next round.

Three up:

– Jarome Iginla – It wasn’t pretty, but he put his stick on the ice and redirected a pass home.   He nabbed goal number 500 on Saturday in his 1149th career game.  I’ll tell you something:  I’m STILL shocked that Iginla’s been in the league for 14 years.  It still feels like he should be 26 years old.  He’s not; he’s 34.

– San Jose Sharks – From the “Don’t Look Now” category.  The Sharks have won 4 in a row, 8 of their last 10 and are back up on top of the Smythe, er, Pacific Division.  Their problem right now is that only 18 of their wins have come in regulation.  But they’ve got 4 games in had on the Kings and look to be taking control of that division.  Joe Thornton only has 8 goals this year, but Patrick Marleau looks good and they had a very nice 5-2 win on Saturday against a revitilized Caps team.  50 points from only 38 games.

Pavel Datsyuk – This isn’t for anything other than the goal that he scored to win the game against Chicago yesterday.  The puck was basically on the goal line and he ripped it top shelf to win that game in OT for Detroit.

Three down:

– Ilya Bryzgalov – Boy, this guy just can’t seem to get it together, huh?  He gets that big win over Blackhawks on Thursday, then holds off the Senators on Saturday in OT with 35 saves.  You think he’s righted the ship a little bit, and then he gives up 3 goals (and an empty-netter on top of that) in the 3rd period on Sunday to the same Senators team that he’d beaten 24 hours prior.  Tough season for him right now.

– Columbus Blue Jackets – I hate to pile on to these guys, but the numbers are just so ugly.  11 wins (8 in regulation).  Soon-to-be 37-year-old Vinny Propsal is leading the team in scoring.  27th in both goals per game AND goals allowed.  That’s simply not how you win hockey games.  Last in the conference with 27 points from 41 games.  It’ll be back to the drawing board again for these guys in the offseason.

– Donald Fehr/Bill Daly – I’m not saying that this was the right realignment plan.  I’m not saying that these negotiations even need to be friendly.  But come on.  We’re all adults here.  Ownership/labor discussions aren’t really supposed to be the nicest of relationships, but we’re talking about dividing billions of dollars.  If there’s another work stoppage here, it’s pretty much over for the NHL as we know it.  We all know that this was the opening salvo in what I can only imagine will be an acrimonious CBA negotiation.

Random thoughts:

– Since we don’t have MSG anymore, I’ve had occasion to watch the NHL Network a lot more lately that I ordinarily do.  And I’ll tell you what: it ain’t half bad.  I think Kathryn Tappen was a great hire for the NHL Tonight program.  She really knows her stuff.  And rather than speak over the action, they just simply show the highlights and leave the game call in.  They’re not trying to steal the show with any of their nonsensical one-liners.

– My fantasy team won its seventh game in a row this week.  I just thought I’d brag a little, since I’m pretty much useless in every other facet of my life.

– Erik Karlsson was a +5 yesterday.  +5.  In a game where his team gave up 4 goals.  That’s ridiculous.

– I feel like Dallas should be worse than they are and I feel like Buffalo should be better.


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