Rink to Rink: Revenge of the fallen (goalies)

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With all the Game of the Week coverage, I didn’t want to neglect the other games too much. After all, I’d hate to see these games rebel against their latch key upbringing, make horrible life decisions just to get attention and then ultimately grow to resent me. Or, uh, something like that.

Anyway, let’s recap Sunday’s afternoon games.

Pittsburgh Penguins 2, Boston Bruins 1

The enduring image of this game has to be a concussed Marc Savard being taken off the ice on a stretcher. Surely this will be fresh on more than a few general managers’ minds as they converge for their annual meeting this week. Evgeni Malkin scored the game winner for Pittsburgh in this low scoring bout.

Carolina Hurricanes 4, Atlanta Thrashers 0

It only makes sense that Carolina’s inexplicably hot run (8-1 in their last nine games) would continue with a shutout by an inexplicable goalie. Manny Legace’s career was practically drawing vultures this summer – and he might not be out of the involuntary retirement woods for long – but at least for now, he must be riding high. It’s too early to wonder if Carolina can make the playoffs, but I guess this is their time of year …

Calgary Flames 5, Minnesota Wild 2

Speaking of goalies left for dead, Vesa Toskala recorded a victory in his first game with Calgary. In less startling news, Jarome Iginla broke out of a funk by scoring a hat trick – his third career hat trick against the Wild. Hey, Jarome, I agree that their verb-turned-noun name is an affront to the English language but … take it easy. Jeez.

Vancouver Canucks 4, Nashville Predators 2

It was a mixed game for two certified man crushes of mine; Ryan Kesler continued his career high 9-game point scoring streak (good) while Shea Weber missed the game due to an arm/hand injury (not so good). Trailing 2-1 going into the third period, Vancouver scored three unanswered goals to take this one.

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    Things might be turning around for Lundqvist (not so much for the Kings)

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 13:  Marian Gaborik #12 of the Los Angeles Kings shakes hands with Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers after the Kings 3-2 double-overtime victory during Game Five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 13, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    As you likely know, the 2017 NHL All-Star Game is coming to Los Angeles this weekend. If the Kings don’t get it together, that might be the biggest hockey event for some time, as they’re currently on the outside looking in at the playoffs.

    Monday presented what felt like a story of one cold streak continuing to fade away while the other only seems to get icier.

    The positive side: Henrik Lundqvist might just be working through that slump.

    The New York Rangers beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Monday, and it wasn’t a walk in the park for Lundqvist. He made 36 out of 38 stops, giving him a personal three-game winning streak in which he’s allowed just four total goals.

    Some of those stops were pretty impressive, too:

    (He also shut down a Jeff Carter breakaway, which is obviously no easy task.)

    While Lundqvist is getting it together, the Kings might just be a little worried after dropping their fourth straight loss.

    They’re at 48 points in 47 games, leaving them three points behind the West’s two wild card teams and two behind the Canucks.

    The Kings have experience fighting through challenges like these, but they’ve also fallen short of getting into the West’s top eight, and their schedule is awfully road-heavy:

    Tuesday: at Devils
    Thursday: at Hurricanes
    Tuesday, Jan. 31: at Coyotes
    Wednesday, Feb. 1: vs. Avalanche
    Saturday, Feb. 4: at Flyers
    Sunday, Feb. 5: at Capitals
    Tuesday, Feb. 7: at Lightning
    Thursday, Feb. 9: at Panthers

    Some of those opponents are struggling and the All-Star break might allow for a breather, but that could still be a problematic stretch, especially if the Kings are in a fragile state.

    Then again, if they look at Lundqvist’s upward trend, they can note that fortunes can change pretty quickly in 2016-17.

    Nick Jonas, Carly Rae Jepsen add legit star power to 2017 NHL All-Star Game

    WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 03:  Carly Rae Jepsen performs at the the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner at Walter E. Washington Convention Center on October 3, 2015 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images)
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    If you had to describe the non-hockey celebrities who will be on hand for the weekend’s festivities for the 2017 NHL All-Star Game, you’d probably throw around terms like “young” and “surprisingly famous.”

    At least, that’s especially true with the artists who’ve been announced most recently: the league notes that Nick Jonas, Fifth Harmony and Carly Rae Jepsen will be in the mix.

    Apparently John Legend Robin Thicke and John Ondrasik (Five fo Fighting) will be involved in the events, which also include The NHL 100 (which is hosted by Jon Hamm). Goodness, most of us have heard of like, all of them.

    The league ran down how things will shake up:

    Carly Rae Jepsen will open the 2017 Honda NHL® All-Star Game pregame festivities at STAPLES Center on Sunday, Jan. 29 with a performance of the Canadian national anthem followed by Fifth Harmony’s rendition of the U.S. national anthem. Grammy nominated recording artist, Nick Jonas, will command the ice during the second intermission with a live performance. The NHL will honor the 100 Greatest NHL Players in a special pregame ceremony. The 2017 Honda NHL® All-Star Game and the performances will be broadcast live on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 12:30 p.m. PT / 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC in the U.S. and CBC, Sports and TVA Sports in Canada.

    As previously announced, Hamm will host THE NHL100™ presented by GEICO, a star-studded event in which the entire collection of the 100 Greatest NHL Players will be unveiled. Set for Friday, Jan. 27 at 6:30 p.m. PT and billed as the largest gathering ever of hockey legends, THE NHL100 presented by GEICO at Microsoft Theater also will feature appearances from 2017 NHL® All-Star players and famous hockey fans. Legend and Ondrasik will perform and Thicke will lead a special In Memoriam that pays tribute to the late members of the 100 Greatest NHL Players. Tickets to THE NHL100™ presented by GEICO are available at AXS.com.

    Being that those musicians generally fall under the “pop” category, some in the purest sense that it’s used right now, there were some making fun of that selection. This is the Internet, after all, where everything receives mockery. Is there a mockery-proof musician?

    (Radiohead certainly draws Kid Rock ire, for one.)

    These are some pretty good gets by the NHL for such an event, maybe aided by it taking place in Los Angeles.

    The burning question, really, is if this weekend will break the Twitter follower tie between Jepsen and Jonas:

    Maybe they’ll go to a shootout.

    Video: Giordano goes after Komarov following big hit on Gaudreau

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    Johnny Gaudreau returned very soon after all of this, so at the moment, it seems like the Calgary Flames dodged a big bullet on Monday night.

    That bullet came in the form of a big hit by Toronto Maple Leafs winger Leo Komarov, a check that did not prompt a penalty, but is inspiring plenty of debate on social media. The Athletic’s James Mirtle puts it well, at least for those of us on the fence: “as with a lot of Komarov hits, it’s in a grey area.”

    Again, the best news is that Gaudreau was able to return (though sometimes issues like these demand a “To be continued”), shocking quite a few.

    There’s some debate about the legality of the hit, but most seem perplexed that Mark Giordano‘s response didn’t prompt fighting majors. Instead, they were merely whistled for roughing.

    You can watch the full sequence in the video above. Here’s a GIF of the fight roughing specifically:

    At the moment, the Leafs hold a commanding 3-0 lead. Maybe the Flames will use that sequence to start a comeback?

    Leafs fall down on the job – in a good way – on Kadri’s 100th goal (Video)

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    You know how athletes – hockey players in particular – have a tendency to shrug off their own accomplishments and spread the praise to their teammates? Nazem Kadri would be justified in doing that “Aww shucks” routine regarding his 100th goal.

    Just bask in the effort exhibited by his teammates in setting up what was a very nice finish by Kadri for that milestone marker, which you can see in the video above.

    Leafs Nation’s Jeff Veillette did a nice job describing the efforts of Auston Matthews and William Nylander

    Pretty much.

    Now get your click’s worth with one other entertaining clip from the game, via Mitch Marner: