Admittedly, I “slept” on the results from ESPN’s Confidential Players poll for a bit, but after hearing some complaints about the answers being restricted by “Insider” status on Twitter I thought I’d share some of the more interesting results. (Yes, I am an Insider. Yes, I paid for it myself.)
Now, naturally, all the results can be found here (although I must warn you that there will be laborious clicking since every answer is within its own link).
Anyway, here are some of the highlights of the poll. First, I’ll start with the more “typical” questions.
Alex Ovechkin (64 percent)
Sidney Crosby (24 percent)
Ovechkin nearly tripled Crosby’s results. Interestingly enough, Roberto Luongo was named the league’s most overrated player (although he only received 6 percent of the votes).
Detroit (60 percent)
Pittsburgh (14 percent)
Jeez, the Penguins are getting second place often enough that I have to check and see if Marian Hossa is back on their roster. (Phoenix was named the worst franchise, for the record.)
Should the NHL contract teams? If so, which one?
No: 48 percent
Yes: 38 percent (and if yes: Atlanta received 41.3 percent while Phoenix received 31 percent.)
No comment: 14 percent (Boo that isn’t a fun answer.)
OK, now for a few fun ones.
John Tortorella won the “last coach you’d want to play for” award in front of former coaches Mike Keenan and Ken Hitchcock. Somewhere in Russia, Nikita Filatov smiles.
Edmonton and Montreal apparently have the best ice. Want bad ice? Just go to the state of Florida.
The Minnesota Wild have the best visitor’s locker room, while the relatively ancient Mellon Arena is found to be the worst. Do hockey teams really want to be that accommodating, anyway?
Montreal’s groupies are apparently the best. Vancouver comes in second. Have some pride, American groupies!
Derek Boogaard was named the best fighter while Chris Pronger was named the dirtiest player.
(Again, for more results, click here. You will need an “Insider” subscription, though.)
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.