Last night, we covered the first 10 Saturday games here. There was quite the flurry of activity, with Evgeni Malkin fighting Rick Nash, Carey Price self-destructing (irrelevantly) again and so on. Did the remaining four later games bring some fireworks too? Let’s recap those games right now.
Plus: Ales Kotalik succeeded in acting like a useful player for once, scoring one goal and two assists in regulation before potting the shootout winner. T.J. Brodie scored two goals and has the kind of name you’d think would be used in “Role Models” while Mark Giordano produced three assists. The Lightning’s big guns showed up big with Vincent Lecavalier (two goals), Martin St. Louis (three assists), Steven Stamkos (one goal, one assist) and Simon Gagne (one goal) all producing something.
Minus: Brodie didn’t get a early SO chance even after scoring two goals. This game won’t exactly heal those Ruslan Fedetenko-created Game 7 Stanley Cup finals wounds.
Plus: The Sedin twins put out identical efforts (one goal and one assist each), while the Canucks power play was an efficient two for four. Roberto Luongo had a nice game (fueled by his new style?), only allowing one out of 29 shots to go in.
Minus: With Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry getting the night off, the next best Ducks had a bad night; Teemu Selanne, Bobby Ryan, Saku Koivu and Lubomir Visnovsky combined for a -6 rating.
Phoenix 2, San Jose 1 (part I)
Plus: It was the Radim Vrbata show, with the only-comfortable-in-Phoenix forward scoring both goals on the power play. Newcomer Ray Whitney earned the first assist on both Vrbata goals. Both Thomas Griess (28 for 30 saves) and Ilya Bryzgalov (21 of 22 saves) acquitted themselves nicely last night.
Minus: I just typed “the Radim Vrbata show.”
Plus: Both Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley put one goal and one assist each while Coyotes captain Shane Doan scored a power-play goal. Antti Niemi posted a solid game, stopping 18 out of 19 shots in just under two periods of play.
Minus: These split-scrimmage games will be obnoxious until NHL teams openly label one squad the “junior varsity.” Insert any New York Islanders/Florida Panthers jokes here.