As the regular season rapidly approaches, NHL teams are presenting their product in exhibition games against foreign league teams, often on their turf. Today’s slate featured two of those games, with the NHL going 2-0. Let’s take a quick look at both of them.
Plus: The Bruins survived “White Hell” thanks to an outstanding performance by center Patrice Bergeron, who scored twice off of breakaways and also provided three assists for a five-point night. The crowd didn’t die down even when their team was down 7-1, which is an impressive feat. Then again, this was an especially festive event. Apparently this marked the first time an NHL team played against a Czech elite league team.
Minus: Is there any way to make an appropriate joke about “White Hell?”
Plus: The Blue Jackets survived an early string of chances for the Red Hawks, beating them 4-1 thanks largely to two goals by Antoine Vermette and two assists by Derek Brassard. Check out these video highlights of the game via NHL.com.
Minus: The Blue Jackets shouldn’t get too cocky, though. The Red Hawks apparently dressed 10 players under the age of 20 because the team is going through a tough stretch right now. The Red Hawks play in a league one level below the Swedish Elite League, too. So it’s not exactly as if the Blue Jackets just beat the best hockey team not in the NHL today.
Video: Ovechkin rocks custom skates for Russian Heritage Night
On his right skate, he paid tribute to the United States with a custom design, and paid tribute to his home nation on his left skate while taking the pre-game warm-up prior to facing the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The skates were painted by noted custom shoe artists Nick Avery and Polo Kerber, whom Ovechkin personally selected. The skates feature the U.S. and Russia flags as well as the Capitol Building and Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Video: Crosby slash leaves Methot’s finger bloodied and injured (Updated)
Bernier has wins in six of his last seven starts. In nine games this month, he has only twice allowed three goals or more.
The Ducks have fought their way back into contention for the Pacific Division with a recent surge that has coincided with San Jose’s current skid — only four wins in their last 10 games and four straight losses.