You can look at today as being “old faces in new places” day in the NHL. While Simon Gagne makes his joyous return to Philadelphia as a member of the Lightning, don’t expect the reception to be quite as warm for Mike Modano when he shows up in Dallas as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. That’s a rather rude way to crash the Stars’ home opener, wouldn’t you say? Here’s tonight’s schedule and, as always, all times listed are Eastern.
Tampa Bay @ Philadelphia
Simon Gagne makes his return to Philly and will get a warm reception from fans just so long as he doesn’t skate out on the ice dressed as Michael Irvin or Santa Claus. Brian Boucher is expected to start for Philly while Twitter’s favorite goalie Dan Ellis goes for Tampa Bay.
Carolina @ Ottawa
Daniel Alfredsson will play in this one for Ottawa while Sergei Samsonov may be in the lineup for Carolina. Ottawa has to start turning things around or else things will start getting especially ugly there. Not so much from a fan anger point of view, but in a “holy crap we need to sell tickets” kind of way.
St. Louis @ Nashville
Anders Lindback and Joel Ward helped the Preds steal one on the road in Chicago last night and now get to deal with a Blues team playing very well, backed by the outstanding play of Jaroslav Halak. I don’t suppose they’re taking notice of him in Montreal, do you?
Detroit @ Dallas
It’s Dallas’ home opener and Mike Modano will be in attendance for it… As a member of the Detroit Red Wings. Don’t suppose that things could be more bittersweet there. Luckily for Dallas, they’ll get to deal with Chris Osgood in goal for the Red Wings.
Edmonton @ Minnesota
Hey it’s the home opener that Mike Modano could’ve been a part of if he decided he wanted to be a member of the Wild. Well then… So much for that. Edmonton looks to continue their solid start while Minnesota plays their first game since returning from Europe.
Florida @ Calgary
One of a handful of times we can call a game the “Olli Jokinen Bowl” as the Panthers pay a visit to Jokinen in his new-old digs in Calgary. Which Calgary team shows up to play will be interesting to see. Florida has been snake bitten by bad luck to start the year. With Miikka Kiprusoff in goal, things only figure to be that much harder for the Panthers.
Alexander Edler probably feels some serious shame right now.
The Vancouver Canucks defenseman is getting some heat for a bad blunder on what became the Los Angeles Kings’ overtime game-winning goal by Anze Kopitar.
You can see the decisive goal in the video above, which meant a 2-1 overtime victory for the Kings over the Canucks.
Just a (safe for work) sampling of the reactions toward Edler:
Again, those are the more … sanitized reactions.
Jacob Markstrom didn’t get the win despite keeping Vancouver in the game. The big Swede made 38 out of 40 saves, yet that last goal will burn.
For Los Angeles, it’s another reminder that this team sure is scrappy.
Let’s be honest: it’s better to go late into a game with a lead against the Kings, but a small margin makes for some serious discomfort.
Sometimes an angry Evgeni Malkin means a stray power play or two for his opponents, but it’s usually not the best idea to make him angry.
Giving a player that big and talented extra motivation just seems like a bad idea, right?
Joel Ward experienced that phenomenon on Tuesday, as Malkin responded to a blow from Ward with the goal you can see below.
Malkin scored a goal and two assists while Phil Kessel found the net twice in Pittsburgh’s 5-1 win against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.
Malkin now has a four-game goal streak going (five goals, three assists). He also has 13 points in his past seven games.
Marc-Andre Fleury deserves plenty of credit, too, as he stopped 33 out of 34 shots and continues to quietly generate some of the best work of his sometimes-polarizing career.
This was a nice way for the Penguins to begin a four-game Western road trip, although they’ll need to wait a while to try to keep it going; their next game comes in Los Angeles on Saturday.
You know what they say: “What a difference a game makes.”
Even in the 82-game marathon that an NHL regular season is, that can be true.
Ryan Suter admitted he went too far with comments during tough times, yet there he was on Tuesday night, grinning ear-to-ear after scoring the 2-1 goal that ended up being the game-winner.
Heck, people were even joking about things. The healing powers of winning, right?
As of this writing, this win places Minnesota in the last wild card spot, and they’re close to elbowing in on the Chicago Blackhawks (who own a standings point advantage, but have played two more games so far in 2015-16).
Jeremy Roenick labels this 2-1 win as a “team win” for Minnesota, and it showed on that 2-1 goal, as the Wild showed off some picture-perfect passing and a willingness to crash the net for rebounds.
Let’s face it, though; Devan Dubnyk deserves plenty of credit, too.
It won’t be easy in the Central Division, and things may get heated again. Still, this is the sort of win that may just help Minnesota build up some confidence.
When you’re talking about bright sides, most people believe that they boil down to the light at the end of the tunnel for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a little success in the present while waiting for that bright future, though.
The Flyers are providing at least a burst of sunshine lately, as Tuesday’s 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators gives them … (drum roll) their first three-game winning streak of this season.
Even in recent darker moments, Philly’s been pretty impressive on offense, so Flyers fans are likely relieved to see a relative offensive outburst.
Sure, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns – Radko Gudas might have gotten himself into some trouble, for instance – yet this is still a nice sign of life for a team expected to finish in the draft lottery.
If that fails … hey, the future may require shades.