This just in from the Bureau of the Obvious: Pavel Datsyuk is flat-out amazing. He scored 206 regular season goals in his nine year NHL career and I wouldn’t be surprised if 100 of them were absolute jaw droppers.
Beyond sporting a hockey IQ worthy of multiple Selke Trophies, one of the main things that sets the Russian superstar apart is his amazing ability to deke around defenseman and make them look stupid.
Tuesday’s goal of the night was a shining example of why playing against Datsyuk must generate a horrifying feeling of dread, even when you have what appears to be strength in numbers. He split two San Jose Sharks players – including underrated shutdown blueliner Marc-Edouard Vlasic – and was too fast for Patrick Marleau and too alert for Antero Niittymaki’s poke check to be stopped.
The moment I saw this goal, I knew it would be the best of the night and could very well be the best of this week, too. It will be hard for any other goal to top this one, but we’ll enjoy seeing if someone can pull that off.
For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.
The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.
They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.
It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.
Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)
Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.
This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.
Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: