Rod Brind'Amour

Riding the Zamboni – Friday, February 18th

For a recap of the Devils’ 1-0 win over the Rangers, click here. Let’s summarize the other six games now, shall we?

Detroit 4, Florida 3

Todd Bertuzzi has been a thorn in Florida’s side, whether he was with them (for a blink) or against them. The aging forward scored the first and final goal against his former team as the Red Wings outlasted the perennially bubble bound Panthers. Pavel Datsyuk provided a one goal, one assist game for the Wings while Stephen Weiss did the same for the Panthers.

Boston 4, Ottawa 2

Both the Bruins and Senators look different after making deadline deals, yet the result wasn’t very different. Tomas Kaberle and Chris Kelly suited up for Boston, but it was Brad Marchand (two goals), David Krejci (two assists) and Tuukka Rask (32 saves) who made the biggest impact in the team’s win.

St. Louis 3, Buffalo

It seemed like all the pieces were in place for a Sabres win. The Blues aren’t very good on the road and haven’t been very effective in general lately. They went into the game without their big money goalie Jaroslav Halak. St. Louis also shipped off their captain Eric Brewer, which might not be a white flag but couldn’t be a great sign of confidence either. Yet Ty Conklin shut out the Sabres and TJ Oshie scored a goal and an assist to keep their faint playoff hopes alive while leaving Buffalo’s dimmer.

Carolina 3, Philadelphia 2

The Hurricanes and Flyers must have made Rod Brind’Amour proud on a night in which the two teams honored him while Carolina retired his No. 17 jersey. It was an intense, exciting game that featured some great goaltending and yet another game winning goal by human GWG-generator Erik Cole. It’s hard to argue with the allure of this possible first round top vs. bottom seed series.

Minnesota 5, Anaheim 1

It’s too early to tell how long Mikko Koivu might be out of the Wild lineup, but for at least one night, they looked OK without him. (OK, for at least two+ periods.) Koivu actually scored the tying goal before injuring his hand blocking a shot, but Kyle Brodziak ended up being the star of the game with one goal and two assists. Niklas Backstrom showed why he’s the team’s other player of the future/big moneymaker, stopping 29 out of 30 shots for his 19th win of the season.

Columbus 4, Chicago 3

The Blue Jackets rode a three-goal outburst during a six minute span of the second period to outlast the Blackhawks, thus tying the two teams at 10th place with identical 29-23-6 records (for 64 points). While Chicago struggles as an up-and-down team, Columbus is hot, going 6-1-1 thanks in some part to a great run of games by their best player Rick Nash. The Hawks lost despite a two-goal, one assist performance by Patrick Sharp and two point outputs by Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

Stars, Rangers do their Caps – Pens impression in wild win for Dallas

1 Comment

If you watched only Tuesday’s Dallas Stars – New York Rangers game and yesterday’s manic Washington Capitals contest, you might believe that you were transported to the days of the 1988 Smythe Division.

Just ask Justin Williams.

That Penguins – Capitals game ended with an 8-7 overtime victory for Pittsburgh, while tonight’s 7-6 win for the Stars against the Rangers wasn’t far behind.

All the goals

Henrik Lundqvist gave up seven goals, eventually giving way to Magnus Hellberg in the third period. It’s been a rough go of things lately for the future Hall of Famer, with tonight marking the low point.

The Stars opened up leads of 3-1 in the first period and 7-3 through the first two frames, but as you can guess from the score, the Rangers stormed back with three goals in a surprisingly tight third period.

Kari Lehtonen saved the day for the Stars, stopping 12 of 12 after taking over about halfway through the third for Antti Niemi.

Much like with the Penguins – Capitals clash, it was about more than just seeing a lot of goals.

More than just a high-scoring game

Cody Eakin and Chris Kreider were in the thick of things. Eakin scored his first goal of 2016-17, a 7-3 tally that absurdly ended up being the game-winner. Kreider began the Rangers’ rally with his 18th goal of the season, hit Eakin with his own helmet during a fight and created his typical brand of chaos.

As much as this might sting the Rangers, and as concerned as they may be about Lundqvist’s play, at least it looks like Ryan McDonagh avoided injury despite this scary fall:

OK, so these four teams dropped the gauntlet for wild games this week. Who’s going to carry the torch on Wednesday?

Report: Islanders granted permission to interview Gerard Gallant

NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 29:  Head coach Gerard Gallant of the Florida Panthers speaks during Media Day for the 2016 NHL All-Star Game at Bridgestone Arena on January 29, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Getty
1 Comment

Gerard Gallant might not go long between head coaching gigs.

The New York Islanders have received permission to speak with Gallant, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Gallant was an assistant coach with the Islanders from 2007 to 2009, so there’s some familiarity there with GM Garth Snow (it was early on in his reign). Gallant was unceremoniously fired by the Florida Panthers in late November, with plenty of rumors circulating that he didn’t jive well with the franchise’s analytics-driven mindset. Gallant denied those claims, for whatever that’s worth.

(If such rumblings are true, perhaps Gallant would agree with the questionable logic of giving limited, but heavy-hitting forward Cal Clutterbuck a contract extension. That would be an interesting question to ask him during an interview, eh?)

Doug Weight is currently considered the Islanders interim head coach after the firing of Jack Capuano.

About the only bummer for everyone outside of Weight is that the Islanders already played their three games against the Panthers this season, so we’d have to wait until 2017-18 for whatever drama would come of that.

Robin Lehner’s furious anger seemingly directed at Sabres after being pulled

1 Comment

Update: There’s now full video to get a better sense of Robin Lehner‘s behavior.

The Maple Leafs ended up beating the Sabres 4-3 after Buffalo made the game awfully interesting.

***

Late last season, Ben Scrivens expressed relief in avoiding a fight with Robin Lehner, the Buffalo Sabres goalie he called “a bit of a psycho.” It sure seemed like the Sabres were the target of his frightening anger on Tuesday.

Lehner really didn’t seem too happy after being pulled from the game, whether that anger was directed at Dan Bylsma, his Sabres teammates or … everyone?

Watch him rage out after getting the hook following Toronto’s three-goal outburst in about nine minutes:

/Cowers in fear.

Onlookers seem to believe that the tension was real.

Raise your hand if you wouldn’t want to be around Lehner right now. Here’s the impressive Auston Matthews 3-2 goal that ended his night early:

Jared Spurgeon shows he has hands like a surgeon (Video)

Leave a comment

Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon has a pretty good knack for scoring goals, especially considering the fact that he doesn’t always take a ton of shots.

Maybe Bruce Boudreau should consider asking him to fire away a little more often.

You won’t see many prettier examples of hand-eye coordination than Spurgeon’s power-play goal from Tuesday’s game against the New Jersey Devils, which gave the Wild a 1-0 lead. Watch it in the video above.

It’s almost impressive enough to justify rhyming his last name with surgeon. You know, theoretically.