Columbus’ 3-1 win over Anaheim last night may have been a job-saving win for a few people in the Jackets organization. Coach Scott Arniel and GM Scott Howson both had their jobs put in jeopardy according to reports on Sunday morning, but after coming out swinging and scoring against the Ducks, the ship may finally be getting righted in Columbus.
What did the Jackets use to get focused to win, however? Anger and lots of it as the teams squared off in four fights with Derek Dorsett getting in two of his own. Michael Arace of Puck Rakers finds out that anger management is something the Jackets could do without to win.
“When we play with a bit of an edge, when we play like we’re pissed off, when we play in the hard areas and go there first…that’s usually when better things happen for us,” Jackets coach Scott Arniel said.
Having guys like Dorsett and James Wisniewski will help the Jackets play angry as Dorsett is their own version of the “little ball of hate” and Wisniewski since returning from suspension has been lights out and providing that “edge” that Arniel is talking about. With the rumors about Ken Hitchcock potentially returning with his taskmaster ways as coach, the Jackets should have plenty of reasons to be angry about that.
If the Jackets can continue to play with a chip on their shoulder like they did against the Ducks, they’ll turn into a team like the Ducks on their own. One with skill to score and enough hate down in their hearts to rub everyone the wrong way. It’s either that or Hitchcock and his iron fist come in and crush them.
Pulling Anders Nilsson didn’t stop the bleeding for the Edmonton Oilers. Instead, it really just spread the “wealth.”
The New York Islanders are up 7-1, so don’t be surprised if there’s some ugly stuff in the final frame.
Zack Kassian is an author of at least one outburst, as he was tagged with 19 penalty minutes for a display that included fighting Brian Strait, as you can see in the video above.
It’s not the only fight stemming from the blowout, either, as Eric Gryba just tangled with Matt Martin.
Could there be more?
There was a time when Anders Nilsson seemed like the best bet in the Oilers’ net this season. This … is not that time.
Less than 12 minutes into Sunday’s game, the New York Islanders roared to a 3-0 lead, and that was enough for Edmonton to give Nilsson the hook.
He allowed those three goals on 10 shots, so to be fair, that’s a pretty impressive chunk of chances (almost a shot on goal per minute).
Still, the Oilers were likely hoping to give Cam Talbot a breather, and instead he was rushed into action. Nilsson hadn’t played since Jan. 19, and he’s only appeared in three games in 2016.
As if this didn’t sting enough for Nilsson, consider the fact that he began his NHL career with the Islanders, who eventually decided he wasn’t worth keeping.
Alex Ovechkin scored to join Wayne Gretzky and Mike Gartner as only players with at least 30 goals in each of their first 11 NHL seasons, and Matt Niskanen netted the game winner as Washington beat the Flyers 3-2 at Verizon on Super Bowl Sunday.
Michael Del Zotto and Nick Schultz replied for the Flyers, who suffered their second straight loss.
The win was the Capitals’ third in a row.
It didn’t always look as though Washington would emerge the victor, however. The Caps were out-shot 35-30 on the day and looked disjointed at times, finishing with 12 giveaways (Philly was credited with just five, for comparison’s sake).
But good teams find ways to win when they’re not playing especially well, and the Caps are a pretty good team — especially when Braden Holtby is on his game.
Holtby, atop many Vezina lists at the moment, had another terrific outing on Sunday, making 33 saves, perhaps none better than this one on Mark Streit in the second period:
Holtby’s counterpart, Steve Mason, had a solid outing as well, finishing with 27 stops.
Looking ahead, the Caps will now head out on a three-game Western Conference swing through Minnesota, Nashville and what promises to be a high-octane game in Dallas on Feb. 13.
The Flyers, meanwhile, will now kick off a three-game homestand against Anaheim, Buffalo and New Jersey.
Winnipeg forward Drew Stafford will meet with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for his high stick on Colorado’s Nick Holden on Saturday night, the DoPS announced this afternoon.
There was no immediate video of the incident available. Stafford wasn’t penalized on the play, which occurred during the third period; Holden finished the final frame with 10 shifts for 6:46 of ice time.
Stafford, 30, has a clean disciplinary history and hasn’t been fined or suspended during his 10-year NHL career.