Weekend Watch: Five games you need to see

1 Comment

This is the Weekend Watch. It’s a guide of what to watch this weekend.

Saturday: Philadelphia at Winnipeg, 3pm ET

This much we know: Ilya Bryzgalov and Winnipeg got drama. Whether it’s Bryz dissing (and then apologizing to) Winnipeg or Winnipeg torching his Flyers for nine goals in the highest-scoring game of the year, crazy things happen when Bryz meets ‘Peg. Of course, Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette could interrupt the narrative by flipping the script and starting Sergei Bobrovsky instead.

(Come to think of it, Sideshow Bob only has two starts in the last 22 days. Crap.)

Saturday: Detroit at Los Angeles, 4pm ET

The Red Wings haven’t won a road game in nearly a month — losing their last five away from the Joe — so they’ll obviously be looking to avoid No. 6, which would match their longest road losing streak since 1987.

Looking at the ’87 Detroit squad, it’s hard to fathom how they lost so many: Steve Yzerman had 102 points in 64 games, Bob Probert had 398 penalty minutes (not a typo — 398!) while Probert, Gerard Gallant, Petr Klima and Brent Ashton all scored 25 goals or more.

Oh wait, the defense. A top seven of Doug Halward, Darren Veitch, Rick Zombo, Jeff Sharples, Gilbert Delorme and Lee Norwood. Makes more sense now.

Saturday: Washington at Toronto, 7pm ET

Toronto could be without James Reimer, Mikhail Grabovski, Clarke MacArthur, Colby Armstrong, Matthew Lombardi and Mike Komisarek for this one. Not good heading into a game against a pissed-off-at-everything Caps team that’s lost five of six (3-6-1 over last 10.) On a related note, does anybody else think Bruce Boudreau and Alex Ovechkin look like they need couples therapy?

Saturday: New York at Montreal, 7pm ET

The last time these two met, this happened:

That skirmish led to 28 minutes in penalties and two game misconducts (to Petteri Nokelainen and Michael Sauer.) Considering that game was less than two weeks ago, the revenge factor is definitely in play.

Sunday: Ottawa at Vancouver, 9pm ET

The Senators’ season, in point form:

— Lost five of their first six.

— Won their next six straight.

— Lost their next five straight.

— Won their next three straight.

Ottawa is streakier than a glass door, which fits in nicely with the wildly inconsistent Canucks: Vancouver has neither won nor lost more than two games in a row this season.

Ducks take control of second in Pacific after edging Oilers

Getty
1 Comment

Connor McDavid was fantastic on Wednesday, but the Anaheim Ducks overcame his strong showing for a significant win in the Pacific.

McDavid scored a goal and two assists, yet Ryan Getzlaf was right there with him with three assists, helping the Ducks win 4-3.

With that, Anaheim is clearly ahead of Edmonton for second in the Pacific. The Ducks would hold home-ice over the Oilers if the playoffs began today, and better yet for them, a division title isn’t out of the question:

1. Sharks – 91 points in 73 games played
2. Ducks – 89 points in 73 GP
3. Oilers – 87 points in 73 GP
4. Flames – 86 points in 73 GP

As you can see, the Oilers aren’t exactly far ahead of the Flames for third, either.

Going forward, the Oilers have an interesting schedule: a mix of games against cellar dwellers (two apiece against the Canucks and Avalanche) plus two games apiece versus the Kings and Sharks.

The Ducks’ schedule includes two matches against the Flames, one against the Kings and one more match at Edmonton on April 1.

Long story short, the jockeying for position is far from over, but this was a pretty significant win for the Ducks.

Video: Connor McDavid shows off speed and skill (again)

1 Comment

Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.

Maybe more than sheer speed, this tally is a reminder that McDavid could do impressive things while losing little or no momentum. It’s one thing to have straight-line speed, but he has the hands and hockey IQ to take advantage of his swift skating.

McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).

Islanders grab precious points by beating Rangers

3 Comments

The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.

They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.

The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.

Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.

The Islanders now have 80 standings points, placing them two behind the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot.

The Rangers’ hold over the first wild card seems quite secure, but they do have to worry ever so slightly about their play at home. With this defeat, they’ve now lost seven straight (0-5-2) at Madison Square Garden.

Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style

1 Comment

Rick Nash has his critics stemming from his playoff struggles in the past, but for those who support him, moments like these are satisfying.

Why? Because you’d be absurd to discredit how hard he tries when Nash scores goals like he did for the New York Rangers against the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

Nash went all-out for his 20th goal of the season, sprawling after scoring against Thomas Greiss. It’s quite a sight, and Getty Images really was on top of that one.

via Getty Images

The Rangers may need more from him tonight, however, as the Islanders just went up 3-2. Watch the remainder of the contest on NBCSN.