Renewing playoff hate is something the Flyers and Sabres don’t mind doing and they’ll get it on againt tonight in Buffalo (7:30 p.m. ET on Versus).
When they met the last time back in early November, Ryan Miller lasted less than seven minutes giving up three goals and taking the loss, recreating an eerie replica of the Sabres’ Game 7 loss to Philly in last year’s playoffs.
This time around, Miller hopes he got the cobwebs out against Nashville on Monday in the Sabres 3-2 win to hold off the high-scoring Flyers. Claude Giroux has been Mr. Everything for Philly and is starting to draw comparisons to Sidney Crosby. Seriously, he is. Giroux is near the top of the league leaderboard for scoring and his line, when healthy, of Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr is dynamic.
The Sabres are still dealing with a handful of injury problems but things are slowly returning to normal. What the Sabres do need are a string of wins. Being losers more often than not lately, getting Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville to pour in the goals will be key against the always entertaining goaltending of Ilya Bryzgalov and Sergei Bobrovsky.
Two young stars to watch: Philly’s Matt Read and Buffalo’s Luke Adam. In a year dominated by Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Read and Adam have been beyond outstanding and could wind up being Calder finalists with the Nuge.
For a while, the story of the Florida Panthers – Toronto Maple Leafs game would be the remarkable march of Jonathan Marchessault.
As great as his story remains (he gave Florida 1-0 and 2-1 leads), those pesky young Maple Leafs keep stealing the headlines.
In tonight’s case, it was Mitch Marner who was raising eyebrows as he assisted on all three of Toronto’s goals in a 3-2 victory.
His third assist was just sublime:
After the game, Tyler Bozak pondered the two goals Marner helped him score and deemed the youngster “an elite player,” according to the Globe & Mail’s James Mirtle.
Considering the growing discomfort regarding Frederik Andersen‘s play, this tweet should help to make Maple Leafs fans smile:
Ehhhhh, Marner might deserve that first star, but the gesture means almost as much as the win.
Devan Dubnyk already showed signs of having a hot start to 2016-17, but Thursday made that point abundantly clear.
For the second straight game, Dubnyk generated a shutout, with the Minnesota Wild beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 in this instance.
It’s not as if Dubnyk is just leisurely turning aside the occasional chance, either; he made 38 saves to blank Buffalo and needed to stop 65 shots on goal considering the 27 he turned aside in a 5-0 win vs. Boston.
Ryan Suter said that Dubnyk bailed his teammates out during the second period, as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo reports.
He’s now allowed just 10 goals in six games so far in 2016-17, with Taylor Hall‘s overtime-winner being the last shot to beat him. That came on Sunday:
More often than not, Dubnyk’s been making those saves so far in this young season.
There are plenty of differences between Alex Ovechkin and Patrik Laine, including obvious things like one being from Russia and the other from Finland.
Still, there are moments when Laine inspires comparisons to his idol, even this early in his rookie season.
Thursday presented one of those moments. It wasn’t just that Laine fired a 3-0 goal home for the Winnipeg Jets against the Dallas Stars with such moxie; it was also that he showed some swagger with a celebration afterward.
This GIF captures the moment brilliantly, while you can also watch the goal in video form.
Sure, there will be some grumbles from the “act like you’ve been here before” crowd, but this is brilliant stuff for the rest of us.
Early this season, Dmitry Orlov delighted onlookers and angered Matt Duchene with a mind-blowing, throwback hip check. People really seemed to enjoy it.
While you’d struggle to top that hit, Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier must have sensed the void in checks that almost seem to flip opponents, doing so against Anthony Duclair during Thursday’s contest.
Rate this as you will:
Want another look at the Orlov one for comparison’s sake or to chuckle in disbelief? Why not: