Minnesota Wild v Colorado Avalanche

Avs’ Giguere apologizes for airing ‘dirty laundry’; Duchene says he liked it


The day after unleashing an angry rant questioning the commitment of some teammates, Colorado goalie JS Giguere wasn’t backing down, but did apologize for the way he went about it.

Doesn’t sound like his coach or teammates felt the apology was necessary, though.

Here’s more, from the Denver Post:

[Giguere] apologized for airing his “dirty laundry”, but all teammates asked about his tirade said they had no problems with what the respected veteran said.

Avs coach Joe Sacco said the 35-year-old Giguere doesn’t need to apologize for anything.

“It may have not been the right way to do it, I don’t know,” Giguere said after practice Tuesday. “Bottom line is, we could say we’ll wait until next year, and start over next year, start a new season and all that, or we can do something about it now.

“We know we’re going to have the same group, essentially the same players, so why not try to change that mentality, that culture, right now?”

Following Monday’s 3-1 loss to Calgary, Giguere said he was “embarrassed” by Colorado’s effort and wondered if some of his teammates were committed to winning.

He also unleashed this gem:

“Some guys are more worried about their Vegas trip at the end of the season than playing the games, than playing every minute of the games.

“Quite frankly, I don’t care about your Vegas trip right now.”

Sacco wasn’t the only person coming to Giguere’s defense, as center Matt Duchene said he liked what the veteran goalie did.

“I hoped everyone saw it,” Duchene told the Post. “Obviously he let his emotions get the best of him, but sometimes that’s a good thing. I was a fan of it. That’s one example of what might be going on with some guys, but the biggest thing is, we can’t be looking for an easy way out.

“The hard way out is getting better every day as a team and as an individual, and that’s what we owe to ourselves, each other and to our fans. What Jiggy said hopefully grabbed the attention over everyone.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record

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When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?

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You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.

Price paid: Devils come back against Condon, Canadiens

Mike Condon, John Moore,
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If nothing else, the New Jersey Devils seem like they won’t be the sort of team a contender can essentially mark off as a “W” on their calendars.

The Montreal Canadiens may not be in a position to take opponents lightly with Carey Price on the shelf, but whatever the case may be, they saw their four-game winning streak end in frustrating fashion on Saturday.

After falling behind 2-0, the Devils scrapped their way back into it, eventually riding a John Moore overtime goal to a 3-2 OT win.

If Montreal needs an obvious bright side to look on considering this hiccup, Alex Galchenyuk‘s hot weekend may be a good thing to look at.

Tonight’s loss may smart a bit anyway, however.

Metro’s best? Capitals keep winning, pass Rangers for division lead

Jonathan Bernier; Matt Niskanen; Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau

If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:

“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”

The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.

Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:

With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.

Measuring stick stretch begins

Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.

This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.

It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.

In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.