Are we hitting that time of year where the flu can ruin a game or more?
NHL players aren’t immune to the same things that “sideline” people from offices – seriously, if you have the flu, call in sick, don’t make everyone else miserable – and Saturday provided another reminder.
As hot as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been, apparently his thermometer argued that such heat was more literally hot, so he wasn’t able to go against the Los Angeles Kings tonight.
Andrew Ference apparently wasn’t able to play either (though some would harshly joke that’s not such a bad thing).
When the Pittsburgh Penguins were winning despite their offense, it was easy to say “a win’s a win.” Their current record probably limits the urge to panic, too.
Even so, their sputtering offense is baffling, and now with two losses in as many days, it’s that much more troubling.
Former Penguins front office members Ray Shero and John Hynes faced their former employers in New Jersey on Saturday, and they had to enjoy tonight’s 4-0 win.
The Devils also reminded people that they could very well be in the mix for a playoff spot, as they’re ahead of Pittsburgh as of tonight.
After starting 0-3-1, New Jersey is on a 10-3-0 tear, including two straight wins and four victories in five games. That includes this win against Pittsburgh and two decisions against the Chicago Blackhawks.
As much as people may spin the positive aspects of Pittsburgh’s situation, it’s clear that players such as Evgeni Malkin are frustrated.
Evgeni Malkin: "We’re not playing right. We’re not working hard. It’s tough right now. We’re mad at each other." -MC
Hey, remember that time Patrick Roy was left in Montreal’s net during a blowout and then demanded a trade? Nah, too obscure, sorry about that.
Anyway, it’s usually pretty fun when Roy brings his Colorado Avalanche into Montreal. Put an upstart goalie in the mix for the Canadiens and it becomes extra-fun.
Granted, Mike Condon was only in Montreal’s net for so long.
The (once?) red-hot Condon only lasted two periods on Saturday, as he was chased after allowing four goals on just 11 shots. Dustin Tokarski‘s night wasn’t a lot better, as Colorado cruised to a commanding 6-1 win.
Speaking of upstart goalies, Reto Berra continues his startingly strong start by stopping 39 out of 40 shots.
This stands as Montreal’s first regulation home loss while Colorado might just be heating up with three straight wins.
Fight video (and more): Jonathan Toews vs. David Backes
Say what you will about the Blackhawks – Blues rivalry – some will sardonically compare it to a hammer and nail, at least in the playoffs – but it seems pretty clear that they really, really don’t like each other.
The two captains exemplify that distaste, and they really showed it on Saturday.