Not that long ago, John Tortorella didn’t even know Joonas Korpisalo’s name (or at least acted as if he did not know how to say it).
Now he can call Korpisalo something else: a winner, at the NHL level.
Korpisalo made 30 out of 32 saves in his first career NHL victory, a 3-2 shootout win against the Philadelphia Flyers. He also produced a highlight reel stop to pair with that win.
(You can watch it in the video above.)
Brandon Dubinsky labeled that stop a “game-saver.”
Whatever your opinion of Mike Johnston might be, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that he wasn’t the only problem in Pittsburgh.
The Penguins continued their rudderless play of late, suffering their fifth straight loss as the Carolina Hurricanes edged them 2-1.
At this point, it’s tougher to spin the effort seen since Sullivan took the reins, although perhaps the dividends will pay out in the future.
Yes, the Penguins generated a 38-26 shot edge, but at some point you just need to find a way to win. It’s not just five straight losses for the Penguins; they’re now 2-6-2 in a troubling 10-game span. They’ve only won twice and generated five standings points in December.
The team still seems to be pulling for future bounces:
If things aren’t already bleak, consider the fact that their schedule is worrisome on top of all that. Only four of their next 11 games take place at home.
Cam Ward certainly deserves a bunch of credit for his work tonight, although some view it as merely another way to condemn the Penguins:
At this point, the only source of solace for Penguins fans might come in the bevy of funny faces Mike Sullivan keeps making … and that comic relief is likely lost on much of the audience.
The Los Angeles Kings once saw plenty of what the hockey world’s rarely witnessed lately: Jonathan Bernier at his best.
It’s oddly fitting that the tormented Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender finally got his first win – and shutout – of his miserable 2015-16 season against the Kings, aka the team that selected him a first-round pick.
Bernier stopped all 26 Kings shuts on Saturday as Toronto managed an eye-popping 5-0 upset.
It’s been a while since Bernier’s enjoyed a night like this, to say the least.
Here’s a useful infographic to illustrate that point:
At least Bernier’s willing to laugh at himself.
On paper, this should be a clash of titans: the top team in the NHL (Dallas Stars) hosts the East’s second-ranked club (Montreal Canadiens).
Instead, it’s felt a bit like hammer-on-nail, as the Stars hold a 4-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
There are plenty of impressive moments from Dallas, including Jason Spezza‘s fake-shot-then-goal, but the sequence that finished with Tyler Seguin‘s 4-1 tally captured the one-sided spirit of this one.
It’s not just the fact that it features a goal by one of the Stars’ dangerous scorers. There’s also a big hit by Jamie Benn on Jeff Petry, which did not draw a penalty call.
Check out that span of play in the video above. Here’s the Benn hit in GIF form as well:
Petry suffered an injury that ended his night early.
There was also a questionable check by Patrick Eaves and some other memorable moments so far, even if the game hasn’t been very even.
Here’s the Spezza goal in case you want to gape in awe:
Sometimes this Dallas offense is so dangerous, it almost feels unfair.
Update: Not a whole lot changed in the third, with the Stars ultimately winning 6-2.
The New York Islanders announced that forward Kyle Okposo will miss the next two games because of a “nagging lower-body injury.”
The Isles face the Coyotes tonight and the Ducks on Monday. Okposo could get a really nice rest this way, as they’ll be a break from Monday until next Sunday (when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs).
That’s not to say that Okposo is guaranteed to return by that match. Either way, it seems like a reasonable time to strategically sit him and allow that gnawing issue to subside with limited damage to the team.
Okposo has been productive so far in this contract year, generating eight goals and 26 points in 33 games. Perhaps he’s been slowed just a touch most recently, as he’s been without a point in his past two games (though that may be a coincidence).