Tag: comeback

David Perron

Video: David Perron returns in style


It’s been almost 400 days since David Perron’s world was flipped upside down by Joe Thornton’s elbow. In that last game , we saw Perron score his fifth goal in only 10 games. It looked like a star was being born before everything faded to black.

We really didn’t know what to expect from Perron after missing so much time with the concussion.  Well, he’s back and it doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat. It only took him about six minutes remind everyone that he has a pretty sweet pair of hands. Check it out as Perron buries one right where Mama hides the cookies.

Ducks find another way to lose, Hawks with comeback victory

Chicago Blackhawks v Anaheim Ducks

It looked like the Ducks were about to reach the end of the seemingly bottomless pit that has been the recent rough stretch of games. Going into Friday afternoon’s game, the Ducks had only won two of their last 16 games. But all that looked like it was going to change on Friday. Anaheim started the game with two of their best periods of the season. After the first two periods, the offensively challenged Ducks were leading 4-2 with only 20 minutes left.

Then game the third period.  By the time the dust settled, the Blackhawks were skating away with a 6-5 victory and the Ducks were left wondering “what happened?”

It’ only took 1:23 for the Blackhawks to tie the score at 4-4. Then Patrick Sharp scored his third goal of the game for this second career hat trick leading Randy Carlyle to pull Jonas Hiller. The next scene in the nightmare third period was Jonathan Toews scoring his second goal and fifth point of the game to increase the lead to 6-4. You know there’s a lot of scoring with a guy scores a career-high five points and he’s only the third star of the game.

The Ducks finally scored answered with goal in the final seconds, but it was too little too late for the team that desperately could have used a win today. They only have one win in their last 9 games (1-7-1) and only two wins in their last 17 games (2-11-4). A quick look at the standings shows that they are only three points ahead of the hapless Columbus Blue Jackets for last place in the Western Conference.

It’s hard to believe this is the same team that started the season 4-1-0.

Video: Crosby wastes no time, scores on second shift

Sidney Crosby

Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Sidney Crosby has a great sense of “the moment.” On his first shift, he helped set up a glorious chance for Chris Kunitz—and should have had an assist when Kunitz rang a shot of the crossbar. Not to worry though. On Crosby’s second shift, he streaked into the Islanders zone on his backhand and went top shelf over rookie netminder Anders Nilsson. Welcome to the NHL Andres.

Second shift. First shot. First goal. Yep, he’s still pretty good. Check it out for yourself:

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Life after Tent City; Nikolai Khabibulin looks forward to proving doubters wrong

Nikolai Khabibulin

The story of Nikolai Khabibulin’s tumultuous offseason has been well documented. After a DUI trial (and subsequent conviction), Khabibulin was sentenced to 15 days split between work release and Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Tent City in Arizona. 108 degree heat and close quarters weren’t exactly the type of accommodations that he’s grown accustomed to over his 15 seasons in the NHL. This just in: doing “hard time” isn’t a pleasant experience.

With the punishment in his rearview mirror, he took some time to reflect on the experience with the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson. Khabibulin shared experiences that may have differed from most inmates’ experiences. He also shared how the public nature of his trial and punishment affected not only himself, but his family as well.

“There were a lot of people I talked to. Contractors, some are CEOs of companies, some regular people and we all talked about the things we did. We all said if we could get this back, we’d never do it. It’s tough to deal with, especially when you’re in the media. My daughter just turned 19 and she reads the Internet. She wasn’t very happy. It’s not like she was giving me a hard time … she would say something funny to me, but I know she was crying the first few days I was there. That was hard on me. I’m pretty sure with what I’ve done, she’ll learn from this too.”

Now that he’s out and has presumably learned his lesson the hard way, he can attempt to turn his attention to his job: the upcoming hockey season. After earning his current 4-year, $15 million contract with a dominant 2008-09 season in Chicago, he’s struggled to find his form in an Oilers jersey. He looked like he had rediscovered his game during his final season with the Blackhawks as he racked up a 25-8-7 record with a .919 save percentage and a 2.33 goals against average. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that was only two seasons ago.

There’s no questioning that it’s been a rocky Albertan road for Khabibulin thus far. His total record for the Oilers has been 17-41-6 while he’s given up an average of more than 3 goals per game. Then again, the Bulin Wall isn’t the only player who has struggled over the last two seasons in Edmonton. It takes more than one player to earn #1 overall draft picks for two consecutive years.

Despite the chaotic summer and rough two seasons in Edmonton, Khabibulin believes he still has something left in the tank. The Tent City story may have dominated headlines, but it’s the work the netminder has put in behind-the-scenes that he believes will help him turn things around this season. Again, from Matheson’s article:

“When you go on a long losing streak and nothing seems to go right, it’s more discouraging than having lost your confidence. I’ve put a lot of work in this summer, starting earlier, not many days off. I have a little extra motivation this year to be in better shape (he was coming off back surgery last fall) and be quicker. I still have the motivation. You see a guy like (Dwayne) Roloson who is almost 42, who had a pretty good regular season and a really good playoff. I think that’s encouraging for anybody.”

Edmonton fans would love to see Khabibulin channel his inner-Roloson. After all, this is a fanbase who had an up-close and personal look at Roloson’s finest moment as the Oilers rode the goaltender to within a single game of their sixth Stanley Cup. He’s shown in the past that he’s capable of being an elite goaltender when he’s motivated. He was motivated in his final season with the Lightning and helped Tampa win their only Stanley Cup. He was motivated yet again in Chicago and had one of the best seasons in his career.

We’ll see if he’s as motivated as he says he is. If so, back-up goaltender Devan Dubnyk better make sure his baseball cap fits comfortably.

Foppa Mania: Peter Forsberg makes his NHL return tonight against Columbus


Tonight the comeback becomes official. According to Adrian Dater of The Denver Post, Peter Forsberg will play tonight in Columbus for the Colorado Avalanche against the Blue Jackets.

Forsberg hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2007-2008 season with the Avalanche. That year he played nine games and had a goal and 13 assists. If Forsberg can produce in similar fashion, and playing on a line with Matt Duchene and Milan Hejduk will help, Forsberg’s addition to the lineup could be the spark the team needs to get out of its funk.

As always, the fear with Forsberg comes with his health and playing in games is a much different animal than skating and doing drills in practice. Forsberg might be a step slower but he’s still got a big, physical presence on the ice and his ability to help create plays could be a huge benefit for Duchene in particular. If his foot can stay healthy and he can avoid the persistent problems he’s had with it throughout the latter half of his career, this comeback may actually turn out successfully.

That said, skepticism runs wild when it comes to Forsberg. The last time we saw him on the ice was during the 2010 Winter Olympics playing for Sweden. Forsberg played in four games and had one assist for Team Sweden and looked rather average while doing so. It’s been almost a full year since those games and you’d have to think that Forsberg is in better shape since then, but if his skills look how they did during the Olympics, we may be left feeling a bit flat seeing a Peter Forsberg at half-speed.

Buckle in fans because this could be the last turn in the NHL for a once-dominant power forward.