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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Every now and then, even NHL players have a moment they’d like to forget. Alex Ovechkin actually looked clumsy. Steven Stamkos basically flopped on his face during a penalty shot. Chris Pronger showed how fallible he could be today, as he flubbed a shot that turned into a Jim Slater shorthanded breakaway goal. Oops. (The Winnipeg Jets ended up beating the Philadelphia Flyers 6-4, by the way.)
Throughout his NHL career, Mike Richards has been one of the most lethal scoring threats on the penalty kill. That much is clear in the fact that he has almost as many shorthanded goals (25) as he does power-play goals (37) in his 473 NHL games. (He’s had a shortie in two straight games, by the way.)
So what makes him so good at being the predator when he should be the penalty-killing prey? If this video is any indication, it’s all about having the right mixture of speed, hockey IQ* and finishing ability. Ultimately it will be overshadowed by the fact the Detroit Red Wings pounded the Los Angeles Kings 4-1, though.
* – He took advantage of Jiri Hudler, which provides another example of the dangers of putting a forward on the point.
Duncan Keith is an elite defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks. He’s on the short list of players mentioned when people talk about the best defensemen in the NHL; which means he’s one of the best blueliners in the world. Lee Stempniak cares not for these assertions.
Keith is still one of the best defensemen in the world, you just may not have known it on Friday night during the Flames 5-2 victory over the Blackhawks.
Rookie Craig Smith is having an outstanding first year for the Nashville Predators, but it’s going to take a long time for him to live this one down. Just ask Patrik Stefan.
At least the Predators still got the 4-1 win over the Leafs.