While the season started on October 7 so it’s technically not a “full” month, it’s still something of a mini-milestone that the NHL regular season is in its second month of operation. It’s still too early to make permanent judgments of any team – in fact, it will be until very late in the season since late surges seem to happen multiple times per year – but it might be safe to turn small samples into sincere trends.
Anyway, let’s take a look at how tonight’s three games went, in case you were distracted by the last game of the World Series or Monday Night Football (or “Dancing with the Stars” … we won’t judge you out loud).
Chew on this goofy stat for a second: since cutting his hair for charity, Scott Hartnell is scoring at a point-per-game pace (three goals and three assists for six points in six games). Hartnell scored the game’s first and also earned the GWG on a tip-in. Claude Giroux scored Philly’s other goal, continuing a hot start that pushes his season total to seven. Joe Corvo and Bill Dwyer scored for the Hurricanes.
Justin Peters did a solid Cam Ward impression, stopping 34 out of 37 shots, but Sergei Bobrovsky earned the win for the Flyers by setting aside 26 out of 28. Philadelphia is now on top of the Atlantic Division with a four game winning streak while Carolina is slipping, as they’ve lost two in a row.
The Rangers scrapped this one out, as Henrik Lundqvist stopped 33 shots while his teammates blocked 33 more. (Read more about Lundqvist’s outstanding play here.)
Brandon Dubinsky scored two goals while Erik Christensen notched the game winner for New York 28 seconds after the game was tied 2-2 while Tomas Kopecky and Patrick Kane scored for Chicago. Marty Turco didn’t exactly put together his greatest game for the Blackhawks, allowing three goals on 23 shots.
Take one more “silver lining” out of an increasingly cloudy season for the Devils, as the team was blanked for the first time in 2010-11 tonight. Roberto Luongo earned that shutout, stopping 30 shots while this day was a bad one for guys named Martin/Marty (Brodeur allowed three goals on 23 shots, just like Turco).
Raffi Torres and Ryan Kesler scored to give the Canucks a 2-0 nothing lead, then Henrik Sedin scored a beauty on a penalty shot to clinch it 3-0.
I’ll probably break down some of the horrific numbers for the Devils tomorrow, but this paragraph from the Associated Press recap is a pretty good summary of their miseries.
Martin Brodeur finished with 20 saves for the Devils, who are off to their worst start in 27 years at 3-9-1 and last in the NHL with just seven points.
Yeah, things are looking pretty bleak for New Jersey, whose best player Zach Parise could miss a significant amount of time with a knee injury. (He’s about to undergo exploratory arthroscopic knee surgery in the near future.) Ouch.