Woohoo! Break out the Schnapps, big boy!
There was much jubilation to be had, since there was hockey action all over the place. Well, except on Long Island, because there was a f---ing Devils game, but I'll save that downer for the end. In other towns across America...
~ The Flyers played one hell of a slobberknocker in Madison Square tonight, their first game post-Forsberg, with a ton of hitting and a fight halfway through the opening period, with the game finishing up tallying 68 minutes in penalties...and one horrific collision:
Shanahan plays dead in an attempt to throw the Flyers off their game
Seriously, though. Shanahan was removed from the game on a stretcher, and his opposing force, Mike Knuble, busted his face (literally, probably broke a few bones. Thank goodness - Penguin killer). Alright, we'll move elsewhere to recharge the energy that Shanahan sucked out of this recap right off the bat...
~Atlanta scored a power play goal with 1:43 remaining in the second period, and let it go straight to their heads.
Ottawa capitalized on an obviously distracted Atlanta team, scoring three goals in the second half of the third period on their way to a 5-3 victory.
~Boston started out the night fairly well, with Tim Thomas making save after save to keep the Bruins ahead, launching them to a 3-1 lead with just over six minutes remaining in the game...
Eat your heart out, Criss Angel
Buffalo, however, was not to be deterred. They scored two power play goals in the final 1:40 of regulation to erase that deficit and eventually get the game to a shootout. The drama continued to build, with the shootout going all the way to eight rounds before the great Petr Tenkrat mercifully ended Buffalo's suffering with a goal.
~Montreal continues to fall apart. No, literally. For instance, if it wasn't enough that they hit a losing skid, they then lost Kovalev and Huet to injuries for the next several weeks...and now it's becoming literal. Observe the great night Michael Ryder had:
Not how coach taught him to shoot
Les Habitants played from behind all night, but here's an interesting twist: Carolina scored an empty net goal with 1:13 left in the game to make the score 5-2, and after that, Thomas Plekanec snagged a penalty shot goal in the last minute for a more respectable 5-3 score. Plekanec, who was a noname early on, has been much better of late, now notching 10 goals and 9 assists in 21 games since the new year arrived.
~On the other end of the trade spectrum, Nashville proudly welcomed Peter Forsberg into their lineup...and proceeded to roundly get their asses handed to them. It did not take long for Forsberg to assimilate himself into the Nashville scheme, and you know what that meant:
Forsberg returns to his tried-and-true strategy of diving and latent homosexuality
The Predators started out well enough, notching the first goal, but it was all downhill from there. They gift-wrapped a power play goal for Minnesota early in the second by shooting the puck over the glass, leading to a tie game, but that wouldnt last forever, as Minnesota notched a power play goal, a penalty shot goal, and an empty netter to finish off new-look Nashville, 4-1. The Wild put Marian Gaborik, Pavol Demitra, and Brian Rolston together on the top line three games into Gaborik's return from injury. In sixteen games since then, the Wild are 11-3-2, with 22 points for Gaborik, 18 for Demitra...and a mere 11 points for Rolston (who had 37 points in 40 games prior to Gaborik's return).
~The Toronto Maple Leafs celebrated the celebration of their ineptitude (aka: the 40th anny of their last Cup) by notching a win against the Edmonton Oilers, though it was obviously because the Oilers were far more concerned with other pursuits:
~Florida fought back all night against their local rival, the Lightning, sending the game into overtime and then putting it away for good with a goal from Nathan Horton a mere 29 seconds into the extra frame.
~The Russian show made an appearance in Phoenix tonight, as Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk combined for three goals and five assists in a 4-1 drubbing of every team's favorite whipping boy, the Coyotes.
~ The late late games went final during my creation of this fantastic recap tonight:
Los Angeles snagged an impressive power play goal a mere eight seconds into the game to get the jump on Anaheim early, then had to bust their butts all night to hang tough, sending the game into overtime, eventually succumbing to the breakaway abilities of Corey Perry.
Calgary and Colorado got off to a dreadfully slow start, with both teams registering a total of nine shots and zero goals combined in the opening frame. Colorado then came out blazing, all the way to a 2-1 lead, before forgetting their bearings entirely. They gave Calgary five power plays over the next 20 miutes, and Calgary took advantage, to the tune of a 5-2 final score.
Oh yeah. can't leave out the damn Devils game.
Big fucking surprise, the game ended 2-0. The game had more fights than goals! Know how a picture is worth a thousand words? Well here's my thousand:
Hey, you guys wanna go out for some wing dings?"
This was New Jersy's post-game celebration. All three of them! Note the incredible boredom of the five fans behind them who actually came to the game.
Skippy and I have spent this season playing a simple drinking game where we do a shot every time the Devils score. Tonight we extended our DiMaggio-like streak of not even getting remotely tipsy to 59 games.
Tommorow afternoon: Let's Go Pens!