Saturday, March 3, 2007

Nachos Grande

It's been a while since we recapped, eh? S0 I lead in with a title sure to produce just as much indigestion for all NHL fans as the actual games that got played last night.

We start at home...well, actually, in Raleigh, but our Pens played there last night. Neither Staal played particularly well, nor did either Whitney (yeah, you forgot, Carolina has one too, huh?).

There was a good give and take all game, though it varied as to who exactly was doing the giving and taking:

"You. Me. Parking lot. Eleven o'clock."

The teams continued an even give and take, heading into the third in a 2-2 tie. Then the game took a turn for the worse, and the momentum began to swing Carolina's way:

Malkin takes yet another fall, while leaving a present in his pants that obviously does not amuse Frank Kaberle

The Hurricanes got one last goal from Scotty Walker, and try as they might, the Pens could not get one more past Cam Ward, and the Pens go down, 3-2. I only have one question. The Hurricanes wear red, they have a decent scorer named Walker - how did we go the entire night with zero alcohol jokes?

However, the Pens loss hurt a little less when you look at other action around the league...

~New Jersey went into action tonight against Toronto with the intent of increasing their cushion over the Penguins, and got off to a roaring start towards that end. Perhaps they were motivated by the sheer will to win, or perhaps they suddenly got all fired up because it was Lawyer Night:

"There's no fee unless we get money for you"

They were everywhere, simultaneously ripping players heads off and brutalizing the refs on their way to a 2-0 lead after two periods.

Both O'Neill and the ref may never be the same again

Then, apparently, the Devils secretly put Scotty the Backup into Marty Brodeur's gear during the third so he could head to the locker room for Paul Maurice's wife, a moment that didn't go unnoticed by the Maple Leaf's bench:

"Uhh. coach? Where's he going? And who's that blonde chick?"

This move apparently lit a fire under Toronto, and before you knew it, they tallied three goals in the span of 32:51 to take the lead. Jersey battled back with a goal at the 18:51 mark, but that was only good enough to get the game to a shootout. No sweat, right? Zach Parise is on fire! He scores, and the Devils have a 1-0 lead in the shootout. Unfortunately, it wasn't over yet, as Brodeur gave up a goal to the previously useless Yanic Perreault, and then another to the previously headless O'Neill:

"Damn, was I supposed to stop that one?"

Toronto shows the Pens a little love, keeping Jersey reasonably close in the standings.

~Atlanta gave the Pens a little help, as Eric Belanger and Dany Heatley apparently played a bit of one-on-one for the first two and a quarter periods, dueling to a 2-2 tie. Then the rest of the teams showed up to play, and Atlanta toyed with the Senators for a while, even taking time to show off for the fans:

Pascal Dupuis shows off his stickhandling skills, much to the fans' delight

In between tricks, Atlanta added two more goals to pull out the win, 4-2.

~The Montreal Canadiens' offense showed up again tonight, tallying five goals for the fourth time in their last six games. Unfortunately, they were also paying Buffalo, and had some goof named Aebischer in net. It was close most of the night, and the fans were kept abuzz (there were four times where a goal was scored within 40 seconds of another), but in the end Montreal couldn't hang with Buffalo's run and gun, falling by a final of 8-5.

Oh, and remember that Plekanec guy I mentioned a while back? I don't think we can refer to him as "Tomas who?" anymore. As I said previously, he finished 2006 with 3G and 9A in 38 games, but has made a huge leap in his game, tallying two goals and an assist last night to bring his 2007 total to 13 goals and 12 assists in 28 games (not too shabby for a guy who doesn't have regular linemates).

~Out west, the Detroit Red Wings had a great night, defeating Jason Williams by a final score of 6-2. You laugh, but I mean that literally. The final score was 6-2, and Williams (Chicago's newest young winger) scored both goals (one power play, one shorthanded) and was unassisted on both. Then again, you can't really expect the Blackhawks to win regularly when they trot out goalies like Patrick Lalime, who give up cheese goals to the likes of...Valtteri Filppula. Seriously, look at Detroit's six goal scorers:

Robert Lang: first goal in 10 games

Valtteri Filppula: second goal in 16 games

Johan Franzen: second goal in two games after one in the previous 13

Jiri Hudler: second goal in the last 18 games

Niklas Lidstrom: second goal in the last 31 games

Mathieu Schneider: third goal in the last 9 games after none in the previous 21.

So there's six goals by six guys, the most prolific of whom notched his 15th goal in 65 games. Boy, too bad we didn't hold on to Lalime all those years ago.

~Outside of that, not much. Columbus and Anaheim beat Dallas and San Jose by a combined score of 6-3. I was going to show pictures, but 90% of the Columbus ones were of players laying on the ice, and who really cares about Anaheim or San Jose.

Whew, long winded but thorough (mostly), that's me.

Games to watch tonight? Montreal tries for points again in Boston, the Islanders go at it with Washington, the Battles of Florida and Alberta, respectively, and a Rangers Blues game at 1 PM that you should be sure and miss.


d-lee said...

For what it's worth...
I like your captioning on the photos, but in that second one from the Canes/Pens game, it's Nic Wallin for the Canes rather than Frantisek Kaberle.

How in the world do you recap the Devils/Leafs game without mentioning the injury to Tomas Kaberle?

Geeves said...

what can i say, d-lee, i try and keep the recaps upbeat, that would've seriously bogged down the mojo.

not like it hasnt been discussed to death everywhere else.

plus, at the time i wrote the recap, i hadnt seen the hit yet