NHL BLOG, SIX PACKS ON ICE: Week One is Done
It has returned.
After the first big weekend of NHL games it’s looking better than expected from our boys on the ice. Granted, I see quite a few mouth-breathers on the benches and interviews are difficult to listen to when players can barely get the words out, but they are doing well for having only one week of training camp. Here we take a look at what’s going on around the league and get a sense of who looks like Miracle on Ice, and who needs few more conditioning skates.
Only a few games have been played by each team, but the forerunners of each division are New Jersey, Tampa Bay, Boston, Chicago, Minnesota, and San Jose. In the games I’ve been able to watch (I can only have so many on at one time), New Jersey, Chicago, and Boston are looking really strong in maintaining energy on the ice.
Ilya Kovalchuk had a sweet penalty shot goal on Tuesday night’s game against the Flyers, I couldn’t not include the video, so check this one out for yourselves (he makes it look as easy as breathing).
Duncan Keith shows us why hockey players are the toughest athletes out there. As HockeyTube.net stated, ”Keith gets hit in the face with a deflected shot, yet still has the presence of mind to trap the puck with his cheek against his shoulder to stop the play, then only after the whistle bothers to check for damage!”
Saves Like Jim Craig
Ryan Miller’s capacity was questioned coming into this 2013 season; however, in his first two games he’s looked as sharp as ever. Facing an onslaught of 35 shots against Toronto on the road Monday night, Miller was rock solid as the Sabres were able to hold on for a 2-1 win to start the season 2-0-0.
Rumors about Luongo being traded are circulating like wildfire. Although he remains a member of the Vancouver Canucks, new reports suggest that a deal is in place for the veteran goaltender. GM Mike Gillis admitted to the Vancouver Sun newspaper Monday night that a framework for a trade is in place and the trigger could be pulled at any minute.
Fighting Like Doug The Thug
There were plenty of scraps across the league so far. I got to see firsthand as BDB favorites Paul Bissonnette and SBOTD’s Brandon Bollig went at it during the Coyotes/Blackhawks game on Sunday night in Phoenix. Bollig also lived up to his role as enforcer for the Blackhawks with a fight against Chris Stewart during the St. Louis game. Heavyweight Colton Orr had a busy first week with a fight against Sabres John Scott on Monday, and last night dropped the gloves with Penguins Deryk Engelland. The Bruins also had a good fight with bad-boy Shawn Thornton vs. Rangers Mike Rupp on Saturday in TD Garden.
I think the best fight thus far goes to the brawl between New York Rangers Tanner Glass (former Penguin) and Pittsburgh Penguins Arron Asham. Two seconds into the game, right off the opening faceoff at MSG, these two dropped the gloves for a good throw down. Watch it here:
Ending Like the Mighty Ducks
Apparently Disney wrote the script for games played in this first weekend of the season, especially on MLK Day, because there have been quite a few shootouts, each entertaining in their own way.
Blue Jackets, predicted by many to finish last in the Central Division, defeated the Nashville Predators 3-2 in a shootout Saturday.
Triple-triple-triple deke? Bruins young-blood, and former SBOTD, Tyler Seguin came up big for Boston in their shootout against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday afternoon. With beautiful SO goals by Seguin and Bergeron, the B’s proved victorious, creating a cushy 2-0-0 record to start this shortened season.
The St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators matchup came down to a shootout as well, ending in a 4-3 victory for the Blues. Vladimir Tarasenko earned MVP of the game scoring St. Louis’ first goal of the night and aiding with assists on goals by Andy MacDonald and Alex Pietrangelo.
And the most popular highlight from this first week of hockey was of course the nasty Damien Brunner goal that saved an otherwise awful shootout.
On Monday the Blue Jackets and the Red Wings tied their game 3-3, sending them into OT, and then the SO. Four Columbus shooters and three Detroit shooters skated in to Boringville before Brunner lit the lamp. With a swift shift to his backhand, Brunner showed NHL fans that he has been doing his homework with fellow Red Wing Pavel Datsyuk. Coming off a brutal 6-0 loss against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, this positive publicity was much needed for Detroit.
Michela’s Top Pick of the Week
Each week I’m going to close up our NHL blog with a top pick video courtesy of HockeyTube.net.
This week’s Top Pick definitely goes to Marian Gaborik and his game winning, and hat-trick, goal last night in the Rangers game against the Bruins. As much as I hate to write this (I am a die-hard Boston fan), his hand-eye coordination is fantastico!
And remember to check out our Babes Dig Balls Beered-Up Hockey Drinking Game!
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)