Since we will be spending Sunday mornings together from now on, at times in Thundercats pajamas, let's make this as un-awkward as possible: my name is Jill; no, we haven't met before; yes, our only connection is that we obsess over fake teams and pretend to own real humans, which isn't weird at all; I may or may not be a sucker for Patrick Marleau's puppy dog eyes; unfortunately, I do not know what special juice Dustin Penner is spiking his Gatorade with, but Nail Yakupov should ask; I am a shameless trade whore, a die-hard Yankees and Blue Devils fan, and an attorney, so please judge me accordingly; and I am competitive enough that I may just be using this column as a way to reverse-psychology my fantasy league. So read at your own risk.
ABOUT LAST NIGHT...
Sunday, the day when we give a fist bump to the Fantasy Gods for Chris Kunitz's stats and Roman Josi's face. But mostly, the day to gossip about the weekend's slutty stepchild: Saturday. She was particularly busy yesterday, packed with 12 games and a handful of overtimes. Let's discuss:
Calgary 2, Buffalo 1 (OT): Matt Stajan scored the winner for Calgary just 42 seconds into OT, Karri Ramo stopped 26 of 27 shots, and Paul Byron had a goal, an assist, and was +2 against the team that drafted him. Called "a little Energizer bunny" by Coach Bob Hartley, the manliest of compliments, Byron has impressed since getting called up on November 28th. Matt Moulson scored for the Sabres, while Marcus Foligno played goon, collecting three minor penalties.
Los Angeles 5, Ottawa 2: Martin Jones (0.99 GAA, .967 SV%) clearly had a horrible game, allowing two whole goals, or 40% of the total he has allowed this season. The rookie wizard has won his first five games for the Kings. Craig Anderson was pulled just four minutes into the game, allowing two goals on four shots. Anze Kopitar had two goals, Jeff Carter, Dwight King, and Jarret Stoll each had one, while Drew Doughty (+3) had an assist. Erik Karlsson notched his ninth of the season for the Senators.
Dallas 6, Winnipeg 4: Kari Lehtonen got the ugly win, Jamie Benn scored wo goals, and Tyler Seguin had two goals and two assists for Dallas. Weirdly, Sergei Gonchar was actually useful with four helpers, the most of his career. Blake Wheeler scored two goals for the Jets, giving him six in his last six games.
Toronto 7, Chicago 3: Jesus Marian Hossa, the Blackhawks looked bad, particularly in the second period when they were outscored 4-1. Mason Raymond had four assists, while Joffrey Lupul and Peter Holland each scored twice for the Leafs; Patrick Kane also scored twice, with Brandon Saad knocking in the lonely other goal for the Blackhawks.
Pittsburgh 4, Detroit 1: Although the Pens cruised, they lost Evgeni Malkin to a left-leg injury after he scored a goal and two assists. Sidney Crosby lit the lamp twice, yawn. Besides Daniel Alfredsson, who at least had an assist and four shots on goal, Detroit did not look good.
Montreal 1, New York Islanders 0 (OT): Making his debut, Ryan Strome had two shots in just under 15 minutes of ice time for the Islanders. He looked good, though, and already saw 3:43 on the power play. A defensive duel, Max Pacioretty finally broke the scoreless tie less than two minutes into OT.
St. Louis 4, Columbus 3 (OT): One of my favorite scoring goons, Chris Stewart, did his thing today, getting into a fight wth Dalton Prout and tying the game with 6:27 remaining in regulation for the Blues. Vladamir Tarasenko scored twice, with David Backes getting a gorgeous game-winner in OT. Arten Anisimov. Fedor Tyutin, and Ryan Johansen each had tallies for the Blue Jackets.
Nashville 3, San Jose 2: The Sharks, losers of five of their past six, were foiled by the Predators, who received goals from Eric Nystrom, Roman Josi, and Victor Stalberg. Mr. Josi, a chiseled Swiss marshmallow of perfection, has four points in his past four games. Usual suspects Dan Boyle and Patrick Marleau notched goals and assists for San Jose.
Minnesota 2, Colorado 1 (SO): With a high, tricky shot, Mikko Koivu won a shootout for the Wild, as Josh Harding was excellent between the pipes; he leads the league in GAA with a 1.52. Besides having an awesome name, Nino Niederreiter also had an awesome goal to tie the game with 3:53 left in regulation. The Avalanche, however, are 0-for-26 on the power play over the past 10 games.
Vancouver 6, Boston 2: Visiting the northern tundra known as America's Hat, the Bruins embarrassed the nation before sulking across the border in shame. The Canucks had impressively even scoring, getting goals from David Booth, Chris Higgins, Jannik Hansen, Henrik Sedin, Yannick Weber, Chris Tanev, and assists from Kevin Bieksa, Ryan Kesler, Brad Richardson, Mike Santorelli, and Daniel Sedin. Reilly Smith had both goals for Boston.