Like a questionable custody agreement, Sunday is our one day together, so let's make it count. Too many peppermint martinis? I thought last weekend, our first time, was somewhat memorable, but while I eat my emotions, let's go through this again: my name is Jill; yes, we have met before; we were set up because we both want to conquer imaginary parts of the universe in the form of fake hockey dynasties, which is how most healthy relationships begin; the jury is still out whether I am on Santa's naughty or nice list, but at least my fantasy team, Laich a Virgin, is cruising along in first place; it is now clear that Sidney Crosby is a greater wizard than Gandalf or Voldemort; rather than his hockey woes, Michael Del Zotto should be far more concerned that his face looks like Ross Geller had sex with Andy Pettitte's nose; all I want for Christmas is Steven Stamkos' leg to heal, a box at MSG, a date with Roman Josi, and a Spice Girls reunion tour; until then, there is a ton of hockey to discuss:
ABOUT LAST NIGHT....
Canadiens 4, Predators 3 (OT): After Montreal gave up a three-goal first-period lead (goals by PK Subban, Max Pacioretty, and Tomas Plekanec), David Desharnais scored 1:43 into overtime, securing the victory. Without Pekka Rinne, Nashville's goalie situation remains The Island of Misfit Toys.
Blue Jackets 6, Flyers 3: A 2-2 game headed into the third period, the Blue Jackets took over in the final frame behind two goals each by Ryan Johansen and R.J Umberger. Wayne Simmonds had a nice night for Philly, with two goals, two hits, three shots, +1, and two penalty minutes. In addition to six goals, Columbus also provided the Flyers with a lifetime supply of maize, STDs, and small pox blankets.
Devils 5, Capitals 4 (OT): Jaromir Jagr continues to defy age, scoring a goal and two assists; the goal marked the 694th of his career, which ties my childhood idol Mark Messier for seventh all-time. Still, I prefer to watch him play with my eyes closed so I can imagine his magical mullet of yesteryear flowing behind him like a cape of hairy honor. Marek Zidlicky had two goals, while Andy Greene won it 43 seconds into overtime. Alex Ovechkin, Jason Chimera, Joel Ward, and Mikhail Grabovski scored for Washington. This was the first point for Grabovski after he missed a week due to the flu like a second-grader.
Blues 6, Oilers 0: The Oilers have now lost six games in a row, three of which have been shutouts. Even fat chicks score once in awhile, boys. Chris Stewart, who often resembles the love child of Blake Griffin and Scottie Pippin, had a hat trick for St. Louis, with Brenden Morrow, Patrik Berglund, and Jaden Schwartz also notching goals.
Ducks 5, Islanders 3: Behind a hat trick, assist, and +3 night from Ryan Getzlaf, the Ducks won their eighth straight game, a team record. Anaheim is now almost as fun to watch as when Gordon Bombay coached. Thomas Vanek had two goals for New York and Frans Nielsen had the other; after starting the season on fire, Nielsen has cooled off considerably, but he has picked up the pace again lately. Dustin Penner, who has also sucked his last few games after an en fuego start, was a surprising healthy scratch. He is expected to play on Monday and he is expected to be motivated by shame.
Sharks 3, Stars 2 (SO): Dallas relinquished a two-goal lead after Jason Demers and Joe Pavelski tied it up, while Joe Thornton won the game in the fifth round of an otherwise scoreless shootout. This turned into a goalie's duel, but it almost wasn't: even though the puck was still loose in the crease, the refs blew play dead, negating a potential late goal by Colton Sceviour, a 24-year-old rookie worth watching in deeper leagues. He has three goals in four games since getting called up.
Lightning 3, Hurricanes 2 (OT): After a stellar game from Justin Peters, Carolina was beaten 2:16 into overtime by Radko Gudas, one of my favorite goons (season stats: 2 goals, 6 assists, +2, 76 penalty minutes, 55 shots on goal, 121 hits). Martin St. Louis and Victor Hedman rounded out the scoring for Tampa Bay, while Valtteri Filppula and his absurd double consonants had two assists. Jiri Tlusty scored both goals for the Hurricanes.
Red Wings 5, Maple Leafs 4 (SO): After James Reimer gave up three goals on 12 shots in the first period, it didn't look good for Toronto – but they made it a game with stellar goaltending from replacement Jonathan Bernier and goals from David Clarkson, Dion Phaneuf, Joffrey Lupul, and Cody Franson. Still, Detroit was too much for the struggling Leafs, even though they played without injured Henrik Zetterberg, Jimmy Howard, Stephen Weiss, Gustav Nyquist, Johan Franzen, and Justin Abdelkader, and seem to be down to zamboni drivers and cotton candy sellers on the bench. Danel Alfredsson scored the winner, breaking a streak of 11 straight shootout losses for the Red Wings. Keep an eye on Tomas Jurco, who has three points in four games since getting called up.
Bruins 4, Sabres 1: David Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Reilly Smith scored for Boston, now a boring 12-0-2 in their last 14 home games. Far more entertaining is the fact that after 10 years in the NHL, Patrice Bergeron received his first ever fighting major. He was cross-checked by Tyler Myers and eventually dropped his gloves. The 2014 Hunger Games have now been postponed.
Kings 3, Avalanche 2: Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn King, peace on earth and Martin Jones, a record eight straight wins Colorado groans. Joyful, Carter and Williams score, Semyon Varlamov apparently didn't beat that whore. Although Duchene had two assists, no one misses Jonathan Quick. Hark, the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn King!
Coyotes 4, Senators 3 (OT): Former Senator Antoine Vermette had a storybook return to Ottawa, scoring a hat trick and the game-winner in overtime. Eric Gryba (1 A, 2 SOGs, 4 Hs, +1, 2 PIMs) and Zack Smith (1 G, 4 SOGs, 3 Hs,+1, 2 PIMs) had decent nights for the Senators. Cory Conacher will be getting reindeer poop for Christmas.
Penguins 4, Flames 3: Playing without five of their top six defensemen and Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh continued to roll behind Sidney Crosby, who scored a goal and two assists on Saturday. Pascal Dupuis was finally useful, Harry Zolnierczkyi got his first goal, and James Neal chipped in to round out the scoring for the Penguins. Michael Cammalleri, Jiri Hudler, and Paul Byron had goals for Calgary, losers of not only their dignity, but four straight. They teased us a bit in this one, scoring with 45 seconds left in the second and only 1:03 into the third to bring the game to 4-3, but their comeback bid unsurprisingly failed, just like my quest to get a morning-after gift basket from Derek Jeter.