Big performance from Ryan Kesler last night with a goal and five shots in 20:39 of ice time. Had a breakout year this season with 59 points and although he may struggle to go much higher than that, its nice to see him elevate himself from a 3rd line checker to a 2nd line scoring winger.
Kyle Wellwood, the subject of many fat jokes, was a key player for the Canucks last night as he had two assists and drew eight minutes in penalties while playing 18:29 himself. Good for the kid, as despite not typically being the hardest worker, he is a player that is easy to root for.
Chicago played a real loose game last night taking bad penalties and making some odd decisions. Fitting then that Patrick Kane was the one who stood out, both for his two goals and his team worst minus three. Pat still looks a little banged up to us, think he's still dealing with that lingering ankle injury, but he showed that he still has those world class hands that can finish around the net.
Jaromir Jagr said yesterday that if he comes back to the NHL that the Oilers would be his team of choice (maybe he should speak with Chris Pronger's wife?) since the Oil has shown a lot of interest in him lately. He said he'll play in Russia next year but after that he could return to the NHL. So just be patient Oilers' fans... one more year and you'll have a 38 year old fading star who said that he'd prefer to play on the 3rd line cause then you "don't have to produce every night".
Speaking of Russia, Richard Zednik signed a two year deal over there. Sounds about right. Florida will really miss the 59 points he put up (over the past two years).
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Alexander Ovechkin missed practice yesterday and had his personal trainer fly in from Russia... the team says there's nothing to be alarmed about and we'd tend to believe them... remember... Russian Machine Never Breaks.
Jonathan Toews' ice time has been down lately and was only 13:46 last night, so there's speculation that he may be hurting. We probably won't know until the playoffs are over if he is but keep an eye on this.
Heard word yesterday that Jeff Carter suffered a separated shoulder in game #3 of the series vs Pittsburgh and played hurt the rest of the way... so maybe we'll take back what we said yesterday when we named him one of the breakdowns of the 1st round.
What's distracting us today? Be sure to check out Hardcore Hockey Talk on TheScore tonight as we're waiting to hear what the HHT "Experts" have to say about our little challenge. So far so good as the SportsFed Bloggers are handing them their asses (not sure what that means but it seems fitting) with our picks and administering a verbal beatdown on the interweb. But as with anyone who's credibility is questioned, we expect the "Experts" to throw everything at us in Round #2. When the competition has the ability to transform itself from mild mannered Steven Kouleas (on the left) to "Koulie - the Casanova from Macedonia" (on the right)... it is not to be underestimated. I mean c'mon, look at the teeth, he eats chumps like us for breakfast.