The Gooch buzzing... Kovalchuk finds legs... will Niemi "bounce" back?... Rangers to sign Norwegian sensation... Canada meets nemesis at U-18s... Green Men more than just Green
Devin Setoguchi was buzzing all over the place for the Sharks last night and very fittingly scored twice, including the OT winner. He also had a goal called back in the 3rd and ended the night with seven shots... big night for the kid who was a pretty big disappointment this year with only 36 points after his 31 goal and 65 point breakout season in 2008/09.
The Sharks were all over the Avs and outshot them by a crazy 52-22 margin... and given that there were a couple of controversial decisions that went against the Sharks, they were deserving of pulling this one out in OT.
Ilya Kovalchuk seemed to get his playoff legs under him in game #2 as he had 1+2=3 or maybe he just had extra motivation after taking six minutes in penalties during the game.
Coach Q says he is sticking with Antti Niemi but the game winning goal that he gave up last night was quite the stinker and we'll see how he "bounces" back in game #2.
Henrik Zetterberg picked up the hat-trick last night in a wild shootout in the desert that saw five goals in about a four minute span in the 2nd period and then five more in the 3rd. Zetterberg's averaged 12 goals and 26 points over the past two playoffs, so he's become quite the clutch performer.
The Rangers have reportedly signed Norway's Mats Zuccarrelo-Aasen out of the SEL where he won the scoring title & MVP this past season. He's listed at 5'7" & 161 and while he was fun to watch at the Olympics, we have serious doubts about how effective this guy will be in the NHL... take a flier on him if your situation permits but we think there's bigger fish to fry, literally.
Another Euro who's looking to cross the pond is Finnish goalie Jussi Rynnas who, in his first season in the top Finnish league, had the league's best sv% (.929). He's apparently being pursued by Edmonton, Dallas, M'sota, Montreal, Philly and Toronto. He's only 22 and with just one season in a lesser European league, we'll need to see more before we're really impressed.
At the U-18s yesterday, the player of the tournament so far, Sweden's Johan Larsson put on another show with 2+3=5 in a rout of the Swiss and he's leading the tourney in scoring with 6+6=12 in three games so far. The other big news was Canada being shutout by their arch-nemesis, Jack Campbell, as the Americans schooled them 5-nil. Canada meets the high-flying Swedes to close out the round robin on TSN tomorrow morning.
Jordan Leopold left last night's game early after taking a hard & clean hit from Andy Sutton and he had his eggs totally scrambled... I'd bet he'd miss a few games, maybe longer, because of this.
Patric Hornqvist was able to return to the lineup last night but only played 13 minutes so maybe that UBI that he suffered right at the end of the regular season (when he got in the way of a Shea Weber shot) is still bothering him.
What's distracting us today? In Game 1 of the Canucks - Kings playoff series, internet sensation, The Green Men really brought things up a notch:
These guys are entertaining and all but we have to agree with Kurtenblog who said:
"We're just not sure where they go from here. They're two dudes in tight, neon-green suits who move around in weird ways. That's it. That's the bit. It's like a pie in the face. Funny, but tough to progress the comedy. Maybe if they added a sidekick or something."
We (and Kurtenblog) might be being a bit harsh. We found this video that was posted in January where the guys do more than just moving around in weird ways... like talking!