NHL & Fantasy Hockey Morning Buzz: October 5th 2013
Good morning hockey fans! There were six games on yesterday’s slate but first, some injury news.
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin missed yesterday’s opener with a lower body injury.
Anaheim Ducks winger Teemu Selanne will miss today’s game but will play tomorrow according to the Orange County Register.
New York Rangers winger Ryan Callahan will return to the lineup on Monday according to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.
Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog sat out last night’s game with a leg injury
Edmonton Oilers sophomore center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will make his season debut on Monday against the Devils. Nugent-Hopkins return comes a full month earlier than originally expected. The source for this report is Darren Dreger.
Pittsburgh Penguins star James Neal is likely to be out “weeks” with an upper-body injury according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser is going to be out 3-4 weeks with a knee injury.
Calgary Flames center Matt Stajan is being considered “week-to-week” with a leg contusion.
Detroit Red Wings 3 – 2 Carolina Hurricanes (OT)
The Scoop: The Wings headed into PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina fresh off a win against the Buffalo Sabres and looking to start the season 2-0. The Hurricanes opened the scoring in the first period when Radek Dvorak made an incredibly gorgeous one-handed stab at the puck with his outstretched right hand. Dvorak barely made contact with the puck as he “chopped it” over a stunned Jimmy Howard. Late in the second period the Hurricanes made it 2-0 on the power-play as they capitalized on a feeble clearing attempt by Detroit defenseman Danny DeKeyser. Hurricanes forward Nathan Gerbe was the beneficiary of the resulting shot and rebound as he picked up the latter and pocketed an easy goal.
The Red Wings first goal of the game came off a mistake by Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal. This play is the focus of tonight’s acute analysis angle.
The Play: The third period just started and the Hurricanes have their number two forward line on the ice with Jordan Staal centering Gerbe and Patrick Dwyer. Thirty seconds have elapsed off the clock to this point.
Jordan Staal has just attempted a pass to Patrick Dwyer that will end up being just out of his reach. It’s debatable who is to blame, either Dwyer for slowing down on Staal’s lead pass, or Staal for not passing it to Dwyer’s tape when it was clear Dwyer had stopped. Nevertheless, the incredibly dismal execution of a two foot pass would be the Hurricanes undoing in this game. Execution of this pass would’ve allowed Dwyer to gain the red line and dump the puck down the ice for a full change.
Yes this is how bad the pass by Staal was, and it resulted in a takeaway for the Red Wings. Dwyer decided to cut his losses on the play and changed since he was right near the bench, which is okay in theory. The problem is that Nathan Gerbe cut across the entire ice to change along with Dwyer, leaving Justin Abdelkader alone on the right wing, a huge mistake. You can never change on the far side unless your team has the puck and/or the winger on your side of the ice from the opposing team, is also changing. That’s Hockey 101. Here’s a screenshot of the folly
Gerbe’s change is so awful that he’s along leaving Henrik Zetterberg alone in the middle of the ice, in addition to Abdelkader on the far boards. Normally Zetterberg is Staal’s man, but he is correctly advancing toward the defender with the puck and trying to apply pressure.
Once again, the incorrect line change comes back the Hurricanes as they now have the majority of their players on one side of the ice. Tragedy could’ve been avoided however, if Hurricanes defenseman Andrej Sekera wasn’t cluelessly oblivious to Abdelkader whose helmet you can see peeked up in the picture just above “Montreal” on the bottom ticker. Abdelkader would streak down the right side completely ignored, receiving an absolutely perfect no-look pass by Zetterberg.
Zetterberg didn’t stop there as he played hero with 16 seconds left, scoring to tie the game and push it to overtime. Stephen Weiss, the newcomer from the Florida Panthers, scored in overtime as he charged the net with a great hustle play
Calgary Flames 4 – 3 Columbus Blue Jackets
The Scoop: The Blue Jackets were opening up their season at home against the expected worst team in hockey, the Calgary Flames, and well, it didn’t go so good. Reigning Vezina trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky was shaky in net for the Jackets. The Flames got on the board early in the first after Bobrovsky gave up a big rebound that Flames rookie Sean Monahan pounced on for his first career goal. Columbus would later tie it on a power-play goal by pinching defenseman Jack Johnson. The only Flames penalty-killer that was really doing anything significant on the play was David Jones, who was pressuring everyone in his immediate area. Unfortunately, the side of the ice to the left of goaltender Joey MacDonald was wide open for Johnson who fired home his first goal of the year. Later in the period, Flames forward T.J. Galiardi capitalized on a Blue Jackets breakdown and earned himself a breakaway against Bobrovsky. Galiardi deked to Bobrovsky’s right and came back across for a nice backhand deke goal to put the Flames up 2-1. The first period would end tied 2-2 after a Marian Gaborik goal. With defense an obvious afterthought for the first period, the two teams buckled down in the second period. The third period was sheer craziness as the final three goals were scored just three minutes apart including two Calgary goals in a span of 42 seconds.
New York Islanders 4 – 3 New Jersey Devils (SO)
The Scoop: The Devils opened up the Prudential Center with a very solid effort against their rivals the New York Islanders. The Devils are now 0-2 so far to start the season but both losses have come against the two teams we predict will end up #1 and #2 in the Metropolitan + Carolina + Columbus Division. The goaltender matchup in this one was between two wily veterans as Martin Brodeur got the nod in the second game of the Devils back-to-back after facing Pittsburgh the night before. Evgeni Nabokov looked decent in the tilt, showcasing his skills best during the shoot-out when he stopped all six Devils shooters. Damien Brunner scored twice on four shots but many of the other Devils players looked awful. Both Jaromir Jagr and Patrick Elias were minus-2 and Adam Larsson the goat last night on Pittsburgh forward Chuck Kobasew’s opening goal, was also minus-2. The Islanders top line played a lot of minutes in this game as John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, and Matt Moulson each logged 21+ minutes in the contest. Moulson was the eventual hero in the shootout with a walk-off goal in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Ottawa Senators 1 – 0 Buffalo Sabres
The Scoop: This was an incredibly exciting game for a 1-0 goalie battle. The Senators pumped 46 shots on Ryan Miller while the Sabres fired 35 on Craig Anderson. Both goalies were absolutely sensational with the lone goal coming late in the third period by super-star defenseman Erik Karlsson. To put the onslaught by the Senators even more in perspective, the Sabres also blocked 17 shots, meaning that the Senators fired 63 shots toward Ryan Miller (excluding shots wide of the net). Miller’s stock is certainly on the rise at this point and if you own him I wouldn’t sell high right now. One of the other advantages for the Senators was stability in the face-off circle. The overall numbers were just 37-34, but the Sabres had six different players take at least five face-off’s thanks to center Kevin Porter being an abysmal 2-for-17 (17%) on draws in the game.
Winnipeg Jets 5 – 3 Los Angeles Kings
The Scoop: This game was a surprising win for the Jets, not because they aren’t good enough to beat a team like the Kings, but because they won 5-3 despite losing the face-off battle 40 to 23. The Jets raucous crowd provided a much needed boost to Claude Noel’s team all night long. The Kings got on the board first after an atrocious clearing attempt by Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. Byfuglien spun around and attempted to clear it across the other side of the defensive zone and failed miserably. It deflected off a couple of Jets players and Kings defenseman Matt Greene wound up for a one-timer as if Byfuglien was giving him a direct assist on the play. Greene rocketed a slap shot past Pavelec. The Jets first goal of the game came off a great hustle play against the boards made by rookie center Mark Scheifele. He pushed the puck up the boards along with winger Devin Setoguchi. Setoguchi made a nice pass to winger Evander Kane who skated hard down the left side of the boards and fired a rocket past goaltender Jonathan Quick to tie the game at one. The effort play was a much needed one for Scheifele as he struggled in the face-off circle once again as he finished the game 3-for-10 in the dot. In the second period Olli Jokinen potted his 300th career goal to give the Jets a 2-1 lead. After a couple more goals the Jets took a 4-1 lead. The Kings then scored two straight power-play goals but it wasn’t enough. The Jets need to figure out a way to solve their puck control and face-off issues though if they want to continue winning games. In addition to the face-off woes, the Jets had 13 more hits than the Kings, which means that they had the puck significantly less often.
Colorado Avalanche 3 – 1 Nashville Predators