Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sunday NHL on NBC and Other Musings

Final score Rangers 5, Flyers 4 (SO). Those expecting a defensive, goalie duel were disappointed during the first period but after both teams changed goalies at the start of the second period. The Flyers started the first period with Antero Nittymaki in net, the Ragners started their "ironman" Henrik Lundqvist. After both netminders allowed their opponents to score three goals in the first, each coach clearly had concerns about the stability of their netminders. The Rangers started period 2 with their back-up Stephan Valiquette in net. The Flyers replaced Nittymaki with their number 1 Martin Brion after the Rangers scored their fourth goal of the game 1:51 into the second period. For the remainder of the game it was the defensive battle most expected and ended with a 4-4 tie in regulation. Despite the Flyers dominating the 4-4 overtime, it remained scoreless, primarily through Valiquette's heroics and key saves. The Rangers won the shootout 2-0 scoring on their first two attempts while the Flyers were unable to capitalize. The results mean the Rangers are remain in 7th in the Conference tied at 76 points with the Bruins, though the Bruins have two games in hand on the Boys from Broadway, including tomorrow night's game against the Capitals here in DC. The Flyers remain in eighth place with 73 points. The Caps have 16 games left and by general consensus opinons probably need 24 points to ensure a trip to the playoffs, that's a pretty tall order - 0.750 hockey. Though the Caps ought to be able to win the Southeast Division with something less than 92 points (probably 88) and could get in playing 0.625 hockey.

Other musings around the NHL - per the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch (always a suspect source when talking "aboot" things to do with the Washington Capitals), Caps GM George McPhee might be on his way out. Apparently the San Jose Shark's # Goalie Evgeni Nabakov is glad to have some backup help in the form of Brian Boucher on board for the race to the cup. The thirty-one year old Boucher and the Sharks shut out the Saint Louis Blues in Boucher's first NHL game of the season after being acquired from the AHL Philadelphia Phantoms. The Nashville Preditors and former Dallas Stars netminder Dan Ellis beat the Stars in Dallas 3-1 and apparently Ellis enjoyed his homecoming. All in all cruising the web and looking over the local papers most of the deadline day trades seem to be helping their new teams, and the fan bases and main stream media in their new cities are glad they have the help.

1 comment:

dmg said...

Garrioch is an idiot and his claim about McPhee is based on pure speculation. McPhee has done a very good job since Leonsis took his hands off things (i.e. since the Jagr extension back fired) and the Capitals have gone from being completlty down and out to a playoff caliber team...and one that has one of the deepest prospect groups in the NHL.

McPhee has made good trades, signed good free agents, fill the holes on the team well drafted well and the Caps are in contention despite missing Nylander, Clark, Semin (three of their top six forwards heading into the season) and Pothier each for a substantial amount of time.

I think what Garrioch did was basically say "hmm, McPhee made trades. I bet he really wants to make the playoffs...but what if they don't" and that was enough to qualify it a rumor in his book.

Based on his talk about Ovechkin this probably means McPhee's going to get an extension or something.