November 06 2011 10:05AM
There has been a lot of talk in Vancouver recently about goaltenders and whether Roberto Luongo is the right guy to carry this team. But early in the season, this is a narrative that carries across many hockey markets, and, valid or not, the play of a goaltender is one that dominates headlines as the goalie is the most important player on the team. Here are three goalie controversies that bear slightly more weight than the Luongo/Cory Schneider discussions, and may have stronger
repurcussions repercussions as well.
October 31 2011 08:24PM
Being Halloween, the Winnipeg Jets made their fans sit through a bit of a scare, giving up a 2-0 first period lead, forcing themselves to tie it up with 49.9 seconds to go and wait all the way to a shootout before earning two points against the Florida Panthers.
-Jets/Panthers on Monday night means football, right?
-What a pretty goal by Kyle Wellwood to undress Jose Theodore on the shootout winner. He came in with both speed and lateral movement and had the 2002 MVP completely out of the net before tucking the puck in for the winner. Good composure from Wellwood who scored the new-NHL hat-trick: A goal, an assist, and the shootout winner. You could call that a Pavel Datsyuk.
October 27 2011 08:12PM
An absolutely wild win for the Winnipeg Jets in Philadelphia tonight. They blew 5-1 and 6-2 leads (I'm still not sold on whether or not that counts as two 4-goal leads) and somehow ended up with a 9-8 win despite being horribly outshot and, by proxy, out-chanced. It took a while to narrow these thoughts down to six.
It felt like a game from the 1980s, except for the Cooperalls.
-It was nice for Winnipeg to get off to a quick start. Chris Thorburn was robbed right off the hop by virtue of the Flyers not having a net cam in the right end of the ice, but they got a couple of good bounces off deflections leading to goals early on and scoring wasn't a real issue for the Jets in this one. It was defense and goaltending that were the problems, and maybe even a little bit on offense. Despite the 9 goals, the Jets only managed 25 shots on net and 43 attempts (I set a baseline at around 55 for a game).
October 25 2011 01:55PM
At the outset of the season, there wasn't a pundit or hockey writer around who suggested that the Toronto Maple Leafs or Winnipeg Jets were surefire Eastern Conference playoff favourites. Toronto was lumped in as a bubble team while Winnipeg was sort of on the fence between a bubble team and a lottery team, partly driven on their first-half success of last season.
By the way, the only thing weirder than writing about Winnipeg in an Eastern Conference analysis would be writing about the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Western Conference. Or the Vancouver Canucks in the East. Or the Ottawa Senators in first place.
But who are the other bubble teams in the Eastern Conference who will compete against these teams for the playoffs? We can be sure that Pittsburgh, Boston, Washington and Philadelphia are essentially locks, while the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning may be right there. Also on the bubble, I think it's safe to say that Carolina, New Jersey, Montreal, NY Rangers and Florida will be right there by season's end, competing for a pair of playoff spots.
October 24 2011 10:10PM
The Winnipeg Jets coming off an impressive win at home where they finally broke through offensively out-shot, out-chanced and out-everythinged the New York Rangers Monday night but couldn't seem to keep the scoring going. They fell 2-1.
This guy beat the Jets? Really?
-When you outshoot your opponent 28-17, and 24-13 at even strength, usually the only way you lose is if your opponent gets a lucky goal. That's exactly what happened on the Ryan Callahan game winner. Zach Bogosian was a little too casual in protecting against Ruslan Fedotenko in front, and the puck could not have banked in more perfectly off of his skate to put the Rangers up 2-1. To further add insult, that penalty came after a shift that was being dominated by Winnipeg. They had four shot attempts in just under 30 seconds before Fedotenko drew a little space, cut to the net in front of Mason, and got taken down.