A very strange night of hockey last night…and some very crooked numbers in debuts that you wouldn’t quite expect….a little good and a little bad. So why not start with the bad first because this was one of those you had to see it to believe it type moments. We will take a few random games and spotlight them a bit.
The Marian Hossa debut went about as bad as a worse case scenario could go and then it got worse…much worse. Let’s see…Ty Conklin looked tired after making 50 saves against the Isles the other night. He gave up 3 goals on 13 shots and was yanked in the second period. Marc-Andre Fleury gave up another 2 goals. The whole team looked flat after two periods and then down went Hossa on a freak knee on knee hit that wasn’t much of a hit. Hossa did sprain his MCL slightly…some reports had it was a slight tear but apparently it isn’t. He will be out about 7-10 days. What may be worse for the Pens is the upcoming schedule whiich will not be so friendly…with tough matchups at seemingly every turn. The goaltending and defense will have to step up.
One does not expect the Islanders to score five goals…this is quite rare for a team with a propensity to not score. But last night, they certainly did and they needed every last goal as Rick DiPietro did not have one of his finer performances. Trent Hunter scored the game winner just 1:09 into OT which helped the Isles escape Atlanta after blowing a 3 goal second period lead. The game turned when Eric Perrin scored on a penalty shot…then Ken Klee and Alexei Zhitnik (players not known for scoring) netted goals. The two teams traded goals in the 3rd before the OT winner for the Isles. Mike Comrie also scored twice. The win pulls the Isles to within 2 points of a playoff birth. With 17 games left, anything is possible.
What a wild night in Dallas!!!! Was this the Dallas Cowboys playing in the regular season? It sure seemed so as there was offense galore in the Big D. Niklas Hagman tallied a hat trick and now has a career high 25 goals this year. Mike Modano even scored a goal but his new buddy Brad Richards was the one who really stole the show. Richards set up 5 goals for Dallas and all 3 of Hagman’s tallies in the victory. The strangest thing is…the five points was the most a Stars player has scored in five years and was a career high for Richards….go figure. Barry Melrose said it best. “It looked like he was let out of jail or something.” You know what folks…the way Brad Richards played last night was vintage Brad Richards. It was like someone truly turned back the clock. This makes Dallas a force in the West no question. It is a shame that Dallas and Anaheim will more than likely meet in the second round as it should be a conference finals matchup no question. So a big night in Dallas means hope once again floats for the Dallas Stars.
With seven more games tonight….check out The NHL Arena for the latest scores, news, and much more….enjoy the hockey tonight!