Many things happened in the National Hockey League this week, and I felt that it would be a week to remember. Here are some highlights.
The Phoenix Coyotes vs. The Pittsburgh Penguins
This is a game that surprised many. The Coyotes won this match-up 3-0, and while the team that has had so many difficulties during the off-season, it looked like it would be another dismal season for the desert dogs. However, I think not only winning, but shutting out, the best team in the NHL (in my opinion), gave them some confidence.
The game started out with Phoenix scoring 9 minutes into the first period, however it was one of those “Ahh, don’t worry, the pens will comeback”, but when the pens hadn’t scored going into the second period, I’m sure that some people had their doubts. Then, at the exact halfway mark of the game, Brooks Orpik took a hooking penalty, and the Coyotes capitalized on the PP.
That pretty much spelled the end for the Pens in that game, and when that game had ended 54 seconds after Radim Vrbata netted the empty-netter, I was completely shocked. I thought “How could the Penguins lose to the Coyotes?” However looking back at the highlights for that match, Phoenix dominated most of that game. They beat the Pens everywhere on the score board. In goals, they got more (3-0) same in shots (25-24) and they got less penalty minutes (14 mins to 22).
I’m really happy about this, because he is in my fantasy pool.
Mike Richards has 8 points in 5 games, including a hat trick against Washington, and a game winner against the Devils in NJ. Having been in the NHL for 5 years, Richards has been starting to prove himself lately. As one of the great young leaders in the game today, the Flyers’ captain is off to a great start this year.
While anybody can anticipate great things from this man in his future, expect great things from him this season, and he may very well crack the 100 point barrier. However, even though he’s off to a “flying” start, can we expect this from him for the rest of this season? Regardless, Richards is starting to make the Flyers management look a little better.
Johan Franzen, Daniel Sedin and Andrei Markov are just a couple of the injury battered stars that have gotten themselves injured in the first week of action. Daniel Sedin went down with a severe deep bruise in his foot. Johan Franzen has a shoulder injury, as well as Andrei Markov. Is this something that we will continue to see?
I think that it very well could be a sign of things to come. Only the Anaheim Ducks, and the New York Rangers have no injuries to report, currently. The Montreal Canadiens have 6 injuries, and the New York Islanders have 5. We could very well see more.
The Clock Cleanings: Vancouver 7 Montreal 1, Carolina 7 Florida 2
Anything else would be an understatement. Both these games were out right dominations. I think it was the Rypien vs. Gill fight that really turned the tables in the MTL vs. VAN game. Montreal didn’t get killed in that game, but the Canucks just had more momentum. I found the real downfall for the Canadiens, were the Canucks scoring early in the game.
The Hurricanes vs. Panthers game was a entire different story. Vokoun was absolutely terrible in nets, and every time the Panthers made a mistake, Carolina capitalized.
The Phoenix Coyotes’ White-out
This was truly a statement. As mentioned before, the Coyotes have been in a financial turmoil for almost half a year, and what a statement is was. They defied the odds, they silenced the critics (including me), and they sold out a game.
Now I am asking myself right now, “What am I saying? Selling out a game shouldn’t be an accomplishment, it should be a regular occurrence. The Minnesota Wild have sold out every single game in their history, the Montreal Canadiens, and the Edmonton Oilers’ average attendance, is the capacity of their home arenas (The Bell Centre, and the Rexall Place), and teams like Calgary, and Philadelphia pull off the C of Red, and the Orange Crush almost every night.
So why is this such an accomplishment? I think it is, because Minnesota, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary and Philadelphia are all hockey markets. Phoenix, is not. Now, I believe I have just stated the obvious, and I am not going to go any farther into this subject, since I already have an article out about that (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/262886-the-phoenix-coyotes-situation).
As always, comments are always open, and have a nice day.