WINNIPEG, CANADA - DECEMBER 22: Dustin Byfuglien #33 of the Winnipeg Jets and Andrei Kostitsyn #46 of the Montreal Canadiens collide in NHL action at the MTS Centre on December 22, 2011 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images)
A spin around the NHL, wrapping up the Thursday night scores.
Over at Arctic Ice Hockey, the officiating was bemoaned but the end result was cause for celebration.
Boy, that felt good, didn't it? The Winnipeg Jets staved off five bajillion Montreal Canadiens powerplays en route to a thrilling 4-0 victory, on the strength of a sharp (27 saves) Ondrej Pavelec and Bubba Blake Wheeler (2 tallies and a helper). It was another up-and-down game from a fan perspective, as the Jets once again jumped out to a lead only to lose some momentum via minor penalties and seemingly put the game on ice for the 3rd. Thankfully, Wheeler and Steam Punk (Tim Stapleton) decided to get us out of our seats for the final few minutes with a nifty little play for the fourth goal of the game.
More on the game can be found at Habs Eyes on the Prize.
The Red Wings tried to come back in the final period, but a lackluster first 40 minutes -- in which the Flames scored three goals -- did them in. After the game, Winging it in Motown took dead aim at the effort while singling out the attack.
You know what? Ty Conklin deserved better tonight. He was hung out to dry, and while I thought he should have had the 3rd goal, the team in front of him stunk for 2 periods and gave him absolutely no help. How bad was it? The Wings had 16 shots through 2 periods; they had 15 in the third.
A view from the happier side can be found at Matchsticks and Gasoline.
Sticking with the trend, Hockey Wilderness wasn't happy with the Wild's performance, saying the team showed up way too late in a game the Oilers dominated.
This was easily one of, if not the worst game of the season. Muffin disgusting. 6 game losing streak now, but this is the only one that can't really be blamed on the number of injuries because even Chuck Norris couldn't have saved this team tonight. It's not even that the Oilers dominated, it's that the Wild showed up way too late. The stat-heads will call this regression in effect, I call it injuries catching up to the Wild. It's the only thing that has actually changed in since the Wild were atop the league a month ago. The poor shot differential? The goaltending? The Fenwick and Corsi? The defense? All still there. There's just no more Folding scoring pop, no more heavy forechecking. It's unfair to expect too much out of the current lineup, but is effort too much to ask? I think not, for Fish's sake.
More on the game can be found at Cooper N Blue.
It took overtime, but the Senators put away the Panthers as Bobby Butler netted the game-winner on a deflection. Silver Seven Sens praised the performance of Daniel Alfredsson, listing him as one of the game's heroes.
Sens Hero: Daniel Alfredsson
Alfie had a three-point night and that's no coincidence--he was the Senators' best forward in the game. Alfie was all over the ice tonight, leading the power play, contributing penalty-killing time, and looking fast and sneaky at even strength. In a game where offense was hard to sustain, the captain led the way. I'd expect nothing less from Alfie. His next goal will be number 400.
For the other side of the story, head over to Litter Box Cats