Hurricanes 4, Devils 2
Goalie Cam Ward scored an empty-netter for the 'Canes on Monday -- or at least, that's how it'll go down in the history books. Truth be told, he was merely Carolina's last player to touch the puck, a good 15 seconds or so before Ilya Kovalchuk tried to pass to Adam Henrique but instead accidentally sent the puck the length of the ice into his own net. Despite the bum luck, Devils blogger John Fischer of In Lou We Trust admits the Devils didn't deserve to win this game:
If the Devils somehow got an equalizer, then the team would have had to been arrested for grand theft of a NHL standings point. The Devils, overall, played a bad game of hockey. They didn't deserve to get close, and so they didn't deserve a result. If they wanted one, maybe they should have played smarter hockey in between the first and last 7 minutes of the game.
The Wild lost their seventh straight game, but they story of the night was losing Jared Spurgeon in the first period after Cody McLeod's hit from behind sent him crashing into the boards head first. BReynolds from Hockey Wilderness holds Brendan Shanahan responsible for not issuing strong enough punishments on this type of play:
This one is 100% on Brendan Shanahan and his team. Cody McLeod made the hit, but the Department of Player "Safety" failed to send the message. Someday they'll learn. What are the chances that day is today? I have the odds somewhere between zero and none.
Blackhawks 4, Blue Jackets 1
Corey Crawford received some accolades for his 37 save performance tonight, including the number 2 star, but he did look like he was fighting it a bit on some of those shots. With that being said, hopefully giving up just 2 goals over his last two starts will be a confidence builder for the sophomore netminder. I'm sure that Q wants to give Crawford every opportunity to regain the starting job, but I still think that Emery deserves the start on Wednesday.
In another game marred by injury, the Oilers lost Alex Plante and the Canucks lost Dale Weise when Weise laid a hit on Plante so hard that both players left the game. The play left Plante bloodied, but vancitydan from Nucks Misconduct makes the case that it was clean:
The definitive play of the game though, is one that the is going to be viewed with the biased glasses of fandom. For what it is worth, I thought it was a clean hit that the hittee turned away from at the last second. It was shoulder on shoulder, but it was called a major charge and a game misconduct, for a play that looked like a clean hit. ( maybe a charge. MAYBE ) If Shanny looks at that at all, he is going to let it go, in my opinion. The referee called that because of the blood. I hope Mr Plante is OK. But Dale Weise did the RIGHT thing by the videos they sent out, making sure he went shoulder to shoulder. It is not his fault that the guy turns at the last second for the puck. Last thing. He has to know Weise is coming ( of he should not be playing, FFS ). Does the man not bear any responsibility for blithely turning away from a hit he knows is coming?
Kings 4, Coyotes 3
After a two-day holiday break the Phoenix Coyotes came into Monday's game with the Los Angeles Kings with a depleted roster. Starting goaltender Mike Smith is still nursing a lower-body injury on injured reserve and Martin Hanzal, Adrian Aucoin, and newcomer Boyd Gordon were also scratches Monday against the Kings.
In situations like this coach Dave Tippett usually looks to shuffle the lines up and hope for the leadership of his veteran laden roster to come through, but Monday night this was not enough for the Coyotes to sneak out of Staples Center with a win. Back to back goals from Willie Mitchell and Dustin Brown in the third would end up downing the limping Coyotes.
The Sharks fell behind early and could never recover -- a familiar formula for defeat. From Matthew Taylor of Fear The Fin:
Coming into tonight, the Sharks were in the midst of a four game winning streak. How had they accomplished that, in their opinion?
"Good starts, which were kind of a problem early in the season," said Dan Boyle to CSN Bay Area's Kevin Kurz before tonight's tilt against the rival Ducks.
Well, old habits die hard it appears, and the trend of bad starts popped up again the day after Christmas. Just 2:27 into the first period, Luca Sbisa ripped a shot from the point and beat Antti Niemi, who looked as if he wasn't expecting the shot to come.