Dusk Til Dawn: Overtime Glory and Last-Minute Heroics

It was a busy night in the NHL on Saturday. If you were able to somehow catch all the games, bravo! If not, we have all the key points right here:

Essential Water Cooler

With their overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers – albeit not a pretty one – the Toronto Maple Leafs are in first place in the Eastern Conference, a position they have only been in twice since 1999. After squeaking into the playoffs last season, could the 2013-14 edition of the Leafs be the real deal? Was last year’s postseason just an appetizer for what could be a gourmet entrée of Leafs hockey this season? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Primetime Play

After tying the game with 31 seconds remaining in regulation, the Maple Leafs went down the ice on a three-on-one in overtime and passed three times in before potting the winner.

Men of the Night

1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh: Still the league’s premier superstar, Sid potted his eighth career hat trick and tallied an assist on the game-winning goal against the Lightning, and continues to prove that he’s more than just a legendary playmaker – he’s simply legendary.

2. Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit: The Red Wings superstar had two goals and an assist versus the Flyers, and stretched his success against Philly to nine goals in ten games.

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3. Joffrey Lupul, Toronto: He scored two goals, including the game-tying-goal with 31 second left in the third period.

Better Luck Next Time

The Philadelphia Flyers might be 1-5, but the team might not be as bad as their record indicates. The issues on Broad Street might have more to do with discipline – not only do they lead the NHL in minor penalties, but they have 73% more minor penalties than Los Angeles, the 29th-ranked team in the same category. Coincidentally, their loss against the Red Wings ended in typical Philadelphia fashion, with Kris Newbury slashing the back of Jordan Tootoo’s knee with blunt force. With all but one loss on their record by one goal, perhaps some smarter, more respectful play by a rough and tumble team could result in an occasional win.

And did you happen to catch the Vancouver-Montreal game last night? On a dump-in and line change, Dan Hamhuis and Roberto Luongo both lose track of the puck and it winds up in their own net. Take a look and decide for yourself. Is this the fault of Luongo? Hamhuis? Is it just bad luck?