Talk about a bad week for the Detroit Red Wings.
Not only did they get shocked by Toronto Saturday, they returned home to lose the battle of the Titans the following day, a home defeat to Anaheim.
On top of that, the Red Wings lost outstanding checking forward Dan Cleary for two months with a broken jaw and put defenseman Niklas Kronwall on IR with a shoulder injury.
The good news is Detroit built such a big lead over the rest of the league in the overall standings, they can afford the odd setback. Expect GM Ken Holland to make a move to replace Cleary.
Even with the loss in Toronto, the Red Wings have an amazing 20-6-3 record away from home. It helps when your defense is a combined plus-102.
Make that six straight wins for the surprising Stars. Center Mike Ribeiro went 12 straight games without a goal (and just one goal in 19 games) before scoring and adding two assists in a win over St. Louis Saturday.
Jason Spezza lit it up with three goals and six points against Montreal. Two days later GM Bryan Murray addressed his lack of scoring depth by acquiring Cory Stillman from Carolina. All in all a good weeks for the Sens.
After losing a pair of one-goal decisions to Detroit and rival Dallas, the Wild bounced back with one-goal wins over the Islanders and Blues.
Sidney who? Sophomore Evgeni Malkin recorded 15 points in five games as the Penguins continued to roll without their injured superstar captain.
After dropping the first three of an eight-game road trip, the Ducks bounced back with four wins in a row including a huge statement victory in Detroit.
As if losing three straight isn’t bad enough, the Flyers also lost the services of winger Simon Gagne with his third concussion of the season.
Jonathan Cheechoo scored three goals and four points in a win over Nashville Saturday. The suddenly hot winger now has nine goals in 11 games.
Just when it looked like the Canadiens were for real, they lost at home to Toronto and then got crushed 6-1 in Ottawa. Welcome back to Earth.
In a rare happening, the Devils got four goals from their defense (Paul Martin two, Colin White, Johnny Oduya) in a 6-1 thrashing of Carolina.
After back-to-back losses to Tampa Bay and San Jose, the Predators bounced back with a 6-3 win over Phoenix. Radek Bonk, who had a terrific start to the year before going into the dumper, snapped a 21-game goalless drought.
Veteran winger Owen Nolan produced his third multiple goal game of the new year, scoring twice in a 4-1 win over Edmonton.
The line of Marek Svatos (two goals, one assist), Tyler Arnason (one and two) and Wojtek Wolski (three assists) produced nine points in a commanding 6-2 win over Vancouver.
The Rangers are starting to look like a contender and they are doing it while Jaromir Jagr slumps, being held pointless in seven straight games.
Three losses in four outings had the Bruins heading in the wrong direction.
Ryan Shannon’s spin-o-rama goal in the shootout against Chicago was a beauty, even if Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin didn’t appreciate it.
Don’t look now, but the down-and-out Sabres are making a serious run at the playoffs, nipping at the heels of the Bruins and Rangers.
Eight goals in six games had Alex Ovechkin well on his way to winning his first Rocket Richard Trophy. He leads the NHL with 47 goals in 57 games.
A big win over Colorado was followed by three straight losses. A loss to Nashville marked the sixth time in the past seven games the Coyotes have surrendered the opening goal.
It is looking more and more like the Blue Jackets simply don’t have enough scoring punch to make a serious bid for the playoffs. Beyond Rick Nash (29 goals) and Nikolai Zherdev (22), Columbus’s next highest goal-scorer is Jason Chimera with 11.
Oh well, there’s always next year. Trading Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore is an indication the Hurricanes have given up on the season. Then again, somebody has to win the lowly Southeast Division title so maybe it’ll be the Canes.
Ilya Kovalchuk has been held without a goal in seven of his past nine games.
An 8-0 pasting of the Maple Leafs in Toronto might well turn out to be the highlight of the season.
After being crushed by the Panthers, the Maple Leafs rebounded with a win in Montreal and then a huge victory over Detroit at home.
It is beginning to look like the Oilers will miss the playoffs for a second straight year after making it to the Stanley Cup final in 2006.
The Hawks are sinking, but rookie Jonathan Toews had an assist in his first game back from injury.
The Blues have got the ship moving in the right direction, so hopefully their fans won’t be discouraged by a poor ending to the year.
The Islanders can’t seem to buy a win, but typical of Ted Nolan teams, at least they are in the games.
Dan Cloutier recorded a win in his first NHL start of the season.
All eyes are on GM Jay Feaster to see what he does at the trade deadline to make the Bolts better for next season. This season is a write-off.
The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 on Mondays. Changes in rankings reflect each team’s play from the previous seven days.
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