No Sid? No problem.
With superstar Sidney Crosby nursing an ankle injury, the Pittsburgh Penguins waltzed into Montreal and blanked the Canadiens 2-0 on the strength of goalie Dany Sabourin’s second shutout of the season.
Now we’re not suggesting life without Crosby will be all roses, but the Penguins proved they can get by, for a short time, anyway, without their leader.
This is a golden opportunity for others (Evgeni Malkin springs to mind) to prove they can carry a team.
Three straight losses did not sit well with the NHL point leaders. A shootout win over Vancouver and convincing 6-3 thrashing of the Sharks with their dads in attendance proved the Wings are back. Guess they didn’t want to hear any lectures on the drive home.
Who would have dreamed Ty Conklin and Dany Sabourin would form one of the NHL’s most potent goaltending tandems?
An energized Todd Bertuzzi reeled off 12 points in six games before being blanked by Dallas.
Injuries have hampered the Senators, but have also made their lack of secondary scoring very apparent.
Daymond Langkow hits the 20-goal plateau with a hat trick against the Kings.
Scott Hartnell emerged as a red-hot scorer with 10 goals (including two hat tricks) in seven games.
Slumping Patrik Elias went four games without a point after producing points in four straight games…and he played under 15 minutes Sunday against Toronto.
The Sharks dropped four in a row and were outscored 19-11 along the way. After producing 10 points in five games, Joe Thornton was blanked (and was minus-3) in a 6-3 loss to the Red Wings.
Captain Brendan Morrow scored three goals and had four points as the Stars won four in a row.
Alex Kovalev got a lot of credit for Montreal’s emergence this season, but little known Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Kostitsyn are also proving themselves to be quality frontline players.
The Canucks fired 46 shots at L.A.’s Jason LaBarbera, but only managed three goals in a 6-3 defeat for their third loss in a row.
Hard to get a good read on the Wild, they won three in a row and then dropped two straight and continue to allow more goals than they score – a dangerous trend.
With eight points in his last six games, Marc Savard finally got some props as an invitee to the NHL All-Star Game.
The Coyotes outplayed and outshot Chicago, but ran into a hot goalie – Patrick Lalime, of all people – in dropping a 2-1 shootout loss.
As the injuries continued to pile up (Paul Stastny is the latest), the re-emergence of Jose Theodore as a competent goaltender is much more important.
The hard-working Predators have two regulation and two shootout losses in their last 10 games.
The Capitals have gone from being the worst team in the league to 15-7-3 under new coach Bruce Boudreau who is making the most of his first stab at coaching in the NHL.
Another emerging team, the Oilers, bounced back from a humiliating 7-2 defeat to Carolina to beat Atlanta 4-2 on the strength of Sam Gagner’s fourth goal of the season.
If you didn’t see Rick Nash’s amazing goal last week, do yourself a favor and check it out on YouTube. Gold Jerry! Gold!
Win some, lose some. Oh well, at least they’re better than the Rangers.
The Hurricanes snapped a dreadful four-game losing streak by pounding Edmonton 7-2 thanks to Eric Staal’s hat trick.
The aforementioned Lalime has won four straight replacing the struggling Nikolai Khabibulin.
The all-star break can’t come quick enough for the Blues as they’re riding a four-game losing streak.
Back-to-back losses to their old rivals, the Bruins, pretty much summed up the way things are going for the vastly underachieving Rangers.
Last season the Thrashers were buyers at the trade deadline; this year they may be sellers as they look to next season.
Very quietly the Kings have become one of the NHL’s most enjoyable teams to watch. After being drubbed 6-1 by the Flames, the Kings bounced back to beat Vancouver for their sixth win in 10 starts.
With GM John Ferguson’s job hanging by a thread, the Leafs won three in a row before losing 3-2 in an otherwise decent outing in New Jersey.
Johan Holmqvist recorded back-to-back shutouts for a team desperate for contributions from players not named Lecavalier or St. Louis.
Olli Jokinen can almost count the minutes until he is traded to a playoff team – the first of his career.
One win in 11 games. Ouch!
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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