Saturday, November 11, 2006

Friday in Review

Tonight's Three Stars

1. Miikka Kiprusoff
2. Jason Spezza
3. Michael Nylander

Game Thoughts
* All three Canadian teams picked up wins tonight by three goal margins
* Edmonton had the easiest opponent and the outcome was never really in doubt once the Oilers scored early in the 2nd
* Roloson picked up the win after losing four straight starts
* Lupul has started slowly for the Oilers after coming over in the Pronger deal
* Anson Carter scored just his 2nd goal of the season, giving credence to those who felt his production last year was mostly due to the Sedins
* Bergeron was benched for Edmonton and is definitely in MacTavish's doghouse at the moment
* Ryan Smyth scored for the 4th time in 6 games - it goes without saying but he really is the one who leads, inspires and carries this team
* The Oilers really needed this one as they had lost 6 of 7
* Tonight's game was significant for all the Norwegian fans as Ole-Kristian Tollefson Patrick Thoresen were the first two Norwegians to face each other - somewhere Espen Knutsen is smiling

* It was the Jagr/Nylander show once again for New York with a big game in goal for Lundqvist
* For Atlanta as usual it was Kovalchuk, Hossa and Kozlov leading the charge - the Thrashers don't have a ton of scoring depth so they will need those three players to stay healthy if they are to make a strong run at the playoffs
* After a strong start, Lehtonen has struggled recently
* The Rangers have been road warriors - winning 7 of 9

* The Sens took another lead and didn't give it up this time, winning 6-3
* Ottawa dominated the game tonight, outshooting the Pens 44-17 and winning 64% of the faceoffs
* Redden seems to be back healthy now and this will make a huge difference in both ends
* Alfredsson, Heatley and Spezza have been under the microscope so far and they came up big tonight - combining for 7 points, +9 and 19 shots on goal (more than the entire Pens team)
* I think I've mentioned it before but Michel Ouellet is one of the luckiest guys in hockey right now
* The Pens have now lost four in a row and the Sens snap their longest losing streak since 1996

* Detroit continued to play stifiling hockey and dominated a very good (if not great) Preds team, outshooting them 41-20
* Hasek had his second straight shutout while the guy who replaced him in Ottawa continues to struggle
* The Wings probably have the best D in the league right now with Lidstrom, Schneider, Chelios, Kronwall, Markov and Lebda
* Detroit has now won 8 in a row - everytime people start to write them off they prove time and time against that they are still an elite franchise

* Buffalo just keeps finding ways to win no matter who is in the lineup
* Miller was out with an apparent groin injury and the Sabres went down 2-0 but rallied back once again
* Vanek scored twice including the game winner in OT with Roberts in the box. He was also stopped on a penalty shot
* If you have Roberts in your fantasy league you'll be happy to know he picked up 24 minutes in penalties, along with a goal, an assist and a +2
* Biron wasn't great but he did get the win. I'm sure everyone remembers what happened last time Miller was hurt and Biron had to step in..

* Aren't you glad that St. Louis and Chicago get to play 8 times a year?!?
* Vrbata had a pair of PP goals in the first to help the Hawks snap an 8 game losing streak (0-7-1)

* Anaheim finally lost their first game in regulation time
* It took a heroic effort by Kiprusoff to hold off the Ducks as they peppered 19 shots on goal in the third
* That's three games in a row with 2 goals or less against Kiprusoff - seems like he's getting hot after a slow start

Other Thoughts:
There are rumours flying around about Tampa Bay possibly making a deal with a West Coast team. Let's look at the facts:

1) Calgary needs a center to play with Lecavalier
2) The Lightning have too much cap room tied up in three players
3) Lecavalier is playing amazing hockey and his value may never be higher

IF the Lightning want to trade Vinny I can see Colorado, Montreal and New York putting together very competitive offers. If Calgary is involved I would bet that a couple of these guys are being discussed:

Langkow: $2.442 mil
Kobasew: $1.2 mil
Lombardi: $800k
Regehr: $1.875 mil
Warrener $2.35 mil

With so much speculation so early in the season, something is sure to happen soon. And when it does it may set-off a chain reaction of moves throughout the league. Who will make the first move?

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