Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thursday in Review

Tonight's Three Stars

1. Martin St. Louis - 2 G, 1 A, +2
2. Cristobal Huet - SO (31 of 31)
3. Maxim Afinogenov - 2 G, +2, 6 SOG

Game Thoughts
* The Habs continue to impress me - tonight with Huet who had the shutout
* Komisarek and Plekanec both scored their first goals of the year and both were shorthanded
* One night after combining for 10 points, Cole, Brind'Amour and Whitney were a combined -8
* And one night after stopping 40 shots, Cam Ward gave up 4+ goals for the seventh time this year. Unfortunately for Carolina, Grahame has been even worse (in limited action), giving up 10 goals in two starts. Goaltending has to be a concern for the Canes.

* What can you say about the explosive Sabres? Tonight they toyed with the Bruins before scoring three straight in the final half of the third and won in the shootout.
* 45 goals, 23 points in 12 games and the most exciting team we have seen in years...
* For all those who typically give up on young players too soon, remember this - 34, 36, 40, 11, 31. Those are Maxim Afinogenov's point totals for his first five seasons in the league
* Kotalik tied it late and won it in the shootout for Buffalo

* What can you say about the abysmal Flyers? This is a team that can't score goals and can't really keep the puck out of their own net either. They have given up almost twice as many goals as they've scored - 45 to 24.
* Mike Richards has now gone thirty-six games without a goal. He has just 1 point this season and was a -4.
* Another young player who is struggling is Joni Pitkanen who was on the ice for all five Flyers goals
* Forsberg's frustrations boiled over tonight as he has 18 minutes in penalties (including two unsportsmenlike conduct penalties and a misconduct)
* Tampa continues to be carried offensively by St. Louis and Lecavalier - the two have combined for 44% of the Lightning goals
* Johan Holmqvist won his first career game in net for Tampa

* The Islanders have now won three in a row, four of five and have points in 8 of 9
* The popular and underpaid Alexei Yashin had another three assists and now has 12 points in his last six. He's quietly having a great year so far. New York outplayed New Jersey and outshot them 27-16
* Parise continues to play well, which is huge for a team that doesn't have a ton of scorers beyond the second line

* Ed Belfour won in his first game against his former team as the Panthers peppered Aubin with 23 shots and 2 goals in the first
* The Leafs got a goal from Sundin and another from McCabe. Over the course of the season I still wonder if they have enough depth to contend for a playoff spot
* One player who was expected to contribute was young Alexander Steen and you can see that he's really struggling right now
* For Florida the key is Jokinen. Like Afinogenov he didn't burst on the scene right away (21, 21, 16, 29 pts over first four years) but he is a legit star. Too bad for Calgary they were unable to get a deal done for him last season
* Another player off to a slow start is Nate Horton
* Unfortanately I don't have any first-hand info to add for this one because I don't have Leafs TV and I didn't go out to the theatre to watch it. I still contend that by paying for Center Ice I should get Leafs TV games too..

* Peter Budaj gave up four to St. Louis in a losing cause. Colorado had 45 shots on Legace, but scored just once.
* Guerin, Weight and Tkachuk are all making big comebacks - Guerin had two goals tonight and Weight had 4 assists

* Ryan Kesler scored his first of the year and the Canucks went up 2-0 early in the game. Unfortunately for them the Wild scored the next five
* Manny Fernandez was pulled and Backstrom stopped all 19 shots he faced

* Chicago played well but dropped a 2-1 decision to Detroit. Zetterberg had a two point night which may be the end of his scoring slump
* Detroit is still having a lot of trouble scoring and may be looking for help in that area. Unfortunately so are a ton of other teams..
* Kronwall doesn't get a lot of points but he really is a great young defenceman

* Rangers lead 2-0 in the second. San Jose is another one of those teams that has trouble scoring. On paper they look great but so far they have only been effective on the PP.

All Photos from AP/Getty.

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