Quite a bit of news to go along with 14 games tonight so I'll give a quick rundown of all the headlines along with some thoughts...
Hitchcock hired by Columbus. Great move - his resume speaks for itself and his attention to detail with help greatly. The Jackets do have talent but it will be a challenge to get the best out of them. If anyone can do it I'd say that it would be Hitch. That said, don't expect any miracles this year. Columbus is in tough in the West and the coach can only do so much. It is still up to MacLean to bring in enough talent to compete for a playoff spot.
Ferguson gets another year. Or does he? It's funny that nobody knew about this option year until recently and soon after it was discovered by the media, the Leafs decided to pick it up. I think this is more for perception than anything else. Depending on what happens at the end of the year (or even sooner if things took a turn for the worse), JFJ could still be let go.
Cheechoo on IR with the knee injury
Selanne gets goal #500 - he's the second Finn in NHL history to hit that mark
Holik gets goal #300 - I wonder how many 300+ goal scorers have never hit 30 goals in a season?
Marleau gets goal #200 - he's the second from his draft class to reach that mark (Hossa was first)
Redden scores in OT - he's the Sens most valuable player. Some may disagree but they made the right move if the choice was either Redden or Chara. However I'm not so sure that choice absolutely had to be made and if so, it should have been made by the trade deadline last year so the Sens could have received compensation for Chara.
Morrison scores in OT - he had a two goal game and may be starting to get things turned around enough that the Canucks will be able to receive something worthwhile in a trade.
Hurricanes hold a closed door meeting after another loss - they were outshot 37-7 through two periods and 47-15 overall. The Canes need some help on D and have to start getting better goaltending.
The final 1:22 of Atlanta-Washington was filled with fights - 148 PIMs in all including 10 fighting majors given to: Vishnevski, de Vries, Hossa, Brashear, Bradley, Erskine, Larsen, Sutherby, Mellanby and Heward and leaving the crease penalties to Hedberg and Kolzig. There were also words exchanged between Hanlon and Hartley, both on the bench and in the corridor after the game. The most lopsided fight was Brashear-Vishnevski. For those who don't like fighting in hockey I think there are many in Washington who would disagree with you - the fans seemed to love it.
Cloutier struggled again. Not much else to say there other than 5 goals on 12 shots.
The Sharks got goals from Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Joe Pavelski, both their first NHL goals. Pavelski was just called up today (he got the call at 4 am) and scored in his first NHL game. The kid seemed a little chocked up during the post-game interview.
Flyers lose AGAIN. Next up they get to see their old coach Hitchcock. Combined those two teams are 10-27-5.
Kaigorodov not happy with the Sens. I'm thinking he won't be in a rush to return to the NHL, even once his rights are traded:
"(Muckler) started telling that I do not understand the game correctly. And I replied to him: 'Did anyone attempt to help me understanding it?' My agent agreed with my point and stated that I just didn't get a chance. The manager tried to find another argument saying that moving to the farm team is just temporary, that I have to be patient, and that I will be called back to the main team soon. Why should we believe this? If they do not let me play now when the things go badly, than are they going to change the lineup when the Senators start winning? What am I hoping for? Creating a winning roster in order to return me? This is a joke! In other words, I was already deceived once, I was not willing for it to happen again."
Sundin back soon - maybe Saturday. Good news for the Leafs - he's always been a quick healer
Forsberg still trying to get healthy. Bad news for the Flyers - he always seems to be struggling to stay healthy. This time it is a combination of foot and back injuries.
Mike Smith gets another shutout, his second in five starts.
Modano hit the post on a penalty shot - he's 0 for 4 in his career.
Lehtinen and Morrow did not play due to injuries
Legace, Theodore and Thomas win in shootouts:
"This is huge," said Legace who finished with 29 saves. "We need to get back on a roll. We battled back and I thought the guys played phenomenal tonight all-around."
"I find if I lose a shootout, I feel devastated," Thomas said. "If I win I feel like I did what I'm supposed to do. Shootouts are a lot like poker -- there's some skill involved, but it's a whole lot of luck."
Columbus was 0-5 under Gary Agnew. Not sure if this tenure will end up on his resume or not.
Sakic's had a sweet backhand move to seal the winner for Colorado.
Buffalo scores 7 - they now have 101 goals and are on pace for 376.
Tucker has 15 goals. If he keeps scoring like this he will price himself out of Toronto's plans.
Briere guaranteed a victory in the second intermission to rookie Michael Ryan who accidently scored on his own goal in his first NHL game. What makes Briere so great is that he actually followed through on his promise, scoring the winner. Phoenix must just be kicking themselves
Yashin with another 2 points. All of a sudden he's no longer the most overpaid player in the league. In fact, he may not even be overpaid at all.
Huet est bon. He struggled out of the gate and I had my doubts but he's impressed recently.
Benoit Pouliot played in his first NHL game
Osgood has a broken wrist - out 3 to 4 weeks
Tampa can score. Craig and Perrin have been contributing offensively - tonight they combined for 3 goals, 2 assists, +5 and 8 SOG
Auld stopped Lecavalier on a penalty shot.
Phoenix surprised and outplayed New Jersey. The Devils had just 15 shots, getting a taste of their own medicine.
Ricci played in his first game of the year. He'll be a nice addition for a team looking for veteran depth around the trade deadline.
Gomez came back. Good news for Jersey, who can use his offense.
Calgary dominated and beat the Hawks. They've now won 7 of 8 and have erased the memories of the team's rough start.
Ruutu has scored in three straight. I'm curious to see how he will do on a line with Havlat.
Happy Thanksgiving to all those who are celebrating. Enoy the football and Vancouver/Nashville!