Essential Water Cooler:
The good or bad news first? The good: The Habs won once again, 1-0 over the Islanders and now are 8-1-1 in their last ten games, closing in on the Bruins for first in the Atlantic division. The bad: fan-favorite and team enforcer George Parros left the game with a suspected concussion after a fight with Isles bruiser Eric Boulton. This is the second time this season Parros was knocked out of a contest after a fight-gone-wrong and it once again rages the debate whether or not fighting has a place in the game. This incident will no-doubt yield intense dialogue amongst hockey fans and armchair GM’s across the globe.
Don’t look now, but Stars linemates Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn are quickly becoming one of the best 1-2 punches in the National Hockey League. They aren’t on a Perry-Getzlaf, Crosby-Malkin and Toews-Kane level just yet but boy, can these guys play.
Men of the Night:
Jeff Carter, Los Angeles: The lanky sniper picked up a goal and two helpers as his Kings won their sixth straight game over the flailing Senators. Team Canada General Manager Steve Yzerman is surely taking notice of the former Flyer’s recent play.
Mason Raymond, Toronto: A walk-on in training camp, Raymond quickly established himself in the Leafs lineup and picked up four assists in his clubs decisive 7-3 victory over the Blackhawks. Raymond has been one of the league’s most pleasant surprises.
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh: By the end of the season Crosby will most likely be named the ‘Man of the Year’ as he has had a firm grip on the NHL scoring lead all season. The kid picked up two goals in a 4-1 win against the Wings to give him a total of 46 points in 34 games.
Carey Price, Montreal: Though he only faced 21 shots, Price was perfect turning aside every one of them for his second shutout of the season. Price has had an excellent bounce back season and the timing is perfect with the Olympics right around the corner.
Viktor Stalberg, Nashville: The speedy winger has really found a home with the Preds. The Swede tallied a goal and an assist including the game winner in his club’s 3-2 victory over the Sharks.
Better Luck Next Time:
The Winnipeg Jets just can’t seem to get on a roll. They sit last in the ridiculously tough Central division and every time they seem to take a step forward, they also take two steps back. With their 6-4 loss to the Stars last night, notable veterans Blake Wheeler and Andrew Ladd were quoted as saying it was an “embarrassing performance”. What do the Jets have to do to get out of this funk?