Justin Bieber and Corey Tropp. Read on and discover why both made last night’s recap.
Essential Water Cooler:
Regardless of where your allegiance lies, Jaden Schwartz is one player everybody can root for. The Melfort, Saskatchewan native, who was the 14th pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the St. Louis Blues, has had an outstanding season thus far with Central division second-place St. Louis and he has deserved every bit of his success. The former captain of Team Canada’s 2012 World Junior Championship team lost his sister Mandy in April of 2011 after a bout of leukemia. Through perseverance, strength and guidance from his late sister, Jaden has not only realized his dream of making the National Hockey League, he is contributing in a big way. The speedy left winger has collected 13 goals through 36 games and is on pace for 62 points by season’s end. Schwartz scored the game’s first goal in his team’s 3-2 victory over Dallas last night. Here’s to Jaden. The hockey world salutes you.
There are three things in life that are constants. Death, taxes and Columbus winger Corey Tropp scoring the goal of the year. Wait. What? Take a look at this silky dangle Tropp pulls on Pens rearguard Olli Matta that makes the rookie defenseman wish he was hiding under a rock in his native Jyvaskyla, Finland.
Men of the Night:
Ryan Miller, Buffalo: If only Miller could play forward too. The Sabers goaltender was brilliant in their 2-1 shootout victory against the Capitals stonewalling Ovechkin and friends with a 49 save effort. Miller has been a rare bright spot on an otherwise dark season for Ted Nolan’s Sabers.
James Neal, Pittsburgh: The Pens winger was unstoppable against the Blue Jackets, tallying three goals and two assists in Pittsburgh’s 5-3 victory. After serving a five game suspension for a knee to the head of Bruins winger Brad Marchand, Neal has rebounded very nicely with 10 points in his last five outings.
Tyler Bozak, Toronto: After missing virtually all of December with an oblique strain, ‘Bozy’ was firing on all cylinders in his return to the Leafs lineup with three assists in a 5-2 win over the Hurricanes. The Leafs will need this same production on a consistent basis if they want to stay afloat in the Atlantic division.
Kyle Okposo, New York Islanders: Okposo has had a terrific season but I bet he wishes he could say the same for his team. The Isles winger potted two goals and one assist in his teams 5-4 win against the Wild and has now collected 37 points in 40 games. Will he crack team USA’s Olympic squad?
Better Luck Next Time:
Here is a conspiracy theory. With news of pop-icon Justin Bieber retiring from his multi-billion dollar singing career, the Stratford native is looking to sign a two-way, one year deal with his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs. Canada’s favorite son (errr….) will provide a physical and menacing (errrr…) presence on the Leafs fourth line flanking Colton Orr and Fraser McLaren. Here is the ‘Biebs’ watching his future teammates during last night’s tilt.