They still managed to beat the Vancouver Canucks back on February 28th despite using their fifth of six goalies. I’m referring to the New Jersey Devils, victimized by injuries in the crease and the resulting merry-go-round of netminders leading to the 6th lowest point total in the NHL.
Here’s the list in descending order of games played this season: MacKenzie Blackwood, Jon Gillies, Nico Daws, Jonathan Bernier, Akira Schmid (eek), and Scott Wedgewood.
There were other circumstances working in the Devils favour that night. The Canucks were coming off an adrenaline filled victory the night before in the “World’s Greatest Arena” against the New York Rangers to start their four-game road trip. To suggest there was a drop in intensity and atmosphere moving from Madison Square Garden one night to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey the next would be an understatement. Yes, it matters. That’s one of the many psychological intangibles in professional hockey you can’t quantify.
Nico Daws benefitted. The big, 21-year-old German goaltender, who at this point would be fifth if the aforementioned list were a depth chart, did his best Marty Brodeur imitation for one night in picking up the 7-2 win. He didn’t have to do that much as the Canucks started slowly and fell behind.
Gee, where have we heard that before? Or since.
Elias Pettersson found his game about a month ago, or maybe it’s been a little longer than that, but at any rate the Vancouver Canucks missed him Sunday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning and he could have proved to be the difference in completing a comeback that wasn’t completed.
‘Petey’ missed the 2-1 loss with an upper body injury with some speculation that he re-injured his wrist, the problem that knocked him out of a couple dozen games last season. It’s only that; speculation.
Bottom line, since February 8th Pettersson has accumulated 18 points in his last 13 games including six on the power play. His workload has steadily increased over that time span with a greater number of shifts and more ice time. Vancouver Canucks fans should have a verdict on his availability at morning skate Tuesday unless of course we hear “a game time decision”.
Wow. Auston Matthews, part incredi-sniper, part shrinking violet, picks up a two-game NHL suspension for cross-checking a fellow first-overall pick in the neck. The Toronto Maple Leafs MVP and the league’s leading goal scorer (45) will sit out for his egregious act of violence against Buffalo Sabres defenceman Rasmus Dahlin during Sunday’s outdoor Heritage Classic.
Here’s the delightful details in the NHL’s official video.
“Not a cross-check meant to harm or injure his opponent,” was apparently Matthews’s claim. Say what?!?! Then what the hell was it?!
— Game day info, a Petey update, and a Canucks podcast with Rob Fai coming this afternoon. Stay tuned.
Enjoy the Hockey Action!!