Some nights, hockey is very disappointing. It rarely goes completely the way you want. Your team wins, but so does your hated rival. You pull out a single point in overtime from a sub .50 team, and you wonder why for the next day. A single play kills momentum, and so goes the rest of the game.
Today, for Thanksgiving, hockey went completely my way.
I get that the Senators are kicking some serious ass, and there is some fun watching their run for the money, but I have a little (small, very small, almost miniscule, not Crosby related) affection for the Penguins. Mostly, my hope for anything positive stems from Pat, one of the prop people on the show (which means he is in the props department, not that he is a prop). Pat is from Pittsburgh, and it seems like every time he asks me how the Pens are doing, I am the barer of bad news. The Pens pulled it out in Ottawa, and I can’t wait to see how excited Pat is. The final shootout goal was a beauty. I’m sure shootout goal that Gerber put in with his elbow will be debated for weeks, and it surprises me that it counted, but such are the rules. Three point game, nobody really loses.
Is there anything better than the Wings losing? Actually, there is. How about Dominik Hasek looking like a complete tool? Yeah, that puts the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie. Yep, first he trips a guy and gets two for interference, not while stopping a puck, but while going to the bench for the extra attacker. Then, as he launches from his crease for a second time, he slams into a Predator and falls on his backside. He probably could have been called for diving on that one, but wasn’t there enough embarrassment by then? Oh, the spirit of the holidays.
And then, the last score, the final game ends, and oh, was it ever sweet. Sure, there were the downsides, but the two points on the road sure feel good. And they feel even sweeter as the Avs claim first in the Northwest again, after three road losses in a row. The game wasn’t perfect, but it was two points.
- Skrastins gets the first goal of the night. From the doghouse to the scoresheet. I’m sure he won’t get too far out of it, but for better or worse, the team needs him. That’s just the way it is, and if he isn’t going anywhere else, he might as well go to the net.
- The Oilers have the worst power play in the league, but who went 0-for-8 with eleven shots tonight? Not good enough in the long run. I’m sure that will be drilled home at the next practice.
- John-Michael Liles gets the second goal for the Avs. Another doghouse dweller. From a healthy scratch last game, he came in with some jump and stepped into the play all night. While he may not be happy with the offensive defenseman moniker, but that is exactly what he was tonight. Message received.
- Svatos gets the game winner from his foot to his stick. While some may think the goal was kicked in, it obviously changed direction off his stick. Nice goal.
- Can we talk about the broadcast for a moment? I saw the Pay Per View feed tonight and I have a few questions:
- Why are the broadcasts from Edmonton so dark? They look like ass. Is there not enough light? Does the paint under the ice look that bad in person?
- Are the PPV features like player interviews and extra content during TV timeouts worth it? It all looks like stuff you could put on a post game show. Is it worth the money?
- They were showing a lot of Ryan Smyth action in front of the net. Miss him much?
- Budaj had the save of the night. Slapping down a shot on the doorstep. Trust me, you had to see it.
- It looked like Whack-A-Ref out there. Mick MaGoo got knocked down over and over, and I wish I could say I was concerned. But there were stripes all over the ice tonight.
- The Avs seem to be thinking too much about what they are going to do with the puck. Not enough reaction is getting them in trouble, and taking the play out of their hands. They have to pick it up a little.
- I’m starting to worry about Joe Sakic. I could see the frustration on his face as the puck didn’t do what he wanted it to. I wonder if he has an injury he is playing though. His passes aren’t crisp, he is getting picked off too often, and he only has five goals in 20 games. Sure, he’s second in team points, but he doesn’t look like the Joe Sakic we are all used to. He rarely takes penalties, but his hooking penalty tonight was sloppy as hell. I’m just saying, I’m worried about him.
That about does it for tonight. Happy turkey day, everyone. Get home safe.