Hockey just doesn't make any sense at all to me today.
First, Detroit clinches a victory in New Jersey this afternoon (that game weirded me out, by the way, as only a Saturday afternoon hockey game can do--waking up with the knowledge that in only a half hour, hockey would be happening, while not unwelcome, is unsettling). This in itself would not be particularly weird; Brodeur of the goalie kung-fu does lose a game every once in a while, and Hasek (while I'm still not entirely convinced understands the fact that it's easier to make saves when not on one's back) has been playing as strong as ever, still in line with his best NHL season ever. He's also got to be somewhere near in line with his record of most penalties in a season--this game alone netted (no pun intended) him one for playing the puck over the line, at which he broke his stick on the ice, which just landed him an unsportsmanline conduct. But the overlying fact remains that Detroit hasn't won a game in New Jersey in thirteen years. From the first game of the day, you knew it was going to be weird.
Elly was at the Pens game tonight, and thus I had no one here to spam via instant message about all the other craziness, but it happened all the same. I was happy to see Toronto up 2-1 midway through the first, but when when I checked back at the end of the period and saw 5-1 I was thoroughly confused--and it just kept going! 9-2 by the end with a hat trick for Kyle Wellwood, two Sundin assists...hell nearly the entire team got a point for something tonight. I really wish I'd actually been able to watch that game, as for something to go that right, the Leafs must have remembered how to actually play some hockey for at least a little while, especially against an offensive team like the Rangers. Maybe they realized just how good it felt not to suck. Nine goals in one win is a nice change from nine goals in seven losses.
Equally surprising was the Islanders 6-0 victory over the Thrashers, not that I saw any of that either. A number of the games tonight were oddly high scoring though (Bruins over Panthers 6-3, Habs over Pens 6-3--which I'm sure Elly will have plenty of those on when she gets home--...I'm going to start thinking we're playing NHL2K7 here.)
In other news, the man we thought would probably never play another NHL game (and to be fair, even this game was only with the Columbus Blue Jackets and thus probably doesn't actually count), Ty Conklin of Cup Finals Game One Loss Fame (seriously, do we have a count of how many times this blog has linked to that clip?) got to play at least one more game on NHL ice tonight. Or at least a period or so of one. He even stopped all but one shot. Congrats, Ty--Edmonton may not have forgiven you, but at least you haven't inspired the hatred of anywhere new, yet. Unless Syracuse follows their AHL team enough to take offense to a 10-2-1 record.
- Ales Hemsky has returned to Edmonton's lineup, starting against Colorado yesterday night despite rumors that he'd be out until past Christmas, and he played a strong 15:30, too. Now if only we could get Smyth back too--but let's hope the return of those two doesn't mean the players who've stepped up lately (Horc, Torres, Stoli, Pisani, Smith) back off again.
- My goalie Manny Legace's back, as well, and started tonight for St. Louis--who put up a good fight, tying Nashville 2-2 before losing in a shootout. I'd have worn my jersey if I had it here with me.
- Valtteri Filppula took a hard hit the other day and broke his collarbone. The end result is 1/3 of the Money Line being out for ten weeks after successful surgery which is especially unfortunate considering how strong he's been playing so far.
- Darcy Tucker disappeared after hurting his hand tonight and didn't come back for the rest of the game--let's hope it's nothing.