How you know Toronto had a bad night: they lost to Carolina 5-4 in a shootout. No, it’s true!
I’m not enough of a masochist to actually sit down and watch a game between the two worst teams in the NHL (and besides I was already planning on subjecting myself to the Blackhawks/Flames game that ended up being evocative of a scene involving a pinball machine in The Accused), but holy crap on a platter. It was like a regional sales convention of failure.
Toronto went up 3-0 in the first period, probably because it was playing the Carolina Hurricanes. But, because it is Toronto and would never be able to build on any lead and stand on the throats of even a junior mite B team, gave up two goals late in the second. Then they went up 4-2 in the third before allowing Carolina to tie it on goals a little less than four minutes apart, and here’s where it gets really ugly.
Ian White of all the people on the planet Earth scored on a simple break into the zone with 30 seconds to go in the game. The Hurricanes were very obviously making a concerted effort to give the game away. They just didn’t count on an absolute moron like Ron Wilson being unwilling to allow them to allow him to win. What did Wilson do? Why, he put Jeff Finger who, coming into tonight, hadn’t even been good enough to get into the Leafs’ defense for more than 10 games this year, out there to lock down the one-goal win.
If his goal was to see Finger commit the turnover that led to Carolina’s game-tying goal with three seconds left, then mission accomplished, daddy! Carolina ended up winning in a shootout, because why would either team play well enough 4-on-4 to actually lock up a game the legitimate way?
Well that’s not entirely true.. because in a terrible game between the two worst teams in the league, shouldn’t the referees have the right to drop the ball too? No kidding, another “intent to blow” call. … Oh, I’m sorry, that should read “intent to blow the whistle.”
Anywho, Tuomo Ruutu and Jussi Jokinen scored in the shootout, while Phil Kessel (not a bad choice) and Lee Stempniak (an horrific one) were stonewalled by.. oh my god it was Manny Legace.
Everyone brought their F games tonight.
Boston 4, Atlanta 3 (SO)
Think that Atlanta top line of Nik Antropov between Max Afinogenov an some guy called Ilya Kovalchuk is any good? Another three goals and three assists from those fellas. By the way the Bruins scoring three goals and then winning a shootout is not a typo if you can believe that. And the announced attendance of over 12,000 looked awful generous.
Ottawa 6, Pittsburgh 2
You read that right. Mainly because Pittsburgh’s defense tonight was, in order of most NHL games, Sergei Gonchar (939), Martin Skoula (737), Mark Eaton (474), Nate Guenin (14), Ben Lovejoy (6) and Deryk Engelland (4). You will also note that both Skoula and Eaton suck.
St. Louis 3, Phoenix 2 (OT)
BACKESWATCH 09: One assist tonight to bring his season total to 1-3-4. Remember when people thought he was a lock for Team USA in the Olympics? He’d get cut from the women’s team right now. (Although… how did they get it to work in that movie Ladybugs?)
Chicago 7, Calgary 1
Ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff! Calgary has now lost its last six regular-season games with Chicago by a combined score of something like 38-13. Remember that this includes a game in which Calgary went up 5-0 and lost in overtime. Great. It’s great. Everything is great.
Nashville 3, New Jersey 2 (SO)
Look how hot Nashville is. Winners of four straight and eight of the last 10. I wonder if anyone, anywhere on the planet cares.
Anaheim 4, Tampa Bay 3 (OT)
Drop everything to watch Stamkos’ goal tonight. “Retardo” doesn’t begin to cover it.