As the snow keeps piling up, the hockey games start to gain steam. The NFL season ended yesterday, but the NHL is just getting started. The Commissioner should take advantage of this time of year in-between the Super Bowl and MLB’s spring training, but he’s a joke…we all know this by now.
Joe Pasquali and Eddie Theisen are two diehard NHL fans. They both watch every hockey game every night (almost). Neither have a girlfriend. I doubt these guys even realized the Super Bowl occurred yesterday.
Theisen: Well, I watched some hockey, but being in Columbus for the Red Wings game, I didn’t want to run the risk with the women in Columbus.
(*editor’s note*) Low blow.
Pasquali: Bitter at how the winged wheel fared in Cbus? Neither of us predicted the Jackets winning that one.
Theisen: Somewhat, the Red Wings power play didn’t help their cause on Saturday, going 0-5 and giving up a crucial late Short Handed goal to seal the Jacket’s win.
Pasquali: Detroit’s power play has been bad so far this season (ranked 25th). I think the PP is where they are missing Lidstrom and Holmstrom the most. Now with the loss of Brendan Smith, their blue line gets thinner still. I do think Saturday’s defeat won’t hurt as much considering they had a solid win Friday night against a very good St. Louis team.
Theisen: Agreed, the Red Wings seemed to not have nearly as much energy as they did against the Blues, which is understandable after the intense battle they had the night before Columbus.
Pasquali: Yeah, but props to Columbus for getting a much needed win and snapping their losing streak at 2. But, as I congratulate the Blue Jackets, I must now say WHAT THE HELL?!?! In trying to find Columbus highlights, I stumbled across this gem. There are no words.
Theisen: Wow…sweet, Blue Jackets
Pasquali: If karma exists in the hockey world, Columbus will have ten terrible seasons now for putting that video into the world.
(*editor’s note*) They already had twelve terrible seasons, so they get a reprieve for time served.
Theisen: How did you like that Blackhawks game? The Hawks seem like they refuse to lose in regulation
Pasquali: Blackhawks had a dramatic weekend for sure. Shootout loss to Vancouver and then a shootout win against Calgary. I have to say though, that Vancouver game just didn’t have the emotion I thought it would. Maybe the lockout settled down both teams. Last year they couldn’t play without fireworks going off.
Theisen: Yeah, ever since the 2009 playoffs it seemed like every Blackhawks vs Canucks game has had that raw emotion, even in the regular season games. Friday’s matchup didn’t seme to have the hatred we’ve all grown accustomed to. The only normal trend from that game was Patrick Kane scoring on Roberto Luongo.
Pasquali: Yeah Kane always lights him up, but Luongo has looked pretty solid so far this year. He picked up first star of the game Friday night, stopping 27 of 28 shots. If keeps that up he’ll win back the fans he pissed off in the off-season. And on the topic of goalies, how about Ray Emery Saturday night?? (45 saves, stopped all 3 shots in shootout) Should Crawford be worried about his # 1 spot in Chi-town?
Theisen: I believe he should be. Crawford has really only one solid stretch with the Blackhawks (2011). I don’t know if Ray Emery is the guy Chicago wants to rely on though, especially in the playoffs. Even with Luongo’s great start to the season, I still believe he’ll be traded sooner or later this season.
Pasquali: Yeah, but what teams will want to take on his contract? I’d think only a playoff caliber team with a hole at goalie would risk it. Tampa Bay jumps to mind, but if you’re scoring five goals a game who cares who is in net?
Theisen: That’s a good point with the contract, but teams desperate enough will jump on the chance to get him. Tampa Bay is definitely an option, Florida has also shown interest in Luongo. Also, the idea of him being traded to Chicago has been thrown out there as well. In the end, Luongo decides his own destiny with his No Trade Clause. Speaking about all these trades, do you think Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan or Ryan Getzlaf of the Ducks will go at the deadline this year? Perry and Getzlaf are Unrestricted Free Agents at the end of the year and Ryan has been in trade rumors.
Pasquali: Getzlaf is safe, but I can see Ryan or Perry going somewhere. With Jason Spezza getting hurt, Ottawa needs to find some offense. I could see either Ryan or Perry being a great fit there. Without Spezza the Senators managed just one goal over the weekend. One!
Theisen: I think Getzlaf would be the one to go. I know he’s their captain, but he’s always been known to take some shifts off or not show up for some games. I don’t know how you could rather give up Corey Perry when he’s your most lethal offensive weapon. Unless he tells Anaheim he’s not coming back. Bobby Ryan is probably their second best forward and he is also only 25. He’s still got some quality years left and I think he’s too valuable to move at this point if you’re Anaheim. I think Getzlaf should be the odd man out.
Pasquali: All three of those players would be a welcome addition to pretty much any club, but I don’t know how you trade your captain. It is rarely done and a great way to piss off your fan base. I do hope we have some active teams around the trade deadline, it always makes for some excitement.
Speaking of the Ducks, a former Anaheim player George Parros may have the biggest balls in the NHL. Do you think he saw John Scott put down Shawn Thornton in the Buffalo/Boston game Thursday night? I don’t know if you will see a more one-sided fight all year.
Props to Parros for fighting Scott Saturday night and holding his own against the 6’8″ monster.
Theisen: John Scott became Shawn Thornton’s father when they played last Thursday. Parros also had a huge goal against the Sabres Sunday, bringing the Panthers to within one. The Panthers then went on to win in Buffalo 4-3. If Parros could have gotten an assist, I think that would’ve been the first Gordie Howe Hat Trick of the season. Speaking of hat tricks, Chris Kunitz netted one yesterday against the Capitals for 6-3 win. The Penguins have now won their last 3 games and outscored their opponents 14-4 in that span. Do you think the Penguins are finally back?
Pasquali: Friday we talked about how Pittsburgh was off to a bad start and not looking like an elite team, and then BAM. They dominate over the weekend, score a ton of goals, and are back at the top of the Atlantic Division. Kunitz had a great game and technically got 4 goals. They kept changing his third goal. It was his goal, then it wasn’t, then it was again. Not to take anything away from Pittsburgh, but man Holtby let in some SOFT ones.
Theisen: The goalie controversy is back on in Washington once again. That’s got to be a huge distraction to the Capitals, always having inconsistent goaltending cannot help the confidence on the bench during a game. The Capitals are looking like they’ll finish well below the top 8 teams in the East this year, unless they can start clicking and winning some games soon.
Pasquali: Agreed. Some teams in the East are a lot better than they were last year and Washington is struggling to keep up. Honestly, the game yesterday against Pittsburgh was probably their best performance of the season and they still lost by 3. It is crazy to think there are must win games this early in the year, but Washington needs a “W” against either Toronto (2/5) or Pittsburgh (2/7) this week.
Theisen: It is true about must win games. The Capitals are almost 1/5 of the way through their season and have only accumulated 5 points. They need to get 3 out 4 points in these next two games to get something going for them. The Flyers are another talented team struggling this year. They’ve started out 3-6 and goaltending has been an issue again this year. Even though, I think Bryzgalov has been considerably better this year than last.
Pasquali: Yeah, not the start Philly wanted, but you can’t fault Bryz. They are 25th in goals per game, and with the offensive weapons they have that is shocking.
Theisen: They did put up 5 against Carolina on Saturday, so let’s see if this is the turnaround for their offense. To another talented offense that is struggling, the Edmonton Oilers are not putting up the goals with their young offensive core. Only netting 5 goals in their last 4 games.
Pasquali: Oilers are struggling offensively along with the Sens, Jackets, and Preds. At the other end of the spectrum, Tampa , San Jose, and Anaheim are scoring a TON of goals.
Best one time shot in the NHL right now has to be Stamkos. So nasty.
Theisen: Stamkos is hands down the best natural goal scorer in the game today. The Lightning have turned it around this year after a disappointing season last year. Tampa Bay is 6-2-0 so far this season and has been the best offensive team so far, putting up an average of 4.9 goals a game (Best in NHL). They also have the top ranked power play in the league at 36.1%, which is just another testament to their offense.
Pasquali: They did lose to the Rangers in Saturday, and I’m interested to see them play more big boys in the east. Watching them dismantle Florida and Winnipeg all year seems a bit unfair.
Theisen: That’s true, the Rangers are still an elite threat in the East despite their start. The goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist and back up Marty Biron has been pretty solid so far this year. The goal scoring has been the complete opposite, however. The Rangers rank 20th in the NHL with 2.4 goals a game and are a horrendous 10% on the power play. Only Colorado has worse power play in the league.
Pasquali: Yup, single digit PP percent for the Avs. It can’t get much worse. But hey Avs fans, tonight you can celebrate Milan Hejduk’s 1,000th game in a Colorado jersey! Elsewhere tonight kids get in free to the Phoenix game, and in Anaheim you can watch the Ducks try to win 3 games in 4 nights.
I was out checking out Anaheim’s page and noticed they have 8 new “power player” girls this year. Big news. Man, must be rough living in CA. These women aren’t smoking hot or anything. Power Player Brittnei bothers me for a few reasons though. 1) Her parents spelled her name like a dumbass, 2) She is afraid of paper towels, and 3) She said Scotland is a beautiful place, making me think she has never been to Scotland.
Theisen: 1) Obviously born in a trailer with the spelling Brittnei 2) I’m scared of napkins, so we can relate 3) Scotland is the poor, alcoholic brother of Ireland.
(*editors note*) Yeah, Brittnei is crazy hot, but that spelling is atrocious.
Pasquali: Which game are you looking forward to tonight?
Theisen: Vancouver vs Edmonton… Would like to see if the Canucks sticks with Luongo and ready to see if the youngsters on Edmonton can beat the Canucks for the second time this year? What game will you be glued to?
Pasquali: San Jose at Anaheim. Two teams playing well with multiple all-stars on both sides. It is either that, or Mars Attacks is on HBO tonight around midnight. Now that is star power.
Pasquali’s Picks (season so far 13-19)
Carolina over Toronto
Colorado over Dallas
Minnesota over Phoenix
Vancouver over Edmonton
San Jose over Anaheim
Theisen’s Picks (season so far 17-15)
Toronto over Carolina
Dallas over Colorado
Minnesota over Phoenix
Edmonton over Vancouver
San Jose over Anaheim