05/02/2013 – NHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE NIGHT

James Van Riemsdyk of the Toronto Maple Leafs scores on Michael Neuvirth of the Washington Capitals.

James Van Riemsdyk of the Toronto Maple Leafs scores on Michael Neuvirth of the Washington Capitals.

Here are the results from last night’s games:

  • NY RANGERS 1 – 3 NJ DEVILS
  • PITTSBURGH 4 – 2 NY ISLANDERS
  • TORONTO 3 – 2 WASHINGTON
  • LA KINGS 4 – 2 COLUMBUS
  • BUFFALO 3 – 4 OTTAWA
  • TAMPA BAY 1 – 2 PHILADELPHIA
  • CALGARY 4 – 1 DETROIT
  • FLORIDA 2 – 3 WINNIPEG (OT)
  • NASHVILLE 6 – 1 ST LOUIS
  • CHICAGO 5 – 3 SAN JOSE

Not too many surprises amongst these results, except for the St Louis v Nashville game – lord knows what happened there, but I expect it was just an off night for the Blues – and the Capitals and Rangers continue to struggle despite their star power.  Ottawa did well to keep one of the hottest scoring teams in the league at bay by limiting the Pominville/Vanek line to just one goal, and Winnipeg broke their 3 game losing streak with a scrappy OT win.  Chicago also continues to show that they may be back as contenders, defeating the powerful Sharks to lead the league with 18 points through 10 games, and have not yet lost a game in regulation.  For last night’s top performers, read on…

  • DAVID CLARKSON – the hard-nosed winger continued his red-hot play for the Devils with 2 goals and an assist against the Rangers, and now has 7 goals (3rd most in the entire NHL) and 12 points on the season, and is starting to show that last seasons break-out 30 goal season was not necessarily a fluke.
  • MARTIN BRODEUR – the veteran superstar goalie had a bounceback game after three sub-par outings, stopping 24 of 25 shots for a .960 SV% against the Rangers.
  • MARC-ANDRE FLEURY – Fleury had a strong game against the Islanders, making 32 saves on 34 shots for a .941 SV% – and that includes making 16 saves on 16 shots against on the powerplay, some pretty incredible numbers, as well as a big pushback from the Islanders in the 3rd period.
  • JAMES VAN RIEMSDYK – the young power forward is starting to come into his own in Toronto, scoring his 5th and 6th goals of the year so far, including taking advantage of a hilarious mishap by the Capitals behind their own net to score on the wrap-around.  He played nearly 20 minutes, finished +2 and had one hit and one takeaway, providing great value for the Maple Leafs.
  • DEREK DORSETT AND JACK JOHNSON – I have to give kudos to a guy who appears to be doing everything he can to help his team in a losing cause.  These two players really were the heartbeat for the Blue Jackets last night.  Dorsett played nearly 18 minutes, only finished -1 despite LA scoring 3 ES goals, fought Colin Fraser, took 4 shots, laid out 5 hits and had a blocked shot.  Johnson, who I’m not particularly enamoured with generally, played a mammoth 34:13, had 2 hits, blocked 3 shots, and only finished -1.
  • JUSTIN WILLIAMS – the veteran second line winger, often under-appreciated by many, has had a slow start to the year but broke out last night with 3 assists against Columbus.
  • DREW DOUGHTY – considered by many to be one of the best defenceman in the world, Doughty was great again last night as he put up an assist, had 3 shots, 3 hits, and blocked 3 shots whilst playing nearly 26 minutes for LA.
  • CHRIS NEIL – Neil was quite the force for Ottawa last night, scoring would what turn out to be the game winner, firing 4 shots on goal and laying out 3 hits, all in just 11:46 minutes of ice time.
  • TOM SESTITO – the huge enforcer, not exactly known for his Actual Hockey Playing Ability™, scored both of the Flyers’ goals last night – just the 3rd and 4th of his NHL career – in just over 8 minutes of ice time.  In fact, that’s about all he did, as he didn’t lay any hits out or fight anyone.  I don’t expect it to happen too often, and he got the job done last night where his team-mates couldn’t, so for that he earns my respect.
  • ILYA BRYZGALOV – the much maligned goalie had a good game for the Flyers last night, making some good saves along the way to stopping 21 of 22 shots for a .955 SV%.
  • MIKE CAMMALLERI – the hapless (and Godless?) Flames finally played a good game last night, as they thumped Detroit (in Detroit) 4-1.  Cammalleri earned assists on Calgary’s first two goals, took 2 shots himself, made 2 hits and blocked 2 shots aswell.
  • JAROME IGINLA – the Flames captain hasn’t played well this season, and hasn’t had much luck either, but he finally managed his 1st goal of the season last night – a night he was firing everything he could at Detroit.  With 6 shots on goal, 2 hits and a blocked shot, Iginla was a force to be reckoned with on the ice.  Hopefully this is the start of a breakout for the veteran star.
  • MIIKKA KIPRUSOFF – another veteran star for the Flames who hasn’t played well this season, Kipper finally gets some traction after stopping 19 of 20 shots for a .950 SV%.  And then it all came crumbling down when Johan Franzen of the Wings collided with him at the end of the 2nd period, requiring him to leave the game.  Kiprusoff has been a rock in net for the Flames over the last several years as they consistently battled to finish just outside the playoffs (!), but without him – even despite his sub-par season so far – the Flames look primed to spend the next while lurking in the basement of the league standings.
  • ZACH REDMOND – nope I’d never heard of him either.  Playing just his 3rd career NHL game, the 24 year old rookie for the Jets scored the first 2 assists of his NHL career and played nearly 21 minutes in all situations whilst blocking 2 shots.  Not too shabby for a former 7th round draft pick.
  • COLIN WILSON – the former 7th overall pick in 2008 is starting to get his season off the ground, registering 3 assists in Nashville’s blowout win over St Louis.  He also blocked 2 shots.
  • MARTIN ERAT – the veteran winger put up a goal and 2 assists last night for Nashville, bringing him up to 7 points in 8 games so far this season to lead the team.
  • PEKKA RINNE – the Predators’ star goalie made 31 saves on 32 shots for a .969 SV%, including stopping 10 of 11 powerplay shots by the Blues.
  • PATRICK KANE  – Kane was great for the surging Hawks last night, scoring 2 goals – including the game winner and the empty net goal to seal the win – on 4 shots in nearly 18 and a half minutes of ice time.  He is now 3rd in the NHL with 15 points in 10 games.
  • JONATHAN TOEWS – the Hawk’s captain was a force, firing 5 shots on goal and registering 2 assists, as well as managing an incredible 4 takeaways and going 65% in the faceoff circle.  This guy really does do it all.
  • BRENT SEABROOK – one of the most underrated top-pairing blueliners in the league, Seabrook was quality for Chicago last night.  He played over 24 and half minutes, registered 2 assists, was a +2, had 2 shots on goal, laid out 3 hits and blocked a shot.
  • TOMMY WINGELS – the young San Jose centre was great on a night that most of his team-mates were not.  He scored a goal and an assist, finished even on the night, had 3 shots, 5 hits and a takeaway.
  • MICHAL HANDZUS  – the huge 35 year old center was, like Wingels, one of the few bright spots for San Jose last night.  He registered his first 2 points of the year, a goal and an assist, finished +1, had 2 shots, a takeaway, and went 50% on faceoffs.

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