Monday, March 19, 2012
Case of the Mondays: March 17-18
By Paul Grant
If you spent too much time celebrating St. Patrick's Day or cursing your bracket, that's OK. We forgive you. Just don't let it happen again. Here's what you missed in the NHL over the weekend:
-- That Scott Hartnell did something annoying again. And he also scored a key goal, firing home a blast from the deep slot to give the Flyers a last-second OT win over the Penguins. The heartless Hartnell snapped the Penguins' impressive winning streak. But, really, I'm still laughing at his "Suck it, Phaneuf" line from the All-Star Game and subsequent beatdown. Classic.
-- Nifty note from Elias on the goal: Scott Hartnell scored with 0.9 seconds remaining in overtime to earn the Flyers a 3-2 win over the Penguins and end Pittsburgh's 11-game winning streak. It was the latest regular-season overtime goal in Flyers history and only the third overtime goal at the 4:59 mark in an NHL game over the past five seasons. Remarkably, the two other instances happened on the same day, March 20, 2010, with Carolina's Jamie McBain (at Pittsburgh) and Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg (at Vancouver) scoring the last-second game-winning goals.
-- The Blackhawks got a pair of goals from checker Andrew Shaw -- his assignment was Alex Ovechkin -- in a big win over the Capitals. The Caps better rally or else they face an offseason in a glass case of emotion.
-- Self-referential alert: Love me this playoffs matchups page of ours.
-- Outside looking in, with a shot: Winnipeg, Buffalo, Carolina; San Jose, Los Angeles, Calgary. Wait, Carolina? That can't be right.
-- Dude named Sidney Crosby had three assists in the Penguins' win over the Devils. New guy, I think. Has good upside. Must have called him up from Wilkes-Barre or something. Hmph. I'll get back to you with more on this one.
-- Tim Thomas made a save in the shootout, Ilya Bryzgalov didn't. And that's the difference between a win and a loss in today's NHL. But you didn't go to the fridge while it was being decided, did you?
-- Despite the return of Ryan Callahan and Michael Del Zotto, the Rangers lost at home to the Avalanche. Those pesky Avs temporarily climbed into seventh in the Western Conference (they are eighth as of Monday).
-- The Blues beat up on the Bolts. By the way, the Blues have locked up a playoff spot and are No. 1 in the league. If you predicted that in September, your medication is better than mine.