October 12 2013 08:30PM
So, uh, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins fell over in overtime, which led to a three-on-one in overtime with Mason Raymond and Cody Franson, and after a give-and-go, the puck landed on the stick of David Bolland, and he put the winner right through the legs of Devan Dubnyk for the 6-5 winner.
This was one of the weirdest and most entertaining games I've seen in years. Regardless of whether you love the Leafs, hate the Leafs, think the Leafs are going to stink this year or have bought into Randy Carlyle's Great Experiment, it's undeniable that this team is the most fun its been in a long time. The score was 4-4 midway through the third period and the broadcasters were talking like this was a normal occurrence. After an incredible save by Jonathan Bernier on Marc Arcobello that kept Toronto in the game, Joffrey Lupul tied the score with 21 seconds left on the clock, leading to a wide-open, sloppy overtime period that concluded a wide-open, sloppy game.
October 12 2013 11:44AM
The Edmonton Oilers have had a pretty slow start to the season, wins and losses-wise, but there are arguments to be made that the team is actually better off than they have been in quite some time. The team is shooting just 6.8% and getting just .866 goaltending at even strength, but the Oilers have kept their shot differential numbers through each of their first four games relatively even.
Some of Devan Dubnyk's struggles have surely been projected onto Dallas Eakins. Stylistically, one could drum up a narrative that Eakins is the polar opposite of Randy Carlyle. They're both hockey coaches, but Eakins, who quotes the importance of shot differentials in his post-game press conferences and pulls his goalie much earlier than convention (last game against Montreal, Dubnyk was out of the next with 4:33 to go in the third period, the Oilers down by a pair).
Eakins, who has also dressed three low-minute players who can do little more than collect penalty minutes in each of his team's games this season, is also guilty of at least one crime committed by Randy Carlyle. After all, he's a hockey coach, and he's in Edmonton now. He used to be in Toronto.
October 11 2013 06:48PM
The dressing room is supposed to be a safe place for players. That is said time and again between coaches and players. Things that are said or happen between those walls stay between those walls.
Joe Thornton is making headlines today, for a comment he directed in a humorous way at a scrum of reporters that were interviewing another player. He was not being interviewed himself. He said something sarcastic about scoring four goals in one game and what he would do to celebrate.
October 11 2013 12:07PM
I thought I'd made this point in the summer, but it turns out I hadn't. Jonathan Bernier, despite having the same overall save percentage than James Reimer coming into this season, had one of the highest quality start rates between 2007 and 2013, per Rob Vollman in the Hockey Abstract:
October 11 2013 12:00PM
A first star performance by Jonathan Bernier and a second star performance from Cody Franson's face leads the Leafs to victory!