First Star, without a question of doubt, Ryan Kesler. In a game dominated by special teams play, the special teams leader dominated. Five on five, he proved once again why he has a Selke in his closet. The last time we saw a similar performance was the against Detroit (a better, more entertaining game in my opinion).
Vancouver's PK was as much a deciding point in the game as their PP.
The scrum - Burr taps a Bruin on the ankles with his stick at the Bruin gate, Thornton and Burr get sticks up in each others faces in retaliation, Thornton looses his cool and the melee ensues.
- The league cancel of the Lucic game misconduct is because Milan entered the ice over the boards (I have yet to see a camera angle that does or does not show it) before he headed to the gate for the one foot on one foot off camera shot. He was on the ice when the brouhaha began. The guy who could have been tossed was Lapierre. He came on the ice and was engaged in the scrum before Henrik left the ice.
Weise claims he asked and was surprised when Horton said yes. Credit to both for the sheer endurance of that match.
The only guy Vancouver had on the ice who can handle himself in a fight was KB3, and he was smart enough to standby with Chara and watch the show.
Officials got the minor penalties right.
Nice shot by the rookie, even better pass by Hamhuis for what turned out to be the winner.Haven't seen a shot like that since Jannik Hansen vs the Preds in late November. Stu Hackell at SI recently wrote an article saying the slapper down the wing was a play eliminated from today's NHL except in rare incidences of odd man rushes and fast PP transitions.
- I am impressed that the coaching staff has identified and worked with Cody to correct some the weakness's in his game. We haven't seen much minor league dipsy doodle since Foligno nearly took his head off.
He has, as I pointed his need to do so, simplified his game. His shot past Tony Lydman and his most recent goal are testaments to that simplification.
In his home town, with his grade schoolmarm in attendance (Question-has S_C seen a harder piece of wood since the night Trev took him by the hand?) Silent 3 finally discovered the boards. Ironically, the game before in Ottawa, he attempted a hit along the boards, in front of an ice level camera, the contact had all the force of a 16 year old boy kissing his Grand Mother on the lips.
He still, as AV said in a recent interview on CDC video, plays sheltered minutes and often finds himself lost defensively or is caught leaving the zone early (Iggie bad habits, sans the talent). He is vulnerable on the road where AV does not have the last change and on the recent California road trip there were several attempt to exploit the matchup.
Marchand, I'd love to have this guy on my team, because I think he's young enough to clean up his act. Yes the hit was low and ugly. Deciding factors on suspension will come down to point of contact and the turn from Salo. You can not lower your body to make that hit. He he connected with his hip, he did not lower his body, and that will be in his favour. If he connected with his upper body, he then lowered himself to submarine Salo. The other factor is, did Salo turn immediately prior to contact? We'll wait for Ken Holland's decision.
Good read this week that relates to that game and Burke's remorse, Dryden's Fight vs Fighting article in the Globe.
Edit - Manny - Still one of the best faceoff men in the league and the luxury of he and Kesler on the ice for important defensive zone faceoffs can not be underestimated. the transition of Manny the centre to Manny the winger after a faceoff is never smooth. It was awefull with Cody and is better with Lappy, but still a problem.
If deemed needed, another tough guy who can eat 8-10 minutes a night without being too much of an embarrassment - Brandon Prust. Would the Rgs part with him though?