Your Weekly Spartans in the NHL Report
Duncan Keith had a phenomenal week. The Chicago defenseman racked up four assists, helping the Blackhawks stay undefeated in the regular season. Keith added two helpers on Friday in a 4-1 victory over the Sharks. The veteran picked up a secondary assist on a Dave Bolland tally in the first period and a helper in the second on Andrew Shawï¿½s insurance goal that made the score 3-1. Keith again provided a pair of assists in a Blackhawks victory on Hockey Day in America on Sunday, helping Chicago prevail over the Kings, 3-2. He sent a perfect pass to Brent Seabrook in the bottom of the left faceoff circle, and Seabrook put it past Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick to give Chicago an early 1-0 lead in the first. Keith then contributed another primary assist with a picture-perfect pass disguised as a slap shot to Jonathan Toews, who was sitting at the backside of the net. Toews poked the puck past Quick to give the ï¿½Hawks a 2-0 lead. Keith earned third star honors for his outstanding performance. You can see his amazing passes from Sundayï¿½s game here: http://www.nhl.com/ice/recap.htm?id=2012020213. The defenseman doubled his assist total this week, as he now has eight on the year.
Another former Spartan defenseman, John-Michael Liles, also had a notable week. Liles made the city of Toronto happy on Hockey Night in Canada, notching an empty netter in the final minute to seal the Maple Leafsï¿½ win over the Senators on Sunday. The tally was the first of the year for the Toronto defender. The Leafs continued to stay in the playoff hunt with a 2-1 record on the week.
The Red Wing-Spartan duo of Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller had a mixed week. The two had solid weeks statistically, though no points, and Detroit went 0-2-1. Abdelkaderï¿½s most notable performance came in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blues on Wednesday. The left winger had two shots, takeaways and two hits in the loss to the division rival. Miller had two shots, hits and blocked shots in that game, as well. The winger also had four shots and four hits in Sundayï¿½s 3-2 loss to the Wild.
The Winnipeg Jets had a rough week, as the team lost each of its three games. Winnipeg center Jim Slater didnï¿½t post any points, though he did have one shot, one hit and won all of his 11 face-offs in a 3-2 loss to the Flyers.
Mike Weaver notched a pair of assists this week for the Panthers, though his efforts were not enough to stop Floridaï¿½s three game slide. Both helpers came during a 6-5 overtime loss to the Lightning on Saturday. The first occurred when Weaver sent a shot on net and Shawn Mattias tipped in the resulting rebound. Weaver was then credited with his second of the game and fourth of the season on a Jack Skille goal that knotted the game at two in the second period.
The Oilers won once and lost once this week, while Jeff Petry and Corey Potter had relatively quiet weeks. Petry was forced to leave Edmontonï¿½s practice on Friday, as the defenseman suffered a leg injury when he got tangled up with teammate Teemu Hartikinen. Petry still played against Colorado on Saturday night, racking up five shots, two takeaways and two hits in a 6-4 comeback win over the Avalanche. Fellow defenseman and teammate Corey Potterï¿½s noteworthy performance happened on Tuesday, when the veteran recorded one shot and three hits during a 4-1 loss to the Stars.
Though Ryan Miller only posted a 1-2 record on the week, the goaltender looked brilliant. He only allowed just two goals in a shutout loss to Ottawa on Tuesday. Miller earned first star honors in a 5-2 triumph over the Bruins on Friday, as the goalie deflected 32 Boston shots. But the hated Penguins got the best of the Miller and the Sabers on Sunday, 4-3. All the fault cannot be placed on the veteran netminder, though, as Miller made some outstanding saves on Pittsburgh shooters.
Tampa Bay right winger Adam Hall had a couple of stellar performances as his team went 1-1-1 on the week. Hall had one hit and won each of the seven face-offs he took in Tuesdayï¿½s 4-3 defeat to the Canadians in a shootout. The winger also racked up two hits, one shot and one takeaway, and won two of three face-offs in a 4-3 loss to the Capitals on Thursday evening.
Tim Kennedy was recalled from Worcester, San Joseï¿½s AHL affiliate, on Tuesday. He played in two games for the Sharks this week, including the teamï¿½s 4-1 loss to the Blackhawks on Tuesday. Kennedy scored the lone San Jose goal. The youngster deked Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery and then sent a backhand past the sprawling netminder to narrow the Chicago lead to 2-1. The goal was the centerï¿½s first tally in the NHL this year.
David Booth did not play this week for the Canucks, although he did skate with his team on Saturday, though.