A busy night in the NHL on Saturday with 12 games, spanning across the country. Here’s all the recap you need to catch you up.
Essential Water Cooler
Despite doubts from the hockey world and pessimism from their own city, the Toronto Maple Leafs are sitting pretty with 29 points and the third-best team in the Eastern Conference. Their offense has been respectable and their defense and goaltending have been superb. Their 9-3 record at home is second only to Pittsburgh in the East, and the team looks primed to make a run for the playoffs and perhaps more.
Showing that scorers always find the net somehow, Alex Ovechkin swats at a bouncing puck that finds its way past James Reimer, and he becomes the first player this season to 20 goals.
Men of the Night
1) James Reimer was arguably the best player in the NHL last night, stopping an astounding 50 shots, including five of Ovechkin’s, and another few in the shootout to secure the 2-1 win for Toronto.
2) Semyon Varlamov might have off-ice issues, but he’s still solid in the rink, stopping all 19 shots he faced against the Kings in a 1-0 shutout victory.
3) The Blues potted six goals against Dallas, but it was Brian Elliot who stopped 34 of 35 shots to lead the team.
4) An unlikely leader on a deep offensive team, the Flyers’ Matt Read scored two goals yet again last night against the Islanders, and now leads Philly in goals.
5) When the Rangers shut out an opponent, it’s usually props to Henrik Lundqvist, but this time it’s young guy Cam Talbot who gets his second shutout of the season with 17 saves against Nashville.
Better Luck Next Time
The Canucks were playing a good game and leading the Blackhawks 1-0, but, as we all witnessed in last year’s final, Chicago can strike quickly and with ease. That was no different Saturday night as Luongo allowed two goals in nine seconds – and lost 2-1.