Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:29 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 11:23 pm
By: Adam Gretz
There's always a winner and a loser in the NHL, and this is a new nightly look at some of the winners and losers in the biggest games and biggest situations across the league.
Their 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night was just the fourth win in 11 games during the month of February for the Washington Capitals, and only the fourth time they've scored more than two goals over that same stretch. And it couldn't have come at a better time for the Capitals as they still managed to pull to within two points of regaining the top spot in the always comical Southeast Division, despite what has been a month of less-than-stellar play.
Alex Ovechkin returned to the Washington lineup in the win and blasted a one-timer past Carey Price for his 25th goal of the season, giving him at least 25 goals in each of the first seven years of his career.
Some of the NHL's other winners and losers for Friday night…
1. Colorado Avalanche: Big win for the Avalanche on Friday night as they keep pace in the Western Conference playoff push with a 5-0 dismantling of the Columbus Blue Jackets. David Jones scored a pair of goals, Semyon Varlamov stopped all 28 shots he faced and the newest Avalanche player, Steve Downie, scored his first goal for the club.
[Related: Avalanche 5, Blue Jackets 0]
2. Dallas Stars: The Stars took over sole possession of the No. 8 playoff spot in the West with a 4-1 win over Minnesota. Dallas raced out to an early 3-0 lead in the second period, chasing Niklas Backstrom after only 23 minutes. Eric Nystrom, a member of the Wild at the start of the season, scored his 16th goal of the year while Tom Wandell added a pair to give him six on the year.
[Related: Stars 4, Wild 1]
3. Chuck Fletcher, Minnesota Wild general manager: Whether or not any of the players or draft picks Chuck Fletcher received in the trade that sent Marek Zidlicky to New Jersey on Friday is pretty irrelevant at this point. He managed to gain three players and two draft picks for a player that no longer wanted to be in Minnesota (and was playing like it) while team itself had little leverage when it came to trading him.
Oh, and he also cleared a few million in salary cap space for next season. That's a win for the organization, even though the team lost on the ice.
[Related: Zidlicky traded to New Jersey]
1. Montreal Canadiens: The only positive development to come out of their loss in Washington on Friday night was the fact that Rene Bourque scored a shorthanded goal. Why is this so meaningful? Or even a little meaningful? Because until Bourque scored that goal, the Canadiens had gone more than 12 periods of hockey without scoring a goal against the Capitals, dating back to last season. In their past four games against Washington Montreal has been outscored 11-1. Since the start of last season they've been shutout by the Capitals four times.
2. Calgary Flames social media: I appreciate the rivalry between the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers. It's one of the great ones in the NHL, and it reached a new level on Friday when an anonymous member of the Flames social media team accidentally sent out a Tweet mocking the proposed contract terms for Oilers forward Ales Hemsky. The Flames acknowledged it, said it was a mistake, don't condone it, and will handle it internally. That's great, but it's not like the Flames don't have their own contracts that would draw a few chuckles from other teams around the league.
[Related: Flames official Twitter mocks Hemsky contract talk -- Oilers re-sign Hemsky]
For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: July 25, 2011 6:58 pm
By: Adam Gretz
The second episode of Becoming Wild, the 24/7 style show documenting the Minnesota Wild, aired Friday night on FOX Sports North, and on Monday was posted on the team's official website. This weeks episode touched on the pre-draft meetings between the Minnesota scouts and assistant general manager Brent Flahr, as well as the hiring process of new head coach Mike Yeo.
In the 22-minute episode, we watch as scouts debate the talent level and ability of players that could be selected during the entry draft -- which was hosted by Minnesota -- and the types of heated arguments that can flare up. It's a fascinating look at just how much disagreement there can be on a player, and the different traits the Wild look for in a prospect. If you follow any of the pre-draft coverage of any team in the NHL (and, really, any other major sport) you often hear about "disagreements within the front office" on specific players, and here we get to see how it all goes down.
Meanwhile, we also get a look general manager Chuck Fletcher calling Yeo, the former head coach of Minnesota's AHL affailiate in Houston, on the phone to officially offer him his first head coaching position in the NHL.