Frustrating to not get a point out of the comeback effort, but when you fall behind by 3 early, it’s tough to win games.
Kessel’s penalty shot look sort of legit. I’m basing that entirely off of Lidstrom getting called for brushing the lint off of Toews’ sweater last week. So, if the NHL wants a stick lift or an elbow tap to result in a penalty shot, fine. Just call it that way consistently. (Spoiler alert: They won’t.)
Like it or not, Toronto just had more speed than Detroit in the first period. They got to the loose pucks and put themselves in a position to score their goals.
A box score journalist would tell you that Howard had a bad night. Anyone who watched the game knows he made huge saves to keep the Wings in it early. He plays with a ton of pride. With the Wings down 3-0, he’s making diving saves out there. He could have thrown in the towel and charted faceoffs while Conklin got shelled the rest of the night, but Howard just hates to fail. You can see it in his eyes when he gets scored on or when someone runs him. Glad he’s ours.
Is there a better fourth line in the NHL? Those guys had Toronto pinned in their own zone like they were superstars. They cycled the puck well, chased down loose pucks and generated a ton of energy for the rest of the team.
Hudler was taking a beating late in the game and gave the Leafs defender a bunch of cross-checks as a thank you. Good to see. Early in his career I used to be worried that Hudler would get tossed around by bigger players, but that hasn’t been the case.
NOHS Three Stars:
First Star: Pavel Datsyuk. He had a lot of speed the final 40 minutes of the game, plus he back checked when needed and prevented a few chances for the Leafs.
Second Star: Fourth Line. No points, but so much energy. Gustav Nyquist is going to be a beast when he’s put on an actual scoring line.
Third Star: James Howard. 4 goals against, but so many huge saves to keep it close. Hard to fault him on most of them.
NOHS Favorite Moment of the Game: I don’t really have one. It was a frustrating loss. I guess seeing Hudler gripe at anyone wearing stripes after they blew the icing call late in the game was funny. He’s small, but he’s bad. Don’t cross him!
Next game is against a bunch of amateurs. Puck drops at 7:30 EST.
Howard had little chance on the goals scored on him. The penalty shot couldnt have gone higher or it wouldve been no goal. The PP goal was deflected by a Wing. I am blanking on the other 2 but believe one was an oddman rush where the puck barely made it under lidstrom's stick. The last was a bad turnover.
On a side note what does Don Cherry have against Ken Holland... I agree with him on the enforcer point though. That is a good point because it stops teams from running star players.
I have always wondered why people hate Hudler so much. I always thought of the time zone issue.... think about a year in in Russia... that recovery couldnt be that easy. He is back to his old self and also is getting under the skin of the opponent more often to me.
I wonder what a line with Nyquist, Helm, and Conner would be like. I also love the fact that Howard looks like he is going to kill someone anytime a goal goes in the net. Almost like he hates the puck while being like a mother protecting it's young.
Last thing I want to say is that I always wondered who announced games on EA NHL games... could not help but think it was a video game most of the night.
Jimmy getting his big 1-0-0 in Squawkerville will only make it all the sweeter. Good game, bad calls, late start. Tomorrow's plan: get started early, be quick, score a bunch, make all those in ugly jerseys cry.
Agreed that Nyquist is looking good. He has amazing hands, and I am sure those will develop into more control over time.
You could clearly see Happy shout "that call was bullshit" at the refs before he skated angrily at them at the end. I laughed. He played well tonight. He is going to the net and hanging out waiting to pick up loose pucks and still getting shots off.
I'm going to declare that I was never in favor of trading him. He was never my "favorite trade bait." He just drank too much in Russia and was hungover all last season, that's all.