Russian Stars Soar, Toskala Shines
November 27, 2008 by Big Tony
Let me start by saying I hope everyone had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving Day. There was not much action in the NHL on Thanksgiving, but since it was not Canadian Thanksgiving there were two games on the night one featuring the battle of Ontario, Toronto vs. Ottawa. Vesa Toskala has been taking an awful lot of criticism as of late (from the likes of me mainly) and his play certainly warranted that criticism. However, I have to give credit where credit is due and on Thursday night Toskala came up with a lot of key/great saves and although the Leafs lost 2-1 in a shootout if not for Toskala it could have easily been a two or three goal regulation loss. So I salute Toskala’s performance against the Senators, and if he plays like that more often the Leafs can be a dangerous team.
Unlike Thursday, Wednesday had a full slate of action including two great performances by Russian stars Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin. Led by Ovechkin’s hat trick the Washington Capitals ended their three-game-losing-streak by defeating the Atlanta Thrashers 5-3. Also on Wednesday the Pittsburgh Penguins were down 3-1 in the third but Malkin’s natural hat trick helped the Penguins get the come-from-behind 5-3 win over the suddenly surging New York Islanders. Sure there are a lot of other stars in the league but we should be very thankful to have them playing in the NHL because not that long ago both men would have remained hidden behind the iron curtain that was the Soviet Union.