NHL Stretch-Run a Wild Ride
March 17, 2009 by Big Tony
1. Number one Story of the night is the Marty Brodeur has surpassed Patrick Roy in wins to take the all-time lead at 552. There is not much more to be said about Brodeur at this point after the article dedicated to his tying of the record. If you missed it you can click here or on his name above.
2. The Pittsburgh Penguins are in the midst of an eleven game point streak which catapulted them from 10th into a tie with Philadelphia in fourth position in the Eastern Conference. The acquisition of Kunitz and Guerin has been golden so far as both have contributed majorly on the scoreboard as they play the respective wings next to Crosby on the top line. Roughly 20 games ago many people suspected the Penguins were very likely to miss the playoffs or do little damage even if they managed to scrape by to get in. But now not only are the Bylsma led Penguins in decent playoff position by some of those same people feel they can not only make it to the playoffs but make yet another run at the Stanley Cup. Oh and don’t forget about that Malkin guy who scored his 100th point Tuesday night, they tell me that’s kind of a big deal or something.
3. The Montreal Canadiens have been in a virtual free-fall for weeks now. Carey Price has been struggling mightily, Alexi Kovalev has been subpar all season long and Guy Carbonneau has been fired and replaced by GM Bob Gainey who does not have them in much better position. It was supposed to be a celebration in Montreal this year with it being the 100th anniversary of the franchise with allegedly their best team in a long time. Now the Habs are in 7th position and barely hanging on with Carolina, Florida, and Buffalo hot on their trail.
4. In the West the LA Kings all the way down in 13th place still have a legitimate shot at qualifying for the playoffs. Only six points separate eighth from 13th as the teams play “musical chairs” with playoff positioning almost nightly. Also, the Columbus Blue Jackets have surged as of late and really separated themselves from the lower pack in the West led by rookie sensation Steve Mason. Meanwhile the Chicago Blackhawks—who were once considered to be a shoe-in—have been struggling as of late and risk surrendering the 4th spot and the first-round home-ice advantage that comes with it
All-in-all there have been a lot of surprises over the last two months and the league continues to entertain. Things you thought you knew just a short time ago have completely changed and that’s the beauty of the sport. As fun as the last two months have been they are sure to be topped in the next few weeks. So hang on to your seats hockey fans because as great as it has been thus far you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.