Ramblings: Golden Knights Stomp; Rinne Shines; Fowler Update – October 28

by Michael Clifford on October 27, 2017 | (3 Comments)
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Golden Knights Stomp; Rinne Shines; Fowler Update – October 28

Maybe Vegas is never going to lose again? A 7-0 throttling of the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night (afternoon?) pushed the Golden Knights to an 8-1-0 record, tying them for the second-most wins in the league and moving them into third in goal differential.

It was a relatively even first period between the Avalanche and Golden Knights before Colorado turned up the heat in the second period. They just couldn’t break through Oscar Dansk. Vegas, however, got through Semyon Varlamov to the tune of four goals in 10 minutes. They were tallies from David Perron, Oscar Lindberg, Cody Eakin, and James Neal (his seventh on the year). Perron, Neal, and Eakin each added assists along the way.

Jonathan Marchessault and Erik Haula added third-period goals with William Carrier adding the extra point for a 7-0 dismantling of the Avalanche. Nate Schmidt had a couple of assists in the win. The former Washington defenceman is now up to six points in nine games.

Oscar Dansk saved all 32 shots he faced for his first career shutout. He’s now 3-0 since taking over goaltending duties from the injured netminders, saving 71 of 74 shots so far.

For Colorado, Erik Johnson had six shots on goal while Gabriel Landeskog had four. At least they had only one skater worse than minus-2 (Tyson Barrie, -3)? Silver linings and all.

*

Despite getting a team playing back-to-back nights on the road, Columbus got off to a very sleepy start against Winnipeg. The Jets were outshooting the Jackets 11-2 at one point in the first period, and had drawn three straight power plays. It was an even-strength goal from Brandon Tanev that got the Jets on the board first, though.

Columbus just couldn’t get out of their own way through the first 40 minutes, taking five penalties in the first two periods. Though Winnipeg failed to capitalize, it hindered Columbus’ ability to generate offence shift in and shift out. The good news is that this may be just a blip, as the Jackets were taking just over two penalties a game (19 in 9) going into Friday night. Hopefully it’s just a blip, anyway.

Cam Atkinson tied the game with under 10 minutes left in the third period, and Josh Anderson won it in overtime to give Columbus the come-from-behind victory.

Sergei Bobrovsky saved 29 of 30 for the win, while Steve Mason was very solid in the loss, saving 35 of 37.

Zach Werenski, Nick Foligno, and Artemi Panarin each had five shots on goal for Columbus. Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien each had six for Winnipeg.

*

A tired and short-handed Ottawa team got out to a 2-0 lead against New Jersey in the first frame of their Friday night tilt. Jimmy Hayes replied for the Devils before the end of the frame, and it was a beauty of a shot:

Adam Henrique (on the power play) and Brian Gibbons scored in the second period for New Jersey, giving the Devils a 3-2 lead going into the third.

Damon Severson made it a 4-2 Devils lead, but the fun was just getting started.

With the goalie pulled, Ottawa scored two goals in under 45 seconds to send it to overtime. One was batted in by Mark Stone, the other was Chris DiDomenico’s first career NHL goal. He’s a wonderful story, being a sixth-round pick a decade ago and finally get a chance with Ottawa for a few games last year, and a few again so far this year. He also assisted on the team’s first goal, giving him a multi-point game.

Neither goalie was very good in this one as the teams combined for eight goals on 52 total shots. Keith Kinkaid would end up with the win in a shootout as Jesper Bratt scored as the fourth shooter for the Devils.

*

Some quick Teuvo Teravainen news before we dig into the game:

He left the game after that collision and did not return. The official word was an upper-body injury, and there was no further update after the game.

We were scoreless late into the second before Dmtrij Jaskin finished off a play to give the Blues a 1-0 lead. Carolina would reply about a minute later off the stick of Jeff Skinner. It wasn’t the goal that was impressive, though. It was the Justin Williams play to make it happen. I don’t know if he did it on purpose or not, but if he did… hoo boy. Just see for yourself:

Regardless, that was sick.

The difference in the game was a third-period game of pinball where a shot from Vladimir Tarasenko popped out into the slot, and swung at by Jaden Schwartz, and swatted into the net by Brayden Schenn.

Carter Hutton made 26 saves for the win while Cam Ward saved 32 in the loss. In all, not a bad performance by the ‘Canes on back-to-back nights.

Tarasenko had six shots on goal while Vince Dunn had five. Tarasenko now has 41 shots on goal in 11 games, upping his already-lofty 3.5 shots per game from last year in the early portions of this season.

*

Note for those that may have not been aware: Alex DeBrincat was moved to the top line with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad for this game. Richard Panik was moved down to the second line while Ryan Hartman was bumped all the way to the fourth line. Change was inevitable as the team had scored two goals or fewer in six straight games, but it sucks for Hartman who looked so good in the first few games of the year.

On the other hand: First Line DeBrincat!

The Blackhawks came out flying in their home game against Nashville, but it was a late first period short-handed goal from Artem Anisimov that would give the team the lead.

Nashville replied in the second period with goals from Calle Jarnkrok and Craig Smith, the latter on the power play. Kevin Fiala assisted on the Smith goal, giving him his fourth assist this year although he is still without a goal.

That Smith goal would hold up as the winner as Pekka Rinne held the fort the rest of the way, saving 43 of 44 shots he faced.

Roman Josi had seven shots on goal along with three blocked shots. Viktor Arvidsson had five shots of his own, and now has 40 shots in 10 games.

Patrick Sharp had six shots on goal for Chicago while Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews had five each.

Hartman, for the record, played under eight minutes in this game. It’s a wonder how much longer he’ll be in the lineup at this rate.

*

We were goalless in the Dallas-Calgary game for 30 minutes before Johnny Gaudreau came streaking down the right wing and went bar-down on Kari Lehtonen. I know we all like to poke fun at Lehtonen, but no one was stopping this shot:

Esa Lindell tied the game on a power-play goal late in the second period. It was a beautiful saucer pass over a stick from Jason Spezza that set the puck on a tee for the defenceman.

Alex Radulov scored a power-play goal with about seven minutes left in the game to give the Stars a 2-1 lead, assisted by John Klingberg and Devin Shore. That goal would hold up as the winner.

After posting just one point (an assist) in the team’s first five games, Radulov now has three goals and four assists in the last six games. It was just a matter of time, and if there were ever a buy-low window, that has slammed shut.

Lehtonen saved 28 of 29 for the win, giving the Stars a win on the second night of a back-to-back in Alberta.

Mikael Backlund and Dougie Hamilton both had four shots on goal in a losing effort for the Flames.

****

Anaheim was starting to get healthy with the returns of Ryan Getzlaf and Hampus Lindholm, and then this came down on Friday afternoon:

You’ll remember he took an awkward spill in their game against Montreal last Friday and has been out since. Looks like they may have to wait as long as Christmas to be at full strength on the blue line.

With Lindholm out, Fowler had been playing over 26 minutes a game on the backend. That would have likely declined as the team got their pieces back, but that’s still a huge gap to fill.

As far as fantasy is concerned, owners likely drafted the 25-year old as a third defenceman, so not an insignificant part of their team. The same-team replacement to make in the meantime would be Brandon Montour. He’s running the top power-play unit, and is consistently playing 22 minutes a night.

*

Griffin Reinhart was sent to the AHL on a conditioning stint by Vegas on Friday. He has yet to play a game for them after being selected in the expansion draft.

That he was sent down is nothing special in and of itself. What it does do is free up at least one more spot on the left side. Will this lead to them eventually leading to a recall of Shea Theodore? Who knows! I guess this kind of cracks the door open? Maybe it’s wishful (and wistful) thinking.

*
It’ll be a couple weeks at best, it seems, until Marc-André Fleury is back in action for the Golden Knights:

After Friday’s game against Colorado, Vegas hits the Eastern Conference for six games before returning home for a game against Winnipeg. Should he miss all seven games, it would give him 17 more days to recover from his concussion. As always, concussions are fickle and the length of time missed could be a under a week or a full season. There’s just no telling, at least not publicly. Let’s hope they’re just being extra cautious rather than indicating something much worse.

*

Brett Ritchie was moved to the Tyler Seguin-Jamie Benn line on Thursday night. I was pretty excited for that, as anyone who read my Ramblings through the summer can attest. It lasted a whole two shifts before Alex Radulov was moved back up, and Ritchie played 11:17 total. He has just one goal and two points this year, playing under 12 minutes a game. With the team spreading out their ice time for everyone outside the top line, it doesn’t look like this will be the breakout season for Ritchie. It pains me to type that sentence.  

*

Late in the game on Thursday, Josh Bailey was moved back up to the top line for the Islanders with John Tavares and Anders Lee with Jordan Eberle moving to the second line. That also held up in practice on Friday. I wish Eberle would have worked out, but this isn’t all that surprising. Lee-Tavares-Bailey was a great line last year, and they seem to have a lot of chemistry together. That allows Eberle and Mathew Barzal to play together in easier matchups, and hopefully the team can get more out of their sniping winger. 

 

  • Striker

    Garrison was waived to make room for Haula coming off IR. The only player on the roster that doesn’t need to clear waivers is Tuch & he’s played to well to send down.

    Thedore will be up eventually but Vgs can’t find anyone willing to pay what ever it is McPhee wants for all those borderline NHL Dman he choose to select in the expansion draft. It will be interesting to see if Garrison is claimed off waivers. His cap hit is 4.6 but actual salary only 2.5.

  • Ian Sharp

    Great ramblings. You sold me on Ritchie this summer but crap happens. Nice to see you follow up and admit maybe this isn’t the year. Some are swings and misses while others are homers. Own both. Cheers

  • Hawkology

    Just a small chime in regards to Vegas: Colin Miller is on a 4gm point streak 1g + 4a = 5pts , +1 , 4pim & 4pp