Originally posted on The Hockey Program  |  Last updated 11/7/11



A LOOK BACK........


It was probably the way the Vancouver Canucks demolished the Chicago Blackhawks via five power play goals that shocked people last night more than anything.  That 5-6 outburst pushed Vancouver to 2nd in the league at just over 26% success.  Also, Henrik Sedin had a goal and three assists plus Daniel Sedin chipped in a goal and two assists.  Corey Crawford really could do little on this night and gave up six goals while Roberto Luongo did not get off easy giving up only two goals on FORTY shots.  That was lost on a lot of people last night but give the goalie credit.  Chicago did fire a ton of shots to rattle him and it was not successful.

Then there is Colorado which if they are at home, you almost have to feel its a loss no matter how well they play.  The Avalanche seem snakebitten at home.  When a team gets 33 shots on goal at home and only gives up 23, they generally should win but not Colorado who fell to 1-5 at home after a 2-1 loss last night to Calgary.  Paul Stastny scored on the first shift of the game at :34 and they still lost.  Clearly there are problems with crowd involvement at the Pepsi Center.  Some have been saying it for years but this season it seems to be amplified by the poor start at home.  Seven goals in six home games just will not get it done and two of those three goalies against Los Angeles was directly off goalie blunders.

That is not all.  We are still wondering what is really going on with the Carolina Hurricanes and Eric Staal?  While Cam Ward just continues to get hung out to dry (gave up 4 goals on 14 shots yesterday), Staal has been abysmal and the slump is more than just a funk now.  He has five points in 14 games as Carolina continues to struggle with an eye popping -16.  Throw out a three point game against Tampa at game 4 and it just gets more and more depressing.  Yesterday he was a -2 and just looks to be gripping that stick tighter and tighter.

Now it is time to take a look at tonight's relaxed schedule of two games.



Monday, November 7, 2011 TeamsNotes NY Islanders at Boston 7:00 PM | Gameday
Los Angeles at San Jose 10:30 PM | Gameday


The late night matchup will get all the attention and somewhat rightfully so but the Bruins and Islanders play a game tonight that could be pivotal.  The two teams are at 10 points which is good for the Eastern Conference cellar.  Boston is trying to climb out of a hole while the Islanders are trying to avoid one.  Coaches Jack Capuano and Claude Julien usually play this pretty tight to the vest and most of these games hit the under and are usually 2-1 or 3-2 almost snorefests.  Look deeper into these games and one sees solid goaltending and not many mistakes.  Both teams have to stay out of the penalty box and clearly both have had problems doing that at times in the early part of the schedule so far.

Now the 10:30 tilt is the one that everyone seems to be talking about.  LA and San Jose are struggling a bit and we are still trying to figure out when Dustin Penner and his "improved physical shape" are going to break out.  Hey, when he does, let us know.  Seriously, Jonathan Quick has looked a bit human in his last three starts and San Jose has looked a bit better but their goal differential is only +4 which is not that impressive for a team of their caliber.  This game comes down to two things.  One, how scoring depth helps either team or hurts and two, how the goalies respond.  Antti Niemi has also had an uneven week as well so the two goalies do come in a little cool.  The winner of this game may be the team where their goalie makes the least "yips".  Look back to last year's playoffs as Exhibit A.  Goaltending will decide this one tonight.


OUR EYE IS ON.........

Jonathan Quick and Antti Niemi (LA and SJ Goalies) -- This really is the only thing we have our eye on fantasy wise tonight.  Sure Tim Thomas garners attention but we expect a really good performance by him.  What we do not know is what Quick and Niemi will do especially based again on last year's playoffs.  Throw out the fantasy numbers from last week and just go into this with a mind aware of that Round 1.  The goalie that makes the least mistakes in these games leads their team to victory.  It is that simple and why unlike most, I do not think either of these guys will ever be confused with an elite goaltender.  They are exactly what we think they are.


Good luck tonight hockey fans and we will be keeping people updated on the news of the day as well so keep an eye out for those tweets!


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