A LOOK BACK.......
Talk about a crazy, batty night in the NHL last night. If anyone believed that Vancouver and Nashville would combine for 11 goals, I would have thought they were nuts. However the funny thing was I saw the over being hit in this game. Both goalies were pulled, and really every odd man rush on both sides was an adventure. This is why sometimes numbers can be thrown out the window with the lock slammed shut.
We decided to do something different today and take a look at the goals scored here.Scoring Summary 1st Period NSH - VAN 5:44 Nashville Predators NSH
David Legwand 6 (power play) (Assists: Colin Wilson 8, Craig Smith 11)1 - 0 8:16 Nashville Predators NSH
Mike Fisher 4 (Assists: Martin Erat 7, Shea Weber 13)2 - 0 9:58 Vancouver Canucks VAN
Cody Hodgson 5 (power play) (Assists: Chris Higgins 7, Kevin Bieksa 9)2 - 1 19:50 Nashville Predators NSH
Shea Weber 5 (power play) (Assists: Colin Wilson 9, Craig Smith 12)3 - 1 2nd Period NSH - VAN 3:10 Vancouver Canucks VAN
Daniel Sedin 8 (power play) (Assists: Henrik Sedin 17, Alexander Edler 15)3 - 2 3:58 Vancouver Canucks VAN
Aaron Volpatti 1 (Assists: Maxim Lapierre 4, Andrew Alberts 1)3 - 3 8:16 Vancouver Canucks VAN
Alexandre Burrows 9 (Assists: Henrik Sedin 18, Daniel Sedin 21)3 - 4 10:29 Vancouver Canucks VAN
Jannik Hansen 6 (Assists: Dan Hamhuis 12, Kevin Bieksa 10)3 - 5 16:09 Nashville Predators NSH
Jordin Tootoo 3 (Assists: Matt Halischuk 3, Nick Spaling 5)4 - 5 17:30 Nashville Predators NSH
Colin Wilson 6 (power play) (Assists: David Legwand 11, Craig Smith 13)5 - 5 3rd Period NSH - VAN 18:44 Nashville Predators NSH
Mike Fisher 5 (Assists: Martin Erat 8, Ryan Suter 12)6 - 5
So if you can figure this game out and propensity for odd man rushes, then you are a better man than I. Vancouver has been caught out too many times defensively this year and just has been bailed out by goaltending while Nashville simply got suckered into playing that game. Amazingly Nashville came out with two points mostly because of the duo of Craig Smith and David Legwand got secondary scoring last night in a big way. I have said this many times. Mike Fisher HAS to stay healthy for Nashville to generate more offensively. He is not the only one obviously but Shea Weber has to keep hitting the net like he has of late.
Vancouver has some huge problems going forward, especially defensively. Nashville went 3-3 on the power play and literally just isolated Vancouver's penalty killers to death. Nashville should not be too proud either as Vancouver went 2-4 on their man advantage doing the same thing. Clearly one's goaltending can only mask those problems for so long. Boston exposed it last year and now teams are following that blueprint to a tee. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not, but Vancouver as my good buddy Ian Gooding said, "They cannot survive giving up odd man rushes in bunches like this". Even on the man advantage, Nashville was looking for odd man iso's all night. Vancouver did fire back with their offense as was expected but the bottom line is last night's game opened up a lot more questions in Vancouver.
Needless to say, fantasy owners are going to be pretty intrigued to see what changes may be made before this gets out of hand. Alain Vigenault has quite the job to do here to right this before it gets worse. Part of me wants to see how both of these teams move forward from this especially like how Philadelphia and Winnipeg did after their 9-8 scorefest. At any rate, let's move on.
SCHEDULE TIME:Friday, December 2, 2011 TeamsNotes Detroit at Buffalo 7:30 PM | Gameday
New Jersey at Minnesota 8:00 PM | Gameday
NY Islanders at Chicago 8:30 PM | Gameday
St. Louis at Colorado 9:00 PM | Gameday
Columbus at Edmonton 9:30 PM | Gameday
Philadelphia at Anaheim 10:00 PM | Gameday
This six pack of games tonight will likely produce some pretty wild results. That may be a bad pun but fantasy wise the Forwards should hold court tonight. Every game has a potential to hit the over tonight and be a bastion for fantasy owners who need scoring. Now here comes the bluntness, that will not happen. Why? The NHL has been so unpredictable this year, that is why. Look at all the fantasy underachievers and overachievers in the last month alone and you will see a pattern. That pattern is the simple fact that now there is no real pattern.
There used to be ways to figure oh so and so will probably light it up tonight or this guy will be someone to bench. The guessing game has become more difficult and now we are left just trying to level the ice surface for you. Let's take a look at tonight....
WHAT WE HAVE OUR EYE ON
Even New Jersey and Minnesota shapes up to be a low scoring game but can New Jersey actually clamp down with Martin Brodeur in net? Some of it is the goalie's fault and he will admit it but this team hemorrages even more than it usually did with Brodeur in net which was above average. Brodeur has been a step slow in "unexpected transitions" and that is why he has given up a solid percentage of his goals. Unexpected transitions is where the goalie usually overthinks the play with the expected result not paying attention to an unforeseen change. It happened three times in the Colorado game alone. Right now Johan Hedberg actually gives New Jersey the best chance to win because the team has to worry about more in front of him BUT Hedberg plays better when the plays break down than Martin Brodeur does right now. That is just cold, heartless FACT. Brodeur can still play at a very good level but can he do it consistently? I have to be honest and say no and that is why a fantasy owner may have to do the unthinkable with him.
Chicago faces its own problems with shoddy defense and so-so goaltending as well as Corey Crawford will face a New York Islanders team tonight who has been bestowed a few breaks lately and features very solid goaltending from Al Montoya, who sports a .930+ save percentage depsite the rag-tag defense the Isles play in front of him. Crawford has not been so lucky and has struggled mightily in November. The Chicago netminder has no shutouts this season which is a bit surprising but had a 3.27 GAA and .886 save percentage in a very up and mostly down month. The 6-5 record is almost immaterial considering some of the goals he gives up, again mostly from defensive breakdowns but as much for not paying attention in the time just before and during those lapses. A goalie has to be attentive at all times. Crawford has not been and neither has Chicago's defense which is why they came back to the pack.
Lastly, the real test for Anaheim comes tonight. Yes the Philadelphia Flyers are not a bunch of smurfs like how Montreal plays at times and will not be passive. They will come out agressive and hard hitting. Yes Bruce Boudreau will let the Ducks play but the Flyers have more guns and butter in this battle. Claude Giroux is a guy that Anaheim is going to have a tough time covering even with Cam Fowler at his best. The matchups do not work quite as well for the Ducks and it will be very interesting to see if Jonas Hiller can hold down the fort tonight like he did against Montreal. Expect a bit more scoring from both teams in this one and high physical impact which likely means more PIMS, especially good for fantasy owners who are looking for that sort of thing tonight (Hits, PIMS, SOG) are clearly on the rise.
Well there you have it on a light night. Good luck with your fantasy teams and we will come out swinging later with a little more. Bring the fantasy heat and the questions! Thanks again.
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