The NHL might not be the most popular sport on paper, but one thing's for sure, when they put on a show, they do it right. And Opening night of the 2007-2008 campaign in no exception. Two games went to overtime, one to a shootout, and the last was a one goal game. If that's not exciting hockey for you then I might as well give up my non-existing teaching license right now!
Here's a quick recap of last night's affairs, including a new feature from yours truly, "Professor Prax's Gold Stars of the game"... you get the idea (and I am taking suggestions for the name, I realize it's a little lame :P).
Red Wings 3 - Ducks 2 (F/SO)
First game of the season in the league and we get a shootout, who would've thunk it! Great way to start the 90th season of the NHL with this 2007 Western Final rematch. And to top it off, Prax is 1-0 with his predictions and, hey! He even got one of the goalscorers right! Todd Bertuzzi gets a big game, bouncing back from his non-season last year, chipping in a goal and an assist, as does Henrik Zetterberg for his team. Hudler gets the shootout winner but the real story here is the shot differential. Detroit dominated Anaheim 42-15, and dispite a lackluster .867 percentage, the Dominator looked like a Russian gymnast on some of the saves he made.
Gold Stars: Todd Bertuzzi (1 G - 1A), Henrik Zetterberg (1G - 1A), Ilya Bryzgalov (40 saves).
Canadiens 3 - Hurricanes 2 (F/OT)
Another renewed playoff rivalry here, but this time the Habs were the victors, pulling out a win in overtime. Saku Koivu picked up right where he left off last season, contributing 2 goals. Mark Streit looked like Sheldon Souray on the powerplay, and both Andrei Markov and Roman Hamrlik has quiet but solid nights anchoring the team at the blueline, as did Patrice Brisebois, surprisingly, minus a couple defensive hickups. Cristobal Huet was solid less a weak goal from Bret Hedican (hey we're all allowed a few), as was Cam Ward. This game was as close as they get, but the better team came out with the victory.
Gold Stars: Saku Koivu (2 goals, best player on the ice), Cristobal Huet (29 saves, stood on his head), Cam Ward (37 saves), Mark Streit (1 goal, played like a Swiss Army Knife).
Senators 4 - Leafs 3 (F/OT)
Leafs suck. Sorry, Had to say that, sorry. Although they played a tight game tonight, the 7.5 million dollar man and his crew were too much to handle. Arguably the game of the night, and hey, the good guys won!
Gold Stars: Dany Heatley (2G - 1A, continues to be a Leaf Killer), Nik Antropov (2G), Jason Blake (1 assist, 7 shots, +2)
Stars 3 - Avalanche 4
Everyone was wondering whether the changes the Avalanche made last season would pay dividends, but it's a sophomore with the team that's the story of the game, with Paul Stastny getting 3 goals and playing a big part of his team's win. Scott Hannan had a quietly solid night as usual. The Dallas Stars did everything they could to squeak out a win, but their lack of quality goalscorers inevitably caught up with them.
Prediction: Paul Stastny (3 Goals... nuff said).
Gold Stars of the night:
1. Paul Stastny
2. Saku Koivu
3. Dany Heatley
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Posted by Professor Prax at 1:52 PM