NHL scores 2014: Blues overpower Islanders, Sharks upend Flames
The NHL’s elite regained control on Saturday.
Apparently the NHL’s elite decided that the NHL’s plucky underdogs have had enough fun this season. All across the league on Saturday, the teams typically considered major contenders took down some of the hottest upstarts so far this season.
It started in the late afternoon on Long Island. The Islanders once again managed to score their way past an opponent, but this time the opponent was the St. Louis Blues. The visitors turned on the firepower as well, taking down New York 6-4 and earning Martin Brodeur his first win outside of New Jersey.
Later in the evening, the Blackhawks visited Nashville with a chance to retake the Central Divison lead from one of the league’s biggest surprises this season. They got some big help from a revived Marian Hossa and goalie Scott Darling, who managed to win against his former franchise for the first time. Conference III once again belongs to Chicago.
San Jose completed the elite resurgence in the final game of the night. Calgary, quickly on their way to becoming this year’s version of the Colorado Avalanche (fun, young and surprisingly good team), got out to an early lead but eventually conceded the game to the Sharks.
Whether this is just the first sign of regression for the league’s underdogs remains to be seen. For now, it was just entertaining to watch hockey’s best do their thing on Saturday.
All the NHL Scores
Blues 6, Islanders 4
Blackhawks 3, Predators 1
Sharks 3, Flames 2
Three things we learned
1. Aaron Ekblad is already worth the number one pick for Florida. The Panthers’ 18-year-old defenseman showed once again on Saturday why he’s destined to become an elite blue-liner. Ekblad came into Saturday with a league-high (for rookies) 14 points and piled on with three more against the Sabres. His play is already reminding his teammates of Hall of Famers.
“He’s such a smart player,” Kopecky said of Ekblad. “It kind of reminds me of (former Detroit Red Wings defenseman) Nick Lidstrom. He’s so quick on that blue line. Every shot is getting through. For the guys standing in front of the net, it’s so easy when you know that puck is going to arrive. He gets those pucks through. It’s not hard, but they’ll get there. That’s all that matters.”
2. The Stars actually looked like the Stars. For once, after a nightmarish first two months, Dallas finally put it all together. The much-publicized power play that instead has been lackluster? It scored two huge goals in the first period to stake Dallas to an early lead. The Stars committed to blocking shots and playing defensively responsible hockey for the first time anyone in Dallas can remember this season. They finally brought that compete level Lindy Ruff likes to talk about. Whether it will last is the next big question they need to answer.
3. Make sure to check for typos before you send tweets. Especially when you’re the owner of the Coyotes.
There were more than a few borderline hits on Saturday, but the one Stephane Robidas laid on Shawn Matthias took the cake. Whether he intended to or not, Robidas’ elbow clearly made the initial contact with Matthias’ head and knocked the Canucks’ winger out of the game. If trends continue, the NHL will likely at least level a fine at Robidas for the play.
Stat of the Night
Babs had a pretty big night.
With the #RedWings 3-2 win over the Rangers, coach Mike Babcock becomes just the 19th coach to collect 500 career wins in the NHL.
— The Wheel Deal (@Bill_Roose) December 7, 2014