A Fight Where Everyone Wins. "In this corner, wearing white and weighing 200 pounds soaking wet (thanks to his Reebok Edge uniform), a man whose very existence forced that nice young man Chris Simon to nearly Malarchuk his leg this season ... JARRRRKKKO RUUUUUUTUUUUU ... and fighting out of the other corner, wearing the blue pajamas and weighing 178 pounds, a heel so loathed that he somehow managed to turn Sean Avery face this season, DARRRRCY TUCK-ER!"
The Penguins were dragging ass in the second period when Ruutu decided to ask Mr. Darcy if he could have this dance. I think Pittsburgh's Michel Therrien is a lousy coach, but I have to respect anyone that can watch Evgeni Malkin score his first NHL hat trick in a 6-2 victory and still say the most important moment of the night was a scrap between two pests: "That was a key point as far as we were concerned and it's a good sign when you see your teammates respond."
Even though Toronto's ineptitude turned a one-goal game in the third period into a 5-1 Penguins lead in just 48 seconds, there was some good news for the Leafs: Jason Blake had two goals last night, giving him three in the last two games after scoring three in his previous 31 games. I'm always so tempted to take a shot at one of the biggest free-agent busts in the League this season, but it's not like the guy doesn't have one hell of an excuse.
Chris Drury Is Teh Smart. "How many minutes in penalties did we get in the third - eight?" Look at the brain on Chris Drury of the New York Rangers, as his team was tagged with four penalties in the third against the Canucks. He's also right about another thing: "That's not the best way to come back from a 1-0 deficit." The Rangers played a very strong road game for about two periods before falling apart in the third, losing 3-0 in Vancouver. Bobby Lou gets his sixth shutout of the season, tying him with Henrik Lundqvist for second in the NHL. Unfortunately for us, the Rangers started Stephen Valiquette last night, robbing fans of a chance to see a battle between the two goaltenders that will be sitting and applauding when Marty Brodeur inevitably collects another Vezina Trophy this off-season.
Feeling Minnesota Beating Your Ass. Back on Dec. 26, Dallas posted eight goals against Minnesota. And since the worst thing you can do to the Wild is potentially derail their Jennings Trophy campaign, Minnesota scored four goals in the first period en route to a 6-3 win at home against the Stars last night. Marty Turco was chased after giving up three of them, including a shorty by Marian Gaborik to start the scoring.
The Chicago BlackHobbits. Jes Golbez of FanHouse had a in-depth look at the rookie leaders in the NHL at the half-way mark in the season, including Chicago's Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, who's out for about four weeks. But something struck me when I saw this picture...
...because I couldn't help think of this picture:
OK, so who's Chicago's Gollem?
* The Winter Classic: Finally, something both
the Sean Hannity and Adult DVD fan communities can agree upon. (That second link is obviously NSFW ... I guess the first one is, too, if you work for the DNC or Alec Baldwin.)
* "Boom-Boom" Geoffrion's grandson plays for Team USA. His nickname? "Bamm-Bamm." Fucking creative. [Edmonton Sun.]
* "Did you really know that there were blacks in the NHL?" Yeah, we also have a Hispanic kid, probably a few Eskimos, and a Zdeno Chara.
* Five Tool offers five future gimmicks for the NHL, including the introduction of a "money puck." [Five Tool Tool]
* Rick DiPietro could be punished for not having his equipment inspected. A lesson for all of us boys as we grow older. [Newsday.