It's the NHL Closer. I now snatch the mic from the kids at Orland Kurtenblog. "Hey, karaoke man, punch in System's "Chop Suey" will ya? The pipes feel strong today." This NHL Closer is written by a Canadian for Americans, Africans and Australians. That's it. So screw off, Luxembourgers.
• Go, Go, Go, Go, Go, Go Go, Shorty ... If I remember correctly, my 20th
birthday consisted of an amusement park, lots of cheap vodka and a grocery bag full of my insides. Or was that my 19th birthday? Hmmm ... maybe it was both. Anyway, Washington's Nicklas Backstrom celebrated his 20th a little differently by scoring the overtime winner in a 4-3 victory at Philadelphia. The goal also gave Bruce Boudreau a win in his NHL coaching debut after he took over for the fired Glen Hanlon on Thursday. Thoughtful kid.
• They Turned Their Helmets Inside-Out. Down 3-1 entering the final 20 minutes and headed toward another lopsided loss, the Hurricanes scored three goals in less than seven minutes to beat Tampa Bay for the first time this season. Carolina defensemen Glen Wesley came through with the game-winner. Yes, Glen Wesley still plays professionally hockey.
• He Bought A Hundred Of 'Em. Martin Brodeur made 22 saves in his first shutout of the season, leading the New Jersey Devils to a 3-0 victory over the Thrashers. "It's nice (the shutouts). Every year you want to get some shutouts. Every time you get one, it's exciting," Brodeur said, while tacking his 93rd blocker above his bed ala Willie Mays Hayes.
• More Shutout Talk. Columbus' Pascal Leclaire set a team record with his sixth shutout of the season after making 32 saves in a 4-0 win at Minnesota. Marc Denis had five in '02-03 and '03-04. The French can stop anything small, hard and round.