For the rest of 2007, the NHL Closer will be written by the fine folks at Melt Your Face Off. Enjoy.
You know, recapping last night's puck on Deadspin is a dream come true for the MYFO gang, a cadre of commenters not unlike yourselves. We can't help but feel like enterprising rookie anchor Chet Harper, who got his dream shot on SportsCenter some years ago. Of course, Harper's career was derailed minutes into his virgin broadcast, as Stuart Scott wasn't yet ready to share the spotlight. This month, we'll do our best to pick up where Harper left off. With that said, let's get to White Castle before the weirdos show up, shall we?
• Like a Donkey Eating a Waffle. You said it, Chet. How else would you explain the following scenario: the worst team in the NHL relying on minor leaguers to score and defeat the Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey Devils? Washington defenseman Jeff Schultz and winger Quintin Laing scored in the second period to give the Caps a 3-2 decision. While Schultz is still relatively young - a 2004 1st-rounder for the Caps - Laing is 28 and playing in just his 8th career NHL game. Cross that "1st NHL Goal" off the to-do list. Next: move out of your parents' basement.
• Get out the Checkbook and Pay Grandma for the Rubdown. You figure that if you keeping paying a guy's salary, he'll finally earn his keep. Brendan Morrow, who had been part of the Dallas organization since 1972, redirected a Sergei Zubov pass in overtime to beat the Edmonton Oilers at home by a score of 5-4. The Oilers are now 3-17-1 in Dallas since 1996, making them the Brett Favre of the National Hockey League. This comes with good news and bad news. The good: If your shooting percentage drops below 5%, you'll be known as gunslingers. The bad: unavoidable Peter King man love.
• Hey! Try Not to Shoot that Puck Up My Pooper! You can't blame Lightning goalie Johan Holmqvist for being slightly pissed off, as he made it quite clear that he had little say in where any puck would end up last night, as Tampa fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1. The Leafs have won 5 of 7 since threats of massive trades and staff firings gripped all of Canuckistan. Chad Kilger took time off from singing lead in Nickelback to score two goals.