No, before you get worried, I won’t be forsaking my responsibility to the Game of the Day. That being said, since it is fall break for school, I definitely will be resting. So many video games, so little time…
Yesterday’s Game of the Day between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Boston Bruins ended exactly the way I, and I think most of us, expected: a Bolts winner. Steven Stamkos earned his 500th and 501st points with the game-winning goal at the 15:17 mark of the second period to set the score at 4-3. The Lightning scored two insurance goals in the final period to cement their victory, moving them into a tie with Montréal at the top of the division for the day.
Ben Bishop stopped 27 of 30 (90%) to earn the win, while Tuukka Rask could only stop 17 of 23 (73.9%).
The Game of the Day series is now an evenly split 3-3 between the home and road squads.
Today’s schedule includes nine games (eight in America), making a busy night for hockey fans. As usual, the action begins at 7 p.m. eastern, with five games starting then: Nashville at New Jersey, Winnipeg at the New York Rangers, Montréal at Pittsburgh, San Jose at Washington, and Florida at Carolina. Half an hour later, the puck drops at the Joe when Detroit plays host to Tampa Bay (NBCSN). At 8:30 eastern, Edmonton begins their game against Dallas, followed half an hour later by St. Louis at Calgary. The final game of the night begins at 10 p.m. eastern when Vancouver visits Los Angeles.
Come on down!
Props to “Boba Fettuccine” for posting this .gif to this board. And for anyone wondering, yes, that is Aaron Paul (a.k.a. Jesse Pinkman) in 2000. The Internet is a great place with millions of hidden gems of information, kids.
Anyways, while the game may not be the most competitive of the night (the Caps are a -135 favorite in this one), it is highlighted by the return of RW Joel Ward to the Verizon Center.
Ward played 276 games over four seasons with Washington before signing with the Sharks this offseason. During his time with the Caps, he amassed 57 goals and 64 assists (121 points) and a +22 Corsi rating. Speaking of Corsi, Ward led the Caps in the statistic twice, during the 2011-’12 season and during the 2013-’14 campaign.
In the last two seasons, he has scored four game-winners per year, a feat he only accomplished once in seasons before. An especially important aspect of his game in Washington compared to his three seasons in Nashville was helping to produce power play goals. In those same two seasons that he scored his game-winners, he averaged 4.5 power play assists, by far the best of any other two years of his career. It is surely this recent success that inspired San Jose to sign him to a three-year contract, where he is currently playing on the second line.
So far this season, he has accounted for two assists in as many games played and a +1 Corsi rating.
As stated before, the game will probably not be the most competitive of the night. Washington has their sights set on Lord Stanley, while the Sharks are simply hoping to put together a respectable campaign during their time of transition. I’m taking the home squad in this one.