Daily Matchup

October 22 – Day 16 – Welcome back, buddy!

After a total of eight goals were scored in regulation, last night’s Game of the Day between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins ended with a Flyer power play goal from Claude Giroux to seal the win.

The first goal was witness to four goals, but ended in a two-all draw. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare began the scoring at the 9:28 mark of the first to give Philly a one-goal lead.  However, it was short lived, as Brett Connolly scored his first of the season exactly four minutes after.  Philadelphia again took the lead with a goal from Sam Gagner at the 15:04 mark, but the Bruins struck back again 2:20 later with a power play goal from new father Patrice Bergeron.

The second period was all Boston, who scored twice and held the Flyers scoreless.  Chris Kelly fired a shorty at the 4:31 mark to give the Bruins their first lead of the evening, followed 4:18 later by Jimmy Hayes’ second score of the year.

Just as it was a perfect second for Boston, it was a mirror in the third for Philadelphia.  Giroux narrowed the deficit to one at the 7:48 mark, followed by Wayne Simmonds’ game-tying tally at the 10:24 mark.

Tuukka Rask earned the loss (or was it Ryan Spooner and his hooking penalty?) after making only 32 of 37 saves on the night (86.5%), while Steve Mason earned the win after replacing Michal Neuvirth (10 for 12, 83.3%) after the first period.  He stopped 16 of 18 (88.9%)

After the loss, the DtFR Game of the Day series still favors the home squad, standing at 8-5-2.

Tonight’s NHL schedule is full of excitement as there are eight games being played.  The evening gets started at 7 p.m. eastern when Arizona visits the New York Rangers and Dallas visits Pittsburgh (SN360), followed half an hour later by New Jersey at Ottawa.  At 8 p.m. eastern, two more games get started (Anaheim at Nashville and Columbus at Minnesota), followed half an hour later by Florida at Chicago.  At 10 p.m. eastern, Washington pays their yearly visit to Vancouver (SN360), followed half an hour later by the final game of the night: Los Angeles at San Jose.

Before yesterday, the most exciting thing happening pertaining to a particular game was the return of Mike Santorelli to Nashville… where he played 54 games over two seasons… yeah…  Other than that, it was the lone divisional rivalry of the night between the Kings and Sharks.

Luckily for us, the Blue Jackets decided to add a little bit of drama and fire Head Coach Todd Richards, a day after his own birthday no less, and hire everyone’s favorite loose cannon coach: John Tortorella!  That makes Columbus at Minnesota our Game of the Day!

Columbus Blue Jackets LogoUnknown-4


Hey buddy, how’ve you been?  Missed you! .Gif compliments of Sean Gentille at SportingNews.

Anyways, our buddy Torts is taking over the worst team in hockey currently, as the Blue Jackets have yet to even take a game to overtime in seven tries.  The Jackets have two goals less than the league average, which isn’t terrible in the grand scheme of things, but have given up 19 more goals than the average team.  That one there is bad news.  Seven of those goals have been a result of being a man-down, which is three higher than the rest of the league.  Due to this, the Jackets are only killing two-thirds of the opposition’s power play, a rate almost 20% below average.

There are a few good things going on in Columbus though, one of which being the power play.  Teams are averaging only four power play goals so far this season, but the Jackets have six to their credit (of course, half of those belong to Brandon Saad) and have earned nine more power play opportunities, giving them a 2.4% better power play than the average team.  They are also not committing too many penalties, as they’ve only been a man down an extra time over the league average.

They have also accounted for a ton more shots than everybody else (52 more, to be exact), but they haven’t been able to sneak any past the opposing goaltender.  The Jackets‘ shot percentage is only 5.8%, compared to the league average 8.9%.  That stat comes with a grain of salt, though, as they’ve also given up 32 more shots than the average team, and only saving 85.2% of them (compared to the 91.7% league average).

Lucky for them, their new master commander will lead them into battle for the first time against the team that currently occupies the final wild card spot in the Western Conference with seven points: the Minnesota Wild.

Some players to watch in this one include Minnesota‘s Zach Parise (five goals [tied for second in the league],

And, of course, Torts.

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Feeling is mutual, buddy.  Thanks to Reddit user MixtapeNostalgia for supplying the .gif here.

The Wild are favored at -200 at home, which only further convinces me that Minnesota should run away with this one.

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