Colby’s Corner: Columbus Winless through 7 and Torts

Columbus Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets were picked by many, including myself, to make the playoffs this year. The key addition ofColumbus Blue Jackets Logo Brandon Saad was supposed to improve the team drastically. However, after a 0-7-0 start to their season, many people might be recanting their statements.

On Wednesday, October 21st, the Columbus Blue Jackets fired their coach Todd Richards and hired John Tortorella (Torts) as the new coach. Torts brings experience and a Stanley Cup ring from when he led the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004. Along with signing him, Columbus has to give a second round pick to Vancouver because Torts was last employed by them and he was fired. The pick would’ve been a third rounder if Torts was hired during the off-season, but during the season requires it to be a second rounder. Columbus also agreed to keep some of their assistant coaches, maintaining familiarity with the players.

The team only has two players that are even in plus-minus this year, and the rest of the team is a minus. Goaltending has been another serious issue with save percentage under NHL average, and Sergei Bobrovsky has the league’s worst with .835. The star players in Columbus might be another major issue. Ryan Johansen, the number one center, only has one goal in the year thus far. There are only three players with multiple goals: Brandon Saad (3), Boone Jenner (3) and Scott Hartnell (2). Nick Foligno and Ryan Johansen led the team in points last season, but this season each only has one goal through 7 games. The record resembles their performances on ice and their stats.

My Opinion

I feel like the firing of Todd Richards was unfair, and how they did it was very unprofessional. It’s not the coach’s fault if the franchise goalie forgot how to play hockey overnight. I understand it’s not all Bobrovsky’s fault, but he has a goals-against average of 5.07 in addition to his league’s worst save percentage. The defense is another struggle. David Savard and Dalton Prout have plus-minuses of minus 9 on the season. Defense is where Richards could be blamed, but you can only use what you have, and GM Jarmo Kekalainen didn’t strengthen the back end this off-season, he only went after forwards. giphy

The Blue Jackets screwed up in their hiring process after the 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders Tuesday night. The management began looking into new coaches and had actually agreed to a deal with Torts before letting Todd Richards know he was fired. This is crap and actually makes me sick. The headline Wednesday morning was Richards out Torts in, and I understand the need for action, but come on. Torts, however, doesn’t have full control of his staff because Richards’ assistants stayed with team. Normally the head coach is allowed to pick his assistant coaches, but not in this situation. Now Columbus has to hope one of the most hard-headed coaches in the league gets along with these assistants.

To wrap up, the Blue Jackets won’t go winless all season, so Torts will get a win, but unless Bobrovsky remembers how to play hockey, the Blue Jackets will not make the playoffs. Columbus will realize the issues weren’t behind the bench but in goal and in weak defensemen. The Blue Jackets’ next game is Thursday vs. Minnesota Wild.

October 21 – Day 15 – Hey, hockey on TV is hockey on TV

Last night’s Game of the Day contested between St. Louis and Montréal ended with the Habs claiming their seventh straight victory, this one a three-goal shutout.

Max Pacioretty accounted for the game-winner with under 90 seconds remaining in the first period.  Assisted by Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher, he redirected a shot past Jake Allen to set the score at 1-0, which would hold into the intermission.  Alexander Semin and Torrey Mitchell accounted for the insurance tallies in the second and third periods, respectively.

Carey Price stopped all 38 shots he faced to earn another shutout, while Allen takes the loss after stopping only 33 of 36 shots faced (91.7%).

The Game of the Day series now stands at 8-5-1 for the homers, leading the roadies by five points.

Tonight’s schedule is relatively light, with only four games being played.  The evening begins at 7 p.m. eastern when Toronto visits Buffalo, followed an hour later by Philadelphia at Boston (NBCSN).  At 9:30 p.m. eastern, the opening puck is dropped in Alberta when Detroit visits Edmonton, followed half an hour later by the final fixture of the evening: Carolina at Colorado.

Tonight’s Game of the Day, you ask?  We’ll keep it simple tonight and go with Philly at the B’s.

Philadelphia Flyers LogoUnknown

 

 

 

 

 

Just in case you’re wondering: Yes, I did choose this one because it’s on national TV in the US.  Deal with it.

Philadelphia‘s last game was against the Dallas Stars, who beat them 2-1 in the Wells Fargo Center.  After giving up a goal in each of the first two periods, the Flyers could only manage to narrow the margin to one at the 8:57 mark in the final third.  Wayne Simmonds and Matt Read assisted Sean Couturier to his first goal of the season, earning him third star of the night honors.

Boston returns home to the TD Garden on a two-game winning streak after beating the Coyotes 5-3 in Arizona on Saturday in a thrilling third period.  Shane Doan scored the first goal of the game after only two minutes of play to set the score at a one-goal advantage for the Yotes, which held into the second period.  Boston tied it up at the 8:42 mark with a Tyler Randell goal, assisted by David Krejci  and Torey Krug.  The second and final goal of the period belonged to Krejci in the 16th minute, assisted by Krug and Loui Eriksson on the power play.  The fireworks in the final period began at the 4:44 mark when Brad Marchand, assisted by Tommy Cross and Patrice Bergeron, scored a shorty to set the score at 3-1.  Boston‘s good fortunes were short-lived though, as Tobias Rieder, assisted by Doan and Michael Stone, narrowed the margin to one only 13 seconds later.  2:24 later, Arizona tied the game at three-all with a goal from Kyle Chipchura, assisted by Doan and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.  The B’s winner came 1:49 later on the power play when Ryan Spooner and Krejci assisted Bergeron to his second goal of the season.  Bergeron also accounted for the lone insurance goal (he wanted to make sure he got the winner, I guess) on another power play, this time assisted by Zdeno Chara and Kevan Miller at the 18:54 mark.

Some players to watch in this one include Boston‘s Krejci (nine points [tied for third in the league] and five assists [tied for eighth in the league]) & Krug (six assists [tied for fourth in the league]) and Philadelphia‘s Michal Neuvirth (two shutouts [tied for league lead], .964 save percentage [fifth in the league] and 1.04 GA average [seventh in the league]).

Boston has a -141 advantage in this one, so I’ll go with the home team earning their third straight game in our series.

October 20 – Day 14 – The Best of the Best

Last night’s game between San Jose and the New York Rangers ended poorly for the hot-starting Sharks, who fell in a four-goal shutout at Madison Square Garden.

Marc Staal scored the lone goal of the first period, the game winner, at the 10:36 mark, assisted by Derick Brassard and Jesper Fast.  At almost the same point in the second, Rick Nash and Dan Boyle assisted Mats Zuccarello to his fourth goal of the season, this one on the power play, to set the score at 2-0.  3:47 into the third, Fast scored his first goal of the year after assists from Chris Kreider and Keith Yandle, followed 13 minutes later by Viktor Stalberg’s goal, assisted by Staal.

Martin Jones earned his first loss of the season after only stopping 24 of 28 (85.7%), while Antii Raanta earned the shutout victory on 22 shots faced in his first game of the season.

The DtFR Game of the Day series now stands at 7-5-1 for the home team.

On tonight’s schedule are seven games, of which five are inter-conference matchups.  Three games get started at 7 p.m. eastern (Arizona at New Jersey, Florida at Pittsburgh and the New York Islanders at Columbus), followed half an hour later by two more games (Dallas at Philadelphia [NBCSN] and St. Louis at Montréal).  At 8 p.m. eastern, Tampa Bay and Nashville drop the puck at Bridgestone Arena, followed an hour later by the last game of the evening, Washington at Calgary.

The game that stands out the most this evening is being contested in the Bell Centre between the two conference-leading squads, the St. Louis Blues and the Montréal Canadiens.

Unknown-1Unknown

The Habs are currently leading the league with an undefeated 6-0-0 record, but the Blues are in hot pursuit with a 5-1-0 record having only played one game so far this season at Scottrade Center.

Montréal is coming off a Saturday 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, although it came with maybe the most adversity they’ve faced so far this season.  The Habs had not trailed in five full games played, but the Wings scored the first goal of this game before five minutes had ticked off the clock in the second period.  Carey Price and the Canadiens took it personally, not giving up another goal the rest of the night, but the forwards were really the ones who were offended, scoring the game-tying goal almost exactly three minutes later before the three-goal explosion that was the final period.  Jeff Petry accounted for the game-winner (assisted by Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais), followed by Tomas Plekanec (Brendan Gallagher notched an assist) and Brian Flynn.

This is St. Louis‘ fifth straight game north of the border during their six-game road trip.  Their last game was in Manitoba against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, a game the Notes won 4-2, but, similar to Montréal, it took a little bit of work.  After a scoreless first period, Dmitrij Jaskin and Jori Lehtera assisted RW Vladimir Tarasenko to open the wild second in the fourth minute.  A minute later, Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little took advantage of the man-advantage to assist Mathieu Perreault to his first goal of the season to tie the game at one-all.  In the 10th minute of the second, Jaskin and Joel Edmundson assisted Scottie Upshall to his second tally of the year to give the Blues a 2-1 lead, but it was again short-lived due to another St. Louis penalty, an interference call against Edmundson.  Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele assisted Drew Stafford to his second goal of the season, tying the game again, this time at two-all, the score that held into the third.  Tarasenko fired the winning goal of the game with 10:10 remaining in the game, followed in the 19th minute by Carl Gunnarsson’s insurance goal.

Some players to watch in tonight’s game include Montréal‘s D Andrei Markov (+8 Corsi rating [tied for league lead]), LW Max Pacioretty (+8 Corsi rating [tied for league lead] and four goals [tied for fifth in league]), C Plekanec (five goals [tied for league lead] and +7 Corsi rating [tied for third in league]), G Carey Price (five wins [leads league], one shutout [tied for second in league], .957 save percentage [tied for fifth in league] and 1.2 GAA [seventh in league]) & D P.K. Subban (+7 Corsi rating [tied for third in league]) and St. Louis‘ RW Tarasenko (five goals [tied for league lead], nine points [tied for league lead] and +6 Corsi rating [tied for sixth in league]).

Montréal is favored at -133 and has given up the fewest goals in the league (seven), but is playing a Blues team that leads the league in goals scored (21).  Montréal leads in goals against average (1.17 per game), penalty kill percentage (90.5%) and shots per game (34), while St. Louis leads in goals per game average (3.5 per game), power play percentage (19%), shots against average (25 per game) and face-off percentage (53.8%).

This will be an excellent game, certainly worthy of national attention.  It’s well documented that I’m a midwesterner and partial to my Blues, and I’ll certainly be wearing my Brett Hull sweater, but I think the Habs pull this one out in the Bell Centre.

October 19 – Day 13 – Out of Necessity, Vol. 2

Yesterday’s Game of the Day between New Jersey and the New York Rangers finally gave the series its first overtime game, as the Devils won on a Lee Stempniak goal to grab the bonus point.

The Blueshirts struck first with a goal only 3:12 into the game, when Oscar Lindberg assisted Derek Stepan to his third goal of the season.  The one-goal advantage held into the second period.

Assisted by Mike Cammalleri and Damon Severson at the 1:52 mark of the second, Adam Henrique leveled the score at one-all, the score that held until Stempniak, first star of the game, fired his game winner at the 3:07 mark of three-on-three overtime.

The DtFR Game of the Day series now stands at a six-all draw. a 6-5-1 advantage for the home team.  *Sorry guys, first OT game of the season caught my “standings-counting” skills off-guard)

5oday is the second day of the season in which the league only has one game on the schedule, and the puck is dropped at 7 p.m. eastern (NHL Network).  Hope you enjoyed watching the Blueshirts yesterday, ‘cuz…

Unknown-3New York Rangers Logo

…The World’s Most Famous Arena is hosting the Sharks tonight.

The Blueshirts won both games last season by a combined score of 7-1 after being swept by the Sharks the season before.  So far this season, both teams have found early success as San Jose is 4-1-0 and New York is 3-2-1.

Some players to watch in this matchup include Sharks goaltender Martin Jones (two shutouts [tied for lead in league], averaging 0.33 goals against per game [second best in the league], stopping .987 percent of shots faced [second best in league] and owning three wins [tied for second in league]) and Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (owns three wins [tied for second best in league]).

As stated before, the Sharks enter the game with the better record and on better rest.  It will be interesting to see if Martin Jones can continue his early success against a proven Rangers side.

Heck, why not… I’ll pick Sharks in this one!

October 18 – Day 12 – Moore afternoon hockey

Yesterday’s Game of the Day between Columbus and Chicago ended in a 4-1 loss for the Jackets, making their record 0-6-0.

Chicago waited to score until half the game was over, with Artem Anisimov firing his second of the year after an assist from Artemi Panarin at the 15:35 mark of the second.  A little over a minute later, Teuvo Teravainen scored the game-winner, setting the score at 2-0 going into the third.  Marian Hossa began the third period scoring at the 7:48 mark, followed almost 10 minutes later by Jack Johnson, his first of the season

No, not that Jack Johnson.

The final goal of the game was an empty-netter, scored at the 18:33 mark by Patrick Kane.

Corey Crawford earns a win to set his record at 2-2 by stopping 22 of 23 shots faced (95.7%), while Curtis McElhinney earns his first loss on the season after blocking only 26 of 29 (89.7%).

The DtFR Game of the Day series now stands at a 6-5 advantage for the home squad.

Today’s schedule includes five games, spaced throughout the day.  The first puck is dropped at 1 p.m. eastern in Madison Square Garden when the Rangers host New Jersey.  The other afternoon game begins at 3 p.m. eastern with St. Louis visiting Winnipeg.  The evening games begin at 8 p.m. eastern when Minnesota visits Anaheim, followed an hour later by Edmonton at Vancouver.  The final game of the night begins at 10 p.m. eastern when Colorado visits Los Angeles.

60% of the games today involve division rivals, of which today’s Game of the Day is one, but that is not my main incentive for choosing this fixture – more special is the return of John Moore to Manhattan.

New Jersey Devils LogoNew York Rangers Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus points and a shout-out on the next podcast for anyone who can figure out why this is included.  Send us a tweet or post your answers in the comments.  Consider it my challenge to you.  Thanks to YouTube user JUSTASITTINANDAROCK for supplying the piece.

The defender played 125 games of his 233 game career with the Blueshirts (53.6%), the most of any of the four teams he’s played for.  He showed up at the Garden after being traded to the Rangers from Columbus at the 2012-’13 trade deadline, scoring a goal in his first game.  After arriving, he notched five assists and that goal before the end of the season, earning a +9 Corsi rating.

During his entire tenure in the Big Apple, he claimed 21 assists and six goals (all even-strength, and two of which were game-winners) and earned a +23 Corsi rating during the regular season.

His last appearance for the Blueshirts in the Stanley Cup playoffs occurred during the 2013-’14 season as he was traded to Arizona before the deadline in the 2014-’15 season.  In those playoffs, he earned a +2 Corsi rating (seventh on team) with two assists (tied for 17th on team).

So far, Moore nor the 0-3-0 Devils have had quite the start they would have hoped for, as he has a -2 Corsi rating in two games played, due in part to an arm injury sustained in the second game of the season.

Count on the Rangers spoiling Moore’s return with a victory at the Garden.

October 17 – Day 11 – Chicago’s so Saad he’s gone

Yesterday’s Game of the Day between the Colorado Avalanche and the Anaheim Ducks ended poorly for the home squad, as the Avs earned the three-goal shutout victory.

Nathan MacKinnon, 2013’s first round pick, scored the opening and winning goal of the game before a full minute was off the clock with a slapshot to beat Frederik Andersen.  The two insurance goals were scored by Jack Skille and John Mitchell (an empty netter), in the second and third periods respectively.

Reto Berra stopped all 35 shots he faced to earn his first victory of the year, while Andersen’s record falls to 0-2-1 after stopping 22 of 24 (91.7%).

This was the fourth straight shutout victory in the DtFR Game of the Day series, which now stands at a five-all tie.

Tonight’s schedule features a full 10 games, meaning a third of the league is dormant tonight.  As usual, the evening gets started at 7 p.m. eastern with six fixtures (Detroit at Montréal [NHL Network], Nashville at Ottawa, Buffalo at Tampa Bay, Dallas at Florida, Toronto at Pittsburgh and Carolina at Washington).  At 7:30 eastern, San Jose and the Islanders drop the puck in the Barclays Center, followed an hour later by Columbus at Chicago.  Finally, at 10 p.m. eastern, the final two matchups get started when Edmonton visits Calgary and Boston plays Arizona.

While there are four divisional rivalries being played tonight, there’s one game that sticks out because of the return of a player to the franchise that drafted him.  This skater won two Stanley Cups in three years and scored 52 regular season goals and 74 regular seasons assists, much less 15 goals and 19 assists in the playoffs, while playing for the team.

That man is none other than Brandon Saad, which is why Columbus at Chicago is today’s Game of the Day.

Columbus Blue Jackets LogoUnknown-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

During his time with Chicago, he never had a Corsi rating poorer than the +7 he earned last season (with the exception of the two games he played with the Hawks in 2011-’12), and increased his scoring contributions each year.  He scored 27 points in the 2012-’13 season, 47 in 2013-’14, and 52 last season.

During last season’s Stanley Cup run, he scored eight goals (third on the team) (seven of them at even-strength, a stat he placed second best in), a +5 Corsi rating (tied for sixth best on team), 11 points (tied for eighth on team) and three assists (tied for 13th on team).

The left winger has scored three goals so far this season (12th best in the league) for the 0-4-0 Jackets, all of them on the power play (he’s best in the league in that category).  He is also the proud owner of the 53rd best shot percentage in the NHL after cashing in on three of his 11 shots (27.3%).

The spread currently reads -190 for the Hawks.  I’ve said it before this season and been wrong, but it should be two points for the Chicago.

Down the Frozen River Podcast #12- Surprise Surprise, Connor Only Messed Up Once

The Down the Frozen River crew talks about many things as week one (and a half) of the 2015-2016 regular season has gone by. Standings, winners and losers, and a couple of new segments debut in this episode of the Down the Frozen River Podcast. Connor only messed up one name and Colby will be back next time.

Surprisingly mentioned this week- Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo. Surprisingly not mentioned this week- Zach Boychuk, Pete Blackburn, DJ Bean.

Join the conversation, make a suggestion, or ask a question for our next podcast using #AskDownTheFrozenRiver or #DTFRPodcast on Twitter- your thoughts might make it on our show! Please interact with us.

October 16 – Day 10 – Beach u to it (yeah, that was super lame)

Last night’s Game of the Day between the Blueshirts and Habs ended in a three-goal shutout for Montréal, earning them their best start (5-0-0) in their illustrious franchise history.

The Habs earned their first goal after almost 29 minutes of scoreless play when Tomas Fleischmann scored his second goal of the year, the eventual game winner, off an assist from David Desharnais.  Both were involved in the first insurance goal of the game, assisting Dale Weise to his first season of the season with little more than two minutes remaining in the game.  The final goal was fired by Tomas Plekanec into an empty net in the final minute of action.

Carey Price earned the shutout victory by stopping all 25 Rangers shots, while Henrik Lundqvist only stopped 29 of 31 (93.5%).

Don’t let the Canadiens (or Maple Leafs fans!) know now, but in addition to having the best start ever, they also have a little bit of history on their side.  The franchise has begun their season at 4-0-0 three times before, and all three of those seasons ended with the Stanley Cup living in The City of Saints for the year.

The DtFR Game of the Day series now stands at a 5-4 advantage for the home squad after the third straight shutout.

Tonight, there’s seven games on the schedule.  The evening gets started at 7 p.m. eastern when San Jose visits New Jersey and Toronto visits Columbus.  Half an hour later, the Canes visit the Wings.  At 8 p.m. eastern, Calgary visits Winnipeg.  Starting at 10 p.m. eastern are St. Louis at Vancouver and Colorado at Anaheim.  Finally, Minnesota and Los Angeles drop the puck at 10:30 p.m. eastern.

There are a few significant returns tonight, including Calgary‘s Michael Frolik to Winnipeg and San Jose coach Peter DeBoer to New Jersey.  That being said, there is one that stands out even more: Francois Beauchemin, current defenseman for the Colorado Avalanche, is returning to the Pond, a place he has called home twice for a combined 9 seasons (approximately) of his 14+ year career.  Because of this, Colorado at Anaheim is today’s Game of the Day.

Colorado Avalanche LogoUnknown

 

 

 

How funny that the first game he’s played against Anaheim since January 20, 2011 (when he was a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs) is with the very team he made his Ducks debut against (of course, they were then the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim)!  It was on November 18, 2005 that Beauchemin played his first game for the Ducks, against the Colorado Avalanche.

Beauchemin was a part of Anaheim‘s lone Stanley Cup squad in the 2006-’07 season.  During those playoffs, he scored four goals (seventh on team) (all of them were power play goals, a stat in which he was second best on the team), eight points (tied for 10th on team), a +2 Corsi rating (tied for 10th on team) and four assists (tied for 11th on team).

Beauchemin still owns a few records on the Ducks‘ books, including being tied for the most playoff game appearances (97) with Ryan Getzlaf, the fourth most playoff points (39) and playoff assists (29), the seventh most playoff goals (10) and the 10th most regular season assists (126).

So far this season with the Avs, Beauchemin has had positive effects on his new club.  He has brought his penchant for assists to Colorado, already notching five in only three games played, which is best on the team and third best in the league (10th best in league in points).

The line currently reads -176 for Anaheim, but both teams have lost two of their three games to start the season and will try to use this matchup to restart their seasons.  That being said, I expect the Ducks to hold their own and earn their first win of the season in what should be a great game.

October 15 – Day Nine – No games on TV has me bummed…

For two days in a row, the Game of the Day has yielded unexpected results as the Chicago Blackhawks were blanked by the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center last night 3-0.

The two squads played a scoreless 25 minutes before Philadelphia broke the ice (HA! IT’S HOCKEY! THEY PLAY ON ICE!  …I will stop now.) with a power play goal by Sam Gagner, his first of the season.  Claude Giroux added the first insurance tally at the 16:21 mark in the second period, followed by Matt Read early in the third.

Michal Neuvirth earned his second shutout victory in as many games played by stopping all 30 of the Hawks‘ shots, while Corey Crawford’s record falls to 1-2 after stopping 26 of 29 (89.7%)

The DtFR Game of the Day series is now an even four-all between the home and road squads.

Today is a busy day in the league, with a total of eight games being played, of which only two are north of the American border.  Three games drop the puck at 7 p.m. eastern (Nashville at the New York Islanders, Ottawa at Pittsburgh, and Chicago at Washington), followed half an hour later by another set of three (the New York Rangers at Montréal, Dallas at Tampa Bay and Buffalo at Florida).  St. Louis and Edmonton get started at 9 p.m. eastern, followed an hour later by the final game of the night: Minnesota at Arizona.

Of that set, there are at least four solid games to choose from (at least in my opinion), but sadly there aren’t any nationally televised games to help make the decision any easier (must be the Game 5 between the Mets and Dodgers…).

Therefore, I’m basically going to draw a game out of the hat and go with the Rangers at Montréal at the Bell Centre.
New York Rangers LogoUnknown

There’s a few appealing qualities about this game compared to the other great games tonight: This one is Montréal‘s home opener, looking for their best start ever in an illustrious franchise history.  This one is an Original Six matchup.  And, this one pits the two current division leaders of the Eastern Conference against each other.  All of these should make for a great game.

Some players to watch in this one include Montréal‘s Andrei Markov (+6 Corsi rating [tied for league lead]), Max Pacioretty (four goals [tied for league lead], +6 Corsi rating [tied for league lead] and six points [tied for second in the league]), Tomas Plekanec (+6 Corsi rating [tied for league lead]), Carey Price (three wins [tied for league lead]) & P.K. Subban (four assists [tied for sixth in the league]) and New York‘s Oscar Lindberg (four goals [tied for league lead]) & Henrik Lundqvist (three wins [tied for league lead]).

Given the environment and some of the statistical edges the Habs have (averaging a goal less per game, higher power play and penalty kill percentages and more shots per game), I’m picking Montréal to win this very competitive game.

October 14 – Day Eight – Wednesday Night Rivalry…

Last night’s Game of the Day was certainly a shocker.  First-year Shark, goalkeeper Martin Jones, earned himself and his team a five-goal shutout victory over the Alex Ovechkin-less Capitals last night in the Verizon Center.

Joe Thornton scored the first goal of the game after almost 11 minutes, the only goal of the first period.  San Jose scored two insurance goals apiece in both the second and third periods, all by different skaters.  In all, nine separate players found their way to the scorecard, with both Matt Nieto and Chris Tierney adding a goal an and assist to their résumé for the year.

Jones stopped all 31 shots faced to improve his record to a perfect 3-0-0 and has only given up one goal so far this season, while Braden Holtby stopped 27 of 30 (90%), as Nieto and Tierney’s goals were scored on an empty net.

The road team now leads the DtFR Game of the Day series 4-3, and are on a three-game win streak.

Tonight’s schedule includes only four games, all of them played under the Stars and Stripes.  Ottawa and Columbus kick things off at 7 p.m. eastern, followed an hour later by Chicago at Philadelphia (NBCSN).  At 10 p.m. eastern, Boston plays their lone regular-season game in Denver against Colorado, while Arizona and Anaheim wait half an hour before dropping the puck on the Pond.

Today marks the first matchup decided by committee, so that is exciting.  What’s most exciting for me is that I’m not solely responsible if you think I chose the wrong game!  Now we all have to share the blame!  Hooray!

We decided to go with the HawksFlyers game.

Unknown-2Philadelphia Flyers Logo

Look at those logos.  They don’t even want to face each other.  Definitely screams Wednesday Night Rivalry.

Not only is this the only nationally televised game of the night, it also has an additional “Original 12” narrative (Yes, I’m fully aware that’s not really a thing.  Just roll with it.).  So far in this week-old season, both teams have been competitive, with Chicago owning a 2-1 record (lost to the Rangers on opening night, swept a home-and-home with the Islanders) and a 1-1-1 record for Philly (lost to Tampa in OT, split a home-and-home with Florida).

According to Vegas, this should be the most competitive game of the night, as the Flyers have a +121 line (The next closest is SensJackets at -134).

With that information and overall predictions for the teams for the season, I’m picking the road team to pick up their fourth straight victory in our Game of the Day series.

Some players to watch in this one include Chicago‘s Patrick Kane (regardless of how you feel about him, he is still having a successful season with six points [tied for second in the league] on three goals [tied for second in the league]) and Philly‘s Michal Neuvirth (one shutout this season [tied for second in the league]).

Down the Frozen River(.com!)