Riffing today as the NHL plays its last games for three weeks heading into the Sochi tournament. The most shocking news of yesterday was the report that Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris LeTang suffered a stroke on Wednesday. According the ESPN’s Craig Custance, he was held out of practice after feeling dizzy and nauseous and further testing revealed the Pens star had suffered stroke last week on a western road trip, and it could have been caused by a small hole in his heart that he has had since birth. Treatment includes administering blood thinners and re-evaluation in six weeks.
Sharks win again, going into the break on a high note by ending a four game losing streak against the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday night, 3-2. San Jose improves to 37-16-6 and 22-4-3 at the Tank and rode Patty Marleau”s goal and more Tommy Wingels heroics to a victory. Columbus is a vastly improved team from a few years ago when they were the doormat of the league, recently had an eight game win streak snapped and is coming off of a victory in Anaheim on Monday and a narrow 2-1 OT loss to the LA Kings Thursday night. The score was not indicative of the Sharks domination of the Jackets as they fired 44 shots on Sergei Bobrovsky, who had to make several highlight reel saves.
Notes of concern for San Jose include a giveaway by Sharks Captain Joe Thornton directly on the stick of Ryan Johansen who promptly buried it to cut the Sharks lead in half, 2-1. Another turnover, while less egregious by Jason Demers led to another BJ goal 18 seconds into the second period by Boone (s Farm Apple Wine) Jenner who didn’t miss after having an earlier goal disallowed because of playing it with a high stick. Anti Niemi played well enough to win, yet as noted in this column recently doesn’t look real solid. I would like to get someone’s opinion on this if they know or can hazard a guess as to why looks lost sometimes out there. Props to John McCarthy for his first career goal in the 1st period.
I feel I need to acknowledge the St. Louis Blues because they really have been playing well all season, and have taken over the lead in the Central Division with a SO win over the Winnipeg Jets today 4-3. With 84 points they are tied with the Hawks but have two more ROW (regular and OT wins) than Chicago. Boston continues to roll along atop the Atlantic Division with 78 points and a victory over sixth place Ottawa. The BBB of B (Big Bad Bruins of Boston) are balanced scoring wise, have world class Rask in net and look like the class of the East despite the Penguins leading the conference in points. Plus they have the Krug missle, real hockey fans will know what I mean. Did I mention the Penguins lead their division by 17 points? The Metro is jammed with four teams right behind the Rangers and Flyers, who are 2nd and 3rd respectively, vying for the two wild card spots, too early to tell anything there with 23-24 games left for most teams. Lets hope for a scintillating Mens Hockey tournament, because quite frankly Olympic hockey just ain’t the same as the NHL. Three weeks off, can I handle it? Can you?? Please weigh in with your comments and takes. No spammers, have a take and don’t suck!