Sports Outside the Beltway

Anaheim Duck Teemu Selanne scores 600th goal

The Finn has the most goals of any active player. From AP-

Teemu Selanne can finally exhale. His 600th goal is in the books, with four home games to spare in what likely will be his final NHL season.Teemu Selanne2

Selanne became the 18th player in NHL history to reach the milestone, scoring 34 seconds into the second period during a power play in the Anaheim Ducks’ 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday night.

“I was a little nervous that if it didn’t happen tonight, it might not happen here at all,” Selanne said. “It’s great, but it’s way more special happening at home. So I’m very happy about that. It was a big relief for me, for sure.”

Selanne is the fourth player to reach the milestone in the last four seasons, along with Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan and Joe Sakic. All but one member of the 600-goal club have joined that exclusive fraternity since Nov. 23, 1988, when Wayne Gretzky got the ball rolling just four days before the 23rd anniversary of Gordie Howe’s 600th.

“There are only 17 other guys that have done it before, and it’s a very unique, special group,” Selanne said. “You need a lot of luck, hard work and great players to play with. I have had all those things.”

The 39-year-old right wing from Finland, playing his 16th NHL season, scored on his fifth shot of the game while John-Michael Liles was off for hooking Matt Beleskey.

Selanne’s first NHL goal was scored in 1992. He is only the 3rd former Calder Trophy winner to get to 600 goals.

The Ducks improved their record to 34-29-8. It is unlikely they will make the playoffs.


Throwing in the towel- Phoenix beats Florida 4-3

Would a serious NHL playoff contender would blow a 3-goal lead with less than 20 minutes to go in the game. From AP-

With a lot of grit and a little luck, the Phoenix Coyotes earned a record-setting win Thursday night.FL-Phe

Radim Vrbata scored with 59.7 seconds left in the third period to force overtime, then added the winner in the third round of a shootout in the Coyotes’ 4-3 comeback victory over the Florida Panthers.

Martin Hanzal and Lee Stempniak also scored in the third period to help the Coyotes stretch their winning streak to seven games. The Coyotes set a franchise record for wins in a season with 44, besting the previous mark set by the 1984-85 Winnipeg Jets — before overtime ties were broken in shootouts.

“It was just one of those games where we never quit,” Vrbata said. “We came back and it was nice to get that.”

Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 21 shots in regulation and overtime for Phoenix.

David Booth and Cory Stillman scored second-period goals for Florida, and Stephen Weiss had a power-play goal in the first. Tomas Vokoun made 43 saves.

Florida’s Nathan Horton and Phoenix’s Lauri Korpikoski also had shootout goals.

A fluke goal keeps the Panthers from fluking their way into a playoff spot. Very appropriate for this franchise. I give up on hoping the Panthers will make the playoffs. All I wish for now, is that the Panthers get their act together. The team has new owners but management hasn’t changed much if at all. So I remain pessimistic about my favorite hockey team.


Duck Hunter- Chicago beats Anaheim 4-2

Old friends ran into one another last night. From AP-

For the second straight game, the Chicago Blackhawks lost a key member of their defense because of a vicious check against the boards behind the net.Corey Crawford

To add insult to injury, Anaheim’s Saku Koivu scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period — just seconds after a blind-side cross-check by Corey Perry against defenseman Brent Sopel that easily could have been called interference. As a result, the Ducks won 4-2 Wednesday night and handed the Blackhawks their third straight loss — preventing them from tying idle San Jose for the Western Conference lead.


The play started when Lubomir Visnovsky’s shot from just inside the blue line was deflected high in the air, and Sopel was cross-checked to the ice by Perry as they waited for the puck to come down. Perry then got the puck to Koivu, whose 20-foot wrister beat Corey Crawford with 5:36 remaining.


Anaheim defenseman James Wisniewski knocked Brent Seabrook out of the game less than 2 1/2 minutes into the second period. Wisniewski began his NHL career with the Blackhawks before getting traded to the Ducks in March 2009.

He drove his ex-teammate into the glass behind the Chicago net with a vicious shot to the jaw, causing Seabrook’s head to strike the glass with enough force that it left him with a dazed expression a couple of seconds before he crumpled to the ice.

The injuries to Seabrook and Brian Campbell could seriously harm the Blackhawks’ post season chance. This team is not known for its stellar defense when healthy.

Here’s video of the hit.

IMHO what Alexander Ovechkin did to Brian Campbell was worse.

Chicago Goalie Corey Crawford was only just called up from the AHL and put into the lineup. He has some previous NHL experience.

Two seasons ago, Crawford beat the Ducks 3-0 at Chicago for his first NHL shutout. It came in his second career start

Curiously I blogged about that game in 2008. Crawford has a 2-3 lifetime record in the NHL and both wins have come against Anaheim. In light of how weak Chicago is at Goalie, I’m surprised they haven’t given Crawford whose been up and down with the team back to 2005-06, more of a chance.


Fast Draw- St. Louis Blues take 8 seconds to score goal

It tied a record set almost 25 years ago. From AP-

Alex Steen of the St. Louis Blues tied a franchise record for fastest goal to start a game, scoring at the eight-second mark Tuesday night against the Colorado Avalanche.

Steen’s 20th goal tied the mark set by Greg Paslawski on Oct. 29, 1985 against the Washington Capitals.

Peter Budaj stopped Steen’s shot from the left boards after the Blues won the opening faceoff but the rebound appeared to deflect off left wing T.J. Galliardi on its way into the net.

Peter Budaj was in goal for Colorado.


Florida Goalie Tomas Vokoun gets no respect

Scott Burnside at ESPN writes-

Of all the teams still fighting for a playoff spot or set for the playoffs, perhaps no team relies more emphatically on its netminder for success than the New York Rangers.

Burnside clearly has a case of New Yorkitis. Lets examine the NHL Eastern Conference standings and where Florida and the NY Rangers stand.Tomas Vokoun

8th Boston 68 30 26 12 72
9 NY Rangers 69 31 29 9 71
10 Tampa Bay 68 28 28 12 68
11 Atlanta 68 28 29 11 67
12 Florida 67 28 29 10 66

8th is the last playoff spot. New York and Lundqvist are 1 point out of that spot but have played one more game than Boston. In fact they’ve played more games than all 5 times fighting for the 8 spot. Florida has a chance to narrow the gap between itself and Boston if they beat Washington tonight.

Now lets look at Lundqvist’s and Vokoun’s stats

2 Tomas Vokoun, FLA 56 23 22 2.36 .930
10 Henrik Lundqvist, NYR 60 28 23 2.45 .919

Now lets look at the Goals scored for the Panthers and Rangers

New York 181
Florida 174

Who are the three leading points scorers for each team


Marian Gaborik, RW 63 36 37 73
Vaclav Prospal, C 62 17 35 52
Ryan Callahan, RW 69 18 18 36


Stephen Weiss, C 65 23 27 50
Nathan Horton, C 51 17 29 46
Steve Reinprecht, C 67 14 22 36

Gee whiz New York’s top 2 goal scorers have more points this season than Florida’s #1. How is that so Scott Burnside?

I’ll also point out that Vokoun went 8-4-2 From for the month of January(he started all of Florida’s games) a Save Pct of over .940. That .940 is outstanding but Vokoun had to be like that. Florida scored 32 goals for the month or 2.27 per game

In that same stretch the Rangers supplied Lundqvist or his backup 36 goals in 16 games or 2.25. The Rangers went 6-9-1 that month. Because NY Goalies gave up 41 goals.

Florida in its last 18 games has only twice managed to score 2 or more goals in regulation. The total amount of goals for Florida in those 18 games-33

For New York in its last 18 games has scored 2 or more goals in regulation 9 times. Tho total amount of goals for the Rangers in those games- 46

Obviously Scott Burnside doesn’t- Look at the stats before making statements in his columns or doesn’t pay attention to all of the NHL. Tomas Vokoun is having a incredible year but this ESPN doesn’t seem to have noticed.


Directv and Versus settle their dispute

Now I won’t get a discount on Directv this fall. From AP-

DirecTV and Versus have reached a deal after more than six months to return the sports network to the satellite television service.

DirecTV dropped Versus after their contract concluded at the end of August and the two sides were not able to reach an agreement. They said Monday that Versus will be available as part of the same packages as before.

So the long, dumb dispute is over. I’ll be surprised if any details about the settlement are ever disclosed. All parties involved, including the NHL, have much to be embarrassed about. Fans got screwed and we’re not happy.


Alex Ovechkin suspended two games for Campbell hit

The Russian hockey star slammed the Chicago Defenseman into the boards during a game yesterday. From ESPN-

The NHL has suspended two-time MVP Alex Ovechkin two games for his boarding hit on Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell.

It is the second suspension of the season for the two-time defending Hart Trophy winner.

Ovechkin, who was suspended for two games on Nov. 30, 2009, now is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Accordingly, he forfeits $232,645.40 in salary, based on the number of games in the season (82). The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Ovechkin will miss Washington’s next two games — March 16 at Florida and March 18 at Carolina. He will be eligible to return March 20 at Tampa Bay.

Ovechkin met with NHL head disciplinarian Colin Campbell on Monday to discuss the incident in Sunday’s game, according to’s Pierre LeBrun.

Ovechkin was ejected from the nationally televised game for pushing Campbell from behind into the boards in the first period and received a major penalty and a game misconduct. Campbell, according to league sources, suffered a broken clavicle and at least one broken rib, and it’s questionable whether he’ll return this season.

“There’s nothing I can do right now. He just fell and this happens,” Ovechkin said after the game.

No Alexander Ovechkin, you shoved Campbell unnecessarily into the boards. Here’s the proof.

Case closed, Ovechkin deserves to be suspended. Now someone tell me how Colin Campbell doesn’t look even more like a jackass for not suspending Matt Cooke?

Bueller? Bueller?


Alex Ovechkin ejected for hit on Brian Campbell

The NHL’s leading scorer could be facing a suspension. From ESPN-

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin was ejected from Sunday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks after receiving a game misconduct penalty for boarding.

With 7:44 remaining in the first period and the Capitals trailing 1-0, Ovechkin checked Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell into the boards behind Chicago’s goal, moments after Campbell had released the puck.

Campbell went face-first into the boards and lay on the ice for several minutes before being helped to the dressing room.

Ovechkin was given a five-minute major for boarding in addition to the game misconduct. A game misconduct penalty automatically incurs a fine and further review by the commissioner’s office for possible suspension.

Ovechkin was suspended for two games earlier this season for a knee to knee hit. I suspect the NHL will hand down a similar penalty here but who knows. NHL fool official Colin Campbell, might give Ovechkin a penalty shot instead.

Note- I watched the end of the Chi-Wash game which saw the Capitals come back from a 3-0 deficit in the third period to win in overtime. The hit on Campbell was dirty and unneeded.

Here’s a video of the hit


Home sweet home- Vancouver beats Ottawa 5-1

The Canucks first home game Post Olympics has a happy ending. From AP-

Home never felt so good for the Canucks.Ott-Van

Mikael Samuelsson scored twice and added an assist, and the Vancouver Canucks returned home to GM Place after playing an NHL-record 14 straight on the road to beat the Ottawa Senators 5-1 on Saturday night.

“We were just excited to get back,” Roberto Luongo said after making 13 saves. “It’s been such a long time that we haven’t played here and guys were just excited to play in front of the home fans.”

Living out of a suitcase grows weary after a while but Vancouver survived it. They are 3rd in the Western Conference points stands and more importantly five points ahead of the next best team in the NHL’s Northwest Division. I don’t see the Canucks missing the playoffs but don’t think they’re good enough to advance to the Stanley Cup finals.


Shark Bait- Florida beats San Jose 3-2

Another unbelievable Panther win.

Bryan Allen scored with 2:14 left in overtime to help the Florida Panthers rally from an early two-goal deficit to beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 on Saturday.FL-SJ

After becoming the first team in NHL history to win three straight games in regulation when trailing after two periods, the Sharks found themselves on the other side of a late comeback.

Shawn Matthias scored the equalizer off a spin move about 5 minutes into the third period and then set up the game-winner in overtime for Florida. Matthias beat Joe Pavelski on a face off and then went to the front of the net to set a screen for Allen, whose shot from the point beat Thomas Greiss.

San Jose came out on fire in this game. They were up 2-0 17:45 into the game and I was expecting an ugly result.

It didn’t happen. San Jose may have been overconfident. First because Florida isn’t that good, then they haven’t won in San Jose, the Sharks most importantly are one of the best teams in the NHL. All this said, the Panthers managed to beat the Sharks during the 2008-09 season.

San Jose instead of playing their ace Goalie Evegeni Nabokov, sent out Thomas Greiss who hadn’t played in over a month.. Florida Panther Billy Lindsay calls Greiss a terrible puck handler. He looked like it tonight. I think San Jose expected an easy win.

They didn’t get it because Florida didn’t give up. Keith Ballard scored in the 2nd period, while David Booth and Bryan McCabe came tantalizingly close to more goals.

In the third period, Shawn Matthias put in his 6th goal of the season. After early difficulties, Vokoun ended up stopping 37 of 39 shots on goal.

The game went to overtime where Matthias and Allen combined on the winning goal. Sadly I still don’t think Florida will make the post season. This win was thrilling but essentially part of a play that has little meaning barring a miracle. Next up for Florida- Washington on Tuesday. The other team besides San Jose that I picked to make it to the Stanley Cup Championship. Florida hasn’t beaten the Capitals once this season.


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