Is it possible the European Leagues are, after all this time, still underrated by NHL scouts? Jonathan Bernier (remember him?) was supposed to be the Kings’ goalie of the future, but he’s been in the minors since October. Meanwhile, Swedish goalie Erik Ersberg is playing out of his mind for the Kings, giving them the stability they’ve needed at the position all season. Of course, for the Kings, Ersberg has arrived about five months too late.
And then there’s Jonas Hiller.
Randy Carlyle said the Ducks had a “little team-building event” Monday afternoon, but he wouldn’t say what it was. Hmmm. Until I get official word on what they did, here are some not-so-serious suggestions for future activities…
Ducks lose to the Sharks, 2-1, and don’t get a shot on goal the ENTIRE THIRD PERIOD. If you were watching at home, you witnessed a bit of history: The Ducks haven’t had zero shots in a period since Dec. 27, 2000 against Dallas, and have NEVER had zero shots on goal in a third period, ever.
Good news, Ducks fans: Your team is three points ahead of the Stars after beating them in Dallas, which is big because it proves you can beat the Stars in Dallas. That literally hasn’t happened all season. The bad news: Jeremy Roenick fooled Nicholas Backstrom tonight during a shootout in Minnesota, giving the Sharks a victory, two more points in the standings, and a near-lock on second place in the Western Conference. That’s almost assured if the Ducks lose in San Jose on Friday; even if the Ducks win it’ll be hard to make up three points on a hot team with only six games left in the season.
Hey, it sure beats fifth place!
Just noticed that Scott Niedermayer officially has an ‘A’ on his jersey for the Dallas game. That’s because of captain Chris Pronger’s suspension. No one will wear the captain’s ‘C’ until Pronger comes back for the regular-season finale. In the meantime, Niedermayer (last year’s captain), Chris Kunitz and Rob Niedermayer will wear the alternate captain ‘A’s.
The Toronto Star tracked down the source of the “new video evidence” that landed Chris Pronger an 8-game suspension Saturday.
In my second-half-of-the-season preview, I wrote that it’s easier to divide this season into three parts:
The team that beat the Blues on Saturday with (somehow) five goals played like Ducks 1.0. It was ugly. The Blues are uglier.