So let me see if I have this right? The Flames beat San Jose. The Oilers, albeit just barely, beat the Red Wings. Have we lapsed into madness? Oh, Stefane Auger cost a team a game via blown calls. Ok, so somethings aren't a total shock. Those Red Wings looked flatter than Janet from Three's Company (ask your dad, kids) as the Oilers deserved full credit, no one more so that former Kamloops Blazer Devan Dubnyk. Oh yeah, and Kes likes us. H'ray! More after the jump...
The Canucks are looking at a chance to put themselves a full 7 points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche in the Northwest Division. This is a huge thing, as after tonight, the Canucks will have played 2 more games than the Avs, so even if the Avs win their games in hand, that still provides a 3 point cushion.
The Canucks get one last kick at the Detroit Red Wings tonight, who have to be frustrated after last night's shootout loss in Edmonton. More than just shoring up their own playoff position, the Canucks have an opportunity to help keep a bitter rival from reaching the post season. When you think back over the last few years, and the battles these two teams have engaged in, that playoff series a few years ago, the possibility of being even partially responsible for them not making the playoffs feels, well... it feels pretty damn good.
A big day for the Canucks yesterday as we were all blindsided with the awesome news that Ryan Kesler signed a contract extension that will keep him in Blue & Green until 2016. A certain sports blog lashed out at this signing today, calling the contract 'ridiculous', and claiming this would negatively impact the league. Given the author of the article is a regular contributor to a New York Rangers blog, I will give credit where credit is due: This guy likely knows all about ridiculous contracts.
But he is way off base on this one. Take a look at where Ryan Kesler sits in the NHL scoring race, and the names (and contracts) around him. He is out producing players with similar or larger contracts, all the while in a role that sees him playing against the opposition's top lines night after night. Ryan Kesler is one of the best two way players in the NHL, something acknowledged by his nomination for the Selke trophy last season. Ryan Kesler is well deserving of this raise, and it's a great contract for the team as well.
Tasty like a Taco Bell Shrimp Taco...
And if you can eat one of those and live, your stomach might also be able to handle the first half of the HNIC doubleheader tonight. It's the classic Leafs/Habs battle, yet Toronto finds themselves in a unique situation: a spoiler that can actually be a spoiler. Montreal is battling like hell to hang onto their playoff spot, and the Leafs, desperate to ensure Boston's draft pick isn't named Hall or Seguin, would love to keep rolling. They've won a few games lately. Yeah, surprised the hell outta me, though to be honest I don't think anyone could be blamed for putting the notch in the W column last week when they faced the Oilers.
The Penguins led late, but gave up the tying goal and then the OT winner with 0.9 seconds left as the Carolina Hurricanes won 3-2. Jamie McBain's first goal was a huge one, and that name will no doubt be used in a number of Simpson's themed headlines like the one above. Ooh... wait. How about: "Ice to see you! McBain ices Penguins in OT". Hmm. And that, folks is why I don't get paid.