Sports are weird. We know this, because sometimes things just happen that we have no genuine explanation for, strange bounces, mental errors, complete collapses. This season appears to embracing weirdness on a nightly basis, and last night was a perfect example in Buffalo, as the team picked by many to finish last this season moved to 4-1-1 on the season with an impressive 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
We’re not trying to suggest that any team currently on a roll is a lock for the playoffs, but there’s that old adage about teams in the post-season cut-off by American Thanksgiving making the playoffs around 75% of the time. That’s something fans of teams like Buffalo, Detroit and our own Vancouver Canucks may want to keep in mind.
And then there was the wild one in Ottawa last night, where the Washington Capitals appeared to be set for the night with a 4-1 lead after twenty minutes. And what is the most dangerous lead in hockey? Skip forward to halfway through the second, and it’s now 4-4, thanks to Drake Batherson’s second goal of the night. Unfortunately for Sens fans, Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie decided that was enough of that, and Ovi scored a pair sandwiching Oshie’s hat trick goal as the Caps left with a 7-5 win.
Another team projected to finish at the bottom of the pack? The Arizona Coyotes. And they’re still looking for that first win of their season, as they dropped another one, this time losing 5-3 to the 6-0-0 Florida Panthers.
The Calgary Flames got two goals from Andrew Mangiapane and Jacob Markstrom had 38 saves as they won their 3rd straight on the road, a 5-1 stomping of the New York Rangers last night. The Flames moved past Vancouver into third place in the Pacific Division with the win.
Open your windows, and you can like hear the growing discontent over in Toronto right now. The Leafs are struggling mightily, and that’s a darn shame, isn’t it? This time, it’s a 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, who moved to 5-0-0 to start the season.
It would appear we have an early contender for asshole fan of the year in the NHL.
#CBJ G Elvis Merzlikins said a fan wearing a Dallas Stars sweater taunted him regarding the off-season death of friend and former teammate Matiss Kivlenieks as he and Blue Jackets teammates came out of the tunnel for the start of the game.#TexasHockey— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) October 26, 2021
And how did that play out, asshole Dallas Stars fan?
Here’s Elvis Merzlikins’ quote from the post-game: pic.twitter.com/932NmKAxyb— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) October 26, 2021
Seriously, the Stars would do well to ban this ridiculous douchebag. Who does that? Anyway, good on the Blue Jackets and Merzlikins for getting the win after that nonsense last night in Dallas.
And finally, the St Louis Blues joined Florida, Carolina and Edmonton as the only undefeated teams to start the season as they won their 5th straight, shutting out the Los Angeles Kings 3-0 last night.
In addition to the big home opener for the Canucks in front of a full capacity crowd against the Minnesota Wild (make sure to check out our game day preview coming shortly), the Flames continue their road jaunt with a trip to beautiful New Jersey to take on the Devils... Tampa is back at it in Pittsburgh... The Pacific Division’s last place team (just like we all predicted) is in Colorado as the Vegas Golden Knights visit the Avalanche... The 4-1-0 San Jose Sharks are in Nashville for a date with the Predators... Winnipeg continues their West Coast trek in Anaheim tonight... And in a game to decide the 1919 Stanley Cup Final, cancelled with the series tied at two games a piece, it’s Montreal taking on Seattle...