Patrick Marleau’s tenth goal of the season came in a shocking loss for the San Jose Sharks. They were beaten up and down the ice by the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-2. San Jose has now lost five in a row (0-3-2) following their 7-0-0 start. Columbus was averaging 1.92 goals per game coming into this one and the Sharks allowed 1.82 goals per game so this result was totally unexpected.
The Sharks should have seen it coming when they gave up a goal in the opening minute of the game. Columbus scored twice and San Jose retaliated with one of its own in an 84-second span to make it 3-1 after two periods. Columbus hit again in the first minute of the third period before adding two goals eight seconds apart to eliminate any chance for a San Jose comeback.
Six different players scored for Columbus as they beat up on San Jose backup goaltender Thomas Greiss. The Blue Jackets were paced by Brandon Dubinsky with a goal and an assist while Nick Foligno and Matt Calvert each had a pair of assists.
SPIN: If you have Sharks on your roster you have got to be totally puzzled about what happened with them. In January, they couldn’t be stopped but when the calendar flipped to February the Sharks stopped swimming and sank to the bottom of the ocean. The San Jose power play went 12-for-32 in the first five games but has gone just 2-for-28 since. The other concern for the Sharks is that this was the first game on a six-game road trip. And it’s not an easy one either (NSH, CHI, STL, CHI, DAL) before they get back to the comforts of home against Colorado on the 26th. All you can do is cross your fingers and ride this out. And someone tell me how Ryan Clowe has now gone a quarter of the season and failed to score a single goal.
The Blue Jackets had one really good game but this looks more likely to be the exception and not the rule. I’m still not going to drop everything to pick up Blue Jackets for my roster until they can start putting it together consistently. It also isn’t encouraging when 14 different players got a point in this game for Columbus and barely anyone stood out.
Toronto knocked off Philadelphia 5-2 in a game that saw both teams change goaltenders midway through. James Reimer exited the game in the second period with a lower left leg injury and Ben Scrivens came on in relief for the Leafs. Reimer will be re-evaluated tomorrow and he is not expected to miss much time. Scrivens stopped 32 of 33 shots he saw in relief.
As for the game, the Leafs scored three goals in a span of 4:10 of the second period to blow open a 1-1 tie. Colton Orr, Matt Frattin and Clarke MacArthur all scored for Toronto in that flurry. That was enough to get Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov a one-way ticket to the end of the bench as Brian Boucher replaced him.
James van Riemsdyk scored his eighth of the season in the third period before the Flyers got a cosmetic goal with 32 seconds left.
SPIN: Frattin and van Riemsdyk continue to impress this season for Toronto and are must-starts. The Reimer injury hopefully isn’t serious but keep an eye out for the news after he gets examined tomorrow morning. Reimer wasn’t able to put any weight on the leg when he was helped off the ice but that doesn’t give any insight as to how we’s hurt. It’s been a pleasant surprise that Toronto is now 8-5-0 this season, won four in a row and has the same record as Pittsburgh.
The Flyers continue to flirt with the break-even point but can’t get there. Philly is also starting a six-game road trip (WPG, NJ, MTL,NYI, PGH) and is a poor 1-6-0 on the road this season. With 13 games under their belt this road trip will go a long way to determine the Flyers’ fate this season. Matt Read is leading the Flyers with five goals this season and none of the Flyers have hit the 10-point mark this season. Philly’s offense hasn’t done well and caution should be used if you’re considering putting a Flyer in your lineup.
Jeff Carter scored twice for the Kings as they took down the Blues 4-1. Brian Elliott got the start in goal over Jaroslav Halak which was a bit of a surprise. Johnathan Bernier stopped 21 of 22 shots to get the Kings’ fourth win of the season.
SPIN: The Kings’ offensive woes have been well-documented this season and don’t show many signs of letting up anytime soon. The Blues just finished up an 0-4 homestand and they have now lost five in a row. In three of those games, they’ve scored just one goal. Just like the Sharks, the Blues have gone downhill since February started. St. Louis was 6-1 in January with the lone loss coming to Chicago. Yep, it’s another ride it out recommendation for the Blues.
Carolina beat the NY Islanders 6-4 in a high-scoring affair. Jiri Tlusty had two goals and two assists for Carolina. Alexander Semin had a goal and two assists in the win while Matt Moulson tallied twice on the power play in the loss.
SPIN: The Islanders power play finally came to life and converted 4-of-5 chances in this one. Tlusty’s production was out of the blue and I think he’s going to go the way of other one-hit wonders in this fantasy season like Curtis Glencross of Calgary. John Tavares is finally looking comfortable on the ice and it shows as he had two points in this game. He now has goals in three straight games and is playing up to the potential his owners in fantasy have for him. Moulson now has 13 points this season and has become a consistent point producer for the Islanders. Cam Ward got a win though it was a rocky one with the penalty kill for Carolina faltering.
Minnesota went into a shootout before downing Calgary 2-1. Kyle Brodziak had the goal for Minnesota while Jiri Hudler scored for Calgary. Each goaltender made 23 saves on 24 shots but Nicklas Backstrom got the better of Leland Irving in the shootout.
SPIN: The Wild continue to be weak offensively but are using goaltending to win. Both Backstrom and Irving looked sharp. Calgary isn’t much better at 19th in scoring and hasn’t found its offensive stride this season. The Flames reportedly shook their lines up in an effort to generate more offense and we can see how well that worked.
Shane Doan had two goals and an assist to lead Phoenix to a 3-2 overtime win against the Avalanche. Doan scored the game winner after a clearing attempt bounced off the referee’s skate and came to him on a pass from Kyle Chipchurra. Mike Smith made 41 saves in the win for Phoenix.
SPIN: The Coyotes are hot in Feburary again. Doan is going to be one of those players that when he gets on a tear you’ll want to ride him until it runs out. He’s the captain and the emotional leader of the team and he’s fired up. When he goes like this, the points come in bunches.
Multiple Goal Scorers
Doan-PHX; Tlusty-CAR; Moulson-NYI, Carter-LA
Stat of the Night I-The Kings 40-Minute Reign
Los Angeles is 89-1-10 in its last 100 games they’ve led after 40 minutes.
Stat of the Night II-Fantastic in February
The Coyotes are 15-1-2 in February over the last two seasons including 4-1-1 this season.
Three Stars of the Night
1. Doan Had a hand in all three goals
2. Tlusty Four-point night in an offensive outburst for the Canes.
3. Moulson Two PPG but the Isles came up short.
Tuesday’s Schedule (all times ET)
Carolina at New Jersey 7 pm
NY Rangers at Boston 730 pm
Buffalo at Ottawa 730 pm
Montreal at Tampa bay 730 pm
Washington at Florida 730 pm
Philadelphia at Winnipeg 8pm
San Jose at Nashville 8pm
Anaheim at Chicago 830pm
Dallas at Edmonton 930pm
Minnesota at Vancouver 10pm