Well, that was quick.
Florida Panthers’ goaltender Tim Thomas was a last-minute signing to shore up a crappy goaltending unit that was near the bottom of the league for most of last season. The Panthers still look like the same lousy team from last season and a significant amount of luster came off of Thomas tonight.
He allowed 5 goals on 28 shots in 40 minutes and took it on the chin as the St. Louis Blues thumped Florida 7-0. Jacob Markstrom came on in the third period and gave up the other two goals.
The Blues had seven different goal scorers in this game as they improved to 2-0. They were Patrick Berglund, Brenden Morrow, Ryan Reaves, Derek Roy, Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko as each skater scored his first of the season. Alexander Steen picked up his second of the season for the Blues. Jaroslav Halak turned away all 19 Florida shots in the win.
Analysis: The Blues were just on-point from the opening face-off and blew the game open with a four-goal second period. Halak put up a shutout but faced a low shot total. This reminds me of last season when Halak would either post a shutout or a save percentage around .882 in his starts because he saw so few shots. I still can’t figure out why teams are hesitant to shoot when Halak stands between the pipes.
Thomas gives me the jitters after this performance. He can’t control the fact he got zippo for offensive support. But the second period has me sitting him back on the bench until he can be more consistent. You might be able to get him from an owner who saw the meltdown and is trying to sell him now in a panic.
In other action, here’s the rest of an 11-game Saturday night.
Boston 4, Detroit 1 Box Goals BOS-Torey Krug PP (1), Brad Marchand (1), Jordan Caron (1), Zdeno Chara PP (1); DET Henrik Zetterberg (2) Goaltenders BOS-Tuukka Rask 25-26 W; DET Jimmy Howard 33-37 L
Analysis: Boston went 2-of-4 on the man advantage in the win. Milan Lucic picked up a pair of assists and has four points (1G,3A) in this first two games of the season so he is off to a nice start.
Toronto 5, Ottawa 4 F-SO Box Goals TOR-Mason Raymond (2), Nazem Kadri PP (1), Joffrey Lupul PP (1), James van Riemsdyk (2); OTT: Kyle Turris (1), Cory Conacher (1), Jared Cowan (1), Jason Spezza (1). Goaltenders TOR-James Reimer 17-21 ND pulled after allowing Ottawa’s fourth goal at 10:56 of second. Johnathan Bernier 15-15 W; OTT-Craig Anderson 38-42 OTL
Analysis: Toronto improves to 3-0 and scored twice on the power play in this game. Raymond was the only three-point player for the Leafs while Kadri and Lupul each posted two-point games. The Maple Leafs look to be for real in the early going. Turris had a three-point night for the Senators and looks to be a good addition if you want a little depth down the middle. Defenseman Patrick Wiercioch added two assists for the Sens.
Montreal 4, Philadelphia 1 Box Goals MTL-Lars Eller (3), Brian Gionta (1), Brendan Gallagher PP (2), Rene Bourque PP (1); PHI- Vincent Lecavalier PP (1); Goaltenders MTL-Carey Price 22-23 W; PHI-Ray Emery 30-34 L
Analysis: Eller continues his hot start as he has five points (3G, 2A) in his first two games. Stop reading the article and go get him off the waiver wire if he’s there. We’ll wait. Okay, now that you’re back we’ll tell you that each goal scorer for the Habs also had an assist in this one so it was almost one unit that accounted for the production. The Flyers have just two goals in two games so patience must be preached for guys like Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds and Kimmo Timmonen. The lack of offensive support also makes their goaltenders prime targets to ride the pine until more pucks find the net.
Columbus 3, NY Islanders 2 F-SO Box Goals CBJ-Mark Letestu PP (1), Nick Foligno (1); NYI-Lubomir Visnovsky PP (1), Matt Moulson (1); Goaltenders CBJ-Sergei Bobrovsky 28-30 W, NYI-Evgeni Nabokov 27-29 OTL
Analysis: The Islanders scored twice in a six-minute span of the second period. Columbus got their goals in a 4:09-span of the third period to pull even. John Tavares of the Islanders got assists on both goals for his points of the season. It was a nice bounce-back game for Bobrovsky after taking a 4-3 loss to Calgary the previous night. Use him with confidence going forward.
Pittsburgh 4, Buffalo 1 Box Goals PIT-Sidney Crosby (2), Chuck Kobasew (2), Craig Adams (2), Chris Kunitz (1); BUF-Thomas Vanek (1) Goaltenders BUF-Jhonas Enroth 31-34 L, PIT-Marc-Andre Fleury 20-21 W
Analysis: Matt Niskanen picked up a pair of assists and has three points on the season for the Penguins. He might not be able to sustain this good start, however. Vanek finally got on the board for Buffalo. James Neal sat out this game with an undisclosed upper-body injury and is currently week-to-week. Ryan Miller sat out for Buffalo as he is dealing with a groin injury (already?!?!?!) but is expected to get the start in the next game.
Tampa Bay 3, Chicago 2 F-SO Box Goals CHI-Patrick Kane (2), Brandon Saad PP (2); TB-Martin St. Louis (1), Teddy Purcell PP (1) Goaltenders- TB Ben Bishop 37-39 W; CHI-Corey Crawford 14-16 OTL
Analysis: Tampa Bay didn’t fire off a shot in the first period and Chicago had a 25-6 advantage in shots through 40 minutes. St. Louis also had an assist in the win and Steven Stamkos had two helpers for his first points on the season. Both of Tampa’s goals came in a two-minute span of the third period to force overtime. Crawford picked up an assist on Saad’s goal. Perhaps Bishop should be the starter in goal more often than Anders Lindback. Bishop was able to keep his team in it against the defending champs in the Windy City and that’s no easy feat. Both Tampa goalies look more like spot-start guys that you can plug in if you need a start to meet requirements.
Dallas 2, Washington 1 Box Goals-WSH Alex Ovechkin PP (4); DAL-Erik Cole (1), Alex Chiasson (2); Goaltenders-WSH Braden Holtby 19-21 L; DAL- Kari Lehtonen 25-26 W
Analysis: Ovechkin continues to tear it up in the early going with six points (4G,2A) in three games. Jordie Benn and Jamie Benn each picked up assists for Dallas. Washington’s next five games are at home and they tore it up late last season on home ice to steal the Southeast Division title and the #3 seed away from Winnipeg. After that they get the four-game swing through Western Canada to close out October.
Anaheim 4, Minnesota 3 OT Box Goals-ANA Saku Koivu (1), Nick Bonino PP (1), Jakob Siflverberg (2), Mathieu Perrault (1); MIN- Zach Parise (1,2), Jason Pominville PP (1) Goaltenders: ANA-Jonas Hiller 30-33 W; MIN- Niklas Backstrom 26-30 OTL
Analysis: Parise scored a couple of goals for Minnesota. They were a team that started slowly on offense last season then turned it on late and made a nice run. The Wild is 0-0-2 but at least they are picking up points. Perrault’s goal came with less than five seconds left in overtime to seal the win. Hiller got the start as it looks like the Ducks are going goalie by committee in the early going.
Vancouver 6, Edmonton 2 Box G0als-VAN Brad Richardson SH (1), Dan Hamhuis (1), Jannik Hansen (1), Daniel Sedin PP (1), Ryan Kesler (1), Jason Garrison SH (2); EDM-Jeff Petry (1), Boyd Gordon (2) Goaltenders: VAN-Roberto Luongo 21-23 W; EDM-Devan Dubnyk 26-31 L pulled at 13:56 of second period after allowing 5th goal; Jason LaBarbera 12-12 in relief.
Analysis: The Canucks came out and pounded on Dubnyk. Vancouver’s pressure and aggressive forecheck made life miserable for the Oilers in this one. Henrik Sedin had three assists in the win. Edmonton is expected to get Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (shoulder) back in the lineup for his season debut on Monday.
San Jose 4, Phoenix 1 Box Goals-SJS Tomas Hertl (1,2) 2nd was PP, Patrick Marleau PP (2), Logan Couture (1); PHX Oliver Ekman-Larsson (1) Goaltenders: SJS-Antti Niemi 22-23 W; PHX-Mike Smith 47-50 L
Analysis: Hertl got the Sharks off and running with the first two goals of the night. He could be am interesting pickup on the wire in deeper and/or dynasty leagues. The thing that’s surprising about this game is the Sharks putting 50 shots on goal. Smith played a strong game and kept his team in it even if the defense allowed way too many shots to get through. Phoenix needs to tighten up the defense or this will be a long, long year for Smith.
Sunday’s Games (all times ET)
Philadelphia at Carolina 5pm
Anaheim at Winnipeg 8pm
Vancouver at Calgary 8pm