Thursday, 18 November 2010

Wild Night In Philly

Occasionally, I find myself complaining about the number of red lights I hit on my way to work or an event. Tonight in Philadelphia, the Lightning and Flyers made my drive to work seem like child's play with all the red lights they set off in their game. In case you missed it, the Lightning defeated the Flyers by an 8-7 score in a game where individual saves should have been applauded. The outburst of goals by both teams saw them reach accolades not seen in decades, and it left me with nothing but pity for the goaltenders as the snipers from both teams just kept filling the net.

First off, Steven Stamkos continued his assault on the NHL scoring race as he posted three goals and two assists in the game, and pushed his totals to an NHL-leading 19 goals and an NHL-leading 35 points. If nothing else, Stamkos has been the early-season leader for the Most Valuable Player in the NHL this year, and his torrid scoring puts him on pace for 151 points! He also leads the NHL is powerplay goals with 10 and game-winning goals with three, so the kid hasn't fallen off his goal-scoring pace from last season whatsoever. Kudos to Stamkos for his outstanding season thus far!

Alright, to the record books. The nine first period goals scored by the two teams ties a mark not seen in the NHL since December 17, 1991. On that night, the battle of Quebec was underway, and the Montreal Canadiens jumped out to a 6-3 lead over the Quebec Nordiques at Le Coliseé before the first intermission.

The fourteen total goals scored by the two teams through two periods ties a mark not seen since January 17, 1986. On that night, the Hartford Whalers led at home over the Quebec Nordiques by a 10-4 margin through two periods as the Adams Division rivals battled in Hartford, Connecticut.

The NHL has not seen a fifteen-goal game since December 13, 2007 when the Lightning were involved in another high-scoring affair. The visiting Calgary Flames defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning by a 9-6 score that saw Jarome Iginla score a hat trick in the game. Ironically, Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier would go on to win the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy for being the NHL's leading goal scorer that season as he tallied 52 goals in the 2006-07 season. Could Stamkos be on his way to that honour again this season?

The game-winning goal for the Lightning came courtesy of Nate Thompson, a checking forward for the Lightning who tallied his third of the season in the third period. Thompson has eight points on the season, and 22 points in his career that has seen him suit up with the Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, and Tampa Bay Lightning. He's not really the guy you'd expect to cap off a crazy goal-scoring night, but Thompson picks up his first game-winning goal in his career. His third goal of the season is also a season high for Thompson!

TeeBay's Dan Ellis and Philly's Sergei Bobrovsky didn't make it past the first intermission as their night's were done early. Ellis was yanked after 15:34 of the first period had expired, making only six saves on ten shots. Bobrovsky lasted until the end of the period, but opened the second period at the end of the bench after having only made seven saves on eleven shots. Tampa Bay's Mike Smith picked up the win after stopping 19 of 22 shots, while Brian Boucher suffered the loss after he gave up four more goals on 22 shots. Not a great night to be a goaltender, for sure!

It felt like an NHL game from the 1980s tonight in Philly, and the score was reflective of that era. Games that involved Gretzky and the Oilers were routinely high-scoring affairs, and this game brought back a ton of those memories as every shot seemed to have a chance of finding the back of the net. While I'm not against goaltending and defence, it is fun to watch these kinds of games once in a while.

And if you're in the USA, you can watch this game on replay if you missed it! NHL Network-US will rebroadcast this game at 4pm ET on Saturday, November 20! That means that you can see the carnage that both teams unleashed on their opponent's net, and I have to admit that it was entertaining. Catch it if you can!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The best game I've seen in my short hockey watching life.