NIK ANTROPOV, ACTING MAYOR OF LEAF NATION
1. What a difference a week makes. The lowly Toronto Maple Leafs, favourite punching bag of the NHL (and wayoffside.com) since… oh, game 1 of the season… win four in a row in convincing fashion after a 6-2 bitch-slapping of the “struggling” New York Rangers on the back of a natural hat-trick by Nik Antropov. That and the fact that the Leafs were able to keep their shit together after squandering an early 2-0 lead and giving up two power-play goals in a row to come out of the first period in a tie.
CROSBY: IT’S PANT-PISSING TIME AGAIN
2. The Crosby Show (a.k.a., Pitsburgh Penguins) netted four points from their swing through Alberta after beating the Calgary Flames in a shootout last night. Kris Letang read Miikka Kiprusoff perfectly in the fourth round of a shootout to give the Penguins a 3-2 victory. Sidney Crosby’s first NHL game in Calgary was likely cause for much pant-pissing by sycophants of all stripes, not to mention a ton of Lethbridge Pilsner being downed. Crosby had three 3rd-period assists the previous night when the Penguins rallied to beat Edmonton, but last season’s leading scorer and MVP was held without a point for just the third time this season. Oh, and some guy named Jerome Iginla had two goals for the Flames in regulation time, as if anyone cares.
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER, DUCK REINCARNATE
3. Will he or won’t he? Make a difference that is. After a lot of soul-searching (and wallet-checking) Scott Niedermayer was back at work, skating laps alone on the ice yesterday. Remember last summer after the Anaheim Ducks won their first Stanley Cup, Niedermayer was almost sort-of maybe completely convinced he had played his final NHL game? Well he seems to have found the fire again, but will his teammates give a shit and will his little mid-season butane-lighter be enough to turn the S.S. DEAD DUCK around?
THE PRICE WAS RIGHT… AND MAYBE HIGGINS HELPED, TOO.
4. Montreal finally got its head out of Le Ass to continue its dominance of Eastern rival, the Boston Bruins. Rookie goalie and sometime-sensation Carey Price made 24 saves to improve to 7-4-1 and help the Canadiens snap a three-game losing streak and beat the Bruins for the seventh straight time, 4-2 on Thursday night. Montreal has outscored the Bruins 28-11 during the streak. The Canadiens’ Chris Higgins had a goal and two assists in the win.
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