Ovi sacrifices Bruce Boudreau to the Hockey Gods, the Thanksgiving Showdown lives up to the hype, and all the other action from the long weekend after the break…
Friday: Detroit went to and defeated Boston 3-2 via the shootout in the inaugural Thanksgiving Showdown (The NHL denied our request to rename it Turkey Thunderdome) … New Jersey went to Long Island and blanked the Islanders 1-0 … The Flyers won 3-1 at home versus the Canadians … Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice in the Oilers 5-2 win at Minnesota … Ruslan Fedotenko scored two of the Rangers goals in a 6-3 win in Washington versus the Caps … Chicago scored four goals in the fourth to defeat the Ducks 6-5 in Anaheim … Pittsburgh scored four first period goals in a 6-3 home win against Ottawa … Winnipeg went to Carolina and won 3-1 … How about the Blue Jackets dropping the Sabres 5-1 in Columbus? Whacky … Tampa beat the Panthers 2-1 in Surprise (Supplies!) … Brian Elliot and the Blues shutout the Flames 2-0 in St. Louis … Toronto won 4-3 in a shootout in Dallas … Vancouver was a 5-0 winner in Glendale against the ‘Yotes as Corey Schneider picked up another shutout.
Saturday: The Islanders returned the favor in New Jersey defeating the Devils 2-1 … King Henrik got the 2-0 shutout as the Rangers beat the Flyers at MSG … Colorado must have just got angry erasing a 2-1 deficit with four goals in the third to rally past Edmonton 5-2 in Denver … Winnipeg lead 2-0 in Boston but the Bruins scored the next four goals in a 4-2 win … Washington had a bad weekend losing 5-1 at Buffalo (the weekend will get worse for Boudreau) … Pittsburgh won at Montreal 4-3 in OT … The Lightning won 5-1 in Tampa in night two of a home-and-home with Florida … Detroit returned home and defeated Nashville 4-1 four different Wings scored … The Coyotes a night after getting blanked by Vancouver at home shutout Dallas 3-0 in Glendale … Vancouver’s two second period goals proved to be the difference in a 3-2 win at San Jose … Chicago completed the SoCal sweep winning 2-1 at Staples Center against the Kings.
Sunday: Jason Spezza scored twice (the latter being his 200th career goal) in Ottawa’s 4-3 home win over the ‘Canes … St. Louis continues to win under Ken Hitchcock getting a 2-1 win against one of his former team, the Blue Jackets, in Columbus … Minnesota suffered their second 5-2 home setback losing against Calgary … Toronto was a 5-2 winner at Anaheim.
Early Monday Morning: *BREAKING*
Washington Capitols announce the firing of Bruce Boudreau. Boudreau was the fastest coach to ever reach 200 wins and had a more than respectable record as head coach (201-88-40). However, a 17-20 playoff record, combined with the Capitols dropping six of their last 8, spelled doom for Boudreau. Dale Hunter will replace him and hope to get the team, and more importantly two-time MVP Alexander Ovechkin, back on track. The Caps have fallen to 8th in the East and are dangerously close to dropping out of the top 8.
Games of the Week Nov. 28-Dec. 4
Boston Bruins @ Toronto Maple Leafs, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 6 pm, TSN/NESN
– This should be a great game between two division foes
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Washington Capitals, Thursday, Dec. 1, 6 pm, NHL Network
– These two enemies employee 87 and Ovi meet for the first time since the last year’s Winter Classic as Dale Hunter tries to right the ship.
New York Islanders @ Dallas Stars, Saturday, Dec. 3, 7 pm, MSG Plus 2/TXA-21
– Ok, don’t read into the fact that WTHII might have half the staff at this game as Vamosi and Tichy make the trek to Dallas
Florida Panthers @ San Jose Sharks, Saturday, Dec. 3, 9:30 pm, FS-Florida/CSN-CA
– Match-up of division leaders is always a safe bet for a good game
Chicago Blackhawks @ St. Louis Blues, Saturday, Dec. 3, 7 pm, WGN/FS-Midwest
– The What the H Fact of the Day: the Blues have crept to within three points of the Blackhawks
1. Pittsburgh Penguins (14-6-4, 32pts, 1st in Atlantic), they lead the league in points and get the top spot back
2. Boston Bruins (14-7-1, 29pts, 2nd Northeast), the champs are 9-0-1 in their past 10. They must have cured that hangover. I’m willing to wager they used bacon.
3. Chicago Blackhawks (14-7-3, 31pts, 1st in Central), second in points only being the ‘Pens
4. Florida Panthers (12-7-4, 28pts, 1st in Southeast), can’t deny they are playing good hockey except for two goals against Tampa this weekend
5. Toronto Maple Leafs (14-8-2, 30pts, 1st in Northeast), Toronto for staying in front of a hot Boston team gets some love from me
1. Anaheim Ducks (6-13-4, 16pts, Last in Pacific), since they decided not to win this week, they get this number one spot for the first time
2. New York Islanders (6-11-4, 16pts, Last in Atlantic), one more point than Columbus but 2-6-2 in last 10
3. Columbus Blue Jackets (6-14-3, 15pts, Last in Central), they are improving on the forgetful 5; now third worse
4. Carolina Hurricanes (8-13-4, 20pts, Last in Southeast), no need to upgrade this depressing team
5. Colorado Avalanche (10-12-1, 21pts, 4th in Northwest), this team is frustrating and gets the F5 treatment
Coaching Casualties of the 2011-12 Season
11-28-11 *BREAKING* Bruce Boudreau, Washington Capitols Record at Firing: 12-9-1 Overall: 201-88-40 (Hired 11-22-2007)
11-06-11 Davis Payne, St. Louis Blues Record at Firing: 6-7-0 Overall: 67-55-15 (Hired 1-2-2010)