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March 20, 2019
Boucher Blanks Kings
by Michael Menser Dell, Editor-in-Chief
Brian Boucher got the nod in net Sunday night for the San Jose Sharks and didnít disappoint, stopping 21 shots to post his 15th career shutout. He got some help from the stripes, as two Royalty goals were waived off. Just another example of The Man keepiní us down. Boucher is now 4-0 with two shutouts in four career starts as a Shark.
The Fish won 1-0, with the lone goal coming from rookie Lukas Kaspar at 9:56 of the second. Kaspar, a 23-year-old Czech winger, beat Jason Hanna-Barbera on the rush, whipping a shot from the top of the right circle off the far left post and in. Not a good goal for Hanna-Barbera. It was right out of the Laff Olympics.
Rob Blake made a triumphant return to Los Angeles, despite being booed whenever he touched the puck. The veteran blueliner was even and registered three shots in 22:56 of ice time.
Anze Kopitar made his fantasy owners happy, earning a 10-minute misconduct in the second for Hassan chopping the glass. Frustrated at failing to cash in on the power play, Kopitar skated to the bench and cracked the glass with his stick. Or maybe he hit it with his wallet, because it split in two. Needless to say, it was pretty, pretty cool.
A few other things I wanted to mention. First, Alexander Frolov is awesome. That dude can skate. Heís got a more powerful stride than Tony Romero.
Second, I think itís swell the Kings named Dustin Brown captain. Surprising, considering his age, but swell nonetheless. Heís a franchise cornerstone. But it also reminded me Patrick Marleau is San Joseís captain. Ugh. And thatís why the Sharks wonít win the Cup. Can you imagine Bettman handing Lord Stanley to Marleau? Yeah, even Jim Henson couldnít imagine that one. Not gonna happen.
And lastly, San Jose coach Todd McLellan looks like an Ewok. Yub nub.
Penner bagged a pair of third-period goals, including the winner with just six seconds left in regulation, to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
The Bubbling Crude definitely stole this one. The Avs outplayed them most of the night, owning a 33-19 advantage in shots and pounding at least three posts. And both of Pennerís goals were luckier than Ryan Reynolds.
With the teams tied 1-1 entering the third, Penner put the Oil in front, skating behind the net and pushing a weak shot towards the cage. Peter Budaj, already down on his knees, wasnít square to the puck and somehow managed to let the pitiful prayer slip under his pads.
Budaj has now stopped 31 of 39 shots this season (.795), and the Avalanche are 0-2-0 despite outshooting their opponents 72-39. Hey, remember when the Avs had Patrick Roy in net? Aw, that was great, that was fun.
Colorado tied it 2-2 on a Milan Hejduk penalty shot at 10:00. The Slovakian sniper cruised in and calmly wired a wrister over Mathieu Garonís blocker. Hejduk is automatic for the people.
Edmonton escaped with the two points, though, when a desperation bid from the left point barely ticked off Penner and leaked behind Budaj. Six seconds left. Thatís a real kick to the olí Charlie Browns.
On the bright side, Joe Sakic, my boyhood hero and the idol of millions from eight to eighty, scored his first goal, backhanding a rebound past Garon. It was Joeís 624th career goal, which is probably 624 more than youíve scored.
Of course, the big news from this game was Edmontonís sweaters. The Oil sported the vintage Gretzky era duds. And they were glorious. Who were the ad wizards who decided to change those uniforms? Bring back the blue and orange. Thatís Edmonton hockey.
Seeing the classic sweaters again was almost enough to make me forget the embarrassment that was the Todd McFarlane robotic sperm jerseys. Almost.
The Coyotes, who had seven players 22 or younger in the lineup, got two goals from captain Shane Doan and one each from rookies Mikkel Boedker and Kyle Turris. Boedkerís came on a two-on-one with Steve Reinprecht, while Turris dug a real greasy biscuit out of J.S. Giguereís pads for his historic marker.
Doanís first of the night came courtesy of a sweet Reinprect lead pass. Good olí Rhino spotted Doan streaking up ice and shoveled the pill ahead, flipping a 50-foot saucer pass through the neutral zone. Doan flagged it down at the Anaheim stripe and busted in alone on Giguere, beating him with a quick backhand move.
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 33 shots to topple his former team. Oddly enough, George Parros was one of the Ducks to solve the big Russian, beating him clean with a wrister from the right circle. It wasnít without controversy. Phoenix protested Parrosí mustache had an illegal curve.
Things got real chippy, with 48 penalty minutes assessed at 19:59 of regulation. Ryan Getzlaf and Kurt Sauer were the only ones Kung Fu fighting. Iíd give it to Getzlaf on enthusiasm. He was eager.
Earlier in the game, Dave Hale threw with Brian Sutherby after Sutherby took a piece of Turris. Good man, Hale. Thatís how you protect your kids. I hope everyone was paying attention. Atlanta Thrashers, Iím looking in your direction.
By the way, the Desert Dogs are now 2-0-0, while the Water Fowl are 0-2-0. It looks like the Pacific could be a four-team race.