December 24, 2013

steve laidlaw

2013-12-24

With the holiday break coming – play doesn't resume until Friday the 27th – all but two teams were in action on a busy Monday night. In classic Laidlaw fashion we'll have coverage of all the games, which will hopefully tide your thirst for material for the next couple of days.

 

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Rangers backup Cam Talbot made both starts in a back-to-back Sunday and Monday, following Henrik Lundqvist getting shelled at the hands of the Islanders. Talbot won both games, including last night's shootout "win" over the Leafs.

 

Considering this is an Olympic year, I say get Lundqvist as much rest as possible. Plus, considering the rumours that he's been battling a nagging injury getting to take what amounts to a full week off could go a long way for Lundqvist.

 

Also, the Rangers are still trying to carve out space in the playoff race. They need points however they can get them. So last night's dirty win has to be a good sign.

 

Benoit Pouliot notched an assist to extend his scoring streak to five games, with seven in nine December games.

 

 

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This should come as no surprise but Jonathan Bernier had to be stellar to keep the Leafs in the game stopping 42 of 43 shots. That's back-to-back one-goal shootout losses for Bernier.

 

The Leafs' offensive woes continued with Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk and Joffrey Lupul all held off the board.

 

Nazem Kadri did break the goose egg curse that followed him around last week, scoring the lone Leafs goal.

 

David Clarkson notched an assist and has points in two straight. Every little bit helps.

 

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After being held scoreless in last night's loss to Anaheim this figure has surely changed but Alexander Ovechkin was on pace for the best era-adjusted goal-scoring season ever.

 

Mikhail Grabovski did manage a goal, giving him scores in two consecutive.

 

Nicklas Backstrom also scored a goal. He's been as hot as anyone but Crosby and Kane with 17 points in 10 December games.

 

Troy Brouwer assisted on both Caps goals and has points in four straight. Brouwer has never been more than a 35-40 point guy but has shown flashes of more in Washington. He's now on pace to finish in that 35-40 range but if this hot streak can last maybe this is where he becomes more than that.