October 30, 2014

steve laidlaw

2014-10-30

Recapping last night’s NHL action including big night’s for Craig Smith and Justin Abdelkader, also Nyquist vs. Toffoli…

 

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It was pretty fortunate that there were only two games on the NHL slate last night because even though I’m not much of a fan of actually watching baseball, when the World Series goes to game seven, I am tuning in. That was a fun game. Now we can be rid of baseball until next summer.

 

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There were some really poor officiating moments in the Wings-Capitals game. The Wings had what they thought was the game's opening goal as Braden Holtby tripped over his own feet but the goal was wiped off and a penalty assessed to Luke Glendening despite not a single Wing being within even stick's reach of the netminder.

Fortunately for the Red Wings their penalty kill is really good and they killed the penalty. They did eventually concede a goal to Joel Ward while down a man but that will happen against one of the league's best power plays if you give them enough chances. On the night the Caps were one for five.

 

That might be a bit misleading though. Down one late in the third the Capitals got a power play on an uncharacteristic holding penalty by Pavel Datsyuk. That power play was negated when the refs rewarded Darren Helm for a pretty blatant dive.

When the Red Wings eventually went on the power play they'd get a sweet goal from Datsyuk who went top cheese on Holtby.

 

Datsyuk was a real catalyst for the Wings in this one. He was bumped up to the top line in Gustav Nyquist's stead and they got three third-period goals out of that line including two from Justin Abdelkader.

 

If you are thinking about grabbing Abdelkader, maybe think again. We've been down this road before. Sure, he plays top line minutes but he's not normally a factor on the power play. To be fair, he was in this one skating over three minutes on the top power play unit but that's the exception, not the rule. So while Abdelkader looks enticing with five goals and eight points through nine games he's unlikely to keep this up.

 

If that's not enough to dissuade you consider then Abdelkader's current shooting percentage is 22.7%. He's just a 7% career shooter. His career highs for goals and points are 10 and 28 respectively, which he set last season.

Nyquist, by the way, well he was fine managing his fifth goal of the season before getting replaced by Datsyuk on the top line.

 

Here's an interesting question: Nyquist or Tyler Toffoli? Rick just did Alex Galchenyuk vs. Toffoli as his latest Cage Match but this seem