After a 2 day holiday break for NHL players, coaches and anyone else involved in the league, it was back to work Boxing Day. Ten games were played last night. Some good battles were won. Vancouver beat the Edmonton Oilers. Andrew Ebbett opened up the scoring early in the 1st. Daniel Sedin scored his 14th goal of the season shortly after and brother Henrik registered his 32nd assist! Then to end the 1st period Andrew Ebbett scored again! The end score was 5-3 Vancouver. Vancouver's Alex Burrows and and Ryan Kesler showed up to score the 4th and 5th goals. Edmonton's Jordan Eberle, Ryan Jones and Corey Potter all scored for Edmonton.
A few records were set in this Vancouver/Edmonton match up. This was the 1st time Andrew Ebbett scored two goals in a NHL game. Henrik Sedin surpassed former Canuck Brendan Morrison for the Canucks Iron Man record, dressing in his 535 consecutive game. Funny enough, Henrik tied the record friday the 23rd when the Canucks played Brendan Morrison's team the Calgary Flames. And lastly, The 2 points the Vancouver Canucks earned for last night's win put them into the #1 spot in the Northwest Division. Passing the current leaders Minnesota Wild. The Wild did play last night against the Colorado Avalanche. Final score 4-2 Colorado. The Wild have lost their last 7 games, 5 in regulation and 2 in shootout. The Avalanche on the other hand are on a 5 game win streak. And finally Carolina Hurricane's #1 goalie Cam Ward was credited with his 1st ever goal last night against the New Jersey Devils. In the final minute of play New Jersey had an empty net. New Jersey was in the Carolina zone and Cam Ward was making saves. In a strange pass New Jersey's #17 Ilya Kovalchuk passed to #14 Adam Henrique, Henrique completely misses the sloppy pass and it heads right into the New Jersey net. NHL rules state that the LAST Carolina Hurricane to touch the puck will get the credit for the goal. In the video replay it shows Carolina's Brandon Sutter reaching for the puck but never actually making contact with it, so after video review it was awarded to Carolina' Goalie Cam Ward! Ward is the 10th goalie in NHL history to register a goal and the first goalie since Chris Mason 2006! I hope Ward got to keep the puck!
The World Junior Championship started yesterday in Edmonton. This tournament is broken up into 2 groups.
Pool A is Sweden, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland and Latvia.
Pool B is USA, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland and Denmark.
Two games were played in each pool. In Pool A Sweden beat Latvia 9-4 and Russia beat Switzerland 3-0. In Pool B USA beat Denmark 11-3 and Canada beat Finland 8-1. As far as Team Canada is concerned, #16 Mark Stone scored a hat trick (Stone is the scoring leader in the WHL), Smith-Pelly is out with injury for 4-6 weeks with a fractured foot and returning goalie Mark Visentin stopped 24 of 25 shots. Go Team Canada!
Watching a World Junior game might look a little different. I will point out 2 differences between WJCs games and NHL games. The NHL uses the "trapezoid", where the goalie is not allowed to touch the puck behind the red line and outside the trapezoid lines. There is NO trapezoid in WJCs. Second, in the NHL to get an icing call the puck must be shot passed the goal line from the opposing end by a defending player, then be touched by a player from the other team. An example say the Vancovuer Canucks are playing the Edmonton Oilers. The play is happening in the Edmonton zone, and an Edmonton player shoots the puck into the Vancouver zone past the goal line. If a Vancouver player gets to the puck 1st it will be an icing call, if an Edmonton player gets there 1st the play will continue. In the World Juniors there is "no touch icing" which means if the puck is shot to the other end by a defending player, if the puck crosses the goal line it is automatic icing. This is to avoid injuries when two players are racing for the puck, and one loses an edge and goes violently into the boards.
Lastly I know this is not about hockey but a 27 year old record was broke last night in the NFL. Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints is now the record holder of "5000+ yards" for passing in a single season. Brees broke Dan Marino's record set back in 1984. Brees happened to break to the record on a touch down and it was cause for celebration. This record is equivalent to someone in the NHL today breaking Wayne Gretzky's 163 assist record that he set in 1985/86
Check Out Andrew Ebbett's goal, Cam Ward's goal, Team Canada highlights at WJCs and Drew Brees record breaking pass all in "If You Need A Visual"