Cory Schneider was getting the start in his home town, both teams were heading into yesterday's game with 53 points (Vancouver has played a few more games though) and both teams were coming off shutout wins. At times it looked like a Stanley Cup match, the penalty box was hotter then the player's bench for most of the game and this game had stakes.
The game started with Ryan Kesler taking a penalty for Interference 17 seconds into the 1st. A few minutes later Alex Burrows got Boston going in a kerfuffle that led to Dale Weise and Nathan Horton dropping the gloves and the rest of the players on the ice engaging in a kerfuffle not seen much in hockey these days. Once officials broke up that hot mess 48 penalty minutes were handed out and Milan Lucic was out of the game. With more players in the penalty box then on the players bench Ryan Kesler was able to score 6 minutes into the 1st and Vancouver had a 1-0 lead. Then with just shy of 5 minutes left in that period Brad Marchand tied it up for Boston. End of 1st 1-1 tie and a total of 62 penalty minutes were handed out in that period alone!
23 seconds into the 2nd period and Boston's Daniel Paille was given a penatly shot but was denied by Schneider. Shortly after that Boston did take the lead when Rich Peverley snuck one by Schneider. Vancouver answered back when Alex Burrows tied it up and Henrik Sedin scored Vancouver's 3rd goal to end the 2nd. Vancouver did end this period on a man advantage after Brad Marchand took a questionable hit to Sami Salo leaving Salo flat out on the ice. Marchand was out of the game and could now keep Lucic company in the locker room. Only 27 penalty minutes were handed out this period.
Start of the 3rd on the power play cute cute cute Cody Hodgson scores to give Vancouver a 2 goal lead. Making it Hodgson's 10th goal of the year. David Krejci answered back less then a minute later with Boston's 3rd goal. In the end it wasn't enough and Vancouver won 4-3. Boston pulled their goalie Tim Thomas at the end of the 3rd, Dan Hamhuis took a delay of game penalty after covering the puck in front of the Vancouver net and Boston had a 2 man advantage. Boston couldn't get it done and Vancouver starts a 4 game road trip with a win. And only 6 penalty minutes were handed out this period.
In what was one of the most hyped games this season so far it was a great great game. Weaknesses were exposed on both teams as well as solid performances by both. Here are some interesting Vancouver stats after this game. Vancouver is 14-8-1 when playing away and Boston is 14-7-1 when playing at home. Home ice advantage didn't mean much in this game. Vancouver now has 55 points in 42 games, Boston as 53 points in 38 games. Both teams have won 26 games this season. Henrik Sedin is #1 in the scoring race with 49 points in 42 games. Daniel Sedin is 5th with 47 points in 41 games. Henrik plays an average of 19:08 minutes a game and Daniel 19:02. In his rookie year Cody Hodgson has set some impressive numbers. He is 4th in league scoring among rookies with 10 goals and 14 assists. 24 points puts him behind, Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with 35, New Jersey Devil Adam Henrique with 32, and Nashville's Craig Smith with 26 points. If you want to take Cody's skill a step further he has done this with an average of 12:28 minutes on the ice a game. The other 3 average between 15:44 and 18:20 minutes a game. Cody Cody Cody we LOVE you! Check out the kerfuffle that started it all in "If you need a Visual."
The Saddledom had 2 great reasons to cheer last night. Olli Jokinen played his 1000th NHL game and Jarome Iginla scored his 500th goal! The night in Calgary started with a lovely video show of Jokinen's NHL career. His Family was there and it was wonderful to learn the history of the player. To help put it into perspective on how you get to play 1000 games in the NHL, you must play every single game for just over 12 years. Not many players get to that milestone. Calgary call up Lance Bouma scored his 1st NHL goal in his 1st game this night. Only 499 more goals 'til he hits Calgary flames Captain Jarome Iginla's 500 goal mark which Iggy hit last night. What a beauty. It was a dirty goal and boucned a bit it doesn't matter to Iggy, who now has another milestone puck to add to the pile. Calgary beat the Minnesota Wild 3-1. You can also think about it this way. Iggy has now scored 80 game winning goals out of 500, Wayne Gretzky scored 91 game winners in 894 goals. Check out Iggy's 500th in "If You Need a Visual."
In the other 11 NHL games last night Philly beat Ottawa 3-2, Dallas won 4-1 over Edmonton, Columbus shut out Los Angeles 1-0, New Jersey beat Pittsburgh 3-1, Detroit fell to Toronto 4-3, Winnipeg beat Buffalo in OT 2-1, Montreal is on a 2 game win streak beating Tampa Bay 3-1, St. Louis shut the door on Colorado 4-0, Nashville stomped on Carolina 5-2, Phoenix blew away the NY Islanders 5-1 and San Jose beat Washington 5-2. Nutty Nutty Nutty.
One last thing, the most impressive stat from this week in hockey might not come from the NHL but perhaps the World Juniors Final Gold Medal Game between Sweden and Russia. Sweden scored the lone goal of the game in overtime to win Gold for the 1st time since 1981. They took 57 shots on net and Russia took 18. Wow! Check out Sweden's Gold Medal Winning Goal in "If You Need a Visual."