Nov 20, 2011, 1:26 AM EDT
I have a quick, informal poll for you. What’s more surprising: the fact that the Edmonton Oilers just beat the Chicago Blackhawks by a ridiculous score of 9-2 or that the Minnesota Wild are now slightly ahead* of the Blackhawks for the best record in the NHL?
Oilers burn Chicago
No doubt about it, both situations are stunning. Ray Emery was pulled from the game against the Oilers only to find himself back in after Corey Crawford also got shelled by Edmonton. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins compiled a ludicrous five assists while Taylor Hall avenged a questionable hit by Duncan Keith (stay tuned for video of that check from behind) by notching a hat trick. Overall, the Blackhawks were outscored 14-4 in their trip through Western Canada, with their other loss coming to the struggling Calgary Flames.
Minnesota’s stealth surge
Again, that’s bewildering stuff. But few would have predicted that the Wild would find themselves in first place overall more than a month into the season. Minnesota, which defeated St. Louis in a shootout, earned wins in nine of their last 11 games as Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding have been trading off victories.
They’re doing it with that aforementioned goaltending, timely scoring (they’ve only scored five goals once and four goals in one other game during that 11-game stretch) and an outstanding penalty kill that stopped 39 of 43 chances.
Yeo deserves praise
Quite a few coaches have received praise for greatly exceeding expectations in 2011-12 already, so let’s give rookie bench boss Mike Yeo some credit. He’s making it work so far in his first season with the big club, even if those efforts are going largely unnoticed by the mainstream. If Minnesota keeps it up, it won’t be easy for the Wild to slip under the radar much longer.
Forgive the Blackhawks if they feel a little more worried about themselves instead, though.
* Both teams have 27 points but Minnesota is 12-5-3 while Chicago is 12-6-3, so they get the “tie-breaker” at the moment.
May 23, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT
For a headshot on Flyers prospect Taylor Leier.
May 23, 2013, 2:48 PM EDT
Good news for Phoenix hockey fans? (Or just…news.)
May 23, 2013, 2:34 PM EDT
“You don’t win a Stanley Cup without going through something like that.”
May 23, 2013, 2:07 PM EDT
It’s not pretty.
May 23, 2013, 2:01 PM EDT
What happens to the coach if the Rangers get swept tonight?
May 23, 2013, 1:24 PM EDT
When asked if Ottawa could come back from a 3-1 series deficit against Pittsburgh, he said “probably not.”
May 23, 2013, 12:56 PM EDT
“That’s the way he plays.”
May 23, 2013, 12:21 PM EDT
It would cost them $24 million over 14 years.
May 23, 2013, 11:36 AM EDT
Cue the buyout speculation.
May 23, 2013, 11:34 AM EDT
Will he be challenging Ryan Miller for it?
May 23, 2013, 11:09 AM EDT
The home of the Oilers’ AHL affiliate.
May 23, 2013, 10:54 AM EDT
He’s frustrated nothing got done in Calgary.
May 23, 2013, 10:45 AM EDT
The big unveiling will be on June 4.
May 23, 2013, 10:37 AM EDT
He constructed the silver medal-winning team at the 2010 games in Vancouver.
May 23, 2013, 9:51 AM EDT
“It’s been pretty quiet for a while now.”
May 23, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT
“(Gillis’) fault all the way.”
May 23, 2013, 8:02 AM EDT
Additionally, Chicago will play Detroit and the Kings will host the Sharks.
May 23, 2013, 7:13 AM EDT
Thursday’s collection of links
May 23, 2013, 12:50 AM EDT
They rank first and second in shorthanded goals in the 2013 playoffs.
May 23, 2013, 12:14 AM EDT
It initially made it look like he suffered an injury.
- Couture accuses Kings captain Brown of diving 30
- Three reasons why the Rangers might buy out Richards 16
- Richards made a healthy scratch for Game 4 30
- Don Cherry: Canucks GM Gillis threw coaches ‘under the bus’ 24
- Playoffs Tonight: Bruins know series vs Rangers isn’t over 19
- Sens’ Alfredsson: We probably won’t win this series 20
- Discuss: Penguins overwhelm Senators to take Game 4 75
- Report: NHLPA director Fehr wants to address issue of fighting 103
- Gillis: Vigneault fired because results weren’t there 21
- Official: Canucks fire head coach Vigneault, assistants Bowness and Brown 33
- Report: NHLPA director Fehr wants to address issue of fighting (103)
- Discuss: Bruins rally in third, take 3-0 series lead (99)
- Question for commenters: What, if anything, needs to be done about the officiating? (99)
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago (95)
- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators (91)
- Lochte says Phelps will return soon
- Tebow fact: He reminds Chuck Norris of Chuck Norris
- LeBron stuns Pacers with OT winner in Game 1
- HBT: Astros vendor fired after taking food into bathroom
- Pens overwhelm Sens, take 3-1 series lead
- Tiger calls Sergio's comments inappropriate, hurtful
- Bears great Urlacher announces retirement