Calgary 4 – Arizona 2
You are supposed to beat Arizona. I may not be easy but you’re supposed to take those two points on the worst team in the league (maybe the worst franchise?). Calgary squeak out two points thanks largely to the play of their special teams. At the beginning of the season the power-play and the penalty kill were less than stellar. In fact, they were at the bottom of the week. With the winning ways of December upon the team, they’re now about the middle of the pack. Special teams are actually winning games….
It’s a good thing too, the referees were out to lunch particularly when the game was on the line in the third period. (You know officiating is bad when you notice the refs and obvious make-up calls are being made left, right, and centre).
Brian Elliot started the game and he will take the win. That doesn’t mean things we’re going well for him. Playing against the league’s 30th ranked team, he was shaky at the best of times and caused the first goal with a bad giveaway behind the net (but we’ll also blame Wideman).
This game also reminded viewers what the new NHL looks like particularly when it comes to retribution around dangerous plays. Gaudreau was run twice, both eventually = a Calgary goal. Versteeg took a nasty (suspension?) to the jaw (another PP goal). There was no instigator taken, no message sent, except this one, some bad words on the ice and some goals. The dangerous plays will continue in this league because there are essentially zero repercussions. Players are no longer accountable, another players can hold them to account. What you find instead are teams willing to take the power play and the two points. That’s more important than correcting dangerous behavior on ice.
That’s the new NHL. I don’t have a problem with it, but you’d also want to see a decrease in dangerous hits and a total lack of respect for player safety on ice.
End rant. Good two points, SJ tomorrow night, Johnson will be in net.