Semyon Varlamov in goal as Avalanche down the Stars, Flyers lose two players to injury during wild donnybrook in lopsided loss to the Capitals, NHLPA preparing to sue state of Tennessee over player tax, and more.
DENVER POST: Two days after being arrested on domestic violence charges, Semyon Varlamov backstopped the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 overtime win over the Dallas Stars. Paul Stastny scored twice, including the game winner, as the Avs improve their record to 11-1-0.
WASHINGTON POST: Joel Ward scored his first career NHL hat trick and Nicklas Backstrom scored twice as the Capitals crushed the Philadelphia Flyers 7-0. The game degenerated into a line brawl in the third period as the Flyers sought to take out their frustrations with their fists. Not only did it have no effect on the game’s final outcome, the Flyers lost Steve Downie and Vincent Lecavalier to injuries suffered during those fights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers goalie Ray Emery, who skated the length of the ice to fight a clearly reluctant Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, was named third star of the game. Bra-vo, Flyers (insert slow, sarcastic clap here). You not got beaten badly on the scoreboard, your stupid line brawl resulted in injuries to two forwards. Yeah, that’ll teach those Capitals not to beat you 7-0.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Marc-Andre Fleury made 37 saves to lift the Penguins to a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
STLTODAY.COM: Brian Elliott made 31 saves as the Blues blanked the Florida Panthers 4-0.
TBO.COM: Steven Stamkos scored his tenth goal of the season and Ben Bishop made 31 saves as the Lightning handed the Carolina Hurricanes their fourth straight loss with a 3-0 shutout.
NOTE: Games involving Canadian NHL teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner”.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is looking forward to playing in his hometown of Winnipeg as his club squares off against the Jets.
TSN.CA: The NHLPA is preparing to sue the state of Tennessee over its “playing tax”.
TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox notes the trend under the salary cap for NHL star players to accept less than the league maximum thus ensuring lesser players can earn more, suggesting “socialism” is alive and well in the NHLPA.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cox seems to be a tad sarcastic, as socialism obviously has nothing to do with it. Under a salary cap system, star players (especially those who wish to play for a Cup contender) understand if they pursue top dollar, it won’t leave much for the rest of the roster. Under the previous salary cap system, where there was a wide salary variance, many players were earning top dollar at the front end of their contracts, while the cap hit was significantly lower. You won’t see that as much now under this CBA, where the variance has been narrowed to prevent “cheat contracts”.