Recaps of last night’s games, plus the latest on Martin Brodeur, Claude Giroux, Chris Pronger, Patrick Kaleta and Jason Chimera.
NOTE: Game recaps involving Canadian NHL teams will appear in Canadian Corner.
MERCURYNEWS.COM: The San Jose Sharks extended their season-opening unbeaten streak to six games with a 6-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues. The win was overshadowed by an injury to Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle, who was hit from behind into the boards by Blues forward Maxim Lapierre. Boyle was taken from the ice on a stretcher to hospital.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boyle was alert, responsive and able to move his limbs at hospital, but it remains to be seen how long he’ll be sidelined. As for Lapierre, he’s a repeat offender and could face a significant suspension for this hit.
DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche also remain undefeated this season, downing the Dallas Stars 3-2. Semyon Varlamov made 39 saves for the win.
BUFFALO NEWS: The Buffalo Sabres finally got their first win of the season, rallying from a 3-2 deficit to down the NY Islanders 4-3 via shootout.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Patrick Sharp celebrated the birth of his second daughter with a shootout winner as the Blackhawks nipped the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2.
TBO.COM: Martin St. Louis scored twice and set up another to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Jonas Gustavsson was stellar for the second straight game, making 36 saves to backstop the Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
THE TENNESSEAN: Craig Smith had a goal and an assist as the Nashville Predators edged the Florida Panthers 4-3.
NJ.COM: Devils star Martin Brodeur is enduring a difficult start to his 20th NHL season, as his club lurched to an 0-3-3 start, plus he recently endured the passing of his father.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s still plenty of time for Brodeur and the Devils to rally back, but there’s no question this isn’t the start to the season he or his teammates envisioned.
CSNPHILLY.COM: John Boyuk points out Flyers captain Claude Giroux hasn’t been the same ever since former coach Peter Laviolette labelled him “the best player in the world” following the Flyers elimination of the Pittsburgh Penguins from the 2012 playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wasn’t just Laviolette who considered Giroux the best player in the league, if not the world, following that season and his performance against the Penguins. During that brief period, I would argue he certainly played like the best player. Giroux’s performance was what earned him that label, and the heightened expectations which come with it. I suspect the real reason for Giroux’s struggles since then is the burden of the captaincy (which he was awarded at the start of last season), as he’s putting more pressure upon himself to lead by example, forcing him to do too much. It also doesn’t help the club’s been in upheaval since last season.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Flyers GM Paul Holmgren acknowledged what we’ve all long suspected: Chris Pronger (concussion) will never play in the NHL again.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was believed the Flyers couldn’t admit this for salary cap purposes in order to keep him on LTIR and receive cap relief as a result. I doubt the league will punish Holmgren or the Flyers for his admission.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The NHL has suspended Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta ten games for his head shot on Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson, and fined Washington Capitals forward Jason Chimera $4,500.00 for boarding Edmonton’s Justin Schultz.