December 21, 2008

Puttin' On the Foil - A Weekly NHL Recap 12/21

"I have never believed in the concept of a rental player. It is my belief that winning the Stanley Cup is the greatest thing you can achieve in hockey but for me, in order to appreciate it you have to have been part of the entire journey and that means October through June. I hope everyone will understand and respect my decision." --Mats Sundin, February 2008

This was Sundin's quote after he refused to waive his no-trade clause last season, allowing the Toronto Maple Leafs to begin their rebuilding and to let him pursue a chance to win the Stanley Cup.

Sundin signed a one-year, $8.6 million contract with Vancouver this week and will likely join the team after January 1. No one knows what the future holds for him after this season is over, but you can be sure there's plenty of fans who would like an immediate decision and not another never-ending saga like we just experienced.

Sundin's presence in the middle of the Canucks lineup make them immediately better, despite him not playing a game since March. Vancouver has been playing well without goaltender Roberto Luongo and adding their superstar netminder and then an all-world centerman will be two of the best acquisitions the team will make in the new year.

Vancouver gained a Swede and lost a Swede in the same week. Sami Salo broke a rib and will be out a month.

The Penguins signed another one of their "superstars" to a two-year extension.

Steve Moore and Todd Bertuzzi met face to face for the first time since their 2004 incident in Vancouver in a court ordered mediation.

Former Ottawa Senators goaltender Ray Emery is enjoying his time playing in Russia and says a return to the NHL is "20/80".

Peter Forsberg wants to come back to the NHL, specifically Colorado. He had yet another surgery on his bad right foot just recently.

A 21-year old senior hockey player in Canada is in critical condition after hitting his head on the ice after falling during a fight.

11. Vancouver Canucks
10. Calgary Flames
9. New Jersey Devils
8. Montreal Canadiens
7. Washington Capitals
6. NY Rangers
5. Philadelphia Flyers
4. Chicago Blackhawks
3. Detroit Red Wings
2. Boston Bruins
1. San Jose Sharks

All 13 goals of the Bruins-Maple Leafs game from Thursday night.

Top 10 goals scored off body parts.

The tribute video played before the Canucks retired Trevor Linden's No. 16.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK (12/14-12/20)
Patrick Elias, New Jersey Devils
3 GP, 2 G, 5 A, 7 PTS, 2 PPG
After a tough shootout loss earlier in the week, the surprisingly continued their winning ways (11 out of their last 14) with two wins over Buffalo and Ottawa. Elias contributed points in all three games included four against the Senators on Friday night. His two power-play goals propelled the Devils to a 5-1 victory.

Florida Panthers at Carolina Hurricanes 12/18
Not too many Southeast Division match ups catch eyes for game of the week, but these two fought till the bitter end for the two points. An early goal in the third period by Cory Stillman knotted things at one and then a dangling Joe Corvo eluded two Panther defensemen before beating Tomas Vokoun top-shelf for the winner at RBC Center.


Friday, December 26, 8:30p.m. ET
Philadelphia Flyers at Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews/Patrick Kane against Mike Richards/Jeff Carter? Sign me up. Both teams are quietly creeping up their respective conference with their early goaltending issues seemingly settled for the moment.

The Penguins took 25 Make-a-Wish kids and invited them to practice and lunch.

Ballhype: hype it up!

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