I'm back here for S&D, and as usual Storage Wars is on in the background along with everything awesome that is on that show. I'll cover the early games now and I'll post some late game observations in the morning.
Pens pile on the goals
After falling behind 3-1 against the Avs in the first period, the Penguins scored five times in a row (four in the third) to pull out the comeback victory. There several strong performances but two stood out to me. The top stud for me is James Neal who factored in on the first three goals of the third period (goal, two assists). Also worth noting was Kris Letang, who had a goal a helper with a plus-1 rating, four shots, two blocks and three hits.
The Minnesota Wild were outshot 45-23 by Columbus but goaltender Niklas Backstrom was rock solid stopping 43 shots to finish with a .956 save percentage. The team allowed a lot of shots but what is important is the scoreboard and an ugly win is still two points.
Rangers roto monsters
Ryan Callahan: goal, assist, plus-3, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, block, 5 hits
Brian Boyle: assist, plus-1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG, block, 4 hits, 4 FOW
Brad Marchand had a strong agitator game with a goal, plus-1, 4 PIM, 5 shots and 5 hits. That's good for 13 points in 16 games. He plays the type of game where his upside could be reached quickly because he has a good combination of grit and skill which makes him a good fit next to skill players.
I am also going to give some props to Adam Henrique. The rookie had an assist, plus-2, SOG, 3 blocks and 5 FOW. That gives him eight points in 13 games this season. He is making a strong case to stay up permanently.
Stewart gets what he deserves
Chris Stewart was ejected for a nasty hit on Niklas Kronwall. Sure the PIMs help his roto league owners, but as a fan nobody wants to see this. He is likely to sit for a few games so maybe his roto league owners are not so happy after all.
Steve Mason managed to lose another game while playing very ordinary. He was beat three times on 23 shots. His save percentage this evening was right on par with his season numbers, which is not good. He needs to get this corrected before a new goalie emerges and takes the reigns.
The Red Wings lost 2-1 to the Blues and their two star forwards were left off the score sheet. It has been an overall lousy start to the season for both. Datsyuk has 10 points in 16 games while Zetterberg has just 6 points. What is scary is that the Wings are 9-6-1 despite the struggles of these two. Once they pick it up, watch out.
The Colorado Avalanche had a third period to forget as they let a lead slip away by allowing four goals to ultimately lose 6-3. They were out-shot 12-3 in the final frame as they totally collapsed and allowed the Pens to beef up their statistics. For the Avs, the following players finished minus-2: Gabriel Landeskog, Joakim Lindstrom, Ryan O'Byrne, Ryan O'Reilly and Ryan Wilson.
Back to the Penguins, one forward that was a non-factor was Kris Kunitz. He was on the ice for all three Avalanche goals and finished minus-2 while being blanked from the score sheet despite six goals from his team.
More to come in the morning involving the three later games...