Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down in the NHL, Oct. 29th

Oct 29 • Featured Blogs, NHL, The 4th Line Hero • 9884 Views • No Comments

I would like to wish everyone a Happy Halloween, and if you’re wondering what I’m dressing up as this year…well, its nothing. I’m a crotchety old grinch, who isn’t a fan of dressing up for Halloween. Speaking of dressing up, I think that’s a good segue into discussing the picture above.

Thumbs Up: Zdeno Chara-  Now I know this photo of Chara as a giant bunny in a kids hopspital is two years old, but doesn’t it just warm your heart?…Or give you nightmares? Though this picture may raise such questions as, who makes a bunny suit for a man nearly 7-feet tall, and who is the real “Pink Nightmare,” Chara or Ralphie from A Christmas Story, the fact of the matter is that it shows Chara is a gentle giant. He’ll do anything to try and brighten the day of some children who could use a smile.

Thumbs Down: Lars Elller- Instead of making people happy like Chara, the Habs forward decided to take a jab at the Oilers. Eller stated Edmonton plays like a, “junior team” sometimes, this coming the day the Canadiens played the Oilers. Eller may be right, but it’s not something you say a few hours before you play a team, you’re just giving them extra motivation to beat you. Eller’s comments looked even worse when the Oilers came back to win the game over Montreal. Smooth move Lars.

Thumbs Up: Colorado Avalanche- As we close in on the end of the first month of play, the Avs are 10-1-0, and don’t show any signs of slowing down. Coach Patrick Roy is doing an excellent job with his line mixing (gotta love the Downie-Duchene-O’Reilly line), and the tandem of the supposed shaky defense and goalie Semyon Varlamov, have combined to only give up 16 goals, by far the lowest total in the West.

Thumbs Down: Tim Thomas/Florida Panthers- Remember weeks ago when I said there was no point in the Panthers signing Thomas, and they should just let Markstrom play in a season with zero expectations? Well, for the second time this year Markstrom is the starter, as Thomas is once again sidelined with an injury. Even when healthy, it’s not as if Thomas was stealing any games for the lowly Panthers. The club could have just saved the $2.5 million cap hit and played Markstrom, but instead they’re playing Markstrom, all while also paying an old man lots of money to rest his groin.

Thumbs Up: Alex Steen/David Backes- At the beginning of the year, I advised a friend to try and snag Backes in fantasy hockey, as he puts up some crazy numbers, and he isn’t disappointing so far with 6 G, 5 A, 11 PTS, 30 PIM, and is a +6. But did anyone see Alex Steen being just as good? The man the Leafs traded alongside Carlo Colaiacovo for Lee Stempniak, is tied for the league lead in goals with 10, has 15 PTS, and is a +7. This new dynamic duo has combined for 46% of the Blues goals so far this year.

Thumbs Down: Beverly Mahood/MLSE- Who let the host of the TV show “Pick a Puppy” sing the anthems at the Leafs game Saturday night? She was awful, like “I would rather listen to someone hit a seagull with a bagpipe” type of awful.

Thumbs Up: Buffalo Sabres- On Sunday, the Sabres dealt soon-to-be UFA Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders for Matt Moulson, a 1st round pick in 2014, and a 2nd rounder in 2015. Major win for the Sabres with this one. Moulson has shown he can fill the net, and though he’s a potential UFA as well, he will be a lot cheaper than Vanek to re-sign, and if Buffalo doesn’t keep him, no worries, just more cap space for them as they continue rebuilding. Also, they will most likely end up with a top 10 pick in the draft, while the Islanders pick will probably be around the #20 mark. You can never have too many 1st round picks.

Thumbs Down: Matt Carle/Radko Gudas/Ben Bishop- On Thursday against Chicago with Tampa up 5-4, Carle goes to pass backwards to Gudas (great name), who happened to be standing in front of the Lightning goal. The pass went in the net, tying the game late in the third. First, I know he was trying to keep possession and kill time, by why did Carle make this pass? Second, how did Gudas miss this? Third, and most importantly, how did Ben Bishop miss this? What was he out to lunch or something? Luckily for these three, Tampa won it in OT.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sS8yPVKne4k

Thumbs Up: Ondrej Pavelec- The Jets netminder gets save of the week for absolutely robbing the Preds’ Matt Cullen. Craig Anderson’s save vs. Detroit was a close second this week, but I figure I’ll give it to Ondrej, as I rarely say anything positive about the Jets.

Thumbs Down: Braden Holtby- After getting yanked in the Capitals loss to Calgary on Saturday, Braden Holtby called out his teammates on the bench before heading to the dressing room. You don’t this, especially as Holtby had let in three easy goals. Even if the defense had let him down, you talk to them afterwards in the locker room about it after the game. Don’t call them out on the bench Braden, blaming your mistakes on the defense while in-game makes you look like a childish whiner who can’t accept his mistakes.


Happy Halloween again everyone, I’m going to try and get some sleep now, though that Chara picture may haunt my dreams for some time.

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