Sadly, there are no games in the NHL tonight. I guess it is Christmas Eve and all. The players deserve a few days off for all the entertainment they’ve provided us thus far. Still it would be nice to hit the couch with a belly full of turkey, grab the remote, and surf through some NHL action. Oh well, at least we’ve got the Winter Classic Game on New Year’s Day.
With the upcoming break there was a full slate on last night’s NHL schedule, and a few surprising blowouts that put players from the Leafs and the Canucks in a bad mood for their Christmas holidays. Here are the players that were lighting it up in last night’s action:
3rd Star – Alexander Ovechkin – Ovie was up to his old tricks again last night as he almost single-handedly willed his Washington Capitals to a compelling comeback victory over the New York Rangers. After New York had built a 3-0 lead and looked like they were going to cruise to an easy victory Ovechkin took matters into his own hands. He potted 2 goals, including the game-tying marker, added an assist, and peppered Henrik Lundqvist with an incredible 13 shots on goal. Though he did not have a hand in the overtime winner by Shaone Morrisonn, Ovechkin did everything else to secure Washington an important 2 points before the Christmas break.
2nd Star – James Neal – Not exactly the note the Toronto Maple Leafs wanted to go into the Christmas break on. They had looked pretty good of late, and with the exception of an 8-5 loss to the powerful Boston Bruins had been doing an admirable job of keeping the puck out of their own net. That all went out the window last night as Dallas torched them for 8 goals in an 8-2 drubbing. To make matters worse the game was in Toronto, and the Leafs fans were not in a forgiving mood, booing players and coach alike for the poor effort. However poor the Leafs play was, however, it doesn’t take away from the spectacular effort of Dallas Star James Neal, who netted a hat trick in the lopsided victory.
1st Star – Tomas Vokoun – With back-up goalie Craig Anderson leading the league in save percentage Tomas Vokoun was no doubt feeling the heat. Well the past few days he has been doing his best to quell any speculation that his number one job was in jeopardy. Vokoun put in a stellar 27 save performance last night to earn his second straight shutout. There were a number of spectacular performances by goalies last night with Tim Thomas, Evgeni Nabokov, Jon Quick and Mike Smith all putting up donuts, but Vokoun got the nod for pulling off the back to back blankings.