I've finally finished cleaning up after the Carnival (you'd be surprised how difficult it is to get elephant sweat out of cashmere), and the Rink is back and fully operational.
Don't look now, but the Caps are riding a two-game winning streak and have a chance to extend that to three games with a home game against a team with the same number of wins that they have (on quasi-national TV, no less). The secret to the Caps' recent success? Why, it's Mathieu Biron's increased power play time, of course. The WaPo has a nice profile of the lesser Biron brother that includes this partial quote:
"I know I have a good shot," he added. "That's no secret."I say "partial quote" because the full quote undoubtedly read "I know I have a good shot at having the worst plus-minus in the League if I play every night. That's no secret." But there's little harm in dressing Biron as a fourth-line winger and giving him time on the point on a meager power play (to which he has contributed two goals and an assist in the last two games), so I'll cut him some slack. For now.
Elsewhere around the League:
- Speaking of bad power plays, the Devils are currently 4-for-100 on the power play the past 14 games (that's 4% for those of you who are a little slow on the uptake). Yikes.
- It took until just after Christmas (I had the under), but the Leafs are finally without both Eric Lindros (wrist) and Jason Allison (finger).
- Marian Hossa and Ryan Miller are your Players of the (truncated) Week.
- I love the goalie assist. Last night Johan Hedberg had a pair (to become the first goalie to have a multi-point game since Patrick Roy had two assists against Nashville on Dec. 29, 2000, per TSN.ca) and Peter Budaj had one as well.
- To the folks at OLN: it wasn't the set that needed replacing.
- Center Ice will re-broadcast last night's USA/Norway tilt from the World Juniors, so I'll refrain from giving away too much about the game for now, but if you're curious, check out the performance of a certain Rink favorite.
- Hart: Wade Redden (2G, including the game winner, 2A, +2)
- Ross: Wade Redden, Jaroslav Modry (4 points each)
- Norris: Wade Redden (2G, including the game winner, 2A, +2)
- Vezina: Michael Garnett (36 save shutout win)
- Richard: Wade Redden, Ben Eager, Dave Neanderchuk, Stu Barnes, Mike Modano, Joe Sakic, Shane Doan, Jonathan Cheechoo (2G each)
- Calder: Michael Garnett (36 save shutout win)
- Aiken: Vitaly Kolesnik (0 saves on 2 shots against in 3:20. Ouch!)