3)Wild Thing - One week after being my #3 duds of the night, here they are in the studs section. The Minnesota Wild finally broke out with their first five-goal game tonight after scoring two or fewer goals in their previous eight. Unfortunately, GM's hoping to find Heatley and M.Koivu in the boxscore tonight were sadly disappointed. Instead, it was the Wild's second line which saw veteran Matt Cullen (2G 1A) and Pierre-Marc Bouchard (1G 2A) put up three points each. Underappreciated goaltender Josh Harding was solid again and now has won all three of his consecutive starts, creating a bit of a goalie controversy in Minnesota. Interesting side note, the 45 shots taken by the Wild tonight broke their home franchise record for shots on goal in a game (courtesy of @Russostrib).
2)The Rookie - In a surprising move, Ron Wilson decided to give 25 year old Ben Scrivens the opportunity to make his NHL debut tonight against the last place Columbus Blue Jackets. While the Blue Jackets didn't play like a last place team, Scrivens didn't play like a rookie making his NHL debut either. The Blue Jackets came out strong mustering up 39 shots on goal, but tonight Scrivens was simply better. He faced many quality opportunities but calmly kept them out, including a big save on Aaron Johnson in the first period, as well turning aside RJ Umberger on a breakaway in the third. The Leafs continue to remain hot to start November.
1)Impekkable - Picture the best birthday you could possibly have. Well Pekka Rinne just lived it. Imagine waking up and finding out you have 49 million dollars in the bank, definitely not a bad way to start your 29th birthday. The extension was the topic of the day in the hockey world as Rinne now becomes the highest paid goalie in the NHL, and some wondered if it might get to his head. Well, it was just another day at the office for Rinne, as he stopped all 35 shots that he faced to get his third shutout of the year. For all the reasons above Mr. Rinne, you are the undisputed number one stud of the night.
The Devils finally click - The Devils' top offensive pair of Kovalchuk and Parise finally saw some success tonight as they flanked rookie Adam Henrique. Unfortunately the night ended on a sour note for Kovalchuk owners as he appeared to injure himself near the end of regulation and was unable to participate in the shootout.
Flame On! - Fantasy GM’s that remained patient were rewarded, as what appeared to be a new-look first line of Glencross-Jokinen-Iginla burned the Red Wings for three goals. Iginla finally had his first three point night of the season, posting up two goals and an assist along with six shots. Kiprusoff also had a good bounce-back night as he stopped 28 out of 29 shots.
Jets Take Flight - In their first game since losing their best defenseman in Tobias Enstrom, the Jets didn’t appear to miss a beat. Ondrej Pavelec had a very solid game stopping all 34 shots he faced, including a flurry of pressure with seven minutes to go in the third, for his first shutout of the season. The real story of the night was Evander Kane who was absolutely phenomenal. If you didn’t see Kane's goal, I strongly suggest you do. Kane later got a chance on a penalty shot, and while he beat DiPietro, he couldn't beat the post. Kane’s stat line for the night: 1G 1A +3 5PIM 3SOG 2Hits, and now has eight points in his last five games. Just a small glimpse of the roto-monster he will be once he really fully develops his game.
3)Regicide- The Kings put up a very lacklustre performance tonight as the Edmonton Oilers continued their hot start. Khabibulin pitched another shutout but he had a pretty quiet night as the Kings only managed to put 19 shots on. Since putting up three shutouts in a row, Jonathan Quick has been average at best, with three losses in a row now. The Kings are in a bit of a free fall right now as they've lost four of their last five games.
2)The Canucks - They looked very good on Tuesday night against the Flames and looked ready to reclaim their spot as one of the best in the West. Well, all of that momentum disappeared tonight as they were dominated by the Minnesota Wild. The Canucks played some uninspired hockey tonight and Cory Schneider did his best to keep the team in it but in the end it was too much. The potent powerplay that had gone four for nine in their previous two games got five opportunities tonight but had nothing to show for it.
1)Steve Mason - Things keep getting worse for this young goaltender who is still struggling to find his form from his rookie campaign. While he did make one very big glove save on a streaking Joey Crabb, again he allowed weak goals and was given the hook five minutes into the second period. Fantasy GM's starting Mason can thank him for that ugly .636 SV% that he laid down tonight. Not much else to say, this guy puts up dud numbers most nights.
Joe Thornton- Three days after committing a serious PR faux-pas after the Sharks lost in a deciding fashion to the Rangers on Monday, people were hoping the captain would put his money where his mouth was. Instead of putting up a strong performance, Joe went minus-two with one shot on goal. Not much of a statement.
The Red Wings- Another day, another loss for the struggling Red Wings who have now lost six games in a row.
The Penguins - For blowing a 3-1 lead in the third period and eventually losing the game in the shootout.
Zac Rinaldo - Talk about efficient production. In just under two and a half minutes of ice time Rinaldo managed to score his first NHL goal, adding two penalty minutes and two shots on goal.
Evgeni Malkin - "I am score" - Yes you are Geno, and welcome back to the Evgeni Malkin show. Great night for Malkin (2G 1A +2 4SOG 20:43) as he puts up his first three point night of the 2011/2012 campaign.
(3-0) x 3 = Awesome - Three teams won by a score of 3-0 tonight meaning three goalies had shutouts. Job well done to Pekka Rinne, Ondrej Pavelec, and Nikolai Khabibulin for closing the door.
Crawford vs. Markstrom - I would be very disappointed in myself if I didn’t at least give this game a mention. Both goaltenders were stellar tonight as they stopped 41/43 and 31/33 respectively.
Hiller vs. Lundqvist - To follow the theme above, both goalies were spectacular tonight as they took each other to a 1-1 tie going into the shootout. Marian Gaborik scored the winner in the SO to win the game for the Rangers.