3/27/2012 Studs & Duds
Tonight's top stud is Frans Nielsen, who played a huge role in upsetting the red-hot Pittsburgh Penguins. He had two goals and an assist while finishing with an outstanding plus-4 rating and three shots on goal.
Ryan Miller continued his top-notch play, stopping 44 of 45 in a 5-1 win over the Washington Capitals in a battle for sole possession of 8th place in the Eastern Conference. After a horrible start to the season, Miller's save percentage is up to .919 after tonight's result.
Showing some Chara-cter
Zdeno Chara posted three assists, a plus-3 rating and six shots on goal in a 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Like his teammate Ryan Miller, Drew Stafford helped put the Washington Capitals' playoff push in serious doubt. Stafford had two goals and five shots in the victorious effort.
The Devil Inside
Martin Brodeur stopped 37 of 38 while managing to secure a 2-1 shoot-out victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
There were two shutout efforts tonight: Cam Ward made 30 saves to beat the Maple Leafs 3-0 while Brian Elliott stopped all 24 shots he faced.
Marc-Andre Fleury allowed five goals on 18 shots before getting pulled from the game after being shaken up by Paul Martin (more on him later) on one of the goals allowed.
With their season perhaps on the line, both Capitals' goaltenders made an appearance in the game. Unfortunately, both posted brutal numbers for their fantasy owners. Braden Holtby started the game and allowed three goals on 18 shots. Michal Neuvirth replaced Holtby but allowed two goals on 13 shots.
Carlson's Choke Tubes
John Carlson's decline in plus-minus numbers continued as he finished minus-3 while not posting any points.
Title credit goes to http://www.choketube.com/
Jonas Gustavsson really put his team in a "jam" by allowing three terrible goals on 12 shots before giving way to Jussi Rynnas.
Paul Martin was minus-2 and nearly decapitated his goaltender by sliding into him as a goal was being scored. The collision sent Fleury's mask into the corner. I am still checking with my sources to find out whether or not Fleury's head is on his shoulders or inside the fallen mask.
Fail4Nail or simply a fail?
Clarke MacArthur finished minus-3 in a 3-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Just do the math - he was on the ice for every goal scored by the Canes.
Can a goalie who won't get a Vezina sniff be a Hart candidate? Miller has carried a team that looked to be out of it into playoff position. His late-season surge reminds me of Perry's last season.
My question was rhetorical, but he has been MVP-caliber for two months now. Completely turned his season around and his team's. Also, he did have the excuses of the Lucic hit and some key blue-line injuries. (I know, EVERY team deals with injuries.) Of course the winner is Malkin and the other finalists will be guys who have been bringing it all season, but Miller has been really bringing it every night at a time when Buffalo's backs were against the wall.
Hahaha, showing some Chara-cter. Love it :D
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