Welcome to the Weekend Update. This is the weekly article that keeps you up-to-date on the NHL standings and some videos from around the world of hockey. In this edition, Kessel breaks through, GMs can't operate a television, Datsyuk dangles, Cam Ward comes up big and a mascot beats an NBA All-Star in a basketball shooting contest.
The season is well under way, and with this season being shortned, how a team starts is more important than ever. Two teams that are off to great starts are the New Jersey Devils and the Chicago Blackhawks. Each team leads its respective conference. The Blackhawks have yet to lose in regulation and continued its dominance Sunday night in Nashville. The Devils, fresh off an Eastern Conference title, were expected to have a drop off year with the loss of Zach Parise to free agency. New Jersey has silenced critics, for now at least, and hold a three point lead over Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Division.
If the playoffs started Monday, the playoff matchups would be incredible, including New Jersey and the New York Rangers, Boston and Montreal. Of course the playoffs don't start today, but it's still fun to watch. Here are the full conference standings.
The first video comes from Thursday in Winnipeg where Phil Kessel finally broke through. The American forward plays in the market with arguably the most pressure in the league, and a slow start wasn't received well. However, Kessel's goal to put the Leafs ahead of the Jets late in the 3rd period got the media and fans off his back, temporarily at least. Kessel would add another goal later on in the week, but this break thorugh goal from a pure scorer is one of the biggest of the week without question.
The next video comes from Detroit, where they haven't quite figured out television yet. Edmonton Oilers General Manager Steve Tambellini was trying to figure out how to operate the complicated electronic device commonly known as a TV, but didn't understand how to operate it. Detroit Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland, being a good host, attempted to help Tambellini, but he also failed to correctly operate the television. I imagine Tambellini just remembered that Justin Bieber was on SNL that evening and forgot to record it. Hey guys there's a hockey game going on, too! Hockeytown, USA... please.
Ok so Detroit still has some good things going on hockey wise. Namely, Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk, 34, was drafted by the Wings in 1998 and has since become a star for Detroit and his homeland of Russia. Sunday afternoon, Datsyuk once again displayed his pure skill to put the Red Wings up 1-0 on the power play in the 1st period. It is also notable that just over a minute earlier, Datsyuk was leveled by Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. Datsyuk and Detroit would have the last laugh.
Next we go to Philadelphia where Saturday night the Flyers hosted the Hurricanes. The game was tied at three in the closing seconds. the Flyers had an odd-man rush, which eventually left Matt Read right on Cam Ward's doorstep with a golden opportunity to win the game in regulation. However, Ward stood tall and made the save to earn his team a point. The Canes will need Ward to keep standing on his head until they get their renovated offense in sync.
The most interesting story of the week comes from Los Angeles. LA Kings mascot Bailey took on Lakers superstar Dwight Howard in a shooting skill. Howard is heralded as one of the best defensive players in the NBA, so he's not known for his scoring. However, Howard should still be better than a lion, right? Wrong. The mascot bested Howard from the free throw line and the three point line. If you've payed much attention to the Lakers this season, maybe it's not that big of a surprise. The biggest surprise? The NBC 4 anchor new Los Angeles has a hockey team and its name as well.
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