Monday, February 08, 2010

Some Hockey Items from the Weekend

I spent the weekend in Madison, Wisconsin, attending the Michigan-Wisconsin outdoor hockey game at Camp Randall football stadium. Given the temperature -- 16 degrees Fahrenheit by game's end -- it's safe to assume that cold hands (and other body parts) were the rule. I have ties to both schools, having received my Ph.D. at Michigan and twice served as a summer visiting professor at Wisconsin, so as soon as this special game was announced many months ago, I decided I had to be there! And, I took some photos as well, which you can click on to enlarge.

If I had to identify a hot-hand performance in the game, it would be the Badgers' Brendan Smith scoring two power-play goals in the game's final minutes, first to tie the game 2-2 with 5:32 remaining and then give Wisconsin the game-winner with 1:22 left. Truth be told, the Wolverines' penalty-killing seemed very poor; even on Badger power plays where they didn't score, Michigan rarely could clear the zone.

At the pro level, two NHL teams have major winning streaks. Thanks to a dramatic comeback win yesterday over Pittsburgh, the Washington Capitals have now been victorious in 14 straight games (game-by-game log), which is just three short of the league record of 17.

Also, the Los Angeles Kings have won nine straight, which is a franchise record. The Kings' history includes such all-time greats as Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille, and Marcel Dionne; hence, it surprises me that today's lower-profile squad is the one setting the record.

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