1st Goat: Jay Bouwmeester
The first and only game on Sunday included a matchup between the Nashville Predators and Calgary Flames. Calgary’s defenseman Jay Bouwmeester had a sour start to 2012 after finishing the night a minus five in twenty-five plus minutes of ice time. In his defense, there wasn’t much he could’ve done on Sergei Kostitsyn’s second goal. However, even if you take one of those goals away, Bouwmeester had a horrible night. At a $6.6M cap hit for the next few years, I’d argue that he might be one of the most overrated defensemen in the league.
2nd Goat: Zenon Konopka
Konopka found himself at the wrong side of the referees as he was hit with two misconducts during Ottawa’s 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. When you can personally rack up almost 3 times what your average ice time per game is, you deserve a pat on the back for being an easy goat. Luckily for Sens, they still managed to pull out a win in an overtime shootout.
3rd Goat: Brendan Shanahan
Inconsistency, thy name is Brendan Shanahan. The discipline king flexed his muscles late Sunday by giving St. Louis Blues player Ian Cole a 3 game suspension for his hit on Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader. While I agree that the play was suspension worthy, Shanahan continually turns a blind eye to other similar hits. On December 29th in a game between the Coyotes and Avalanche, Raffi Torres hits Colorado’s Jan Hejda square in the head. In this case, Torres was only fined $2,500 for the hit. It has become painfully apparent that Brendan Shanahan has no idea how to get a grip on the players. If anything I would rather have Shanaban over-suspend. The league offices need to seriously start working toward consistency. This has become nothing short of a joke.
Penalty Leaders of the Night:
Zenon Konopka – Ottawa Senators – 2 Misconducts
Chris Neil – Ottawa Senators – 3 Minors (Roughing)
P.K. Subban – Montreal Canadiens – 3 Minors (Holding, Roughing, Slashing)
Ben Eager – Edmonton Oilers – 3 Minors, 1 Misconduct (Roughing, Unsportsmanlike Conduct)
Keith Ballard – Vancouver Canucks – 2 Minors, 1 Misconduct (Roughing)
Kyle Clifford – Los Angeles Kings – 1 Minor, 1 Misconduct (Roughing)
Fights of the Night:
Erik Johnson (COL) vs. Luca Sbisa (ANA)
Gregory Campbell (BOS) vs. Jake Dowell (DAL)
B.J. Crombeen (STL) vs. Mike Commodore (DET)
Puck Drunk Love’s Awkward Moment of the Weekend:
It was announced on Sunday that the Winter Classic start time has been officially moved to 3PM Eastern Standard Time. This marks the second year in a row that the league has had to change the starting time of the Winter Classic. I wouldn’t be surprised if the game eventually gets pushed back until Tuesday due to the spotty weather in Philadelphia.