At mid-week, the Washington Capitals were having serious problems. Goaltending, Alex Ovechkin, injuries, and more made the team look nothing from what we have expected from the Capitals.
Ottawa beat Washington on Wednesday; Montréal and Toronto were hoping to use the Caps to get their own momentum.
Washington handed Montréal a 4-1 loss on Friday, and even though the Capitals had played the previous night and traveled to Toronto, Washington scored 2 goals in the first 3:46 and held on to a 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs.
Washington is fighting for the Southeast Division lead with Florida and Winnipeg. Toronto is fighting for the 8th spot. The Capitals didn't look great, but Toronto looked worse.
If you missed Thursday night's coverage of Vancouver-Detroit, we did warn you it would be good. The game was just incredible. Ballet in hockey; beautiful motion. No fights, just a minor skirmish or two.
When Vancouver was trying to tie the game late in the 3rd period, Henrik Sedin was behind the net, and found his twin brother Daniel open, gave him an unbelievable pass, and Daniel drilled it in with 15 seconds left in regulation.
Alexandre Burrows scored the only shootout goal for the dramatic win.
You can completely understand why the NHL Network carried the Fox Sports Detroit feed. Detroit had the 23-game home winning streak. Still, the voices on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific were desperately missed.
Having the FS Detroit feed on Thursday wasn't so bad. Ken Daniels is one of the best; Mickey Redmond sounded confused at odd times. But they are so much better than Joe Beninati, who called the Washington-Montréal game on the NHL Network Friday night. The game was available on TSN, but as we know, if a Comcast feed is available, the NHL Network will almost certainly take it.
If a Canadian-based team plays the Capitals in the playoffs, we hope that the U.S. TV deal gives you a national feed. Beninati in the playoffs is something U.S. hockey fans don't deserve.
Besides the obvious sin of omission, the NHL Network blew off another great game in not carrying the late HNIC game. Calgary blew a 3-0 and a 4-3 lead as the Flyers won it in the shootout.
We aren't getting After Hours from the CBC Web site since the blackout. If this is a CBC issue, no one is saying. Something is amiss and no one is talking.
We understand that the NHL Network doesn't want to carry a games opposite its sister networks. But Sunday mornings are still NHL Tonight reruns. And the NHL Network won't answer my e-mails.
This is a very slow week for Canadian-based teams on U.S. TV. The next national game will be Toronto at Montréal on Saturday night's Hockey Night in Canada. The late game, once again a no-show for the NHL Network, is Buffalo at Vancouver.
Those who can get a CBC feed also will get Minnesota at Montréal Thursday night in a special edition of Hockey Night in Canada.
Fans of Canadian-based teams in Chicago get a much better menu: Toronto is in Chicago on Wednesday and the team travels to Ottawa on Friday. Since the games will be on Comcast Sports Net Chicago, fans in other Comcast markets have a chance to see these games. For our Canadian readers, TSN will have both Chicago games.
The Winnipeg Jets' only appearance on U.S. basic cable is a week from today, welcoming Buffalo into the MTS Centre.