|Mr. Downy Woody ( Mrs. Downy woody and Mr. Red-bellied Woody have also been around today...)|
|Then, a mystery man appeared...|
|...later IDed as a slate-colored junco.|
|Then came another newbie...|
|...IDed as a house finch.|
|Of course, white-breasted nuthatch was here, as well as his close doppelganger, the black-capped chickadee.|
|Then, a robin (despite having left the area 2 months ago according to local Audobon officials) stops in for a drink. Haven't seen them eat yet...|
|"So I was telling the wife the other day... munch munch..."|
|Blue jays also made their first appearance, though I've not seen them eat or drink...|
|...oh, except for a bit of left-over suet fromthe last hanger.|
|A day at the feeding post wouldn't be complete without Mr. Squirrel.|
|Scrappy patiently waiting a chance to chase Mr. Squirrel...|
|Mr. Squirrel just prior to Scrappy getting that chance.|
|"I'll be baaack..."|
Time to update the hockey news, seeing's as today's game ended just moments ago. But first, we go back to Saturday, when our boys triumphed 2-0 over Severstal. Semyon Varlamov continued to play his way back into my good graces, handling 24 shots for his first shutout with Lokomotiv. Alexander Chernikov tallied his 7th and Sergei Platnikov his 4th in the second and third periods, sending the usual SRO home crowd of 9,000 home happy.
Today it was a battle with Neftekhimik in their home town of Nizhnekamsk. They got a goal from well-travelled Czeck Tomas Netik less than two minutes into the game, as both teams openned up with barrels blazing. But despite thirty-five combined shots in the first period- 20 by them- both Varalmov and Matt Dalton of Neftekhimik (a Canadian spending his second season in Russia after a rough first year for Vityaz) kept the puck out of the net.
Indeed, it wasn't until 13:33 of the third when Niklas Hagman rifled his 6th past Dalton to tie the game. In sharp contrast to many recent games where both Loko and their opponants struggled to top 50 shots combined, shots in this one were 47-41 in favor of the home team- and 8-1 in favor of Neftekhimik (Which BTW is Russian for "the Petrochemists") in an also scoreless OT period. In the shootout, Varlamov stopped two enemy shooters, while Emil Galimov and Hagman each beat Dalton, giving Lokomotiv a 2-1 win.
The standings in the conference are getting tight and wild. Dynamo Moscow continued to lead after a 3-1 win over Riga in which Washington Cap captain Nicklas Backstrom netted a goal, which put them at 12 wins, 4 losses, and 5 OT games of various outcomes to give them 45 points. SKA got a goal from Ilya Kovalchuk to beat Spartak 4-1, putting them at14-5-1-43 points. CSKA has also surged into the picture, their 10-5-6 mark putting them at 40. Loko passes them today, with this win putting us at 11-5-5 and 42 points. Next up for us is a Wednesday trip to Kazan to face Ak Bars, who at 9-4-7 are in fourth in the Eastern Conference.
Top Loko scorers:
N. Hagman 6g-5a-11 pts
A. Kalyuzhny 5g-6a-11 pts
S. Kronwall 4g-6a-10 pts
Y. Averin 6g-2a-8 pts
3 tied at 7 pts
V Kolesnik 6W-3L-2 OT 1.98 GAA (7th in league)
S. Varlamov 4W-2L-3OT 1.94 GAA (6th in league)