Forget about Jimmy Howard, my vote — if I had one — is for Tyler
Myers for the Calder Trophy. The young defenseman simply dominated the
Dallas Stars tonight in the Sabres 5-3 win and if you haven’t had the
chance to see this young man play, then you need to find some way to do
so. Myers has carried over his dominance from last season with the
Kelowna Rockets, and it’s amazing to see a young player adjust to the
NHL so quickly.
Matt Duchene is the leader among all rookies in
scoring, but Myers — a defenseman — is not far behind. Even more
impressive is his plus-7 rating, but the numbers and the stats don’t
tell the whole story.
Myers is a player you have to watch to truly
be impressed by. His poise and his ability to read the ice are, dare I
say it, indicative of some of the best defensemen the NHL has seen over
the past 20 years. He’s a freakish combination of speed, scoring ability
and tremendous size — sort of a hybrid of Derian Hatcher and Nicklas
What’s scary is that he’s nowhere near the level of
defenseman he has the potential to be. He’ll only improve year after
year, and he still has some muscle and size to add to his already
impressive frame. It’s amazing he only went 12th overall in 2008.
know the popular opinion right now is that Jimmy Howard has the lock on
the Calder*, and if not he should. But what Tyler Myers is doing every
night in Buffalo is something that numbers and stats cannot quantify and
after a game like he had against Dallas, there should be no question
who deserves top rookie honors. *Sporting News’ Craig Custance has informed me that most voters are with Myers, and not Howard. My point still stands, but it’s good to know that despite a late surge by Howard that voters are still sticking with the Sabres defenseman.
Ducks take control of second in Pacific after edging Oilers
McDavid scored a goal and two assists, yet Ryan Getzlaf was right there with him with three assists, helping the Ducks win 4-3.
With that, Anaheim is clearly ahead of Edmonton for second in the Pacific. The Ducks would hold home-ice over the Oilers if the playoffs began today, and better yet for them, a division title isn’t out of the question:
1. Sharks – 91 points in 73 games played
2. Ducks – 89 points in 73 GP
3. Oilers – 87 points in 73 GP
4. Flames – 86 points in 73 GP
As you can see, the Oilers aren’t exactly far ahead of the Flames for third, either.
Going forward, the Oilers have an interesting schedule: a mix of games against cellar dwellers (two apiece against the Canucks and Avalanche) plus two games apiece versus the Kings and Sharks.
The Ducks’ schedule includes two matches against the Flames, one against the Kings and one more match at Edmonton on April 1.
Long story short, the jockeying for position is far from over, but this was a pretty significant win for the Ducks.
Video: Connor McDavid shows off speed and skill (again)
Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.
Maybe more than sheer speed, this tally is a reminder that McDavid could do impressive things while losing little or no momentum. It’s one thing to have straight-line speed, but he has the hands and hockey IQ to take advantage of his swift skating.
McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).
The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.
They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.
The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.
Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.
The Islanders now have 80 standings points, placing them two behind the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot.
The Rangers’ hold over the first wild card seems quite secure, but they do have to worry ever so slightly about their play at home. With this defeat, they’ve now lost seven straight (0-5-2) at Madison Square Garden.
Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style