Nervous About Nabokov

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A lot, too much in fact, has been made over the annual failure of the San Jose Sharks in the playoffs and any number of reasons gets thrown around to try and make sen1-nabokov.jpgse of something that seems so inexplicable. Joe Thornton gets customarily thrown under the bus and now with Dany Heatley added to the team there’s a new scapegoat in waiting should the Sharks fail again in the playoffs this year.

One player Sharks fans should be a little twitchy about though is goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.  A lot of folks saw Nabokov get torched by Team Canada in the Olympic tournament in Vancouver but since returning from the Olympics, Nabokov’s stellar NHL season has gotten a little bumpier at the time of year the Sharks and their fans want to see things get steady.

Over the month of March (including tonight’s stinkbomb against Dallas), Nabokov has played in 13 games, played 723 minutes and allowed 39 goals, good for a 3.25 goals against average with a .889 save percentage to match it.  Beware the Ides of March, indeed. 

Comparing his stats to other the other months this season, either March is a statistic outlier or a gigantic red flag for things to come. 

October  13 GP  2.53 GAA  .912 SV%

November  12 GP  2.17 GAA  .930 SV%

December  10 GP  2.15 GAA  .934 SV%

January  13 GP  1.95 GAA  .936 SV%

February  5 GP  2.79 GAA  .926 SV%

April doesn’t provide too many games on the regular schedule for Nabokov and the Sharks to round into playoff shape, but some folks might say they’re already primed and ready for the playoffs right now.

Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

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The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.

Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.

(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)

Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.

Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.

As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

As Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (37) looks on Los Angeles Kings' Milan Lucic waves to the crowd after a tribute to him was played on the screen during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

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The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.

Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

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Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

Want it in GIF form? OK then: