Since the other two games were more or less glorified exhibitions, this morning’s video fun will focus mainly on the Washington-Boston contest. It’s a good thing that there’s some interesting video to show you.
First things first, let’s take a look at a moment that could have been controversial. This debated goal by Nicklas Backstrom was reviewed over and over again on TV and in Toronto for a good reason: it’s really a close call. It’s important to note that for a goal to count, the entire puck must cross the red line. You be the judge: does it make its way over or is there just a bit more to go before it’s actually a goal?
Personally, I think that it wasn’t a goal, but it’s so hard to say that I can understand why they went with the on-ice decision. I will say this, though: NHL defensemen have an almost eerie knack for stopping goals at the last minute. I’ll never forget Willie Mitchell saving an apparent goal during a Dallas Stars-Vancouver Canucks series years ago. Is there some secret last second goal stopping training school these guys go to or something?
Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead
For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”
They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:
Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.
Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).
Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.
Tyler Seguin cut on arm by skate, getting stitches. Status unclear. Eakin injured as well, status unclear.
The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.
(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)
Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)
You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:
It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.
The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).
One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.