Boston Bruins clinch playoffs, break SHG record

bruWINS.jpgGive the Boston Bruins credit. They clinched a playoff berth with their spirited 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, salvaging a season that almost seemed to test the limits of Murphy’s Law. I guess it makes sense, then, that the team won on the strength of breaking an odd record. Stanley Cup of Chowder notes that the Bruins broke an NHL record by scoring a stunning three shorthanded goals in 1:04.

The B’s started their goal scoring blitz 32 seconds into the second period on a shorthanded goal from Daniel Paille. Paille carried the puck from the right wing corner, skated to the front of the net, and momentarily lost possession of the puck before beating Cam Ward with a wrister from the left circle.

Blake Wheeler made it 2-0 49 seconds later. David Krejci’s pass from the right wing corner found Wheeler in the slot for his 18th goal of the season.

Steve Begin added another shorthanded goal 15 seconds after Wheeler’s shorty to make it 3-0. Begin’s wrister beat Ward 5-hole after Dennis Wideman made a pass to start Begin’s rush.

As Evan also wrote, the Bruins will face either the Penguins, Sabres or Devils in the first round now. They avoided a first round match with Washington (who they’ll be playing against in our Game of the Week tomorrow afternoon). As I discussed in the playoff scenario earlier today, the Bruins could clinch the sixth seed if Montreal loses to the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight.

It must be strange that in the short term, the Bruins have been rooting for the Leafs even though every Toronto win would presumably decrease the Bruins’ first round draft pick. That has changed, though, as the Leafs are assured the second least points now. At least for one night, fans of the B’s can justify rooting for their rivals.

I’m sure it still won’t be easy to do that, though.

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    Preds sign Jarnkrok for six years, with a cap hit of just $2 million

    DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 09:  Calle Jarnkrok #19 of the Nashville Predators skates against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on December 9, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Predators defeated the Avalanche 3-0.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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    Nashville’s momentous offseason continued today with the signing of forward Calle Jarnkrok to a six-year, $12 million contract.

    That’s a cap hit of just $2 million, all the way through 2021-22.

    Suffice to say, it’s not often that a player signs such a long deal, for such a modest cap hit. Jarnkrok notched career highs in goals (16) and assists (14) in 81 games last season for the Preds. He kills penalties, too.

    At the very least, the 24-year-old has some financial security now. But for Nashville, as long as his production doesn’t fall off a cliff, he could end up being a great bargain.

    Jarnkrok had an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 4.

    Related: Preds avoid arbitration with Petter Granberg — two years, $1.225 million

    Red Wings re-sign Mrazek to two-year, $8 million deal

    Detroit Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek (34) stops a shot by Tampa Bay Lightning center Valtteri Filppula (51) in the first period of Game 3 in a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series, Sunday, April 17, 2016, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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    The Detroit Red Wings didn’t need Petr Mrazek‘s arbitration hearing either.

    The day after the Wings avoided the process by locking up defenseman Danny DeKeyser, they agreed on a two-year deal with Mrazek, with a reported cap hit of $4 million.

    Mrazek, 24, went 27-16-6 last season with a .921 save percentage. Those numbers compared favorably to Jimmy Howard‘s (14-14-5, .906); however, GM Ken Holland has argued that keeping Howard could be best for Mrazek’s development.

    “It could possibly be detrimental if we put Petr in a situation where we’re just going to throw him out and play 70 games and no matter how you play, we’re going to keep putting you out,” said Holland.

    Granted, it may be that Howard is simply untradeable. He’s 32 years old, hasn’t put up solid numbers the past three seasons, and has three years remaining on his contract with a cap hit of just under $5.3 million.

    If Howard remains, the Wings will have just under $9.3 million in cap space allocated to their goaltenders next season, one of the highest totals in the league.

    Mrazek, by the way, will still be a restricted free agent when his new contract expires in the summer of 2018.

    Tavares ‘would love’ to spend his entire career with Isles

    John Tavares
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    With new majority owners and now talk of a new arena, the future of the New York Islanders has been a popular topic lately.

    Not surprisingly, it’s led to plenty of discussion about the future of captain John Tavares, who can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2018.

    Ownership has insisted that it won’t get that far, that Tavares will be re-signed. The Isles will have “no financial constraints,” owner Jon Ledecky promised.

    But what about Tavares? What does he think?

    “I think I’ve always showed my commitment, my appreciation and my desire to play on Long Island,” the 25-year-old told Sportsnet 590 radio on Tuesday, per NHL.com. “I would love for that to continue for the long haul. I think you look at some of the greatest players in the game have been able to spend their entire career somewhere. I hope I’m in that same position.”

    As for the speculation he could sign in Toronto?

    “I would not count on that,” he said.

    So start the countdown to July 1, 2017. That’s when Tavares can officially start negotiating an extension with the Isles.

    Perhaps by then we’ll even know where the team will be playing its future games. Will it be Brooklyn or somewhere else?

    Sens re-sign Hoffman to four-year, $20.75 million deal

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    Only 18 NHLers have scored more goals than Mike Hoffman has over the last two seasons.

    Today, the Ottawa Senators signed the 26-year-old sniper to a four-year contract with a reported cap hit of $5.1875 million.

    Hoffman had an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 4. The breakdown of his new deal, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman:

    His contract done, Hoffman can now focus fully on next season, which he’s excited about.

    “New coach coming in, Guy Boucher, I had him in junior when I played in Drummondville of the Quebec League,” Hoffman said recently. “Very good relationship with him, we won a championship together. So definitely looking forward to working with him this year.”

    As for Sens GM Pierre Dorion, he’s still got some offseason work to do. Defenseman Cody Cedi is a restricted free agent, and there’s no arbitration date to encourage a settlement in his case. While Dorion is confident that something that will get done with the 22-year-old, what remains to be seen is if it’s a short- or long-term deal.