The Red Wings looked like they were going to get right back in the mix in their series with the San Jose Sharks, holding a 3-1 lead going into the third period. Unfortunately, they couldn’t contain the supposed “chokers” from California … particularly that totally not clutch Joe Thornton.
San Jose Sharks 4, Detroit Red Wings 3 in OT
Sharks lead series 3-0
Thornton had a fantastic game, scoring a big early goal in the third to pull the Sharks within one and also sent a beautiful diagonal pass to the team’s other oft-critiqued center Patrick Marleau for the overtime game-winner. After empowering his critics by only putting up three assists against Colorado in Round 1, Thornton already has four points in three matches against the Red Wings. In other news, Joe Pavelski’s scorching hot goal scoring streak didn’t continue, but he still put up an assist.
Detroit scored the three of the game’s first four goals with Tomas Holmstrom, Dan Cleary and Henrik Zetteberg putting the puck in the net. Devin Setoguchi scored with just four seconds left in the first period, followed by goals from Thornton and Logan Couture in the third period then finally Marleau in overtime. Evgeni Nabokov made some great saves in this one, out-playing a still fairly solid Jimmy Howard.
The Red Wings now face a staggering 3-0 deficit in the series and would also need to win two games at the Shark Tank to make it to the Western Conference Finals yet again. It’s not as if the Sharks are blowing them out of the rink in this series, but things will have to change dramatically for the Red Wings to win four in a row. If they were to do that, then I’d finally have to agree that the Sharks are “chokers.”
Finally, the tin foil hats probably aren’t going away for a while. Although officiating didn’t cost the Red Wings the game, the Sharks had a 6-to-2 PP opportunity advantage and the Wings had two goals reviewed by video (with one being called back). If you ask me, though, the Red Wings have no one but themselves to blame for this loss.
Bolts avoid arbitration with Namestnikov — two years, $3.875M
Tampa Bay has avoided Friday’s scheduled arbitration hearing with forward Vladislav Namestnikov, agreeing to a two-year, $3.875M deal on Tuesday evening, per ESPN.
Namestnikov, 23, had a breakout campaign last year, scoring 14 goals and 35 points in 80 games — all career highs. The former first-round pick also appeared in 17 playoff games for the Bolts, scoring a goal and three points while helping the club to the Eastern Conference Final.
Coming off a one-year deal in which he made $874,125, the diminutive Russian gets a nice pay bump with this latest contract, and a bit of security with the two-year term. He should play a fairly integral role next season, coming off a year in which he finished tied for fourth on the team in goals, with Tyler Johnson.
But while tonight may be about Namestnikov, it’s another Russian forward in Tampa Bay that everybody now has their eyes on — Nikita Kucherov, the playoff scoring sensation that declined to file for arbitration, but still requires a new deal.
Given some of the big-money contracts GM Steve Yzerman has handed out this summer — namely those to Steve Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Alex Killorn — the Kucherov negotiations are definitely ones to keep an eye on.
Talks ongoing between Wild and Dumba, meeting expected soon
A good puck mover with offensive skills — and a right-handed shot — Dumba is definitely a commodity. What’s more, logic suggests the Wild could opt to move him, given the long-term financial commitments to fellow defensemen Ryan Suter (signed through 2025 at $7.53 million), Jonas Brodin (2021 at $4.16M), Jared Spurgeon (2020, $5.18M) and Marco Scandella (2020, $4M).
Minnesota has some other young defensive prospects in the system, too.
There’s former Gophers standout Mike Reilly, Miami of Ohio product Louis Belpedio and Gustav Olofsson, the 46th overall pick in ’13 that’s been honing his game in AHL Iowa (and made his NHL debut last season).
Though he’s slowed down in recent years, Rosehill has long been known as an extremely active fighter. At no time was this more evident than during the ’08-09 campaign, when he fought a staggering 33 times (yeah, thirty-three) while playing for AHL Norfolk.
Rosehill last played in the NHL during the ’13-14 campaign, scoring two goals in 34 games for the Flyers — while racking up 90 PIM.
Here’s an example of some of his most famous handiwork:
As mentioned above, the EIHL has landed a few notable ex-NHL fighters. Cam Janssen, Kevin Westgarth, Paul Bissonnette and Tom Sestito have all played there.
Kurtis Foster, who appeared in over 400 games during a 10-year NHL career, is hanging up his skates to enter the next phase of his hockey life — coaching.
Foster, 34, has rejoined his former junior team in OHL Peterborough as an assistant coach, per the Examiner. The decision comes after Foster spent the last three years playing overseas in the KHL and, most recently, in the German League.
The 40th overall pick in 2000, Foster is often remembered for a horrific leg break while playing for Minnesota during the 2007-08 campaign, in which his femur was shattered by Torrey Mitchell after Mitchell tried to prevent an icing call.