If things keep going this way, Cinco de Mayo might become a holiday for Finnish goalies too. Tuukka Rask provided outstanding goaltending in the Bruins’ win against the Flyers while fellow countrymen Antti Niemi came up big for Chicago in the first period.
The Blackhawks hold a 2-0 lead largely because their goalie is outplaying Vancouver’s. Niemi’s 16 saves had a high degree of difficulty, particularly one he made when Daniel Sedin found himself alone in front of the Chicago net. Roberto Luongo, on the other hand, is clearly struggling so far. Both of the goals he allowed came because he’s having trouble controlling rebounds, with Dustin Byfuglien’s powerplay goal being an especially bad case.
The Canucks actually controlled much of the play in the period but still haven’t punctured Niemi. It might take a little while for things to pick up for Vancouver, though, as they will need to serve yet another Too Many Men on the Ice penalty to start the second period. There is one bit of good “news” though; apparently the Canucks are 3-0 so far in the playoffs when giving up the game’s first goal.
One other noteworthy moment came when Daniel Sedin and Dave Bolland got into a little skirmish during a Canucks powerplay. The two low-key forwards exchanged some fisticuffs and trash talk, with Sedin being agitated enough to keep flapping his jaws while in the penalty box. Something tells me the Blackhawks will take that Bolland-for-Sedin trade-off every single time, though.
This fight between Tom Wilson, Chris Stewart got downright gory (Video)
For those who decry the decline in fighting – in “blood and guts” hockey – Tuesday presented a bloody moment, one fairly high on this season’s Muta scale.
Also, for some, seeing it happen to Tom Wilson specifically may provide additional pleasure.
Anyway, as you can see in the video above, Minnesota Wild winger Chris Stewart bloodied the Washington Capitals pest in a fight. Whether you’re for, against or neutral toward Wilson, it’s quite the sight.
Wilson may be hurt, by the way. He missed some time but returned later in the contest.
Auston Matthews likely ranks as the top reason that many Toronto Maple Leafs are starting to get the same feelings they had in better times, so it only makes sense that he broke a beloved Buds’ record on Tuesday.
With his 35th goal of a potential Calder season – but a brilliant debut either way – Matthews passed Wendel Clark for the Maple Leafs’ rookie record for goals in a season.
That goal was also meaningful for William Nylander, as he extended his point streak to 12 games with an assist. This team, fueled by young players, just keeps shattering first-year marks:
Leafs rookie record watch:
GOALS – 35 Matthews ASSISTS – 40 Marner tied with Bodnar POINT STREAK – 12 games Nylander SHG – 3 Hyman
The U.S. women’s national team voted in favor of accepting USA Hockey’s deal, so they’ll participate in the world championship tournament. USA Hockey recently made the news official with this press release.
The press release confirmed a report that the contract will last four years, while financial terms were kept confidential. (Team members had been seeking a living wage to represent USA Hockey.)
“Our sport is the big winner today,” Team captain Meghan Duggan said. “We stood up for what we thought was right and USA Hockey’s leadership listened. In the end, both sides came together. I’m proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough. It’s time now to turn the page. We can’t wait to play in the World Championship later this week in front of our fans as we try and defend our gold medal.”
As much as many of us suffer during a trip to the dentist, few can fathom the horrors hockey players often go through when a puck, stick or fist finds their teeth/mouths. Consult this vintage PHT post from 2010 if you want to cringe, a lot.
Couture, Wilson said, did not need to have his jaw wired shut after a deflected puck caught him in the mouth on Saturday when the Sharks played the Nashville Predators.
“Hey, he can speak and eat … and his jaw isn’t wired shut!” Yeesh.
To little surprise, Couture isn’t playing on Tuesday. As far as the Sharks next three games (Thursday, Friday and Sunday), that remains to be seen.
As an aside, consider this: on the same day Jonathan Drouin‘s celebrating his birthday after helping the Lightning win, Couture is lucky if he can force down some birthday cake. Life: it isn’t always fair.