The NHL has updated the race in voting and while some things have stayed the same from last week, there are a handful of changes in the standings this week.
Penguins star Sidney Crosby is again at the top of the polls as the leading vote getter with 218,791 votes. The Pens captain is well in front of others, but the shuffle amongst the others is interesting. Steve Stamkos was sitting fourth last week but vaulted up to second amongst forwards this week and has 141,818. Jonathan Toews is third while Alexander Ovechkin falls to fourth and Patrick Kane hangs back in fifth.
On defense, Duncan Keith continues to hold his top spot amongst blue liners with 137,642 votes. Moving up to second is Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger with 137,549 votes making things a lot tighter up top. Slipping to third is Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom with 134,626 votes. Penguins write-in candidate Kris Letang is a bit further back in fourth place while Philly’s Kimmo Timonen is fifth.
In goal, the Montreal write-in campaign for Carey Price is officially a force of voting nature. Price leads the way amongst goalies with 145,726 votes, a total good for second most votes overall amongst all players. We complimented Montreal fans in a big way last week for doing their part in getting Price to the top. Let’s just hope there’s not any computer programming nonsense going on to get Price to the top of the list. Behind him is fellow write-in candidate Sergei Bobrovsky of Philadelphia with 116,725. Marc-Andre Fleury of Pittsburgh is further back in third while St. Louis’ Jaroslav Halak is fourth and Boston’s Tim Thomas holds strong in fifth.
The push from Stamkos was to be expected after his blazing start to the top of the goal scoring list and the open gushing over him by those of us running websites. Yes, we’re big fans. Seeing Alex Ovechkin slip back to fourth is quite a shock considering he’s one of the top guys in the league and Caps fans are amongst the most rabid in the league. They could take a note from Montreal and Philly fans on how to vote often.
When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.
With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).
As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.
Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.
You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.
Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.
“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?
Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.
Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.
It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.
Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.
On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?
It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?
* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.
If nothing else, the New Jersey Devils seem like they won’t be the sort of team a contender can essentially mark off as a “W” on their calendars.
The Montreal Canadiens may not be in a position to take opponents lightly with Carey Price on the shelf, but whatever the case may be, they saw their four-game winning streak end in frustrating fashion on Saturday.
After falling behind 2-0, the Devils scrapped their way back into it, eventually riding a John Moore overtime goal to a 3-2 OT win.
If Montreal needs an obvious bright side to look on considering this hiccup, Alex Galchenyuk‘s hot weekend may be a good thing to look at.
Tonight’s loss may smart a bit anyway, however.
If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:
“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”
The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.
Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:
With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.
Measuring stick stretch begins
Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.
This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.
It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.
In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.