Aside from the occasional night off – or the even less common instance when a save or goal isn’t deemed worthy – the gang at PHT will decide which tally or stop is the best of any given night. Once those two winners are determined, we’ll share our reasoning (and most importantly, the video clip for each) in posts for your viewing pleasure.
Some nights, there aren’t really any great choices for the best goal. Saturday provided plenty, although it came down to two great backhand scores by Philadelphia Flyers youngster James van Riemsdyk and second year New York Islanders center John Tavares. (Both, by the way, went really high in their respective drafts.)
As great as JVR’s goal was, we will have to go with this amazing display by Tavares. Check it out below and feel free to debate its merit vs. JVR’s in the comments (because it was definitely a tough call). For the sake of debate and entertainment, the amazing JVR goal is underneath the Tavares tally.
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JVR’s runner up:
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It’s still tough to say, right?
Will the bad blood between the Canucks and Maple Leafs spill over into tonight’s rematch?
It’s no surprise the league and its department of player safety is paying extra attention to this game.
“It was wrong,” Gudbranson told the Vancouver Sun. “But the number of times I’ve said that (on the ice) is probably higher than most would expect. But do I mean it? No. That’s the honest truth. No, I’m not going to kill the guy. That’s insanity. I was just frustrated at that point, and unfortunately it got taken to a level that I didn’t expect.”
— Two teams with apparently different philosophies of how to build a winning team:
The Maple Leafs are in a rebuild. And while the consistency hasn’t been there this season, they’ve proven on a number of occasions to be an exciting team with a very talented, promising crop of young players.
“What people fail to realize is the older group of players we had here—the Garrisons and Keslers and Bieksas and Higgins and Hamhuises—which are no longer with us, these are good people. These are leaders. Perhaps in Toronto that wasn’t the case,” said Linden.
“We have Daniel and Henrik Sedin here, who are very important to this organization and icons in the city. They’re not going anywhere. I don’t know how I walk into the room and tell these guys, “Strip it down.” I’m not sure it’s fair to these guys. There’s different circumstances, be it in Toronto or Carolina or Vancouver, that require different routes. It’s not perfect, but I’m encouraged by the young players we’ve introduced, and we’ve got some young prospects.”
Indeed, plenty to keep an eye on between these two teams tonight. Plenty to debate, too.
The Dallas Stars wrap up a four-game road trip tonight against the Colorado Avalanche, but they will be without forward Patrick Sharp.
It’s unknown when, exactly, he’ll be back in the lineup.
On Saturday, the Stars placed Sharp on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 1 with concussions symptoms.
“He has concussion symptoms. We don’t know if it is related to the last one,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “He’s going to be evaluated, and obviously he is going to be out. It’s something he missed a lot of time with and something we want to be really careful with.”
Per the Dallas Morning News, Sharp must be out at least seven days, but it’s almost impossible to put a timeline on concussions given their complex nature.
Sharp has already missed time this season — 14 games to be specific — with a concussion he suffered in October.
“Most injuries you can circle a date, but the injury I suffered was a day-to-day thing I thought I had experienced in the past, but never quite like this,” Sharp said recently.
“The type of injury that I had, you hear some scary stories from around the league. … I’m thankful I was able to come out of it and feel healthy and strong.”
Matt Beleskey suffers lower-body injury in Bruins win in Buffalo
The Boston Bruins have back-to-back wins, as they held on to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Saturday.
However, there was bad news for the Bruins as forward Matt Beleskey left the game after the first period and didn’t return due to a lower-body injury. The injury occurred as Beleskey was hit by Taylor Fedun as he was cutting across the Buffalo blue line. There was no call on the play.
Beleskey’s right knee collided with Fedun’s hip, as the Buffalo defender pivoted at the last second.
So far, there has been no word on the severity of the injury.
One of the biggest reasons the Philadelphia Flyers should be optimistic about their future is the fact their farm system has produced a couple of potential top-pairing defensemen the past two years in Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov.
We already saw the impact Gostisbehere’s debut made a year ago when finished second in the Calder Trophy voting and was perhaps their most important player in the second half of the season on their way to earning a playoff spot. This year it is Provorov’s turn to make his debut, and while he hasn’t been quite as dominant as Gostisbehere was in his rookie season, he played his best game of the season on Saturday afternoon in a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
In just a little more than 20 minutes of ice-time, Provorov scored a pair of goals (both as part of a three-goal second period for the Flyers), recorded four shots on goal, and was a plus-six in shot attempt differential for the day. His two goals came just 30 seconds apart, with the first one tying the game at one, and the second one going in the books as the game-winner.
Have a look at both goals.
Both shots beat Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling from similar spots on the ice. Darling ended up getting the start on Saturday because Corey Crawford was undergoing an appendectomy and will be sidelined for the time being. The Blackhawks had to sign a backup goalie pretty much off of the street to serve as the backup. Coach Joel Quenneville said after the game they could not use goalie coach Jimmy Waite as the emergency backup because he would have counted against the salary cap. It had to be an amateur with no pro experience.
The win on Saturday keeps a couple of streaks going for the Flyers.
First, it was their fourth win in a row and is now their longest winning streak of the season. It is also the 13th consecutive time they have beaten the Blackhawks in Philadelphia during the regular season. You have to go back to 1996 to find the last time the Blackhawks won a regular season game in Philadelphia. We emphasize the regular season part of that because the Blackhawks did win a pretty big playoff game in the city back in 2010.