Joe Pavelski

Joe Pavelski, Ray Emery, and P.K. Subban take home top honors as NHL’s Three Stars of the Week

San Jose’s Joe Pavelski has had a mostly quiet season for the Sharks, but with the season winding down and the playoffs approaching, that mean’s it’s his time to shine. Last year’s playoff star for the Sharks blew up last week scoring three goals and adding eight assists over four games to earn the NHL number one star of the week.

Pavelski recorded multi-point games in each of the four he played in last week, a stretch that saw the Sharks go 3-1-0 and was highlighted by his four assists in a 6-3 win over the Stars and his two goals and one assist against St. Louis on Saturday night. While he’s surrounded by bigger stars like Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, and Patrick Marleau, Pavelski’s proven his worth and now that he’s heating up again the Sharks will be better off for it.

Anaheim’s Ray Emery earns the NHL’s second star of the week not just for making his comeback from hip surgery successful but for doing so by playing great. Emery went 2-0-0 last week with a 0.99 goals against average and .968 save percentage as he helped the Ducks jump into the eighth spot in the Western Conference this week. Emery’s play has helped steady things in goal for the Ducks while Jonas Hiller continues to miss time due to vertigo. The combo of Emery and Dan Ellis has done quite well in Hiller’s absence and the Ducks are benefiting greatly from it.

Montreal’s P.K. Subban may have caught your eye here this morning with his dazzling goal against the Wild last night, but his play last week earned him the NHL’s third star of the week. He had four goals and two assists last week including a historic hat trick last night, the first by a rookie defenseman in Montreal Canadiens history. Love him or hate him, Subban’s doing quite well in his rookie season for the Habs and should get serious consideration for the Calder Trophy at season’s end.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.