Montreal 8 – Minnesota 1
P.K Subban had his first career hat trick as the Canadiens emphatically put to rest any shot at the playoffs the Wild may have had left. Subban is the first Canadiens rookie defenseman to get a hat trick in the team’s long history. Subban finished the game with four points as the Habs ran the Wild out of their own building. Alex Auld stopped 30 shots for Montreal in earning the win while David Desharnais and former Wild prospect Benoit Pouliot also added three assists a piece. Montreal forward Ryan White also added a Gordie Howe Hat Trick. Yeah, it was just that kind of game.
Jose Theodore gave up five goals in taking the loss while Niklas Backstrom fared no better allowing three goals in 13 shots. Don’t look now but the Canadiens are just one point behind Boston in the Northeast Division. Luckily for the Bruins, they’ve got two games in hand. The Wild are now seven points out of the eighth seed in the ultra competitive West. Say goodnight Minnesota.
Anaheim 5 – Calgary 4 (F/OT)
Chicago 2 – Phoenix 1
New Jersey 3 – Columbus 0
Martin Brodeur earned his 115th career shutout and his fifth of the season while David Clarkson scored two goals to lead the Devils past the Blue Jackets. Nick Palmieri also added a goal for the Devils as they keep their dream of the postseason alive. The Devils sit seven points out of the eighth spot with ten games to play. New Jersey’s biggest opponent right now aside from the schedule is mathematics. They don’t have much room for error left if they hope to get into the playoffs and with the number of three point games that have been happening of late, it puts them in a much tougher spot.
Nashville 4 – Buffalo 3 (F/OT)
NY Rangers 5 – Pittsburgh 2
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.