Corey Perry, Daniel Sedin, and Steven Stamkos finalists for NHLPA’s Ted Lindsay Award; Who wins?

One of the final awards to have their final three announced is the Ted Lindsay Award given out by the NHLPA. For this award, the players vote on who they believe to be the most valuable player for the league is and while the nominees for this award usually fall in line with what the finalists for the Hart Trophy, this year’s trio of Lindsay Award finalists sees one deviation.

While Corey Perry and Daniel Sedin are also finalists for the Hart Trophy and the Lindsay Trophy this year, Steve Stamkos gets the final spot from the players this year. His teammate Martin St. Louis is a finalist for the Hart Trophy, but the players feel that it’s Stamkos that helped the Lightning to their surprising season that saw them end up fifth in the Eastern Conference and are now in the Eastern Conference final.

The cases for all players are pretty simple but this one boils down to what the players opinions are. So now it’s a question of what the players value overall. If they’re all about the points, then Daniel Sedin is their choice as he led the NHL in points.

If it’s goal scoring prowess then Corey Perry gets the call as he dominated the second half of the season on his way to scoring 50 goals and willing the Ducks into the playoffs and the fourth seed in the West.

Stamkos is the flip opposite of what Perry did as Stamkos dominated in the first half of the season and helped establish Tampa Bay as a legitimate team this year. His goal scoring cooled off considerably towards the end of the season but it was he and St. Louis who helped keep the offense rolling along while others were injured or struggling throughout the year. Still, scoring 45 goals and ending up fifth in the NHL in points is still pretty good.

We’d like to think the players are going to have their vote split between Perry and Sedin on this award. It’s always curious to see who the players choose for this award because you’re never quite sure who’s totally respected for what they do. The quotes you get after games can end up misleading you into thinking that some guys don’t earn the same level of respect. If we had to pick the brain of the NHLPA members, we’re thinking Perry gets the win here.

What do you think? Is it Perry’s to win or will Daniel Sedin’s tremendous season and Vancouver getting the top spot in the NHL will make the case for him? Or is it time for a darkhorse to win in Stamkos? Vote in our poll and let us know in the comments what you think.

Video: AHL goalie Jonas Gustavsson scores his first career goal

Getty
1 Comment

He didn’t shoot, but Jonas Gustavsson still scored.

The former NHL netminder, now with the Bakersfield Condors in the AHL, scored his first career goal Friday, as part of his team’s victory over the San Diego Gulls.

From the AHL:

With San Diego goaltender Dustin Tokarski on the bench for an extra attacker and the Gulls working on a power play, Gustavsson made a save before an errant San Diego pass slid down the length of the ice and into the vacated net at 16:56 of the third period.

Gustavsson is the fifth AHL goaltender to be credited with a goal without actually shooting the puck into the opposition net. In addition to his goal, Gustavsson stopped 30 of 31 shots in the Condors victory.

Bolts and Islanders both win, which is bad news for Bruins

Getty
2 Comments

The New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning each had to work overtime to decide their separate games, but when they ended, both clubs were victorious.

And that makes things even more interesting in the Eastern Conference wild card race.

With their shootout win in Pittsburgh, the Islanders tie the Bruins in points but take over the final playoff spot for now with fewer games played. The Lightning, despite an abundance of injuries all season, are just a point back of Boston and New York.

Nikita Kucherov scored the winner for Tampa Bay against the Red Wings. He’s up to 38 goals, which is second most in the league behind Sidney Crosby, currently at 42 goals.

Sellers leading up to the trade deadline, and without Steven Stamkos since the middle of November, the Lightning are in the thick of this race, even if others may have counted them out.

“Once again, people counted us out,” defenseman Victor Hedman told the Tampa Bay Times. “But we showed a lot of character. And we’re right back in it.”

The Bolts don’t play again until Monday, when they host the Chicago Blackhawks — only one of the hottest teams in the league.

Meanwhile, Saturday’s busy slate of games includes a showdown between the Bruins and Islanders. For Boston, it’s a chance for redemption after a particularly costly third period against Tampa Bay on Thursday.

What is wrong with the Sharks?

Getty
1 Comment

Not that long ago, the San Jose Sharks appeared well on their way to winning the Pacific Division title.

On March 14, they had a seven-point lead on both Anaheim and Calgary. Gone is that advantage. Not only have the Ducks surged back into the fight for the division, but the Sharks have lost five in a row and are having a terrible time of late creating any offense.

The Ducks defeated the Jets on Friday, moving into a tie with the Sharks at 91 points.

San Jose’s struggles hit a new low Friday with a 6-1 loss to the Dallas Stars, a team with its own flaws and nowhere close to a playoff position.

At one point midway through the second period, the Sharks trailed the Stars by four goals and had only six lousy shots on goal. During this skid, San Jose has scored only five goals.

Earlier this week, members of the Sharks said they weren’t terribly worried about this losing streak. The losses, they had said, were in close games, which is true: San Jose lost three consecutive one-goal games.

“When I look at the losing streak, we dominated some of those games for long periods and found ways to lose. You never like to lose, but I’m not that concerned,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “We’ve got to obviously end it. We’ve got to get healthy. I don’t see a bunch of symptoms of a team that can’t get this fixed pretty quickly.”

This, however, was a blowout. Adam Cracknell recorded the hat trick, pushing his single-season career-high in goals to 10.

The performance at one point forced DeBoer to take a timeout, in which he expressed his displeasure.

Making matters worse for the Sharks: Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic left the game early in the third period and was put under further evaluation. He didn’t return.

The Sharks visit the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

Halak and the Islanders defeat Penguins, move into wild card spot

Getty
4 Comments

Quite a hockey game between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.

It offered plenty to enjoy — Phil Kessel‘s dominant but unfruitful shift in overtime, a combined 86 shots on goal between both teams, a showcase of skill from the likes of John Tavares and Sidney Crosby, and two strong goaltending performances from Jaroslav Halak and Marc-Andre Fleury.

Josh Ho-Sang, who wears No. 66, which is just fine in the eyes of Mario Lemieux, set up Brock Nelson‘s goal in the second period.

The Islanders and their fans probably aren’t hung up on style points at this juncture of the season. They just care about wins and points in the standings, and those are exactly what New York accomplished with a 4-3 shootout win in Pittsburgh.

Anthony Beauvillier and Tavares scored for the Islanders in the shootout. Halak made 37 stops, including a game-saver in overtime off Matt Cullen. Halak trapped the puck, which was right on the goal line, between his legs on a chance from in front. The play was reviewed but no goal.

The win gives the Islanders 82 points, which is the same total as the struggling Boston Bruins.

However, the Islanders, with one game in hand on the Bruins, take over the final wild card spot in the East for now.