Mark Spector reports that Canucks coach Alain Vigneault confirmed Samuelsson won’t travel with the Canucks for the rest of the series. Only time will tell if he’s able to play if the Canucks manage to get to the Stanley Cup finals, as well.
Samuelsson is dealing with a lower-body injury suffered during Game 5 of Vancouver’s series against the Nashville Predators. Honestly, though, there were quite a few people who were wondering if he should be on the ice before that injury took place. (A foolish Samuelsson turnover that ended up being a Predators shorthanded goal probably didn’t help, either.)
The numbers indicate two possibilities: Samuelsson was already dealing with an injury or he just was in a flat-out funk. After another solid 50-point season, his game really fell apart in the playoffs. He scored just one goal and two assists for three points in 11 games played. His shooting percentage was an awful 5 percent and he earned a -4 rating. Compare those numbers to his 15 points in 12 postseason games last year and it’s clear he fell far in the 2011 playoffs.
That being said, many will point to his Stanley Cup ring as a reason why his loss will be significant. That might be a bit overrated, but his 93 games of postseason experience is an intangible asset. He also shoots right-handed, which is a pretty rare trait on this team. Aside from Ryan Kesler and Jannik Hansen, the Canucks are pretty much loaded with lefties.
Either way, they’ll be forced to push further into the playoffs without Samuelsson. We’ll let you know if his status changes, though.
Jaden Schwartz’s hat trick leads Blues over Blackhawks
Jaden Schwartz‘s third career hat trick helped power the St. Louis Blues over the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 in a Central Division clash Wednesday night at Scottrade Center.
Schwartz’s eventful evening began with a goal 4:46 into the first period. It was nearly ended minutes later after a scary crash into the end boards following a scoring chance.
After missing some time, Schwartz returned in the second period and doubled the Blues’ lead with his fourth of a season, thanks to a great outlet pass from Allen.
As the Blues built up a 4-0 lead, the Blackhawks spoiled Allen’s shutout bid with a pair of late power play goals 80 seconds apart. The furious rally was stopped, however, and Schwartz capped off his hat trick with an empty netter to put the game out of reach.
St. Louis dominated the first two periods, outshooting the Blackhawks 26-8 as they built up their 2-0 lead. The Blackhawks’ power play failed them early in the game, missing out on five chances to capitalize with the extra man through 40 minutes.
The Montreal Canadiens play their second game of a three-game west coast trip Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Kings.
It hasn’t been the best start for the Habs, who sit tied for last in the Eastern Conference with a 1-4-1 record. They’re winless since an opening night win over the Buffalo Sabres. On the other side of things, the Kings are the only NHL team that has yet to lose in regulation. Their 4-0-1 start puts them a point behind the Vegas Golden Knights, and their game in-hand gives them the opportunity to leap into first place in the Pacific Division with a victory.
You can check out tonight’s game on NBCSN (10:30 p.m. ET) or online via the live stream.
Marleau is the 18th player in NHL history to reach the 1,500 game mark. Should he stay healthy and play the entire 82-game slate or close to that, he’ll enter the 2018-19 season 11th all-time in that category. Gordie Howe holds the record with 1,767 games played.
Health has helped the 38-year-old Marleau reach the mark in his 20th NHL season. He hasn’t missed a regular game since the 2008-09 season and hasn’t played fewer than 74 games in a full season in his entire career.
Marleau has gone from being the youngest player in the league to the sixth-oldest in the span of 20 years and considering his history of good health, better fitness regiments of players and treatment by training staffs, challenging Howe may not be a crazy idea.
Of course, that is unless Jaromir Jagr sticks around. If that happens then Marleau would likely have to settle for No. 2.
This week’s edition of NBCSN’s Rivalry Night will feature a central division clash between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues.
It’s still early days, but the two sides are battling atop the Central, with the Blackhawks powered by great starts from a number of players including Brandon Saad and Ryan Hartman. The Blues, meanwhile, are looking to halt a two-game skid after winning their first four games of the season. The game also features the return of NHL on NBC analyst Ed Olczyk to the booth.
You can check out tonight’s game on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET) or online via the live stream.