On a normal NHL night, the Boston Bruins would be the talk of the town. They took a backseat to a certain hockey icon this Monday night – Versus swapped its coverage from their game against the Montreal Canadiens – but the Bruins did something almost as impressive as Sidney Crosby’s comeback.
The B’s rolled into Montreal and managed to grind out a 1-0 victory, their ninth consecutive win. Amazingly, it took that much for them just to move into a tie with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres for the Northeast Division lead at 24 points.
(Technically, Boston is in first place because they have a game in hand on Buffalo and two on Toronto, but it shows that the Bruins cannot rest on their laurels.)
Thomas wasn’t all that bad in the beginning of the season – scoring was a bigger problem than anything else – but he’s on fire again now. The Bruins netminder is on a two-game shutout streak and produced three goose eggs in six starts during that nine-game run.
The most impressive number is the Bruins’ goal differential, though; their +26 margin is far and away the best of any team in the NHL. (The Pittsburgh Penguins are behind them with +15.) It’s still a small sample, but that’s an indicator that they’re dominating again.
So, yes, the Bruins aren’t getting the headlines today, but the defending champions are rampaging through the league like a big, angry bear right now. They’re winning games by shutting teams down and blowing them out, which might help them steal the spotlight from glamor teams when the games matter the most … again.
Mike Ribeiro isn’t playing in Game 3 for the Nashville Predators against the San Jose Sharks, and it doesn’t appear to be for health reasons.
Well, his production hasn’t been very healthy.
The polarizing playmaker has only mustered a single assist and zero goals in nine playoff games; Ribeiro hasn’t scored a point against the Sharks so far.
Ribeiro isn’t exactly known for his offensive acumen, either, so there’s not much motivation to keep him in the lineup if he isn’t producing offense. Ultimately, it’s easy to see why he’s a healthy scratch.
Pontus Aberg looks to make his NHL debut via this big playoff game while Craig Smith is believed to play.
It should be interesting to see how Nashville responds to this challenge.
The Nashville Predators hope to get back in their series now that the San Jose Sharks are visiting “Smashville.” Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars and Blues jostle for a 2-1 lead in St. Louis.
You can keep up with Game 3 of the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders (which is in progress) right here and on NBCSN.
Game 3 of Sharks – Predators is on USA Network and can be streamed via the link below.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Finally, Game 3 of Stars – Blues airs on NBCSN. Keep an eye out for notes if there’s overlap with Bolts – Isles (which would bump it temporarily to NHL Network), but either way, you can stream the action below.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Jonathan Drouin‘s strong playoff play has been a big story for the Tampa Bay Lightning, but his health is in question after taking a huge hit on Tuesday.
As you can see from the video above, Drouin was shaken up by an enormous check from New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey. It’s believed that Drouin went to “The Quiet Room” to see if he suffered a concussion; PHT will pass along whatever information becomes available.
(NHL teams aren’t exactly forthcoming with this information.)
The Islanders actually ended up with a power play from the fallout, as Hickey’s hit didn’t earn a penalty. The general reaction is that it wasn’t a dirty hit, yet some might disagree with that sentiment.
Update: Drouin didn’t come out during the beginning of the third period. He did, however, return midway through the final frame.
The NHL named the three finalists for the 2016 Foundation Player Award on Tuesday: Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano, New York Islanders forward Matt Martin and Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.
The awarded is handed to “an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey — commitment, perseverance and teamwork — to enrich the lives of people in his community.”
The winner gets to hand $25K to the charity of his choice.