Even though both hits were questionable, neither Matthias nor Myers received suspensions — something NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanan was acutely aware of. Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger notes that Shanahan called Lamoriello to explain why the hits weren’t punished.
“It doesn’t escape me that this is the same ruling,” Shanahan said. “It would be upsetting to me to have two of these in one week with a team in the East and a team in the West. The fact that it’s happened to the same team, although Lou has said to me I never have any reason to call him, I still reached out to Lou and called him and spoke to him today about both hits.
“Just out of respect for the fact it’s the same team, whether it was New Jersey or the Florida Panthers. I would’ve done the same thing to (Panthers GM) Dale Tallon. When you have a couple of players on your team– important players — get banged up with hits that are not suspensions I think it’s important to call that GM and talk to him. Lou was great in our conversation.”
Lamoriello said he appreciated the call, though it wasn’t necessary — “Brendan knows me and I know Brendan,” he explained. “I respect the job they have to do.”
This incident is noteworthy because of Shanahan’s personal relationship with Lamoriello and the Devils organization. Lamoriello was team president when New Jersey took Shanahan second overall at the 1987 Entry Draft and one of the key figures in bringing Shanahan back to the Devils at the end of his career.
Remember, one of the primary concerns when Shanahan took the player safety gig was if he was far enough removed from his playing days to rule without bias.
Ducks take control of second in Pacific after edging Oilers
McDavid scored a goal and two assists, yet Ryan Getzlaf was right there with him with three assists, helping the Ducks win 4-3.
With that, Anaheim is clearly ahead of Edmonton for second in the Pacific. The Ducks would hold home-ice over the Oilers if the playoffs began today, and better yet for them, a division title isn’t out of the question:
1. Sharks – 91 points in 73 games played
2. Ducks – 89 points in 73 GP
3. Oilers – 87 points in 73 GP
4. Flames – 86 points in 73 GP
As you can see, the Oilers aren’t exactly far ahead of the Flames for third, either.
Going forward, the Oilers have an interesting schedule: a mix of games against cellar dwellers (two apiece against the Canucks and Avalanche) plus two games apiece versus the Kings and Sharks.
The Ducks’ schedule includes two matches against the Flames, one against the Kings and one more match at Edmonton on April 1.
Long story short, the jockeying for position is far from over, but this was a pretty significant win for the Ducks.
Video: Connor McDavid shows off speed and skill (again)
Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.
Maybe more than sheer speed, this tally is a reminder that McDavid could do impressive things while losing little or no momentum. It’s one thing to have straight-line speed, but he has the hands and hockey IQ to take advantage of his swift skating.
McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).
The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.
They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.
The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.
Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.
The Islanders now have 80 standings points, placing them two behind the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot.
The Rangers’ hold over the first wild card seems quite secure, but they do have to worry ever so slightly about their play at home. With this defeat, they’ve now lost seven straight (0-5-2) at Madison Square Garden.
Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style