After leading all rookies in points (6G-4A-10PTS) and moving into fourth in scoring among all first-year players, Vancouver’s Cody Hodgson was named the NHL’s rookie of the month for January.
While his month was filled with fine performances, Hodgon’s (arguably) best effort came in a 4-3 win over defending Stanley Cup champs Boston. He assisted on Vancouver’s second goal and scored the game-winner, a rocket shot that whistled past reigning Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Tim Thomas:
Hodgson followed that up with an equally impressive performance against San Jose, scoring two goals in Vancouver’s 4-3 win while once again potting the game-winner. That moved Hodgson into a tie for second in rookie GWGs, one off the lead.
Also of note: The 21-year-old Toronto native is now on 30 points, becoming the highest-scoring Canucks rookie since 2000-01, when Daniel and Henrik Sedin compiled 34 and 29 points, respectively. The franchise record for rookie scoring is 60 points, held by two players — Ivan Hlinka (1981-82) and Pavel Bure (1991-92).
After establishing himself in the Swedish league, Anton Lindholm will head to North America.
The Colorado Avalanche announced that they have signed the 21-year-old defenseman to a three-year, entry-level contract. They selected Lindholm in the fifth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
More of a defensive defenseman, Lindholm only registered four assists in 30 Swedish league games with Skelleftea AIK in 2015-16, but he also had a team-high 85 hits despite missing a chunk of the season due to injury. During the playoffs he helped his team reach the SHL Finals by leading them in both hits and blocked shots.
That was his second full campaign with Skelleftea AIK. The next step for Lindholm will likely be for him to continue his development in the AHL.
PHT Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby eyes more history
Hot take: the Pittsburgh Penguins probably won’t deal with a goalie controversy going into Game 7.
(Ugh, that’s a failed hot take … you can’t use “probably” in those things, right?)
Matt Murray was fantastic at times during Game 6, much like his counterpart in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s net in a 5-2 win. Granted, there were some tense moments during the Bolts’ late-game push:
Much has been made about experience, especially from those calling for Marc-Andre Fleury earlier in this series. It’s telling that the praise Murray draws sure sounds like what you’d expect from a “veteran.”
“He has a calming influence,” Sullivan said. “He doesn’t get rattled. If he lets a goal in, he just continues to compete. That’s usually an attribute that usually takes years to acquire that, and to have it at such a young age is impressive.”
Thanks in part to Murray’s efforts in Game 6, he’ll get a chance to prove his resolve in something new: a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final.
Matt Murray is third in expansion era to win 10 playoff games before hitting the mark in his regular-season career: pic.twitter.com/jiFvIA6QDg