When it was announced Alexander Radulov would be leaving the KHL to re-join the Nashville Predators, many wondered how his skills would translate to the NHL. He would be dealing with a smaller ice surface, better defenders and the added intensity of a playoff push — not exactly a recipe for flashy play.
On Saturday against Chicago, Radulov showed he’d be just fine:
Slick goal, for sure…but to be fair, part of it involved Radulov dancing around 40-year-old Sean O’Donnell, who played four games in all of March.
(Though to be completely fair, Radulov also dangled through Brent Seabrook, who tossed out a cursory poke check.)
Penguins ride Murray’s masterpiece to 2-1 series lead vs. Capitals
First things first: Kris Letang might get suspended for Game 4 (if not for more than one game) thanks to this controversial check on Marcus Johansson.
Beyond that, there could be some bumps and bruises from this contest.
Bryan Rust left during the first period and didn’t return to the game after blocking a shot. Brian Dumoulin seemed shaken up after an Alex Ovechkin hit in the third period. The Capitals might have a player or two to look at, as well.
In other words, the Penguins could really lack for quality defensemen with Letang possibly suspended and possible injury absences for Dumoulin and Olli Maatta.
This series is living up to the hype … and really building up the hate.
Yes, NHL is reportedly looking at Letang’s hit on Johansson
That’s a clear sign that “The Flower” is healthy enough to play, as Murray would be an injury or a coach’s pull away from giving up the net to Fleury. (One would assume.)
Murray has been fantastic for the most part since taking over for Jeff Zatkoff during this postseason, yet you know how the playoffs can be; people may clamor for Fleury after a loss even if it’s not really Murray’s fault.
How long Murray keeps that job now that Fleury is healthy is the question.