If the 2012 playoffs weren’t already turning into the Summer of Upsets, then it would be truly shocking that the Boston Bruins being down 3-2 in their series with the Washington Capitals. Either way, the defending champs face possible elimination on Sunday, and they might just need to survive without underrated two-way center Patrice Bergeron and offensive blueliner Joe Corvo, according to CSNNE.com Joe Haggerty.
Here’s Haggerty on what might have caused Bergeron’s issues.
Patrice Bergeron left the ice early in his second shift of the third period after taking an Alex Ovechkin hit near the offensive blueline that appeared to catch the B’s center in the head. Bergeron waved B’s trainer Donnie DelNegro off when he attempted to approach the center on the bench following the collision, but the two-way pivot only played one more shift for the rest of the contest.
Bergeron looked sluggish and labored during the only shift he hopped out for as a right wing, and he once again ended the shift early when things obviously didn’t feel right.
The Capitals scored two goals in the third period while Bergeron was essentially out of action, so containing Washington could be that much tougher without that Selke-caliber forward.
Corvo isn’t necessarily known for being a great defensive stopper, but losing him likely wouldn’t help matters for the Bruins, either. Haggerty describes Corvo’s potential injury situation, too:
Joe Corvo went down in the second period after absorbing a Mike Green slapper to the knee that sent him down to the ice, and resulted in a goal when Corvo couldn’t return to the play. The refs didn’t blow the whistle when Corvo originally went down, and it essentially created a 5-on-4 situation when the B’s defenseman couldn’t get back into the play.
The Bruins and Capitals will face off in Game 6 at 3 pm ET on Sunday, so there isn’t exactly a lot of time for either player to recover. Hockey players are known to fight through injuries in the playoffs, but we’ll see if Corvo or Bergeron can fight through it.
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
It wasn’t pretty – especially if you’re disgusted by that Roman Polak hit – but the Toronto Maple Leafs keep generating big wins as a playoff return looks increasingly likely.
Toronto managed a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, passing the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division:
Maple Leafs: 83 points in 72 games
Bruins: 82 points in 73 games
This leaves the currently in-action New York Islanders four points behind the Bruins for the final wild card in the East.
The Maple Leafs aren’t just grabbing key points; they’re doing so against some strong opponents who’ve had plenty on the line, too. They beat a Metro contender in Columbus tonight, the Bruins on Monday, grabbed an OT point against Chicago on Saturday and handled the desperate Lightning last Thursday.