As mentioned earlier, the NHL has named Boston’s Zdeno Chara, Nashville’s Shea Weber and Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson as the three finalists for the James Norris Memorial Trophy.
It’s an interesting candidate list in that Chara’s won a Norris before (2009), Weber’s been nominated (2011) while Karlsson is the decided newbie of the group — this is the 21-year-old’s first-ever candidacy.
Some things to consider:
— The Norris is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.
— This year will mark just the fourth time since 2001 the Norris will go to someone other than Nicklas Lidstrom.
— Chara has a chance to enter rarefied air with a second win. Only 11 defensemen in NHL history have captured multiple Norris Trophies: Lidstrom, Larry Robinson, Denis Potvin, Bobby Orr, Doug Harvey, Pierre Pilote, Chris Chelios, Rod Langway, Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey and Brian Leetch.
— FYI on Karlsson being nominated at 21 years old: In 1967-68, Orr became the youngest winner ever (20 years, three months). In 2009-10, Drew Doughty (20 years, four months) became one of the youngest nominees ever, but lost out to Duncan Keith.
— Chara is the third Bruin in franchise history to win a Norris (Orr and Bourque were the others. No Predator or Senator has ever won one.
PHT Morning Skate: Sharks name stray cat after captain Joe Pavelski
The San Jose Sharks became the only team in the second round to jump out to a 2-0 lead in their series. The Sharks did it by beating the Predators 3-2 in Game 2 on Sunday night.
San Jose opened the scoring in the second period when Logan Couture buried a rebound by Preds goalie Pekka Rinne. Brent Burns took the initial shot from the point and extended his playoff point streak to four games.
The Predators finally got on the board at the 12:56 mark of the third period when Mattias Ekholm tied the game at one.
Here’s the goal:
Nashville’s good fortune didn’t last very long. Sharks captain Joe Pavelski gave San Jose a 2-1 lead less than five minutes later.
Pavelski also picked up two assists in the game. The 31-year-old has at least one point in six of his seven postseason games in 2016.
You’ve all seen it by now (if you haven’t, click the video at the top of page). Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta was forced to leave Game 2 against the Capitals after taking a late hit from Brooks Orpik. Not only was the hit late, but Orpik also caught Maatta in the head.
After the Penguins’ optional skate on Sunday, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan wasn’t optimistic about Maatta’s chances of playing in Game 3 on Monday night.
“Olli’s being evaluated as we speak, so I don’t have any real update as far as his status is concerned,” Sullivan said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He’s being evaluated today, we’ll probably have more information in the morning.
“I don’t have a lot of sense of his availability. I’m probably not optimistic, though.”
After the game, Capitals coach Barry Trotz stood up for his defenseman.
“We’ll let the league handle it,” Trotz said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “If you know anything about Brooks, he plays hard, he plays clean. He’s not a dirty player.”