Raise your hand if you thought the Phoenix Coyotes and Nashville Predators would score 15 goals between them. Keep that hand up if you thought that would happen within the first two games of the series.
The opening pairing of contests has been a surprise track meet and the Coyotes are leaving the Predators in the dust. After scratching and clawing to win Game 1, Phoenix absolutely dominated Nashville 5-3 in Game 2 to take a 2-0 series lead.
Let’s get chatting.
- It’s one thing for Mike Smith to outshine Corey Crawford, but what about Pekka Rinne? It’s not fair to single Rinne out totally when his defense cratered in front of him, yet it’s still shocking. Can Rinne get it back together?
- Is Barry Trotz getting out-foxed by Dave Tippett? Should Trotz consider going with talented but rarely used backup Anders Lindback in Game 3?
- What, exactly, happened to the Predators defense?
- Subjective city: is Phoenix better than we thought or is Nashville weaker than expected?
- The one plus is that the series shifts back to Nashville. Can they get it back together considering the fact that the Coyotes have their first 2-0 series lead since they were the Winnipeg Jets in 1987?
- Alex Radulov, David Legwand and Kevin Klein rank as some of the most-blamed players in Game 2. What must be done to turn their games around? Should any of them watch Game 3 from the press box?
The Montreal Canadiens were a bit like Ben Scrivens (in his near-ideal state) this weekend: not always pretty, but they got the job done.
A day after Scrivens thwarted his former team in the Edmonton Oilers in a 5-1 win, the journeyed goalie was integral in Montreal scraping out a 2-1 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Now, it’s easy to scoff at two wins against two teams who are – let’s be honest – pretty unremarkable.
The Canadiens aren’t really in a position to laugh off any victory, however. That’s especially true when you consider the fact that this is their first set of consecutive wins since late November.
Even through all this frustration, certain top Canadiens stand out as keeping the team afloat. Andrei Markov hit an impressive milestone:
… While Max Pacioretty scored his 20th goal in emphatic fashion:
As P.K. Subban‘s numbers argue, Montreal’s biggest problem has been getting results from more under-the-radar players. In Sunday’s case, Scrivens delivered.
Montreal still faces an uphill battle, but perhaps a weekend like this might serve as a catalyst for a nice climb?
The Boston Bruins updated Malcolm Subban‘s condition a day after the goaltending prospect was hospitalized after being struck in the throat with a puck.
“Malcolm Subban was struck in the throat with a puck Saturday night during pregame warmups. He was transported to Maine Medical Center and was diagnosed with a fractured larynx. He stayed overnight at Maine Medical Center and was transported to Mass General Hospital on Sunday for further evaluation. He is in stable condition and will be sidelined indefinitely. The team will provide additional details when they become available.”
Awful news, although at least he’s in stable condition.
PHT will stay tuned for further updates regarding the 22-year-old.
Subban did tweet a thanks for support:
A little context makes that a little sad, too.
P.K. Subban seems confident his brother will bounce back.
Pulling Anders Nilsson didn’t stop the bleeding for the Edmonton Oilers. Instead, it really just spread the “wealth.”
The New York Islanders are up 7-1, so don’t be surprised if there’s some ugly stuff in the final frame.
Zack Kassian is an author of at least one outburst, as he was tagged with 19 penalty minutes for a display that included fighting Brian Strait, as you can see in the video above.
It’s not the only fight stemming from the blowout, either, as Eric Gryba just tangled with Matt Martin.
Could there be more?
Update: The game ended on a muted note. The Isles ultimately won 8-1.
There was a time when Anders Nilsson seemed like the best bet in the Oilers’ net this season. This … is not that time.
Less than 12 minutes into Sunday’s game, the New York Islanders roared to a 3-0 lead, and that was enough for Edmonton to give Nilsson the hook.
He allowed those three goals on 10 shots, so to be fair, that’s a pretty impressive chunk of chances (almost a shot on goal per minute).
Still, the Oilers were likely hoping to give Cam Talbot a breather, and instead he was rushed into action. Nilsson hadn’t played since Jan. 19, and he’s only appeared in three games in 2016.
As if this didn’t sting enough for Nilsson, consider the fact that he began his NHL career with the Islanders, who eventually decided he wasn’t worth keeping.