–Canucks forward Bo Horvat went 27 games between his second and third goal last season. After he ended the slump, he seemed to figure out how to produce regularly at the NHL level. “I think the best thing about Bo is that he gets himself better,” said coach Willie Desjardins. “He makes himself better. He doesn’t wait for coaches, he takes onus on his game himself. He works at his game and that’s why he’s improving.” (Sports Illustrated)
–Former NHL referee Kerry Fraser explains why the officials made the right call when they decided that Rick Nash’s goal against Montreal, on Saturday, was in fact a good goal. “Since (Kevin) Hayes’ skate got caught up in (Carey) Price’s pad outside of the crease after the NY Rangers forward made a legitimate hockey play (deke), the contact would be regarded as accidental (incidental). (KerryFraser.com)
–Here’s an interesting piece about how Paul Maurice has rarely received league-average goaltending throughout his career as an NHL coach. “Since Maurice’s career began in 1995, with the exceptions of only Burke, Barrasso, Legace, and Montoya, Maurice has always had below-average goaltending. That’s simply astonishing.” (Sportsnet)
–You can watch the full overtime period from last night’s wild game between the Penguins and Capitals by clicking the video at the top of the page.
–Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore is living a great life right now, but he still isn’t sure what he’s going to do for work. “Hey, life is good, I’m not going to sit here and complain about it. I don’t have to work, for sure. The flip side is that it might have been good if I did have to work so I would have jumped into something right away. Then I would have been busy, if that makes sense. But overall I can’t complain. I’m not bored … yet.” (Calgary Herald)
It’s no surprise that Justin Williams, a player who earned the clutch nickname of “Mr. Game 7,” provided the money quote for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ wild 8-7 overtime win against the Washington Capitals.
“It snowballed too quickly for us,” Williams said, according to Caps’ website Dump n Chase. “All around, it was like a 1988 Smythe Division game out there, not something we want to do.”
You could probably spend hours pouring through all the oddball stats that sprouted up from this game.
While Williams and Niskanen provided some of the better quotes, most of the players were reduced to using the same word that, frankly, most of us were rolling out.
(Aside from those of us who were spouting expletives at perceived missed calls, particularly on the losing end.)
In admitting that he couldn’t explain the second period, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan probably described the entire game most accurately:
Either way, it was a lot of fun. Let’s do this in the playoffs, too, shall we?
/scans online for a budget defibrillator.
The Arizona Coyotes are really bad, but you could argue that Mike Smith is why the Colorado Avalanche owns the NHL’s worst record instead.
He came into tonight’s eventual 3-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers with a sparkling .918 save percentage, and while he couldn’t save the Coyotes, he did rob of Jordan Eberle on what seemed like a sure goal.
Watch that great save in the video above, and maybe wonder if Smith didn’t get the memo about the whole “tanking” thing.
Leave it to number 87 to win an 8-7 hockey game.
Evgeni Malkin grabbed a hat trick during that patently absurd second period, yet it was Sidney Crosby who helped to create the overtime game-winner (credited to Conor Sheary) as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Washington Capitals on Monday night.
No doubt about it, there was some controversy, including on that clinching goal. And not just because the tally survived the review process:
Regardless, the Penguins’ three-game losing streak ends (as does Washington’s nine-game winning run). The Caps at least got a standings point out of the deal, which seems pretty fair when you consider the fact that they scored a touchdown and extra point’s worth of goals in this one.
(Yes, there were NFL jokes on Twitter.)
Malkin’s hat trick goal and Crosby’s fourth point both demanded official reviews, but both also stood. Capitals fans are probably upset with this game, especially since you could make a legitimate argument that T.J. Oshie should’ve drawn … you, know, at least one penalty:
Instead, you could argue that Patric Hornqvist‘s hit on Oshie ended up being a turning point of the game in Pittsburgh’s favor, although you could also argue that even M. Night Shyamalan couldn’t keep up with all of the twists.
To recap, Malkin had that hat trick, Crosby scored a goal and three assists and Sheary generated a three-point night (two goals, one assist). Trevor Daley generated three assists while Justin Schultz did it one better with four.
The goalie stats, were, well … (see that Luongo tweet).
Overall, it was a messy, unpredictable, staggering and sometimes controversial game.
Normally, one might say that this is just what you’d expect from a Capitals – Penguins contest. Can anyone really argue they expected this explosion, though?
Do yourself a favor and watch the highlights, as there were so many exciting moments and goals that it’s difficult to summarize them all in one recap. Heck, if you just watch the highlights of the night for Crosby and Malkin, you’re likely to be highly entertained.
If we’re treated to another contest between these teams in 2016-17, it will be in the playoffs. Plenty of hockey fans would love to see that, at least if their hearts can take it.