Steven Stamkos

Poll results: PHT readers on Kings’ playoff hopes, Stamkos’ quest for 60 and more

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With the luxury/horror* of a rare night off from the 2012 playoffs on Saturday, it seems like it might be a good time to share some poll results from the last few months. Consider this a clearing house of sorts where we give ourselves “report cards” with the advantage of hindsight.

Will Steven Stamkos score 60 regular season goals? (post)

On March 28, we asked PHT readers if Tampa Bay Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos would reach the 60-goal mark. A stunning majority (76 percent, or 233 voters) said “Yes” and they were correct.

Will the Toronto Maple Leafs make the playoffs? (post)

On the heels of Brian Burke firing Ron Wilson in favor of Randy Carlyle, we decided to poll PHT readers about Carlyle’s chances of turning things around. Sure, it wasn’t that hard to make the call at that (March 2) point, but kudos to PHT readers who said “No.” That would be 82 percent, or 228 voters who were correct.

Will Jeff Carter propel the Kings into the playoffs? (post)

Dean Lombardi made a series of last-ditch efforts with his Los Angeles Kings in a tooth-and-nail struggle to make the playoffs (which might be easy to forget right now). One of those moves was to trade Jack Johnson for Jeff Carter. While Carter wasn’t the driving force of a whole lot of the success, it’s still solid that a small majority (53 percent or 176 to 156) were right.

Which team will win the Southeast Division? (post)

OK, they can’t all be gold records. Back on Feb. 19, PHT took a look at how sad the Southeast was and asked voters to name a winner. The Capitals and Jets tied with 35 percent of the votes (The Jets technically won 199-198) while the eventual division winners Florida only received 98 votes (17 percent). So, like just about everyone, PHT readers were wrong about the Panthers.

***

There are more polls floating around, but that’s a neat little survey of some of the more intriguing ones. PHT readers went three for four, which would make you all superhuman MLB players or John Grahame, if you abide by John Tortorella’s harsh 25 percent rule.

* – Depending upon how many social bridges you’ve burned watching playoff hockey.

Report: Sens protesting Kings goal after clock issue

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 10:  Trevor Lewis #22 of the Los Angeles Kings scores a goal on Mike Condon #1 of the Ottawa Senators to take a 3-2 lead as Marc Methot #3 and Anze Kopitar #11 react during the second period at Staples Center on December 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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There was more than one controversial moment during Saturday’s game between the L.A. Kings and Ottawa Senators.

Sens defenseman Mark Borowiecki was given a major penalty for slamming Tyler Toffoli from behind into the boards, causing the Kings forward to undergo the league’s concussion protocol before he eventually returned to the game.

Later in the evening, there was a report from Darren Dreger of TSN that the Senators are protesting the Kings’ third goal of the game, which came with two seconds left in the second period. It was a pivotal moment in the game, as L.A. took a two-goal lead into the third period, before eventually winning 4-1.

Senators coach Guy Boucher didn’t place blame on a clock issue, but instead he put the onus on his team to not get scored on in that situation late in the period.

From LA Kings Insider:

“I’ll be honest with you, at that point for us we’ve just got to shut it down. We keep it at 1, it wasn’t about getting a goal there it was about getting off the ice. We had done the job in the second period, we had looked very good, we had the momentum, we needed to get into the third period with a one-goal lead. We’ve done it so many times this year coming back so I was confident we could come back, so no. I’m not looking at clocks, I’m not looking at penalties, I’m looking at ourselves just doing better.

The Kings now begin a stretch of nine games away from home. They play seven of those games before the holiday break, before resuming the trip on Dec. 28 versus the Canucks. The trip ends the following night in Edmonton.

Video: Unlikely combatants Kucherov and Daley drop the gloves

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Emotions were running high at times during the first period between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, in a rematch of the 2016 Eastern Conference Final.

Unlikely combatants Nikita Kucherov and Trevor Daley dropped the gloves for a spirited scrap early in the first period, after the two got tangled up in front of the Pittsburgh goal.

It’s been an ugly (or disastrous) start for the Avalanche in Montreal

Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar, top, and his team react during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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Welcome back, Gabriel Landeskog!

Congratulations on game No. 1,500, Jarome Iginla!

Those are sentiments you probably won’t be hearing from the Colorado Avalanche later on Saturday evening. Yes, they did get their captain back in the lineup from injury. Yes, Iginla was playing in the milestone 1,500th game of his NHL career — certainly an impressive feat in a day when the game is getting younger and getting quicker.

But then, the puck dropped and it all went down the drain for the Avalanche in the opening period. Actually, the opening 10 minutes. Facing the Montreal Canadiens, the Avs found themselves down 5-0 by the 8:41 mark. Of the first period.

Right?

Brian Flynn started the onslaught. Paul Byron got the Habs’ fifth goal.

Shots were at one point 13-2 for Montreal. Perhaps most concerning? This disastrous showing follows Matt Duchene calling out his team for a recent loss and, previous to that, coach Jared Bednar ripping the team for a lack of intensity.

Calvin Pickard got the start in net for Colorado, but he was pulled after giving up three goals on 10 shots. Semyon Varlamov entered the game and quickly allowed two goals on the first three shots he faced.

Hey, remember in November when the Habs lost 10-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets? Well, Montreal was halfway to double digits on Saturday, and the first period wasn’t even at the halfway mark.

As of the completion of this post, Montreal was up 6-0. With 5:30 remaining in the first period.

Video: Borowiecki slams Toffoli from behind into the boards

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Tyler Toffoli reportedly went through the concussion protocol for a portion of Saturday’s game against the Senators, after Ottawa defenseman Mark Borowiecki slammed the L.A. Kings forward from behind into the boards.

The incident occurred less than three minutes into the game.

Borowiecki was given a major penalty for boarding. He received another major, this time for fighting, later in the period after him and Matt Greene dropped the gloves. Now the question becomes: Will Borowiecki face supplemental discipline?

Toffoli missed the remainder of the first period, but returned for the second.

The Kings went on to win by a final score of 4-1.