We thought we were done debating Barry Trotz’s decision to sit Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn in Games 3 and 4, but the talk isn’t going away now that we’re getting details about just how late they were out before Game 2 in Glendale.
Sports Illustrated’s Michael Farber wrote a solid piece looking into the news surrounding some of Russia (and Belarus’) finest players in the postseason and in it we get the details about Radulov and Kostitsyn’s night on the town in Arizona. Farber finds out it wasn’t quite the all-night bender it’s been made out to be (emphasis mine).
Although one team official learned about 30 minutes before Game 2 that Radulov and Kostitsyn had broken the Predators’ midnight curfew, he did not feel that it was the appropriate time to relay the news to coach Barry Trotz or general manager David Poile. Trotz learned of the indiscretion after his postgame press conference, when a reporter pulled him aside and mentioned that media members had spotted the two players out late the night before. When the Predators returned to the team hotel adjacent to Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Trotz checked the security logs: Radulov and Kostitsyn indeed had returned around 1 a.m.
Earlier reports had Radulov and Kostitsyn rolling in much later than that and thus thoroughly justifying Trotz’s punishment for Game 3. Breaking team rules regardless of how badly you break curfew requires some kind of punishment. Oddly enough, this story from Farber jives well with Radulov’s assertion he wasn’t out that late.
The debate Predators fans and other hockey folks might get into now is whether missing curfew by an hour requires a two-game suspension.
Related: Did the media tip off the Predators about Radulov and Kostitsyn partying?
When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.
With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).
As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.
Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.
You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.
Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.
“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?
Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.
Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.
It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.
Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.
On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?
It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?
* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.
If nothing else, the New Jersey Devils seem like they won’t be the sort of team a contender can essentially mark off as a “W” on their calendars.
The Montreal Canadiens may not be in a position to take opponents lightly with Carey Price on the shelf, but whatever the case may be, they saw their four-game winning streak end in frustrating fashion on Saturday.
After falling behind 2-0, the Devils scrapped their way back into it, eventually riding a John Moore overtime goal to a 3-2 OT win.
If Montreal needs an obvious bright side to look on considering this hiccup, Alex Galchenyuk‘s hot weekend may be a good thing to look at.
Tonight’s loss may smart a bit anyway, however.
If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:
“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”
The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.
Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:
With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.
Measuring stick stretch begins
Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.
This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.
It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.
In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.