The NHL has produced some great Cinderella stories over the years, but even among them, the Los Angeles Kings, who posted a 6-1 victory in Game 6, are unique. We’ve seen a No. 8 seed make it all the way to the finals before, but Monday night was the first time we’ve seen one win the Cup.
Here’s a few facts to chew on after a historic night of hockey:
— The Los Angeles Kings eliminated the top three seeds in the Western Conference en route to the Stanley Cup finals.
— This is the first time since 2007 that the Stanley Cup was awarded to the home team.
— Dustin Brown found the back of the net and Jeff Carter scored twice on Monday. Both of them finished the playoffs with eighth goals to join a rather large tie for first place in the NHL. Also part of that tie were Ilya Kovalchuk, Anze Kopitar, Zach Parise, Claude Giroux, and Danny Briere. Giroux and Briere are of course notable for being on that list despite the fact that the Philadelphia Flyers were eliminated in the second round.
— The team that scored first won every single game of the Stanley Cup finals.
— Speaking of the Devils, Martin Brodeur is tied for sixth place in the history of the NHL with 17 victories in the Stanley Cup finals. Jacques Plante’s 25 Stanley Cup finals wins looks like one of the safest records out there.
— We finished with 50 playoff games decided with by just one goal. That’s one game shy of the league record, set in 2007.
Ducks take control of second in Pacific after edging Oilers
McDavid scored a goal and two assists, yet Ryan Getzlaf was right there with him with three assists, helping the Ducks win 4-3.
With that, Anaheim is clearly ahead of Edmonton for second in the Pacific. The Ducks would hold home-ice over the Oilers if the playoffs began today, and better yet for them, a division title isn’t out of the question:
1. Sharks – 91 points in 73 games played
2. Ducks – 89 points in 73 GP
3. Oilers – 87 points in 73 GP
4. Flames – 86 points in 73 GP
As you can see, the Oilers aren’t exactly far ahead of the Flames for third, either.
Going forward, the Oilers have an interesting schedule: a mix of games against cellar dwellers (two apiece against the Canucks and Avalanche) plus two games apiece versus the Kings and Sharks.
The Ducks’ schedule includes two matches against the Flames, one against the Kings and one more match at Edmonton on April 1.
Long story short, the jockeying for position is far from over, but this was a pretty significant win for the Ducks.
Video: Connor McDavid shows off speed and skill (again)
Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.
Maybe more than sheer speed, this tally is a reminder that McDavid could do impressive things while losing little or no momentum. It’s one thing to have straight-line speed, but he has the hands and hockey IQ to take advantage of his swift skating.
McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).
The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.
They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.
The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.
Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.
The Islanders now have 80 standings points, placing them two behind the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot.
The Rangers’ hold over the first wild card seems quite secure, but they do have to worry ever so slightly about their play at home. With this defeat, they’ve now lost seven straight (0-5-2) at Madison Square Garden.
Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style