The Oilers’ youth movement and reliance on first-round picks to carry them forward is one that’s taking its time getting going. One of the biggest issues they’ve had in being a more consistent team is stopping opponents from scoring.
Nikolai Khabibulin hasn’t exactly been the stopper the team thought he’d be when they signed him as a free agent, they feel they’ve got a bright future with 2004 first-round pick Devan Dubnyk. Dubnyk has split time with Khabibulin the past two seasons and has put up relatively average numbers.
Two seasons ago, Dubnyk had a .916 save percentage and a 2.71 goals against average on the worst team in the NHL. Last season he saw his save percentage drop by .002 but his goals against average improved just slightly while playing in 12 more games. With numbers like that, the Oilers hope he’s just off to a slow start.
While his rookie season was bad, he’s gotten slightly better since then, enough for the Oilers to give him a stunning two-year extension worth $7 million. Hey, at least his numbers are better than that of Columbus goalie Steve Mason.
Still, who would you rather have for $3.5 million per season: Dubnyk, Tuukka Rask, or Kari Lehtonen? The Oilers hope their 26 year-old is about to hit his stride.
Sidney Crosby is known to get fiery, but even for his feisty standards, he was furious during the third period of Game 4.
An Alex Ovechkin slash caught Crosby on the hand, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins star shaking his mitt and pleading for a call.
After that, Crosby left to get his hand looked at … but not before flipping out and destroying his stick.
You can watch it happen in the GIF and the videos above.
Crosby was able to return not that long after that moment, although we can only speculate regarding how his overall game will be affected if his hand isn’t 100 percent.
Tensions seem to rise with every passing game in the playoffs, particularly in a series with bad blood like the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.
Kris Letang was suspended for his hit in Game 3, and some wonder if Evgeni Malkin should suffer a similar fate for his check on Daniel Winnik on Wednesday.
Winnik left the contest and has not yet returned during the third period.
Take a look at the hit in the video above and decide for yourself.
Fires devastated the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, and the St. Louis Blues are doing their part to help those who were affected.
Here’s what the team is doing to raise money during Game 4 against the Dallas Stars:
Proceeds raised through the team’s 50/50 raffle and the Blues for Kids silent auction will benefit families who have been misplaced by the fires.
Blues forward Scottie Upshall shared his thoughts with the Associated Press regarding several family members being among those evacuated from the area.
“It’s been a great city, a city that’s survived for many years through some tough times and for me, growing up there doesn’t seem too long ago,” Upshall said. “Places that probably aren’t standing anymore will be really, really tough to take. But as long as everyone’s OK, that’s the main thing.”
Other people from around the hockey world weighed in on the scary scene, including Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who told the Ottawa Citizen that “it hurts a lot.”
People shared some scary sights from the evacuation.
Matt Murray was just on another level in Game 3, giving the impression that the Washington Capitals would only beat him with perfect shots.
Jay Beagle got that memo … and maybe added a little element of surprise on top of that.
As you can see from the video above, Beagle beat Murray from an unexpected angle with a pretty resounding goal. It was one of those “Wait, did that just happen?”-type moments.
The Capitals saw their lead go away moments before this post was completed, so it’s now 1-1.