The Detroit Red Wings pushed the Chicago Blackhawks – and their two impressive streaks – to the limit on Sunday, but Chicago managed a 2-1 shootout win.
They increased their NHL record point streak to start a season at 22 games and tied the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens with their 28th game with at least one point (extending back to the end of last season) in the process. Let’s get to the talking points:
- Patrick Kane scored the game-tying goal and shootout winner. Where does he rank among the NHL’s elite?
- Some might be upset that a delay of game penalty opened the door for Kane to score on the power play. Does that over-the-glass automatic minor need to go or is it a necessary evil?
- When’s the last time you saw a better 2-1 game? Many said it and it’s true: Sunday presented a real “playoff atmosphere.”
- Marian Hossa hit regular season game 1,000. How many do you expect him to finish with?
- Can Chicago catch the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers at 35 consecutive games with at least one point? Which opponents represent the biggest threats?
- Speaking of threats, should the ‘Hawks cross their fingers that they don’t draw Detroit in the playoffs? The Red Wings clearly gave them a challenge.
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.