In the latest installment of PHT Extra, Brough and I took notice of the scorching Columbus Blue Jackets — winners of five straight, the longest active streak in the league — who are racking up points thanks in large part to the play of goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.
The 25-year-old Russian ‘tender was recently named the NHL’s first star of the week after going 4-0-0 with a 0.77 GAA and .972 save percentage.
His stellar play has allowed the Jackets to climb out of the Western Conference cellar. Somewhat amazingly, they now sit just four points back of St. Louis for the final playoff spot in the West.
Just goes to show where good goaltending can get you.
On the other end of the spectrum, a number of last year’s playoff teams are struggling between the pipes.
The Blues, Kings, Penguins and Flyers all have sub-.900 save percentages and inflated GAAs, though they’re hardly alone — 10 of the NHL’s 30 teams have save percentages of .900 or less, while nine teams (Penguins, Blues, Flyers, Capitals, Sabres, Lightning, Flames, Islanders and Panthers) have collective GAAs of 2.90 or higher.
What gives? And are there goaltending fixes available?
This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.
Per @EliasSports: @LAKings had 9 different skaters score in a game for 5th time in franchise history. Last: Jan. 21, 1987 vs. PIT (10-5 W).
Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.
Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”
Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.