A red-hot finish fueled Alex Ovechkin’s surge to his third career Maurice Richard Trophy* on Saturday. Ovechkin finished the 2013 season with 32 goals, edging Steven Stamkos, John Tavares and the rest of the field.
Ovechkin, 27, scored 14 of his 32 tallies in the month of April, breaking the NHL’s record for goals in the month of April. While the lockout aided that goal, it remains a highly impressive run. Overall, Ovechkin scored 24 goals in 29 games since March 1.
Ovechkin has scored at least 32 goals in every season of his eight-year NHL career. He now sits at 371 goals in 601 career regular season games.
The Capitals point out that Ovechkin is the first player in the trophy’s history to win it at least three times. That word is in bold for a reason: the award’s only been around for 13 years. (Wayne Gretzky topped all goal scorers in five different seasons, for example.)
Either way, it’s another great accolade for an offensive force who is enjoying a phenomenal two-month run.
* – Technically, this award victory is unofficial. Jeff Carter poses the greatest threat to Ovechkin’s claim, but the Los Angeles Kings sniper would need six goals to tie him and seven to take it since he began Saturday at 26 tallies.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.