P.K. Subban has captured his first-ever Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman, according to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos.
On Monday, Kypreos tweeted that “confirmed word out of Montreal” is Subban will be awarded the trophy during the Stanley Cup finals, which get underway this Wednesday at Chicago’s United Center.
Subban, 23, earned his first-ever Norris nomination this season by tying a career-high with 38 points in 42 games — the same number of points he registered two seasons ago over the course of 71 games.
One of the major reasons for his nomination was noted improvement to his defensive game. Subban went from a minus player his first year in the league to plus-12 this season, the highest total of his career.
His emergence as a bonafide No. 1 defenseman also spurred Montreal to a great turnaround season. The Habs finished dead last in the Eastern Conference last year but captured the No. 2 seed this season, winning the Northeast Division for the first time since 2008.
If Kypreo’s report holds accurate, Subban will be the first Habs defenseman to win the award since Chris Chelios, and will join Hockey Hall of Famers Larry Robinson, Jacques Laperriere, Tom Johnson and Doug Harvey as Montreal defensemen to win the award.
Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.
Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.
Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:
That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.
Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.
For quite some time, it looked like the Florida Panthers would keep the Pittsburgh Penguins under wraps.
Florida nursed a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 margin almost halfway through the third period, looking to win its sixth consecutive game. That looked great … and then Sidney Crosby + Kris Letang happened.
Let’s put it this way: this GIF of Crosby being frustrated is amusing, yet it doesn’t exactly tell the story of Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win for the Penguins:
Instead, Crosby grabbed his 900th point assisting on a Letang goal, and finished the night with 902 by collecting the game-tying goal and grabbing a helper on Letang’s overtime game-winner.
Crosby crossing that barrier is indeed special, even if it prompts “What if?” questions about No. 87’s health.
The resurgence of Crosby and Letang already played a big role in the Penguins going from disjointed and frustrating to sneaky and scary, so it shouldn’t be that surprising to see them play so well. Doing so in such brisk order is a little bewildering, however.
Saturday’s been unkind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and not just on the scoreboard (where it’s 3-0 early on against the Ottawa Senators).
The Maple Leafs lost Tyler Bozak to an apparent upper-body injury thanks to a questionable hit by Sens forward Mika Zibanejad.
You can judge that check (which drew a minor penalty for illegal check to the head) in the video above. Again, Bozak will not return to tonight’s game.
It’s unclear if Bozak will miss time beyond this contest.
Update: It didn’t get much better going forward; the Senators beat the Maple Leafs 6-1.
Scary stuff on Saturday: multiple reporters (including the Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy) note that Malcolm Subban was taken to a hospital after a puck struck his throat during warm-ups.
There’s no word yet on Subban’s condition beyond that he was taken away in an ambulance.
The AHL’s Providence Bruins seem like they’ve been left scrambling for a backup goalie in Subban’s absence.
Subban stated days ago that he’s taken some significant steps forward during the 2015-16 season.
Update: This seems fairly positive.