San Jose’s Tomas Hertl might just be ready for life in the NHL.
After finding the back of the net twice in his second career game, the 19-year-old Czech forward followed it up with a four-goal night against the New York Rangers. That alone is such an impressive feat that it’s difficult to put into context, but his highlight reel fourth goal alone would have been enough to earn him heaps of praise.
He’s the youngest player to get four goals in a single game since Jimmy Carson in 1988, according to the the NHL Public Relations’ Twitter feed. Jamie Baker pointed out that he also became the first Sharks player to ever score five, let alone six, goals in his first three contests with the team.
But citing his statistical accomplishments doesn’t do his night justice. It would be much better to simply show you what he did:
Of course, Hertl’s night was part of a larger 9-2 slaughter of the New York Rangers. It’s a night where they can’t really take away any positives. On top of everything else, star forward Rick Nash suffered a potential concussion when he was hit by Brad Stuart.
“I have a headache,” Nash admitted, according to the New York Post’s Larry Brooks. “It got worse. It was a head shot. I’m concerned the way it feels.”
Rangers captain Ryan Callahan and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist both felt embarrassed by what happened tonight, according to the team’sTwitter feed, but they need to put this behind them and try to bounce back on Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks. At the same time, the Sharks will aim to build off of their early season momentum versus the Vancouver Canucks.
If the Chicago Blackhawks are going to make up some serious ground and overtake the Minnesota Wild for the Central Division title, they’ll need wins like these.
It’s only fitting that “Captain Serious” Jonathan Toews did the heavy lifting, generating a hat trick and two assists as the Blackhawks beat the Wild 5-3 on Tuesday.
Yes, Toews was involved in every goal. And yes, the Blackhawks won this one in regulation after beating the Wild in overtime last time around. It’s a nice swing for Chicago:
Central Division title chase
1. Wild – 84 points in 59 games (39 wins, 36 ROW)
2. Blackhawks – 79 points in 60 games (37 wins, 35 ROW)
Yeah, that’s still a substantial edge for Minnesota … but this is a significant swing.
Even beyond the name recognition that comes with Toews & Co., the Blackhawks’ push shouldn’t be surprising. They’re red-hot in February so far, going 7-1-0 despite playing seven of eight on the road (strangely losing that lone home contest).
The Wild have played reasonably well in their own right, yet this loss sends them into a bye week with some frustration … and maybe some questions about whether they can hold the Blackhawks off.
Price didn’t just play for Habs; he made the difference vs. Rangers
It’s one thing for Carey Price to shake off that Paul Byron shot in warm-ups. And, honestly, that bump from Shea Weber during the game. But to play like, well, Carey Price? That would be something else.
Well, you probably saw this one coming … but Price had some absolutely great moments against the New York Rangers in an eventual 3-2 shootout win.
He was the main difference-maker, although it must be said that there’s some comic relief in Byron scoring the shootout-winner.
Price vs. Rick Nash felt like a subplot of the overall story.
On one occasion, Price made a resounding stop on a Nash breakaway:
It was quite the night for the aging power forward, however, as he nailed his other opportunity.
Some might be a little sad that Nash vs. Price didn’t go against each other in the shootout, but hey, maybe the two teams could save that for next time?
The Canadiens needed this win more than the Rangers. The Ottawa Senators actually briefly went ahead for first place in the Atlantic Division, but now Montreal has 72 points to Ottawa’s 70 … while the Sens hold two games in hand.
This tweet might only live for a few minutes, but the Ottawa Senators are in first place in the Atlantic Division.
It’s been a nice milestone night for young Jets scorers, as Nikolaj Ehlers also scored his 20th goal of 2016-17.
That 30th goal came less than 30 seconds after Leo Komarov‘s second goal of the contest, putting Winnipeg up 4-3 heading into the third period. For all we know, the Jets might need even more from Laine tonight.
No helmet, no stick, no problem as Preds’ Watson blocks shot anyway
Sometimes, when you ponder a player who opts not to wear a visor, you wonder if that person cares about their health. Then you remember that it takes a certain mixture of bravery and recklessness to be a professional hockey player in the first place.
Even so, there are moments that stand out as especially “hockey tough” – and, yes, reckless – with Austin Watson of the Nashville Predators fitting both labels well on Tuesday.
It’s already brave and dangerous to block a shot with your full gear, but Watson did so without his stick and without his helmet against the Calgary Flames. Luckily, the shot didn’t hit him up high … but dude.