Two former Ottawa Senators goaltenders were perfect tonight, as St. Louis’ Brian Elliott and Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop each earned 31-save shutouts.
Yet combined, they only stopped nine shots more than current Senators goalie Robin Lehner.
Elliott was perfect in a 4-0 win over Florida while Bishop was equally as good in Tampa’s 3-0 victory over the ‘Canes, but both had relatively light workloades compared to Lehner, who faced a staggering 57 shots in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Islanders.
Before we discuss Lehner, let’s focus on the goalies that posted clean sheets.
Elliott is one of the streakiest players in the NHL, so perhaps the Blues are in for a great stretch from their backup goaltender after he led them past Florida. Alexander Steen also stayed incredibly hot for the Blues, scoring his 12th goal in 11 games this season.
As a result the Blues are now 8-1-2 this season, although that’s only good for third place in the ultra-competitive Central Division.
The Lightning are off to a fantastic start as well, and they owe a lot of their success to Bishop. He now has an 8-2-0 record, 2.16 GAA, and .924 save percentage following tonight’s victory, and remains one of the hottest goalies in the NHL.
As for Lehner, he was tagged with the shootout loss but still has a feather in his cap, as he set a Senators franchise record for most saves in a regular-season game.
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.
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.
The Ottawa Senators cannot pin all of their troubles on missing their No. 1 center, yet it probably feels like a huge relief to get him back.
After missing six games with his latest injury, Kyle Turris is in the lineup as the Senators take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Again, it’s not all a matter of missing Turris, but the Senators went 1-5-0 during his six-game absence. They’ve really been falling since late December, to be honest.
Will Turris be enough to stop the bleeding? Perhaps to an extent, but the Senators are in for a serious battle if they hope to fight through the East bubble.
Times have been tough for Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers fans lately, even if they’ve been frustrating in different ways.
Saturday’s 5-1 Habs win highlights a few things, but the most tantalizing thought for those fans is that it’s likely that we’ll see more great things from P.K. Subban and Connor McDavid … sometimes against each other.
Perhaps this will be a confidence booster for Montreal. More than anything else, it directed attention to Subban, who’s quietly been absolutely fantastic for the floundering Canadiens.
Consider how much of an offensive burden he’s currently carrying:
From one current All-Star to someone who could be a perennial one: McDavid certainly seemed to grab Subban’s attention.
Then again, when you make moves like these, who won’t notice?
The Oilers did lose, mind you, so it’s not surprising that Todd McLellan mentioned that the team can’t depend upon McDavid for everything.
That said, the funny thing about that quote is that McDavid might just carry the Oilers for two decades, at least if health and other factors go the right way.
If that’s true, Subban vs. McDavid could be a fun matchup to watch a few times per season for a long, long time.