The San Jose Sharks came into Sunday with a six-game losing streak against the Chicago Blackhawks, but they finally ended that thanks to a 3-2 shootout win in a captivating contest on NBCSN.
Both goalies were tested regularly, as Alex Stalock won it by stopping 33 out of 35 shots while Corey Crawford grabbed a point for the ‘Hawks after making 40 out of 42 saves. Brent Burns notched the game-tying tally, giving him 14 goals in just 30 games played.
The Sharks have been thriving in “the skills competition” lately, with four of their last six wins coming via shootouts. Overall, they’ve won six of their last eight games.
Chicago probably won’t have a ton to complain about big picture-wise, as they’ve notched at least a standings point in every game except a 7-3 loss to Toronto in the past 30 days. They’ve also generated a point in 10 straight contests (6-0-4).
A lot of different things would need to swing one way or another for it to happen, but it’s hard not to daydream about the two teams meeting in the 2014 playoffs after watching games like these. Well, unless you’re a Blackhawks or Sharks fan, that is.
It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.
Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.
Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.
The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension
The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.
It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.
Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.