It was another bruising, physical game between the L.A. Kings and St. Louis Blues.
But a third-period scoring outburst from the Kings turned the battle in their favor, as they defeated the Blues 4-1 on the NHL on NBCSN Thursday night.
The Kings got three goals – two from Trevor Lewis and an empty-netter from Jeff Carter – to break a 1-1 deadlock.
The second Lewis goal, a short-handed marker, was perhaps the deciding moment. It came just over two minutes after he provided L.A.’s second goal of the night, and gave the Kings a two-goal lead.
Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak came out to the play the shoot-in, but then let it go after it crossed the goal line. Had he played it, he would’ve been called for a penalty. Lewis picked up the puck, and with Halak out of the net, scored on the wrap around.
Halak took the blame for afterwards.
“You know, the trapezoid, I didn’t want to play the puck. I think I should have. I made a mistake at the worst possible time,” Halak said afterward, as per Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Perhaps one of the more entertaining parts of this hockey game was an interview between whistles that involved Blues’ head coach Ken Hitchcock, who at the time was quite displeased with his team’s effort. That led to a pretty good Anson Carter impersonation of unhappy Hitchcock during the intermission break.
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.