Red-hot Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist isn’t just scoring goals during this torrid stretch … he’s often providing jaw-droppers. His 27th goal of the 2013-14 season certainly qualifies as highlight reel material, as he befuddled the Tampa Bay Lightning (including goalie Ben Bishop) on this stunner:
Here are a few of the pertinent numbers regarding the 24-year-old’s incredible pace:
He’s on a nine-game point streak with only one contest (March 27) coming without a goal. Overall, he has 10 goals and two assists in the past eight games and one more goal (and counting?) on Sunday.
If he finishes without another goal tonight, he’ll still have an incredible 22 in his last 27 games.
He also has 12 goals in the month of March (at the moment).
It’s getting to the point where he’s generating some serious Hart Trophy talk (at least as a top-five contender, as most acknowledge he hasn’t played in enough games). If nothing else, it’s reasonable to say that he’s the main reason that the Red Wings are currently in position to make yet another playoff run.
They might need just a little more magic from him to get all the way there, though. At this point, would you doubt Nyquist?
Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.
“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.
Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?
Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”
Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.
Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.
Next four games: Three out of four at home Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.
As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.
For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.
He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).
That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out
This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:
With Ovechkin out, Caps lines look like this: