Lee Stempniak

Video: Crosby becomes this season’s first 100-point scorer

47 Comments

With an assist on a Chris Kunitz goal, Sidney Crosby broke the 100-point barrier for the fifth time in his NHL career and the first since the 2009-10 season (injuries and work stoppages have conspired against the star hitting the century mark in between).

Here’s the assist:

As of this writing, Crosby has 36 goals and 64 assist for those 100 points.

Not only is Crosby, 26, the first NHL player to hit 100 points in 2013-14 … he’s likely to be the only one to do so this season. Ryan Getzlaf is currently the only other player with more than 80 points at the moment (83 points in 71 games), and his Ducks only have six games left this season.

Ignoring the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, here’s a look at some recent years’ 100-point producers.

2011-12: Evgeni Malkin (109)
2010-11: Daniel Sedin (104)
2009-10: Henrik Sedin (112), Crosby (109), Alex Ovechkin (109) and Nicklas Backstrom (101)

As you can see, 100-point producers are an increasingly rare sight, but the bigger concern for league scoring might be that most aren’t even getting very close. In 2011-12, Steven Stamkos had 97 points and Claude Giroux hit 93; Getzlaf might be the only other playing to eclipse 90 points, and that’s assuming the Ducks don’t give him a breather. (That’s not to say someone like Giroux couldn’t jump to 90; but most players are at a point-per-game or less.)

If you look at top scorers as a barometer for a league, then things are pretty dry for the NHL right now. But at least there’s Crosby.

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

1 Comment

For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

1 Comment

The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
AP
1 Comment

If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

2 Comments

It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.