With the 2013-14 campaign winding to a close, a couple players reached some major milestones last night.
Joe Pavelski completed the best regular season of his career by netting his 40th and 41st goals. That’s a big jump from his previous career-high of 31 markers and he also cruised to a new personal best with 79 points in 82 games.
“It was nice (that my 40th goal) comes right away in the game,” Pavelski told NHL.com after he reached the milestone just 3:43 minutes in San Jose’s 3-2 win over Phoenix. “I could feel everyone try to pass to me, so it’s cool, but the win obviously is nice going into the playoffs. Guys feel good about themselves.”
Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall can only guess at what it must be like to reach the NHL playoffs, but he gave it his all this season. The 22-year-old forward recorded three assists in Edmonton’s 5-2 victory against Vancouver last night to reach the 80-point mark for the first time in his career.
Obviously, Edmonton’s franchise single-season leaderboard is dominated by Wayne Gretzky and it would take a legend to change that, but Hall is the first Oilers player to record at least 80 points since Doug Weight in 2000-01.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
Bad news for Boedker: Coyotes won’t face Sens again in 2015-16