This summer, NBC Sports’ social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise’s history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with thousands of votes being cast. The results of this initiative will be released throughout the month of August, in conjunction with PHT’s Team of the Day series.
New York Islanders
1. Mike Bossy (958)
2. Denis Potvin (339)
3. Bryan Trottier (314)
4. Billy Smith (129)
5. John Tavares (115)
6. Pat Lafontaine (84)
In a lot of cases, the votes for the greatest player in a team’s history end up being fairly obvious. New York Islanders fans had some fantastic players to choose from based on the dynastic 1980’s group that brought home a staggering four straight Stanley Cups, but in the end, Mike Bossy won by a large margin.
Seriously, though, that era produced some fantastic choices. Denis Potvin won three Norris Trophies and became the first defenseman to cross the 1,000-point plateau. Bryan Trottier won a Hart, Conn Smythe and Art Ross Trophy while distinguishing himself for his all-around play and all-around amazing mustache. Billy Smith was the first goalie to score a goal and also used his stick as a weapon when the mood struck.
Bossy ultimately stood tallest even if he was limited to 752 regular season games. Simply put, he’s possibly the greatest sniper the game has ever seen, managing 573 goals in that span (and 85 in just 129 postseason contests). His .76 goal-per-game average edges Mario Lemieux for the best rate in NHL history and he scored 50+ goals in all but one of his 10 career seasons (he managed 38 despite being limited to 63 games played in 1986-87, his final campaign).
He finished his career with a ridiculous 21.2 shooting percentage, too.
Considering all that, it’s not too surprising that he’s part of the “50 goals in 50 games” club.
A decade from now, John Tavares might creep up on some of the names above him, but it’s difficult to imagine him eclipsing No. 22.
It makes sense that a swift bit of history happened in a game in which three goals were scored scored on three shots in about three minutes.
Brad Marchand found the net eight seconds in after an icing call, setting a new record for the Boston Bruins.
(You can see that goal in the video above.)
Watch that three-goal burst in this video:
The two teams weren’t done then. Loui Eriksson made it 3-1 while Pavel Datsyuk scored his 900th point to make it 3-2.
Maybe the best moment wasn’t a goal: Torey Krug was seemingly hurt by a Pavel Datsyuk hit, yet he returned without missing much time.
When the New Jersey Devils shut down a team 1-0, it’s usually with Cory Schneider in net.
Their workhorse got the afternoon off against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, yet Keith Kinkaid did his Schneider impression, grabbing his first NHL shutout in the process.
It was a low-event game with just 46 combined shots on goal, but Kinkaid had to work, stopping all 28 shots. To give you an idea of how tight this game was, the only tally was credited to David Schlemko on the power play.
This gives the Devils three straight wins. They managed to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New Jersey’s edge is a little misleading; the Islanders trail them by one standings point while holding three games in hand.
That leaves the Islanders in the bottom wild card spot, while the Penguins aren’t so far behind either.
Third in Metro: Devils – 65 points with 57 games played
Second wildcard: Islanders – 64 points, 54 GP
First spot outside the East playoffs: Penguins – 63 points, 54 GP
So, the Devils’ hold of a playoff spot is a bit tenuous, yet the bottom line is that they’re staying in the mix.
The Kings, meanwhile, remain comfortably in first in the Pacific.
The Boston Bruins (without Patrice Bergeron) take on the Detroit Red Wings (missing Jonathan Ericsson) on Sunday afternoon.
It’s a matchup between the second-ranked and third-ranked teams in the Atlantic Division, with little separating the two in the standings.
You can watch the game on NBC and also stream it online via the link below.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
As cool as it was at the time for many, Patrice Bergeron‘s fight against Blake Wheeler is … honestly, a good reminder why players like Bergeron rarely drop the gloves.
Multiple outlets including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty report that Bergeron will miss Sunday afternoon’s game against the Detroit Red Wings (which you can watch on NBC).
We don’t know a ton about the injury aside from the fact that the multiple Selke-winner is considered day-to-day.
People don’t seem overly concerned about this issue, but you have to wonder if Bergeron made a bad choice, especially considering his history of concussion issues.
You can watch the bout that may or may not have left him injured in the video above.