Getty

The Buzzer: Reimer’s redemption, Ovechkin the assist machine

Player of the Night: James Reimer, Florida Panthers

What if a goalie who’s often an analytics darling saves the season for a sometimes-seemingly-anti-analytics team in the Florida Panthers? If nothing else, Reimer is a catalyst for Florida’s hot streak, as the goalie and team are both on five-game winning streaks after a 2-0 win against the fledgling Montreal Canadiens.

In Saturday’s case, Reimer stopped all 38 shots on goal for his 19th career shutout.

The Panthers have asked quite a bit of Reimer, too, so he deserves a significant chunk of the credit.

Other worthy mentions for player of the night include Alex Ovechkin (three assists), John Carlson (goal, two assists), and Tyler Toffoli (also a goal and two assists).

Best highlights:

Great passing by the Capitals, including Ovechkin:

Connor Brickley generated the celebration of the night:

Meanwhile, this was not the celebration of the night … or was it?

Factoids:

Circling back to Ovechkin, his three-assist night generated factoids both obscure and broad. This is a cool one for context, especially when you consider the fact that Ovechkin is such a prolific scorer during a time when it’s tough to put pucks in the net (especially for most other players):

It was a night of milestones for the Capitals, as Barry Trotz also became the fifth-winningest coach in NHL history.

Scores

Bruins 5, Senators 0
Panthers 2, Canadiens 0
Capitals 5, Devils 2
Blues 3, Hurricanes 2
Predators 3, Wild 0
Kings 4, Canucks 3

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

AP
7 Comments

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?