Death, taxes and
Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.
OK, the third thing on that list isn’t
technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.
It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.
(He also passed Jean Beliveau for 39th all-time in goals with his 509th,
as NHL.com notes.)
This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as
Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.
One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.
Update: Minnesota managed three goals, but it wasn’t enough, as Washington got the edge 4-3.
Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman
Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.
At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.
“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said,
according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”
As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:
Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.
The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.
Regular Selke winner
Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.
That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward
Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as
Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.
as unlikely, but still.)
Update: Bergeron and the Bruins got the last laugh. He scored two goals and Boston beat Winnipeg 6-2.
Dion Phaneuf‘s first home game as a member of the Ottawa Senators is going more smoothly than his debut did on Wednesday.
Ottawa fell 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings last night, and they need another goal to tie up the Colorado Avalanche. Still, Phaneuf’s making a bigger impact on Thursday, collecting two assists … his first two points in a Sens’ sweater.
You can see his crowd-pleasing first helper above.
Here’s his second assist for good measure:
Update: The Avalanche held on, taking a 4-3 edge. Even so, Phaneuf’s getting a warm welcome in his new hockey city.
The Dallas Stars seemed like they were slipping out of the run for the top spot in the Central Division for a while there.
Now it seems like they might just boot the Chicago Blackhawks out of first place in little time.
Granted, there’s plenty of time left in Thursday’s game, and that’s probably part of the reason why Joel Quenneville gave
Corey Crawford the early hook.
The other reasons? Well, four of them, as Dallas is up 4-0 … and
Patrick Eaves provided a remarkably rapid hat trick riding along with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.
Here’s his third tally:
If Dallas can hold on for a regulation win, the Stars would end the night just one standings point behind Chicago with two games in hand. Then again, as this race has shown, it’s rarely safe to make too many assumptions.
Update: Dallas ended up beating Chicago 4-2.