The Tampa Bay Lightning have been stumbling for much of this season, to the point where even a tough loss sometimes prompted quite a bit of optimism. We’ve wondered if they were starting to figure things out before, only to see them take a step back.
Still, those positive quotes are trickling out again after the Lightning fought back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Thursday.
With an assist on Aleksander Barkov‘s goal on Thursday, Jaromir Jagr generated the 1,888th point of his legendary NHL career. In doing so, he broke his tie with Mark Messier and now stands alone at No. 2 all-time for points in league history.
Wayne Gretzky’s in first with an almost unthinkable 2,857 points so … Jagr would need to inspire years of old jokes to flirt with that mark.
Regardless, it’s an incredible achievement, one Jagr managed in his 1,663rd regular season game. The 44-year-old didn’t force people to wait very long for him to break his tie with Messier, as he hit 1,887 points on Tuesday.
Jaromir Jagr registered his 1,888th NHL point while playing in his 1,663rd career game, 93 fewer than Mark Messier played in his career. pic.twitter.com/lxQrr6lXpQ
Sorry, Torts. People are probably going to make a pretty big deal about this one.
The Columbus Blue Jackets didn’t just beat the Pittsburgh Penguins to win their 11th consecutive game and move – at least briefly – to first place in the Metropolitan Division. They absolutely dominated the Penguins in the process, beating them 7-1.
Blowing out good teams: Let’s consider some of Columbus’ lopsided wins in 2016-17:
Nov. 4: That 10-0 shellacking of Al Montoya and the Canadiens.
Nov. 12: An 8-4 drubbing of the Blues.
Nov. 29: Handing a demoralizing 5-1 loss to the Lightning.
Dec. 10: Beating the Islanders 6-2.
Thursday night: Pummeling the Penguins.
The Blue Jackets fattened their 3-1 lead to a 6-1 edge with three goals in less than a minute during a staggering run in the third, and they scored four goals six-and-a-half minutes to start that opening frame. Ridiculous. College football pundits couldn’t keep up with the fun.
Columbus already came into the night with the best goal differential in the league, and now it’s at a resounding +44.
The Blue Jackets aren’t just “hanging in there.” Yes, their Metro lead is slim right now, but they hold games-in-hand advantages over their division peers.
And, again, they’re rolling over teams. Just ask the Penguins.
The Minnesota Wild and Devan Dubnyk are walking similar paths: they’re among the league’s best, yet others are hogging the headlines.
In Dubnyk’s case, he’s putting up Hart Trophy-level work together this season, yet he didn’t enjoy Carey Price‘s record-breaking start to a season and he lacks the highlight reel prowess of Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid.
When it comes to acknowledging the Wild’s winning ways, they’re being overshadowed by even more explosive teams like the Columbus Blue Jackets/really the Metropolitan Division in general.
Wherever they figure on the marquee, there’s no denying that the Wild and their goalie are on a tear. Minnesota’s now on a nine-game winning streak after beating the headline-hogging Habs. They beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 tonight.
Much like the Blue Jackets and other hot teams, the Wild’s run has been impressive even if you look back. After falling to 9-7-2 on Nov. 21, the Wild have generated a point in all but one game, going 11-1-3 during that span.
The Chicago Blackhawks still lead the Central Division, but Minnesota could make things really tight considering their games in hand. Chicago’s probably taking notice of Minnesota’s torrid pace, then.