Goals have been very hard to come by lately for both the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals, so Derick Brassard’s 1-0 tally could be a big one in Game 3.
It was a beautiful play between Brassard, Martin St. Louis and Rick Nash, as you can see below:
If you feel like Brassard is the only Rangers player who’s scoring, you’re not totally outrageous. He has five of their 16 postseason goals, and has been the only one to find the net in some time:
The bright side for the Rangers: the Capitals haven’t exactly been lighting up the scoreboard, either.
Heading into their second-round series, many thought that the difference between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning may come down to who’s in net. So far, it’s been Ben Bishop making the big saves instead of Carey Price.
The desperate Habs have been carrying the play for much of this game (as of this writing, Tampa Bay lacks a second-period shot), yet Bishop keeps turning Montreal aside. As you can see from this stop, sometimes he’s also getting a little luck:
Bishop also stopped Dale Weise by a narrow margin:
So far, the Lightning hold a 1-0 lead against the Canadiens, but you have to wonder how many times Bishop can save the day.
Much has been made of Steven Stamkos’ recently shaken struggles with scoring goals, but it’s easy to forget that the Tampa Bay Lightning star is a pretty talented passer, too.
Stamkos provided a sweet reminder of his playmaking skills early on in Game 3, as he set up this Alex Killorn goal to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead against the Montreal Canadiens:
That goal somewhat tarnished early strong work by Carey Price, including this set of saves:
It’s not always easy to see it this way, but one player’s injury is another player’s opportunity.
Cedric Paquette won’t be able to play for the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 against the Montreal Canadiens, so in comes Jonathan Drouin.
The 20-year-old has faced a tough postseason so far, only receiving 8:42 of ice time (and suffering a -2 despite Tampa Bay winning) in his only playoff appearance back in round one. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said that Drouin would make an appearance in this series, and so it is.
From the sound of things, Drouin will be eased into the mix, joining a low line with Brenden Morrow and Vladislav Namestnikov.
It’s still an interesting opportunity, especially since Montreal won’t be able to use its best resources against a line that has experience in Morrow and potential in Drouin and Namestnikov. There’s always the possibility that Drouin might get bumped to a more potent line, too, but that might require the third pick of the 2013 NHL Draft to show that he’s ready first.
The Canadiens have to hope that his struggles continue, as they already have a tough road ahead.
The three finalists for the 2015 Jack Adams Award were announced on Wednesday: Bob Hartley (Calgary Flames), Peter Laviolette (Nashville Predators) and Alain Vigneault (New York Rangers).
The National Hockey League Broadcasters’ Association determines who receives the trophy given to the “NHL coach judged to have contributed the most to his team’s success.” (This post’s main image features last year’s winner Patrick Roy with the trophy.)
There was no shortage of worthy candidates, with some citing Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice (among others) as worthy candidates.
Interestingly, Vigneault is the only coach of the three to ever win the Jack Adams, which he did with the Vancouver Canucks back in 2006-07. Hartley and Laviolette probably get the last laugh in that regard, however, as they both have Stanley Cup victories on their resumes.