James O'Brien

I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.

Sharks stomp Avs, extend point streak to 10 games


Heading into Tuesday’s game, it looked like we’d see a battle between two red-hot teams. Instead, it felt more hammer vs. nail.

The San Jose Sharks scored two goals in the first two periods for a 4-0 lead that mushroomed into a 6-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche. San Jose stepped back a bit in the final frame, but dominated overall, hogging the puck until their lead was downright robust.

With this win, the Sharks are now on an impressive 10-game point streak.

Sometimes such runs are deceptively heavy on defeats, but not here; the Sharks are 8-0-2 in their last 10 games. They head into the All-Star break quite comfortably in second place in the Pacific.

As mentioned earlier, the Avs came in on a nice run of their own, having won four in a row.

It’s not break time for them yet, as they turn around and face the Kings in Los Angeles on Wednesday (a game that will televise on NBCSN).

Joe Thornton scored his 1,300th point and Patrick Roy was even bolder than usual when it came to emptying his net, yet the deeper story was that the Sharks looked like they might just be dangerous this season, after all.

… You know, unless they lose their momentum with a week off and a tough upcoming schedule. That could happen, too.

Video: Joe Thornton dishes two assists, hits 1,300-point mark


What better way for Joe Thornton to cross the 1,300-point barrier than to do it by showing off his most obviously elite skill: setting up goals.

The prolific passer generated two assists (and maybe counting) during Tuesday’s game between the Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks.

That means assists 932 and 933 pushed him to that 1,300th point.

This continues a fantastic stretch for “Jumbo Joe,” as he’s now on a resounding 10-game point streak (two goals, 12 assists for 14 points overall). Thornton is now one assist behind Al MacInnis for 15th all-time in helpers. He’s just the 33rd player to score at least 1,300 points.

It’s been quite the night for milestone moments, really, as Roberto Luongo is now tied with Tony Esposito for seventh all-time in goalie wins.

You can watch that milestone moment in the video above. To see point 1,299, watch the clip below.

Roberto Luongo’s latest milestone: now tied for 7th all-time in wins


Roberto Luongo isn’t just having a great season at an advanced age. He’s also reminding people of his impressive, perhaps Hall-of-Fame-worthy career.

He played nicely in the Florida Panthers’ 5-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. It wasn’t just a win that celebrated Aleksander Barkov‘s extension, either (Barkov scored in the contest, by the way).

Nope, Luongo continues to climb up the all-time rankings, as his 423rd career regular season win ties him with Tony Esposito for seventh in NHL history.

Here are the top seven, for your consideration:

1. Martin Brodeur – 691 wins
2. Patrick Roy – 551
3. Ed Belfour – 484
4. Curtis Joseph – 454
5. Terry Sawchuk – 447
6. Jacques Plante – 437
7. Espo and Lou – 423

In case you’re wondering, the highest-ranked active goalies not named Luongo are Henrik Lundqvist (17th place with 362 wins), Marc-Andre Fleury (20th with 340) and Ryan Miller (22nd with 334).

Where do you think Luongo ends this season, and when he hangs up the goalie pads to tweet funny things full-time?

Blown away: Hurricanes blank Blackhawks


The Carolina Hurricanes chased Corey Crawford from Chicago’s net, and didn’t stop there, likely inspiring a few jokes about the Blackhawks taking their All-Star break one game early.

The Hurricanes blew past the Blackhawks in the first period, building a 3-0 lead that was Crawford’s undoing. Scott Darling didn’t enjoy a great night, either, as Carolina ultimately cruised to a surprising 5-0 win.

(Granted, advanced stats argue that the Hurricanes might be better than many believe, yet it’s still an unexpected result.)

There’s little doubt that Carolina had the most to gain from a win here, even if the Blackhawks hope to fatten their lead over the Dallas Stars for first place in the Central Division. With this win, the Hurricanes’ playoff hopes seem that much more reasonable, even if it still looks like an uphill battle.

See: the Penguins climb into the second wild card spot.

Every team faces nights like these, and perhaps the Blackhawks were merely winded. It only makes sense that a team named the Hurricanes would highlight that point.

WATCH LIVE: Colorado Avalanche at San Jose Sharks

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The San Jose Sharks host the Colorado Avalanche in a bout between two up-and-down West contenders who are both trending up lately.

Big time.

There’s plenty of talent on both sides, with Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon squaring off against the Sharks’ bounty of forwards (not to mention Brent Burns and his beard).

You can tune in at NBCSN or stream it via the link below.