Fortunately, the Washington Capitals aren’t paying Brooks Orpik for his goal-scoring prowess. That means his contribution tonight can be regarded as a bonus more than anything.
In the first campaign of Orpik’s five-year, $27.5 million deal, the defenseman didn’t score a single goal in 78 contests. It took him less than one period to find the back of the net this season, as you can see above. He needs just one more to tie his career high.
For Orpik, it was his first goal since April 21, 2014 during a playoff game with the Penguins. If we were just to count his regular season markers, then Orpik hadn’t scored since March 16, 2014.
With this goal, he now has 14 markers in 781 career regular season games.
Orpik’s goal gave Washington a 2-0 lead, but New Jersey rallied back late in the first period to tie the game before the intermission.
For all the times Steve Mason has helped crush the Florida Panthers, they got their revenge tonight.
The Philadelphia Flyers goaltender couldn’t withstand the Panthers’ early barrage as he allowed four goals on eight shots in just under seven minutes. That showing led to Mason being mercifully pulled in favor of Michal Neuvirth.
Obviously, any goalie that has that kind of night had some problems, but Mason looked particularly bad on the final goal he surrendered. In that incidence a misguided passing attempt by him led to Vincent Trocheck getting a clear shot at an empty net. Trocheck ended up hitting the post, but there was still enough time left for Jussi Jokinen to collect the rebound and make it 4-0:
Prior to this game, Mason had a career 7-2-1 record, 1.48 GAA, and .953 save percentage in 10 games against Florida.
Oscar Lindberg couldn’t have asked for a better start to his NHL career.
After finding the back of the net in each of his first two contests of 2015-16, Lindberg kept that goal scoring streak alive with a marker just 1:20 minutes into tonight’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
As you can see above, Kevin Hayes got things started by collecting a bad pass in the Blue Jackets’ zone. That set up Hayes for a one-on-one attempt against Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and while he was unable to find the back of the net, Lindberg was in position to scoop up the rebound and collect the goal.
Less than four minutes later, Lindberg found the back of the net again. That the goal needed to be reviewed to determine if there was a distinct kicking motion, but it was eventually ruled as his fourth goal of the season. By contrast, the rest of the Rangers have scored six times.
The Anaheim Ducks are seen as a favorite to win the Stanley Cup, but they don’t look nearly as good off the ice.
“The only thing I’ll say is our losses are in the double-digit millions,” Ducks owner Henry Samueli told the Los Angeles Daily News.
Samueli is still committed to the Ducks though with the goal of being able to compete every year.
Ducks GM Bob Murray receives a spending limit each season and it’s frequently below the salary cap. Although it’s not known what Murray’s current budget is, the team is roughly $8 million below the ceiling, per General Fanager. Anaheim nevertheless has been a success story as the team claimed the Stanley Cup in 2007 and has more recently won its division three straight years while reaching the Western Conference Final in 2015.
“In a market like this, you have to put a winning team on the ice to get a fan base,” Samueli said. “We made it clear that from Day 1, that’s going to be our mission in life, to put competitive teams on the ice. It’s just a culture that’s been built in the organization.”
In 2014, Forbes listed Anaheim as the 18th most valuable franchise at $365 million. They also estimated that the Ducks’ operating income was -$3.7 million.
The Los Angeles Kings will be incurring a cap hit related to their announced settlement with Mike Richards, but some rival team executives have anonymously questioned if this all represents a loophole in the CBA, according to ESPN.
After all, while the financial terms of the settlement aren’t known, the Kings might have saved cap space overall by terminating his NHL Standard Players Contract and then resolving the grievance with the NHLPA rather than simply buying him out.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly countered the claims of cap circumvention by stating that the CBA allows for a settlement of a grievance and outlines how it be factored into a team’s salary cap. Additionally, he noted that the league has been following the situation closely.
“The League actively monitored each stage of this dispute from the time of the initial contract termination to the point at which the case was settled, during which time we were in frequent contact with both the Club and the NHLPA,” Daly said. “If the settlement was simply a disguised way to get favorable cap treatment, we certainly would have considered it to be a circumvention and acted accordingly. But this wasn’t that. Far from it. There is absolutely zero concern that anything that transpired here could in any way be considered a ‘circumvention’ of the CBA. Anyone who believes to the contrary is clearly not privy to the facts.”
Related: Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’