Tag: Jarome Iginla

Pekka Rinne

Could a goalie win the Hart Trophy in 2014-15?


When Jose Theodore won the Hart Trophy in 2002, the last time a goalie was the “player judged most valuable to his team,” there were two things that made it possible.

First, obviously, Theodore was really good. He had a .931 save percentage for the Montreal Canadiens and made a league-high 1,836 stops. Without their goalie, there’s very little chance the Habs, who were outshot by an average of 31.7 to 25.5, would’ve made the playoffs.

Second, scoring in the 2001-02 season had dipped to its lowest point in five decades. Calgary’s Jarome Iginla finished with the most points, just 96 of them.

Which brings us to the current season, where a similar story is unfolding. Two goalies, Nashville’s Pekka Rinne and Montreal’s Carey Price, are enjoying particularly excellent campaigns, while the league’s top scorer, Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek, is on pace for fewer than 100 points. Since the 2004-05 lockout, not counting the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, no player has finished as the NHL’s leading scorer with fewer than 100 points.

Rinne’s case for winning the Hart is strong. Finally healthy, his .930 save percentage is tops among goalies who’ve started at least 20 games, and his Nashville Predators, after missing the playoffs the past two seasons, currently sit first overall with a record of 28-9-4.

But Price’s case shouldn’t be overlooked. While his save percentage is slightly lower (.928) than Rinne’s, one could argue he’s been even more valuable to the 26-12-3 Canadiens, who, unlike the Preds, don’t regularly outshoot their opponents. Thanks in large part to Price, Montreal is 13-7-2 when it’s been outshot. In comparison, Nashville has only been outshot 16 times, going 8-4-4.

Half a season still remains, so there’s no point arguing too vehemently for one candidate over the other. Florida’s Roberto Luongo could also be in the conversation by the end of things, if he can help his Panthers into the playoffs.

Only seven times since the Hart Trophy was first handed out in 1924 has a goalie won the award. So far, the conditions are right to make it eight in 2015.

‘Hockey gods’ torment, then redeem Blue Jackets’ Savard

Chicago Blackhawks v Columbus Blue Jackets

If it weren’t for DeMarcus Lawrence of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard would have experienced the most dramatic up-and-down swing in sports on Sunday.

Just 30 seconds into the game, there was this brutal turnover by Savard, which helped Jarome Iginla give the Colorado Avalanche a 1-0 lead:

In a moment that almost seemed scripted, Savard scored the game-winning goal with about a minute remaining in the third period, giving Columbus a 4-3 win against Colorado:

It’s the kind of night that leaves you shaking your head in disbelief, as the 24-year-old noted to the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline.

“I’ve never had a night like that,” Savard said. “Not even close.”

For defenseman Jack Johnson – who helped Savard’s keep his spirits up – it was nothing short of some sort of sporting divine intervention.

“If I didn’t believe in the hockey gods before now, I definitely do,” Johnson said. “They’re real. I saw ’em.”

The hockey gods and football gods seemed determined to provide players with dramatic peaks and valleys today, it seems.

Lucic happy to get rough 2014 behind him


There were lots of people celebrating on New Year’s Eve. In a way Milan Lucic was among them, but not for the conventional reasons. By the sounds of it, he wasn’t in the mood to rejoice over the start of a new year so much as he was simply glad to be rid of the last one.

“It wasn’t a good 2014,” Lucic said, per the Boston Globe. “I’m happy it’s over. I’m looking forward to 2015 and hopefully we can turn things around.”

When 2014 start, the Boston Bruins were leading the Atlantic Division and seemed poised for another lengthy playoff run after making it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013. Instead they lost in seven games in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals to the rival Montreal Canadiens and cap problems forced them to principally subtract over the summer. They entered the 2014-15 campaign without forwards Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton as well as defenseman Johnny Boychuk and those losses have taken their toll as the Bruins are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

This hasn’t been a particularly good stretch for Lucic either, who has made headlines over personal rivalries, but has just six goals and 18 points in 37 contests this season.

“Not much good things happened in 2014 for myself and for the team,” said Lucic. “Just looking forward to 2015 and turning things around, and hopefully it will be better than this year.”