Tag: Washington Capitals

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders

Close Art Ross Trophy battle set to conclude


While most will be focused on the race for playoff positioning and the battle for the final two open Wild Card spots in the Eastern Conference, there is another major story thread that will be resolved by the end of the night.

Sidney Crosby ran away with the Art Ross Trophy last season, but we’re going into the final day of the 2014-15 regular season without a good idea of who will win the award this year. Crosby might claim it for the second straight season and third time in his career, but 24-year-old John Tavares is tied with him in points at 84. On top of that, Jamie Benn is just one point behind them.

While Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are fighting to stay alive and Tavares’ Islanders hope to wrestle the second Metropolitan Division seed away from Washington, Jamie Benn’s Dallas Stars have been eliminated from the playoff race. At this point, the possibility of Benn winning the scoring title is one of the few remaining silver linings for the squad.

Stars coach Lindy Ruff feels the battle for the Art Ross is important for the team under the circumstances.

“It’s exciting. It is a heck of an accomplishment when you see where he’s sitting,” Ruff told the Dallas Morning News. “It’s not easy to get there.”

Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek (81 points) and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (80 points) also have an outside chance of claiming the award.

Barring a truly memorable night from one of the league’s top players, no one will reach the 90-point mark in 2014-15. That’s the first time that’s happened in a non-lockout shortened season since 1967-68 when Stan Mikita had a league-best 87 points. That might be brought up in arguments in the near future to promote the idea that scoring is down or too low, but it’s worth noting that the league’s goals per game ratio has been roughly level for four straight campaigns. In other words, while the top of the leaderboard might not be as impressive this time around, scoring isn’t actually down so much as it has been more spread out.

Trotz hoped for playoff series between Capitals and Islanders


It was almost two full months ago when Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz brought up the possibility of a playoff series between his team and the New York Islanders.

Here’s what Trotz told the Washington Post after his Capitals came away with a 3-2 shootout win over the Islanders on Feb. 21:

“They’ve got a good team,” Trotz said. “I looked at that game, hopefully a playoff series at some point. Two very good hockey teams that mirror each other in a lot of ways in terms of some style.”

How is that for foreshadowing?

When the first round of the playoffs begins next week, it will be the Capitals and Islanders facing off against each other, however home ice advantage will be determined Saturday.

This series will feature two of the game’s big stars, in Alex Ovechkin and John Tavares.

Tavares, with his winning goal against Pittsburgh on Friday, moved into a tie with Sidney Crosby in points with 84, which leads the league. Ovechkin is up to 52 goals this season, which makes it the sixth time in his career he’s reached that mark in a single season.

Video: Blackhawks’ Shaw fined $2,000 for diving/embellishment


Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw has been fined $2,000 by the NHL for diving/embellishment.

From the league:

Shaw was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 228 against Tampa Bay on Nov. 11. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident during NHL Game No. 1138 against Los Angeles on March 30. Shaw drew a delayed penalty to Los Angeles forward Mike Richards on the play, at 5:24 of the first period. The penalty to Richards was nullified when Chicago scored seven seconds later.

Shaw becomes the ninth player to be fined for diving/embellishment this season, joining Washington’s Tom Wilson, Toronto’s Richard Panik, Islanders goalie Michal Neuvirth (fine occurred while with Buffalo), the Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck, Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist, Florida’s Vincent Trocheck, Nashville’s James Neal and Montreal’s P.K. Subban, who has been fined twice.