A few of the reactions from various media folks on the Twitter machine after Bruins forward Milan Lucic avoided a suspension for colliding with Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller on Saturday:
The difference between a goal and a save can come down to mere millimeters sometimes.
This one, however, came down to a razor’s edge.
The Boston Bruins came within less than of scoring a goal in the first period of their game against the San Jose Sharks on NBCSN on Monday when Charlie McAvoy‘s point shot flirted with the edge of the goal line at the 7:32 mark.
The puck appeared to teeter on the goal line before Marc-Edouard Vlasic swatted out of the net. You be the judge on the above video evidence. It’s so incredibly close.
To the referee’s credit, he immediately waved no goal, a testament to his hawkish eyesight. He was right. Video review determined that the puck, somehow, did not cross the line.
The game continued until the 10:13 mark before the play was reviewed.
The call didn’t seem to faze the Bruins, who scored three straight and led 3-1 after the first period.
Here’s some homework: find a superlative that hasn’t been mentioned in the same breath as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s success this season.
Go ahead, we’ll wait…
The class of the NHL was dishing out harsh lessons once again on Monday night, putting on a clinic against the Columbus Blue Jackets — a good hockey team, by all accounts — who were completely muzzled by the NHL’s best team in a 5-1 loss on NBCSN.
Is it even in question anymore of who the Vezina will be handed to in June, or the Hart at this point, too?
In Kucherov’s case, you might as well give the Art Ross now, as well. He entered the game with 94 points in 59 games and exited with 99 in 60 after an incredible five-point night.
‘Kuch’ scored twice in the first period, both silky smooth goals, set up Steven Stamkos on the power play in the second period, and then provided both primary assists on Brayden Point‘s 34-second brace in to begin in third.
Vasilevskiy can barely be scored on these days after he made 39 saves in Tampa’s sixth straight win.
The 24-year-old ‘tender came within 1:45 of his third straight shutout. He showed no love for the Dallas Stars in a 32-save blanking on Valentine’s Day last Thursday and then put up a 20-save performance against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.
The Russian once again looked calm and clinical in Monday’s win, much like he’s done all season.
The Blue Jackets came into the game on fire, winning five of their past six to move into third in the Metropolitan Division (tied with Pittsburgh). The Blue Jackets were 0-for-4 on the power play, including a dismal four-minute stretch in the third after Kucherov clipped Seth Jones in the face with a high stick.
Both teams play again on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, while winning isn’t a concern after Tampa took it’s 45th ‘W’ of the season on Monday, what will be of some concern heading forward for the Lightning is the status of Victor Hedman, who didn’t emerge for the second period and was ruled out by the team with a lower-body injury.
Jon Cooper told NBC’s Pierre McGuire during the telecast that he didn’t think Hedman’s knock was a serious one. Time will tell on that, however.
Speaking of McGuire… he came within inches of getting drilled by an errant puck during the game. What an incredible angle.
NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with Monday’s matchup between the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks. Coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
The battle of two of the NHL’s hottest clubs will take center stage in California on Monday night.
The Boston Bruins, winners of five straight (and points in 10 straight at 7-0-3) will look to make it a season-high six against a San Jose Sharks team that’s won seven of their past eight contests (7-1-0).
A large part of the Bruins’ current run has been the play of Brad Marchand, who 13 points n his past seven games, including four goals in his past five. Marchand got off to a “slow” start with 24 points in his first 28 games of the 2018-19 season. In the 30 he’s played since he’s amassed 16 goals and 46 points to sit with 70 with a lot of hockey still to be played.
The impressive bit in Boston’s streak is they’ve been doing it without David Pastrnak, who’s out after having surgery on his left thumb. Even without his team-leading 31 goals, the Bruins have scored 13 times in their past three games.
Suppressing scoring is what the Sharks have done over their past six wins, allowing exactly two goals in each of those games. They’ve been buoyed by at least five goals in three of their past five games.
The Bruins will have to contend with defenseman Erik Karlsson, who return to the lineup Saturday after missing nine games with a groin injury. Karlsson has been on fire with 28 points in his past 19 games.
Up front, Joe Pavelski continues to scores with five goals in his past eight games and 31 on the season.
What: Boston Bruins at San Jose Sharks
Where: SAP Center
When: Monday, Feb. 18, 10 p.m. ET
Live stream: You can watch the Bruins-Sharks stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.
Starting goalie: Tuukka Rask
Starting goalie: Martin Jones
Randy Hahn (play-by-play) and Bret Hedican (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst) will have the call from SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.
NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with Monday’s matchup between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
The Lightning have won five straight games and have done so in dominant fashion. They’ve scored five-plus goals in four of the five wins, and have posted back-to-back shutouts, last allowing a goal in their 6-3 win over the Calgary Flames on Feb. 12. Tampa is 7-0-2 in the month of February (last regulation loss – Jan. 30 – lost 4-2 at PIT).
With 92 points, the Lightning occupy first place in the NHL, and are 15 points ahead of the Flames and San Jose Sharks (77 points) for most in the league. They’ve been in first place in the NHL since Nov. 29 and are looking to capture the Presidents’ Trophy for the first time in franchise history. They are currently on pace to win 61 games this season, which would be one shy of the NHL record (set by the Detroit Red Wings in 1995-96 – 62 wins).
Columbus beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on the road on Saturday, their fifth win in the last six games (5-1-0 record). This stretch of winning follows a five-game losing streak from Jan. 18 – Feb. 2 (all in regulation). Sergei Bobrovsky has led the way, starting all six games (5-1-0 record) with .924 SV% and 2.17 GAA.
Artemi Panarin, who leads Columbus with 67 points, scored tiwce goals in Saturday’s win against the Blackhawks. He now has four goals in the last four games and has recorded 22 pts (11G-11A) in his last 15 games.
While Panarin leads Columbus in points, it’s Cam Atkinson that leads the team with 32 goals, his second career season with 30-plus goals. He’s got 12 points (eight goals) in his last 13 games, including three goals in the last four games, and is averaging a point per game this season (32G-23A; 55 points in 55 games this season).
What: Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets
Where: Nationwide Arena
When: Monday, Feb. 18, 6:30 p.m. ET
Live stream: You can watch the Lightning-Blue Jackets stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.
Starting goalie: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Artemi Panarin – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno – Boone Jenner – Josh Anderson
Eric Robinson – Alexander Wennberg – Oliver Bjorkstrand
Kole Sherwood – Riley Nash – Lukas Sedlak
Starting goalie: Sergei Bobrovsky
John Forslund (play-by-play) and Pierre McGuire (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst) will have the call from Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Coverage starts at 6:30 p.m. ET with NHL Live, hosted by Kathryn Tappen alongside Patrick Sharp and Anson Carter.