Typical Vancouver Canucks last night in San Jose. Get a load of what happened during the third period. Poor Joe Thornton is trying to point something out to the referee and, wouldn’t you know it, Henrik Sedin sticks his big head right in the way. Three times! And Canucks fans wonder why nobody likes their team. It’s petty gamesmanship like this. The only surprise is that Sedin didn’t fall to the ice as soon as he blocked Thornton’s finger with his face.
As the hockey world wonders what’s going on with former Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville (is something happening with Philly?), Chicago worries about more immediate concerns.
Sunday’s game between the Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks already began as a tough one for goalies, as Martin Jones was eventually pulled after allowing three goals, including two on Chicago’s first two shots. The night is rougher for Crawford, however, as he left the contest late in the first period after a very hard collision involving Blackhawks teammate Dylan Strome.
Crawford isn’t that far removed from vertigo and other issues that prompted at least some concerns about his career being in jeopardy, so seeing his head hit the post so hard is very disconcerting:
Not good. The Blackhawks announced that Crawford will not return to Sunday’s game. We might know more about the situation later tonight.
Some have wondered about the Blackhawks possibly hitting the “reset” button by trading Crawford (among others), yet you wonder if other GMs would be worried about health challenges. This would only make those concerns worse, particularly if it ends up being as troubling as it looks.
PHT will monitor updates on Crawford (not to mention the situation involving his former coach, Joel Quenneville.)
With a little more than two weeks left in 2018, goaltender Ilya Sorokin wanted to make sure he got his name on the list of potential saves of the year during Saturday’s Channel One Cup game against the Czech Republic.
During a 7-2 victory, the Russian netminder, a third-round pick by the New York Islanders in 2014, made an incredible stick save to keep the Czechs at bay. One that you will really appreciate once you see it through the various camera angles.
There’s a chance we see Sorokin later this season in the NHL. As Arthur Staple of The Athletic reported earlier this month, the 23-year-old Sorokin could join the Islanders once his season with the KHL’s CSKA Moscow ends. Through 24 games he’s posted a 1.18 goals against average and a .943 save percentage, continuing a trend of strong numbers since the 2015-16 season.
1. Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers
It takes something special these days to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs. They simply can score at will when they want to.
Barkov’s hat trick, then, was that special moment. He helped the Panthers get out to a 1-0 lead, put them ahead 3-2 in the third and then when Toronto forced overtime, it was Barkov once again to save the day, scoring on an incredible backhand deke for the win.
Not bad for a first-career hatty.
2. Daniel Sprong, Anaheim Ducks
Sprong scored to tie the game 1-1 in the first and then scored 1:19 into overtime to help the Ducks down the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1.
Sprong now has three goals in five games with the Ducks since joining Anaheim in a trade from the Penguins earlier this month. The Ducks have won three straight.
MacKinnon had a four-point night (one goal, three assists). Rantanen had two goals and a helper and Landeskog had two tallies of his own. That’s nine points for that line.
MacKinnon and Rantanen now have 50-plus points apiece and they led the Avs to a 6-4 win against the stubborn Dallas Stars.
The best line in hockey does it again.
Other notable performances:
- Alex Ovechkin scored again (and notched the shootout winner). He’s now got a 14-game point streak (extending a career high) and a six-game goal-scoring streak (one shy of a career high set in 2005-06). He’s got 29 goals in 32 games.
- Claude Julien earned his 600th career win as a bench boss in the NHL as the Canadiens won 5-2 against the Ottawa Senators.
- Tyler Seguin did his best to try and help the Stars, scoring twice an adding an assist against the Avs.
- John Gibson kept his Vezina-caliber season going with 36 saves for the Ducks. He’s won three straight and has a .927 save percentage this season.
- Keith Kinkaid (27 saves) and Juuse Saros (33 saves) had a nice little goaltending duel going. Saros ended up winning in the sixth round of the shootout.
- 13 Vancouver Canucks had a point in their romp of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Highlights of the night
Barkov’s OT winner and hat-trick goal:
Barzal breaking ankles:
Flames 2, Wild 1
Canadiens 5, Senators 2
Panthers 4, Maple Leafs 3 (OT)
Islanders 4, Red Wings 3 (SO)
Penguins 4, Kings 3 (OT)
Capitals 4, Sabres 3 (SO)
Ducks 2, Blue Jackets (OT)
Predators 2, Devils 1 (SO)
Avalanche 6, Stars 4
Canucks 5, Flyers 1
Here’s in a lesson in not swinging your stick around when there’s a linesman escorting you to the penalty box.
Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar was on the receiving end of a 10-minute misconduct for abuse of an official after his frustrations boiled over against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
Weegar was incensed that a penalty wasn’t called after he was boarded by Maple Leafs forward Tyler Ennis. Weegar was slow to get up and when he did, he began spamming cross-checks to anyone within striking distance, including several to Ennis, one of which appeared to catch Ennis in the neck.
As he was getting taken to the box on a four-minute double minor for the cross-checking, Weegar slammed his stick against the glass near the penalty box. The stick appeared to catch the linesman Jonny Murray in the helmet.
The whole ordeal can be seen here:
Weegar got a stern talking to by referee Chris Rooney before he was sent to the locker room to serve out his misconduct.
Toronto, who were down 2-0 at that point, was unable to score on the extended power play.