Or just a sign-maker that didn’t know the Nashville Predators had never won a Stanley Cup and will be sure to make the necessary changes.
(Pic via @JoshuaCooper)
Update: Turns out the sign was a “mission statement.”
NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. 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.
After seeing his production dip in under 60 points in each of the last three seasons, many believed that we’d already seen Jonathan Toews‘ best days. Last season, Toews posted 0.70 points-per-game which was a career-low for him in his NHL career.
Picking up 20 goals and 52 points in 74 games is far from a terrible year for most players, but Toews isn’t most players. He’s the captain of the Blackhawks and his contract comes with a cap hit of $10.5 million dollars. To make matters even worse, Chicago ended up missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2017-18.
It’s no secret that Patrick Kane has been the team’s MVP this season, but Toews hasn’t been too far behind.
The 30-year-old has picked up 28 goals and 60 points through 60 games and he’s picked up at least one point in 19 of his last 22 contests. He’s also scored in three straight games and he’s amassed 18 points in his last 11 contests. He hasn’t been a point-per-game player since the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, when he had 48 points in 47 games.
“I guess you’re always looking to be better, no matter what,” Toews said, per the Chicago Tribune. “So if I’m comparing this season to my previous two years, yeah, things are better. But I still have a higher expectation for myself. Things are falling into place for our team and the power play’s looking better, so I feel I can relax and focus on my game and not worry about doing every single little thing right and maybe take some offensive risks and try to create some offense when our team game’s pretty solid.
“I always want to create more offense, and even though I’m on the board here and there, I can do a better job of just being more dynamic and offensive every time I get on the ice.”
When taking a deeper look at the numbers, it’s easy to see why Toews has been more successful, especially in the goal department. In the previous two seasons, he had shooting percentages of 10.6 and 9.5 percent. This year, he’s up to 17.2 percent, which is his highest percentage since 2007-08 (17.4 percent).
Interestingly enough, a lot of his advanced numbers have taken a dip this season. Here’s what his advanced metrics look like from last year to this year:
CF%: 56.07 to 48.73
FF%: 53.16 to 47.06
HDCF%: 52.05 to 41.75
With Toews and Kane leading the way, the Blackhawks have found a way to get themselves back in the playoff hunt. Heading into tonight’s game, the ‘Hawks are just one point behind the Minnesota Wild for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The only problem, is that three other teams also have 59 points.
• NHL.com takes a look at who will be buyers and who will be sellers at the upcoming trade deadline. (NHL.com)
• ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski breaks down the 20 worst deadline trades in NHL history. (ESPN)
• The Vegas Golden Knights and Vienna Capitals have entered into a collaborative partnership. “Our ambition is always to learn from the best. The Vegas Golden Knights are an outstanding benchmark in the hockey world and this partnership enables us a tremendous amount of opportunities to learn from this club. We are very proud to get the chance for this collaboration,” said Vienna Capitals General Manager Franz Kalla. (NHL.com/GoldenKnights)
• A group of priests are trying to bring back the Flying Fathers, who are the hockey equivalent to the Harlem Globetrotters. (New York Times)
• Jaromir Jagr is back after a long absence. (CBC.ca)
• Robert Tychkowski can’t believe the Oilers are in the mess than they’re in. (Edmonton Journal)
• NBC’s Pierre McGuire could learn a thing or two from John Tavares:
1. Ryan Miller, Anaheim Ducks
A night after becoming the winningest American-born goaltender in NHL history, Miller produced a fantastic performance in a 31-save shutout against the Minnesota Wild.
The shutout was Miller’s first of the season and 44th of his career. The Ducks have now won two straight and are three points back of the Wild for the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference.
The Wild, meanwhile, lost their fifth straight, including their second straight game being banished from the scoresheet. The Ducks are faring well without John Gibson.
2. Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
Josi scored twice in the third period, including the game-winner, and added an assist in the game for a three-point night
The elite defenseman now has four goals and 11 points in his past eight games for the Predators, who needed a win after going 1-3-1 over their past five games.
The Preds are now just a point back of the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Central Division although Winnipeg has three games in hand.
3. Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers
Huberdeau scored twice and added an assist in a 4-2 win for the Panthers against the struggling Buffalo Sabres.
Huberdeau hadn’t scored in eight games prior to Tuesday’s contest and had just one goal in his previous 14.
Florida is nine points back of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wildcard in the Eastern Conference.
Barkov with another dirty move:
Broke all the ankles:
Panthers 4, Sabres 2
Penguins 4, Devils 3
Lightning 5, Flyers 2
Rangers 2, Hurricanes 1
Canadiens 3, Blue Jackets 2
Blues 3, Maple Leafs 2 (OT)
Ducks 4, Wild 0
Predators 5, Stars 3
Coyotes 3, Oilers 2 (SO)
And then it was 11.
The St. Louis Blues set a new team record for consecutive wins in emphatic fashion when Ryan O'Reilly went bar down on Frederik Anderson 34 seconds into overtime to down the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on NBCSN on Tuesday.
Mitch Marner came rushing in just before O’Reilly’s winner, but Colton Parayko was able to fend him off. O’Reilly was there to intercept Marner’s attempt at a centering pass and it was off to the races for No. 90, who scored his 26th of the season to extend St. Louis’ remarkable streak.
The Blues came into the game riding a three-game shutout streak — because beating teams simply wasn’t enough anymore. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to first-period goals from Jaden Schwartz and Parayko.
The game appeared to be heading toward another blank sheet after two periods, but a bad giveaway by Alex Pietrangelo led to Zach Hyman‘s weird angle shot turning into an own goal and bringing an end to the shutout streak at a 2:33:50.
The Leafs were mostly lifeless through the first two periods but Hyman’s goal seemed to be the jolt they needed.
Auston Matthews bagged his 28th of the season just 31 seconds later to tie the game. St. Louis challenged for (non-existent) goaltender interference and the call of a good goal on the ice was upheld.
Jordan Binnington entered the game already having set a Blues rookie record with eight straight wins, including shutouts in his past two outings. ‘Winnington’ could do little on the own goal and Matthews’ goal came off a rebound in front that he couldn’t get to. He managed to stop 31-of-33 shots to extend that record to nine straight.
His personal shutout streak ended at 173:50.
The Blues haven’t trailed in a game since Feb. 5. They were in last place on Jan. 3 but are now six points up on Dallas Stars for third place in the Central Division. What a turnaround.
Dunn drilled Kadri at the 8:48 mark of the first period, but Kadri stayed in the game. He took another shot, this time more of a glancing blow from Brayden Schenn, who had Toronto’s No. 43 in his crosshairs before missing at the last second.
Kadri did not emerge after the first intermission and was ruled out with a concussion not long after.