The Pittsburgh Penguins continued their offseason theme of keeping their 2013 squad largely intact with the signing of Pascal Dupuis to a four-year, $15 million contract.
That’s a huge jump over his previous two-year, $3 million deal, but it’s still meaningfully less than he probably would have gotten had he elected to test the unrestricted free agent waters.
Dupuis broke out in 2011-12 with 25 goals and 59 points in 82 games. Last season he showed those numbers weren’t a fluke by recording another 20 goals and 38 points in 48 contests.
This will give the 34-year-old a similar cap hit to Chris Kunitz, who recently agreed to a three-year, $11.5 million extension. Dupuis and Kunitz providing the club with hometown discounts was necessary given how much the team has committed to Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang.
As it is, Pittsburgh already has $48.95 million in cap space allocated to just nine players in 2014-15, according to Cap Geek.
How the Penguins deal with that issue will determine how competitive they can be going forward, but if nothing else they shouldn’t be hurting for goals.
Torey Krug scored another power play goal just a few minutes later to give the Bruins the lead, and from that point on they dominated for much of the day.
At one point Toronto went more than nine minutes without registering a shot on goal and spent most of the second period stuck in its own zone defending a relentless Bruins forecheck that seemed to be winning every battle and dictating the pace of the game.
The Bruins were able to eventually pad their lead in the second period when Jake DeBrusk scored on a beautiful 2-on-2 rush with David Krejci to give them a two-goal advantage.
That goal would prove to be the game-winner as Auston Matthews was able to bring the Maple Leafs to within one mid-way through the third period, but they were never able to get the equalizer despite a flurry of chances late in the game.
Marchand added an empty-net goal, his second goal of the game, to secure the win.
While special teams played a huge role on Sunday (the Bruins scored two power play goals; the Maple Leafs’ power play was shut out) it would be oversimplifying it to say that was the only difference in the game. The reality is that Boston was superior team in all situations and was dominating Toronto from territorial standpoint all afternoon. After two periods the Maple Leafs were attempting only 32 percent of the even-strength shot attempts and rarely tested Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.
Had it not been for a handful of highlight reel saves by Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen this game could have easily gotten out of hand in the Bruins’ favor.
Now the Maple Leafs find themselves in a situation where they have to head back to Boston to play a Game 7 for the second year in a row. If they are going to flip the script from a year ago, they are going to need a significantly better performance than the one they had on Sunday.
Game 7 of the Bruins-Maple Leafs series will take place on Tuesday night in Boston.
NHL awards season rolls on with Sunday’s announcement of the three finalists for the Norris Trophy, which is handed out annually to the defense player that demonstrates the greatest all-around ability at the position throughout the entire season.
Hedman and Burns have won the award the past two seasons, while Giordano is a finalist for the first time in his career. He has finished in the top-10 of the voting three times. Before this season sixth was the highest he ever finished.
The Norris Trophy is named after former Detroit Red Wings owner James E. Norris and has been handed out annually since the 1952-53 season. Red Kelly was the first player to win it, while Bobby Orr won it an NHL record eight times during his career.
The winner will be announced on June 19 (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN) at the 2019 NHL Awards in Las Vegas.
The case for Giordano: Probably the favorite to win the award for much of the season due to his dominance at both ends of the rink. The 35-year-old Giordano had a career year in Calgary that saw him play a shutdown defensive game on the top pairing for the best regular season team in the Western Conference, while also finishing with a career-best 74 points in 78 games. Among defenders that logged at least 1,000 minutes of 5-on-5 ice-time, Giordano finished in the top-five in shot attempt differential, scoring chance differential, and goal differential (all via Natural Stat Trick). He is trying to become the first Flames defender to ever win the award.
The case for Burns: Simply the best and most productive blueliner in the NHL this season offensively. Burns appeared in all 82 games for the fifth year in a row, logged more than 25 minutes of ice-time per game and finished with 83 total points. He not only finished as the top-scoring blue-liner in the NHL this season, he was the only defender to average more than a point-per-game and just the fourth to do so since 1995-96 (minimum 70 games played), joining a list that includes only Erik Karlsson, Mike Green, and Nicklas Lidstrom. He won the award during the 2015-16 season and is trying to become just the 14th player to win it multiple times.
The case for Hedman: The reigning Norris Trophy winner, Hedman was limited to just 70 games this season due to injury but still finds himself in the top-three of the voting due to his consistently brilliant play. When he was on the ice, he was once again the driving force for one of the league’s best teams, helping the Lightning tie the NHL record for most regular season wins. Hedman played more than 22 minutes per night and scored 12 goals, making it the sixth year in a row he scored at least 10 goals in a season. He is trying to become the first defender since Nicklas Lidstrom to win the Norris Trophy in back-to-back seasons. This is his third consecutive year as a finalist for the award.
The official news on T.J. Oshie, as Washington Capitals head coach Todd Reirden hinted at the other day, is not good.
The Capitals announced on Sunday morning that Oshie will be out indefinitely after undergoing surgery on his fractured right clavicle. The forward suffered the injury during Game 4 after taking a shove from Warren Foegele of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Oshie has been ruled out indefinitely. The Washington Post reported on Saturday that “indefinitely” means “for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.”
Foegele was given a two-minute minor for boarding and did not receive any supplemental discipline from the NHL Department of Player Safety.
“I was trying to lift his stick, trying to give him a little nudge,” Foegele said. “It was a little unfortunate play there, I wasn’t trying to hurt him or anything. I hope he’s OK.”
“It’s a dirty play,” Ovechkin said after Game 4. “It has to be not two minutes. It has to be a different call.”
So no Oshie for the Capitals and possibly no Andrei Svechnikov for the Hurricanes in Monday’s Game 6 (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN; Live stream) with a Round 2 berth on the line for Washington, who are up 3-2 in the series.