Handing out PHT’s 2017-18 NHL Academy Awards

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In honor of the 90th edition of the Academy Awards, PHT is handing out their own Oscars to players and teams around the league for their work during the 2017-18 season so far.

Which team or player has been the best story of the year (best picture)? Who is the top actor in a leading role (MVP)?

Let’s find out!

• Best Costume: 

The nominees are: Toronto Maple Leafs Stadium Series jersey, Washington Capitals Stadium Series jersey, Vegas Golden Knights jersey.

And the winner is:

So we’ve tweaked the category a bit to best “new” costume because classics like the Canadiens and Blackhawks should also win. Anyways, the award for best costume goes to the Washington Capitals Stadium Series jersey.

There’s nothing to not like about the jersey. The mix of navy and red and white blend together well. Sure, maybe there’s a little too much red, but it definitely stands out as the best of the bunch. Congratulations to the Capitals for winning…something.

• Best Cinematography: 

The nominees are: Who are we kidding? There’s really only one nominee for this award.

And the winner is: Ryan Reaves. Even though he’s with the Golden Knights now, he’s taking this award home because of work he did while with the Penguins. During a road trip, Reaves pranked teammate Phil Kessel by nearly scaring the life out of him.

Congratulations to Ryan Reaves.

• Best Director (general manager): 

The nominees are: Steve Yzerman of the Tampa Bay Lightning, George McPhee of the Vegas Golden Knights, David Poile of the Nashville Predators, Don Sweeney of the Boston Bruins, Jim Rutherford of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

And the winner is: Steve Yzerman, Tampa Bay Lightning.

Yes, George McPhee has essentially built a team from scratch, but it’s tough to ignore what Yzerman and the Lightning have been able to accomplish this year. The Bolts GM managed pull off a huge trade when he landed Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller from the New York Rangers. Acquiring impact players with term is no easy accomplishment during the season. That’s what put Yzerman over the top.

• Best Actor in a Supporting Role: 

The nominees are: Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers, Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Phil Kessel of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders, William Karlsson of the Vegas Golden Knights.

And the winner is: Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins. 

Stamkos has had a tremendous season in Nikita Kucherov‘s shadow, but Kessel has come up big on several occasions for the Penguins throughout the season. He doesn’t lead his team in points, but he’s still managed to put up 27 goals and 74 points in just 66 games. Even though he didn’t go home with a Conn Smyth Trophy two years ago, he’ll grab a PHT Academy Award, which is just as good, if not better. Congrats to Phil.

• Best Actor in a Leading Role:

The nominees are: Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lighting, Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers, Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche, Taylor Hall of the New Jersey Devils.

And the winner is: Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning.

Kucherov leads the league in points and he’s been the best player on the best team in the league. But as he was delivering his acceptance speech, he realized that he wasn’t the player that actually won. There was a mistake!

The actual winner is Taylor Hall of the New Jersey Devils, who has picked up at least one point in 25 straight games. There’s no denying that Kucherov is valuable to his team, but Hall is incredibly important to the Devils.

Sorry for the confusion. Congrats to Hall and all the other nominees.

• Best picture: 

The nominees are: The Vegas Golden Knights in their incredible first season, Steven Stamkos’ spectacular comeback season, Claude Giroux’s magical bounce back campaign, the New Jersey Devils finally coming to life, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s redemption year.

And the winner is: The Vegas Golden Knights.

We couldn’t go a whole awards ceremony without handing something to the NHL’s newest team. It’s been an incredible ride in Vegas this season, as they’ve led the Pacific Division and Western Conference for most of the year. Head coach Gerard Gallant and all the players have really come together to give us one of the most amazing stories the hockey world has seen in an incredibly long time. From Jonathan Marchessault to William Karlsson to Marc-Andre Fleury and everyone in between, they’ve been brilliant in 2017-18.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

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    Bruins set NHL record with 12 straight home wins to start season

    Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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    BOSTON — The Boston Bruins set the NHL record for most home victories to start a season with their 12th straight, topping the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime with a power-play goal from David Pastrnak.

    The Bruins broke the mark of 11 that was set by the 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks and equaled by the Florida Panthers last season.

    “That felt awesome,” Bruins first-year coach Jim Montgomery said. “We talked about it after the second (period) going into the third. There’s been a lot of great teams in this league and you’re able to set a precedent, break a record. It’s pretty special and it doesn’t happen if those guys don’t believe in themselves like they do.”

    Boston, which trailed 2-0 late in the second period, tied it with 9:33 left in regulation when David Krejci scored his second of the game on a shot from the right point.

    “It’s never fun being down going into the third, you’re sitting in here (in the locker room) trying to figure it out,” Krejci said. “You want to come out and do the job, something special on the line. It’s hard to win in this league. To get 12 in a row at home is pretty special.”

    In overtime, Carolina was playing shorthanded after being called for too many men on the ice when Pastrnak one-timed a pass from Brad Marchand inside the far post from above the left circle.

    “It was a big win for us, obviously, coming from behind,” Pastrnak said.

    Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Stefan Noesen each scored a power-play goal for Carolina, and Pyotr Kochetkov made 38 saves. The Hurricanes lost their fifth straight.

    In a rematch of last spring’s opening-round playoff series that the Hurricanes won in seven games, Carolina shutout the NHL’s highest scoring team for nearly two periods and jumped ahead a pair of power-play goals in the opening period.

    “We took too many penalties. That’s hurting us right now,” Kotaniemi said. “I think 5-on-5 we’re doing a really good job. We started good tonight and couldn’t keep that up.”

    Boston’s tying goal was originally disallowed because of goaltender interference on Nick Foligno but overturned on a coach’s challenge after it was ruled that he was nudged into the crease by Carolina defenseman Brett Pesce.

    Boston starting goaltender Linus Ullmark made 28 saves but had to leave with 13:03 left in the third period with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Teammate Connor Clifton had jumped on him to block a shot during a scramble. Jeremy Swayman made six stops in relief.

    Carolina’s Noesen scored at 6:34 in to make it 1-0. And with five minutes left in the period, Kotkaniemi collected the puck near the side of the net after Seth Jarvis‘ shot bounced off the back glass and slipped it inside the post at 15:05.

    Krejci scored for Boston with 31 seconds left in the second.

    Boston came in with a league-high 82 goals in 20 games (4.10 per game), but it was held to relatively few chances despite getting a 5-on-3 power-play advantage early on.

    TAKE NOTE

    The Bruins honored captain Patrice Bergeron, who recorded his 1,000th career point when the team was on the road against Tampa Bay, with a message on the Jumbotron. The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

    Bergeron became just the fourth Bruin to reach the mark, joining Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (1,506), Johnny Bucyk (1,339) and Phil Esposito (1,012).

    UP NEXT

    Hurricanes: Host the Calgary Flames.

    Bruins: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    Predators postpone 2 games due to Nashville water main break

    Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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    NASHVILLE, Tenn. —  The Nashville Predators postponed two home games because of a water main break that soaked their downtown arena.

    Hours after the Predators decided they couldn’t play against the Colorado Avalanche, the team announced it also postponed the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Makeup dates for the two games will be announced later.

    The NHL said the water main break that occurred “significantly impacted the event level” of Bridgestone Arena. Team locker rooms and the ice surface are on the event level.

    Predators President and CEO Sean Henry told reporters that the water in the event level ranged from 3 inches to 3 feet.

    “We’re assessing it right now. We’re remediating it,” Henry said. “The good thing is, the water got shut off, the city responded in a pretty fast manner. I don’t think anyone is ready for things like this the Friday after Thanksgiving.”

    Video posted by a WTVF-TV reporter shows the water puddled up on the main floor’s concourse area and the team store. The team was forced to close the store until further notice, pointing shoppers online for Black Friday specials.

    The Predators’ next home game is now scheduled for Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks.

    The water issue also resulted in a switch to a different venue for a college hockey game between Northeastern and Western Michigan. They also had been scheduled to play at Bridgestone Arena, a game that was moved to Ford Ice Center Bellevue.

    Rangers trade Ryan Reaves to Wild for 5th-round pick in 2025

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    ST. PAUL, Minn. — The New York Rangers traded enforcer Ryan Reaves to the Minnesota Wild for a 2025 fifth-round pick.

    Reaves had been a healthy scratch for eight of the past 12 games for the Rangers. He gives struggling Minnesota some extra muscle and a veteran presence.

    The 35-year-old is signed through only the rest of this season at a $1.75 million salary cap hit. He has no points and 12 penalty minutes in 12 games of his second season with New York.

    Reaves has played in 869 NHL regular-season and playoff games for the St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vegas Golden Knights and Rangers. He was with the Golden Knights during their inaugural season in 2017-18 when the reached the Stanley Cup Final.

    Toronto’s Morgan Rielly placed on long-term injured reserve

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    TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenseman Morgan Rielly on long-term injured reserve with a knee injury.

    Rielly was hurt in a collision with with New York forward Kyle Palmieri early in the third period of Toronto’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Islanders at home.

    Rielly has no goals and 16 assists in 20 games this season and is averaging 23 minutes of ice time.

    Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said following practice that the 28-year-old Rielly doesn’t need surgery, adding there’s no firm timeline for his return beyond the minimum 24 days and 10 games required for going on long-term injured reserve.

    Toronto’s defense is also missing Jake Muzzin with a neck injury and T.J. Brodie with an injured oblique.