1. Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks
Consider this a 1a/1b situation with the player listed next. Really, though, it’s matter of taste.
Either way, Markstrom produced one heck of a performance. Markstrom managed a 49-save shutout after watching the Sedin twins’ retirement ceremony.
When you look at the Canucks’ 3-0 record, you might assume that Vancouver fed off the energy of that ceremony. If they did, they had a funny way of showing it. The Blackhawks managed a 49-20 shots on goal advantage, yet couldn’t beat Markstrom one time.
Markstrom stands out as rock for Vancouver, especially lately. In winning two games in a row, Markstrom stopped 85 out of 87 shots faced.
2. David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
Again, this is a tough call. Pastrnak generated a hat trick on Wednesday, leading Boston to a helpful win against the hated Habs. “Pasta” now has two hat tricks against Montreal this season, and eight goals against the Canadiens in four games.
By scoring three goals, Pastrnak stands alone as the goals leader this season with 41.
That said, he got some help, particularly when Brad Marchand set the table for Pastrnak with a ludicrous display of skill.
3. Brandon Sutter, Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks faced off against the Blackhawks, and the Bruins prevailed. It really was a fitting jersey retirement night for the Sedins, eh?
Markstrom carried the Canucks on his back, but Sutter was involved in all three Vancouver goals. Sutter collected an empty-net goal and two assists. That included a primary assist on the game-winner. While the Flames squandered a chance to earn breathing room, Vancouver is in a solid position to win the Pacific.
Highlight of the Night
Marchand pounced on a turnover, bamboozled a bunch of Canadiens, then sent a tremendous assist to Pastrnak:
Sedin jerseys retired
This post has more on the speeches, appearances, and ribbing, but check out the Sedin ceremony here:
- Markstrom generated a 43-save shutout against Carolina on Dec. 12. Factoring in that, Markstrom became the first Canucks goalies to generate two 40+ save shutouts during the same season. Naturally, Markstrom drew attention to the Sedin twins when the crowd honored his big night. (NHL PR)
- The Canucks note that Markstrom’s 49-save shutout is the most in franchise history.
- Here is a fun side-by-side comparison of Henrik and Daniel Sedin from the league:
Daniel and Henrik Sedin are the only two players to record 1,000 points in a @Canucks uniform and one or the other sit atop the franchise list in seven major categories. #NHLStats #ThankYouSedins pic.twitter.com/sQ6Mp1VsBE
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 13, 2020
- Pastrnak didn’t just jump into the Maurice Richard Trophy lead on Wednesday. Pastrnak joined Alex Ovechkin (tied for second at 40 goals) as the only two players with four hat tricks this season. The winger would need three more to match Phil Esposito’s seven from 1970-71 as the most in Bruins’ history, though. (NHL PR)
- Hey, Pastrnak joined Ovechkin in another specific-yet-impressive category. Pastrnak and Ovechkin rank as the only active players to reach nine hat tricks (playoffs + regular season) before turning 24. “Pasta” has time to earn more, as he doesn’t turn 24 until May 25. Wayne Gretzky holds the overall record with a patently absurd 36. (NHL PR)
BOS 4 – MTL 1
LAK 5 – CGY 3
VAN 3 – CHI 0
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.