NHL Three Stars from Friday
1. Nazem Kadri, Colorado Avalanche
It must be alarmingly easy to get lost in the hype shuffle with the Avalanche.
For one thing, you have Nathan MacKinnon drawing best-in-the-world chatter. There’s also Cale Makar, who’s rushing his way into the Norris conversation already. Then you have new additions, whether it be prospects graduating to the Avs (Bowen Byram) or offseason acquisitions (Devon Toews).
So, yeah, maybe Nazem Kadri gets lost in the shuffle a bit. He’s still a part of what makes the Avalanche so dangerous, even if he’s not a shiny, new thing.
Kadri made a big difference in a tight Coyotes – Avalanche game on Friday. He scored a goal and two assists, pushing his season totals to six goals and six assists for 12 points in 17 games.
Of course, Kadri does more than just scoring — but that part of his game came in handy.
2. Ryan Strome, New York Rangers
Speaking of slipping under the radar, Ryan Strome is heating up.
With a goal and two assists on Friday, Strome is now on a four-game point streak (2G, 5A). That stretch pushes Strome’s season totals just bit beyond those of Kadri (Strome’s at six goals and seven assists for 13 points in 18 games).
Kadri’s three points feel more eventful than Strome’s because the Avs narrowly beat the Coyotes, while the Rangers added to what’s been a lousy couple of days for the Bruins.
After losing 7-2 to the Islanders on Thursday night, the Bruins fell to the Rangers by a score of 6-2.
On one hand, the Bruins probably shouldn’t panic too much after losing to the Rangers and Islanders, even by such margins. After all, they’re still sitting fairly pretty at 11-5-2.
But the larger pattern is still pretty troubling. The Bruins have only won once in their last five games, and haven’t been squeezing out “charity points” either. About the only good news is that Brad Marchand reached 300 career goals. At the moment, it sounds like the Bruins are mainly calling out supporting cast members, but maybe that will spread if this lingers?
Bruce Cassidy calling out Anders Bjork, Jake DeBrusk, John Moore, Connor Clifton, Chris Wagner & Sean Kuraly specifically that they need to bring more in a game like tonight: "I would challenge that group that's in the middle…put a little onus on themselves to impact the game"
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) February 27, 2021
3. Cam Talbot, Minnesota Wild
The offbeat rhythm of the season may obscure the notion that the Wild — and Cam Talbot — are both off to a hot start. With a win on Friday, the Wild won their fifth game in a row, improving to 11-6-0.
It’s already understandable if the Wild’s promising start evaded your mention. It’s even more so with Talbot.
The veteran goalie last played on Feb. 2, but that gap didn’t stop Talbot from maintaining his positive early play. While Cam Talbot’s 4-2-0 record isn’t exciting, his .926 save percentage is.
Considering the defense the Wild often provide, and the spark they’re getting from Kirill Kaprizov and a few others, a keyed-in Talbot could be the last ingredient of a recipe for success.
Highlight of Friday night in the NHL
Speaking of Kirill Kaprizov, Drew Doughty couldn’t stop the Wild’s rising star from completing a sweet wraparound goal:
It wasn’t the only impressive moment from Kaprizov on Friday.
Words can't describe how impressive of a skater Kirill Kaprizov is. pic.twitter.com/gNq8NozClZ
— NHL (@NHL) February 27, 2021
Friday’s NHL scores
Rangers 6, Bruins 2
Wild 3, Kings 1
Avalanche 3, Coyotes 2