Monday’s top NHL players
Altered Bruins top line of Pastrnak, Bergeron, Hall
If you’re like me, you’ve observed a top-heavy Bruins over the years — especially this one, with David Krejci overseas — and wondered if they should experiment. What if they tried to spread the wealth by breaking up at least portions of the Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak line?
Injuries and suspensions seem to be the main thing to force the Bruins out of that comfort zone.
In the latest case, Brad Marchand is serving time for his latest self-indulgent suspension. With that, the Bruins are rolling with Taylor Hall alongside Bergeron and Pastrnak, and that combo dominated against the dominant Avalanche.
David Pastrnak scored two goals and one assist, firing a domineering eight shots on goal. Taylor Hall also collected three points (all assists), with three SOG. Like his linemates, Patrice Bergeron registered a +3 rating, while he scored a goal and an assist with seven SOG. Yup, that trio sure fired a lot of pucks on net.
Ultimately, there’s the risk of messing with a good thing. But what if Hall – Bergeron – Pastrnak can dominate, and Marchand could carry his own line? Just throwing it out there.
Monday NHL highlights
Watch highlights from all five NHL games from Monday in the videos below.
The Bruins made no mistake about taking it to the powerhouse Avalanche on Monday afternoon.
The Hurricanes are starting to gain some breathing room in the Metro race. Beating the Flyers in OT represented one step in that direction.
The Flames pushed their winning streak to 10 games after beating the Jets. Read more about that in the takeaways section.
Hey, small victories. After losing their first three games with Martin St. Louis as interim head coach, the Canadiens beat the Maple Leafs for their third win in a row. Scroll for more on the bigger loss for the Maple Leafs: an injury to Jake Muzzin.
Josh Anderson probably deserves an honorable player of the night mention with his three points (2G, 1A) for the Habs.
The Canucks overwhelmed the Kraken to gain a win, and at least keep their slim playoff hopes vaguely alive.
Monday NHL Takeaways
Flames tie franchise record with 10-game winning streak
Are the Flames as hot as they’ve ever been? They’re at least as hot as they’ve been in a long, long time. Thanks to their late-developing win over the Jets, the Flames are now on a 10-game winning streak, tying a franchise record.
It’s not the only record (franchise or NHL) the Flames either tied or set after beating the Jets. Consider these Flames tidbits for perspective on just how hot they are.
- The Flames also extended their home winning streak to 10 wins in a row. They’ve now only reached that mark three times, with 11 being the team record.
- Here’s a specific stat. The Flames became the first team in NHL history to sweep a homestand of at least seven games.
- Elias Lindholm scored the game-winner with just 47 seconds left. Lindholm is now on an eight-game goal streak, tying Gary Roberts and Kent Nilsson for the Flames’ franchise record. Lindholm also matched Mitch Marner for the longest goal streak of the 2021-22 season so far.
Impressive stuff. No surprise, then, that the Flames were featured heavily in PHT’s latest Power Rankings.
Muzzin injured in Maple Leafs’ loss to Canadiens
In the grand scheme of things, the Maple Leafs would obviously prefer not to loss to the lowly Canadiens. But they can chalk it up to the dog days of the NHL season.
The bigger concern is the health of Jake Muzzin. Following a scary fall from a collision with Chris Wideman, Muzzin needed help off the ice. He’s remaining overnight at a hospital for observation and won’t travel with the Maple Leafs for their next game against the Blue Jackets.
Here’s the play where Muzzin suffered an injury:
— Maple Leafs Hotstove (@LeafsNews) February 22, 2022
Earlier this season, Muzzin time while dealing with a concussion.
Bruins beat Avalanche, no supplemental discipline for MacKinnon
Either way, the Bruins showed that they didn’t need Brad Marchand to beat a powerful Avs squad. Could be a confidence-booster for a Bruins team that’s been a bit up-and-down lately.
Tuesday’s big story
Ducks need to make the most of six-game homestand; Sharks already playing the role of the spoiler?
For quite some time, the Sharks were probably lying to themselves a bit about their playoff chances. Their current six-game losing streak should probably dilute most delusions.
Most likely, the Sharks will play two roles: possible spoiler, and team with serious trade deadline questions.
That first role could really come into play for their pals, the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks’ playoff hopes are much brighter than that of the Sharks. That point may end up mainly being relevant, though, as they’ve cooled off quite a bit lately (5-6-2 in their last 13, recently ended a four-game losing streak).
If the Ducks want to really strengthen their playoff chances, they need to nail this six-game winning streak. That would mean sinking the Sharks, as San Jose faces the Ducks twice during that run of Anaheim home games. It’s not the sort of “battle of California” that Sharks and Ducks fans crave, but these clashes could have playoff implications.
Monday NHL scores
Bruins 5, Avalanche 1
Hurricanes 4, Flyers 3 (OT)
Flames 3, Jets 1
Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 2
Canucks 5, Kraken 2