Thursday’s top NHL players
John Klingberg, Stars
Should the Dallas Stars trade John Klingberg, knowing that he’s likely to leave via free agency? Should the Stars instead treat Klingberg as their “own trade deadline rental,” keeping him for this run?
Miro Heiskanen being out gave the Stars extra incentive to keep, not trade Klingberg. A game like this could provide another nudge in that direction.
John Klingberg scored the goal that sent the Stars’ game against the Canadiens to overtime. Klingberg then scored the OT game-winner, finishing the night with three points (2G, 1A).
Ever since Heiskanen rose to prominence, Klingberg’s role — and offense — really started to shrink. Maybe he’ll heat up without Heiskanen, and with a ton of incentive to earn that next contract? During the past five games, John Klingberg collected eight points (3G, 5A). He generated a point in all but one of those five contests. He’s fired six SOG twice during this five-game surge, including on Thursday.
Could be the sort of run that really bumps up Klingberg’s perceived value. Maybe the Stars are wise to ride that wave? We’ll find out soon enough.
Roman Josi, Predators
Like Klingberg, Roman Josi collected three points (3A) on Thursday. Remarkably, Josi might be on an even hotter streak than Klingberg right now.
With those three points, Josi scored 10 points (2G, 8A) in the last three games alone. He’s riding an eight-game point streak, collecting an outrageous 19 points (3G, 16A). On the season, Roman Josi is at 72 points, easily a career-high for a defenseman who already has a Norris Trophy to his name.
Thursday NHL highlights
The Flyers shared the eight-minute ceremony celebrating Claude Giroux‘s 1,000th game with the team. More on that in a moment.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) March 18, 2022
John Klingberg chased his own rebound to win it for the Stars in overtime:
— Bally Sports Southwest (@BallySportsSW) March 18, 2022
Filip Forsberg scored an impressive goal on one of Roman Josi’s three assists.
🚨 FIL FORSBERG THROUGH THE LEGS ALERT 🚨 pic.twitter.com/Pglfvd50aa
— NHL (@NHL) March 18, 2022
Leon Draisaitl reached the 40-goal mark during the NHL action on Thursday:
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) March 18, 2022
And so did Chris Kreider:
This Is 40. 😉
Welcome to the club, Chris Kreider! pic.twitter.com/2Rw8Fn2prL
— NHL (@NHL) March 18, 2022
Tremendous save by Ilya Sorokin, who is having a sneaky-strong season.
Sorokin falling back makes an incredible stop in the early going 🤯 pic.twitter.com/hHOYATGxEX
— Isles on MSG+ (@IslesMSGN) March 17, 2022
Tough night for Craig Anderson, but he didn’t offer this save.
Craig Anderson, the Scorpion King has a nice ring to it. 🦂 pic.twitter.com/TrVSB9cEOD
— NHL (@NHL) March 18, 2022
Thursday NHL Takeaways
Giroux plays 1,000th game with Flyers, trade looming?
Crossing Broad’s Anthony SanFilippo reports that the Flyers are putting the “finishing touches” on a trade that would send Claude Giroux to the Panthers. Others contend that the Panthers are frontrunners for a Giroux trade, but not guaranteed to land him.
Time will tell. It’s worth remembering that sometimes a trade can look just about done, only for something to change. (There are rumblings that Owen Tippett could be involved in a Panthers – Flyers trade revolving around Giroux.)
Either way, Giroux and the Flyers celebrated him reaching the 1,000 games played milestone. You can watch that above. Neatly enough, Giroux scored 900 points (291 goals, 609 assists) in 1,000 games with the Flyers.
Through ups and downs for the Flyers, there had been occasional rumblings about a Giroux trade. It never happened, allowing Giroux to enjoy a resurgence in part due to moving to the wing.
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) March 17, 2022
The Panthers already sent a first-rounder to the Canadiens for Ben Chiarot, so they’re really going for it if they trade for Claude Giroux. Stay tuned.
Golden Knights win to end streak at five games, but lose Eichel to injury
In what was a back-and-forth, exciting game, the Golden Knights ended their losing streak by beating the Panthers. It would have been a really great story if Jack Eichel didn’t get injured during the win.
At the moment, the extent of Jack Eichel’s injury is unclear. He wasn’t able to return to play after hurting his arm/hand on a blocked shot.
How would a significant Eichel injury affect the Golden Knights’ trade deadline plans. It’s tempting to joke about Eichel going on LTIR, allowing the Golden Knights to pull even more salary cap skullduggery. Practically speaking, though, would this push them toward selling a bit? Move Reilly Smith out, suddenly absorb cap hits to broker deals for others, and just see what happens? Perhaps you use cap space to try to plug in some injury holes?
It’s dizzying to think about, while every win and loss could alter the balance. Beating the Panthers is a pretty nice triumph, even if it makes that five-game losing streak (four losses to non-playoff teams) that much more puzzling for the Golden Knights.
Erik Källgren delivers for Maple Leafs once again
Through these two starts, Källgren won two games for the Maple Leafs, stopping 69 out of 71 shots. In his debut, Källgren pitched a shutout.
Impressively, each win came against good-to-great teams with reasons for urgency. The Stars got blanked by the netminder with a lot on the line, and the Hurricanes are always a big threat. It’s a seriously small sample size, but the Maple Leafs will take a brief goaltending bump when they can get it.
Sheldon Keefe on Erik Kallgren: "You would think it'd be natural for him to get caught up in it and get overly excited. I'm not sure if I've seen him smile yet. I think that just speaks to his demeanour, and I think all that plays into how this has gone for him."
— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) March 18, 2022
Thursday NHL injury news/rumors
- Thomas Chabot‘s season appears to be over due to a broken hand. Maybe he could play a couple games, but why risk it if you’re Ottawa?
- Speaking of fractures, is Robin Lehner dealing with a fractured kneecap, or something similar? Reports indicated as much, but Lehner denied that was the nature of his injury. Either way, it’s a murky situation for the Golden Knights, as Lehner’s return seems touch-and-go. With Eichel suffering an injury during the NHL action on Thursday, this is quite the situation for the Golden Knights.
As I reported earlier today, Lehner is dealing with a serious injury, but he believes he can play through it at some point.
It’s easy to see why he doesn’t want the specific injury disclosed, as any weakness can be used against you as a goalie.
— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) March 18, 2022
Friday’s big story
One last push for the Ducks to embrace selling at the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline
Will the Ducks really make the plunge by trading Rickard Rakell, and most prominently, Hampus Lindholm? Winning or losing against the Panthers shouldn’t make that much of a difference for the Ducks, as these are decisions that reverberate for years. Also: one win wouldn’t suddenly make a playoff run that much more likely for Anaheim.
That said, NHL teams clearly are stubborn about rebuilding at times, so maybe Friday’s Ducks – Panthers game may make a difference.
The two teams also own the sort of offensive weapons that could make it a fun game, too.
Thursday NHL scores
Maple Leafs 3, Hurricanes 2
Stars 4, Canadiens 3 (OT)
Flyers 5, Predators 4
Capitals 7, Blue Jackets 2
Islanders 2, Rangers 1
Penguins 3, Blues 2 (SO)
Oilers 6, Sabres 1
Red Wings 1, Canucks 0
Kings 3, Sharks 0
Golden Knights 5, Panthers 3