Saturday’s top NHL player
David Perron, Blues
If you’re not a fan of his current team (often, sometimes intermittently, the Blues), David Perron can be one of those players who slips under the radar a bit. Despite being a bit of a journeyman, he just keeps scoring.
And his two-way impact isn’t too shabby, either.
Every now and then, David Perron produces at a level that can’t be ignored. He’s a fair choice for Saturday NHL player of the night, as Perron generated a hat trick and an assist. Remarkably, his four points weren’t enough for the Blues, though, as they fell to the Blue Jackets.
Following that four-point surge, Perron now sits at 40 points in 47 games this season. The 33-year-old continued one heck of a hot streak overall. Perron’s currently on a six-game goal and point streak (9G, 2A). He’s also generated at least one point in nine of his last 10 games.
While the Blues aren’t the most prominent contenders, their intriguing variety of offensive weapons could make them an upset threat if things come together. (Granted, that formula didn’t translate to a win on Saturday.)
Saturday NHL highlights
Watch as David Perron collected the seventh hat trick of his career (six with the Blues):
Brock Nelson netted a hat trick as the Islanders handed the Stars a loss that could sting.
Go little (B)rock star. 🌟
— NHL (@NHL) March 19, 2022
With 211 goals, Filip Forsberg now holds the Predators’ franchise record for goals, passing David Legwand.
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) March 20, 2022
Mika Zibanejad scored the game-winner for the Rangers over the Lightning with about 16 seconds remaining in regulation:
MIKA CALLED GAME 😤 pic.twitter.com/NgKKjNWZqm
— NHL (@NHL) March 20, 2022
Nice game-winner finished by Ryan Hartman, too:
HANG IT IN THE MIA 🖼️🎨 pic.twitter.com/MjJ3fgzj8C
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) March 19, 2022
Saturday NHL Takeaways
Panthers boldly trade for Claude Giroux
Apparently the race to trade for Claude Giroux really only came down to the Florida Panthers. Just your neighborhood GM’s latest reminder that a no-movement clause shouldn’t be handed out without some forethought.
There’s a solid chance that Giroux will end up being the headliner of the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline. If not, he’ll likely be the biggest name to move.
(Maybe there will be a better fit, needs-wise, or something.)
Either way, it should be a ton of fun — and more than a bit surreal — to see Giroux join an already-loaded Panthers offense. The Atlantic Division is bonkers, so prepare for a really good team (if not two) to get bounced in the first round.
The Panthers aren’t immune to that risk, making this trade that much spicier.
Bruins go big, too, with Hampus Lindholm trade
From a zesty, bold meal to something more meat-and-potatoes. Well, considering how much Hampus Lindholm cost the Bruins, maybe these were “artisan” meats and potatoes. One of those pricey “farm-to-table” joints, perhaps?
Either way, the Bruins have been strong defensively by underlying metrics this season, but not as formidable as far as name value goes. Lindholm could be the opposite: a reputation that arguably eclipses recent results.
Perhaps the Bruins will put Lindholm into situations to succeed, while the Ducks simply didn’t have that luxury? Overall, the Bruins could still really use a second-line center, and maybe a few other pieces, but this is an interesting upgrade.
For the Ducks, it’s another big boost for their rebuild. Expect more on that subject later on Sunday.
Oilers complete perfect five-game homestand
After a strong early showing under Jay Woodcroft, the Oilers lost six of eight games during a road-heavy stretch. Starting on March 9, the Oilers had a lot to prove with a five-game homestand.
Perhaps this is just another example of that Oilers toilet seat going up and down, but Edmonton nailed it. They’ve now won five games in a row, starting with two games against strong teams in the Lightning and Capitals. Four of those five contests ended in regulation.
Evander Kane‘s been productive, especially during that stretch, scoring at least one point in four of the past five games (4G, 2A).
Whether it be a goalie or depth help, the Oilers wouldn’t be outrageous to add at the trade deadline. This latest swing at least inspires confidence that they can credibly be buyers.
Sunday’s big story
Capitals part of intriguing Metro picture; Stars just want to hang in there
With Sunday’s games, teams are eyeing two things: the impact on the standings, and extra nudges to buy or sell at the (Monday, 3 p.m. ET) 2022 NHL Trade Deadline.
Ideally, leaving a game against the Capitals with zero points vs. two points shouldn’t really determine much for the Stars, but who knows? The Stars have choices to make, particularly with John Klingberg. Maybe they’ll even mix buying and selling? Either way, dropping a game against a non-playoff team like the Islanders (upset threat or not) can’t make the Stars feel totally certain they’ll hang in the West playoff picture.
Wouldn’t it be wiser to get something for Klingberg, and hope to make the playoffs anyway? Generally, that doesn’t seem like the way the Stars do things.
The Stars’ opponent factor into an interesting Metropolitan Division picture. It’s difficult to ask the Capitals to catch the three teams ahead of them, including two who face off on Sunday (the Hurricanes and Rangers). But with Washington heating up, and minor slippage from Carolina, there’s room for at least a chance at movement up and down the rankings.
Would that competition prompt a Metro team to spend somewhat like the eager Atlantic? We won’t need to wait long to find out.
Saturday NHL scores
Islanders 4, Stars 2
Wild 3, Blackhawks 1
Oilers 6, Devils 3
Golden Knights 5, Kings 1
Blue Jackets 5, Blues 4
Penguins 4, Coyotes 1
Canadiens 5, Senators 1
Predators 6, Maple Leafs 3
Rangers 2, Lightning 1
Flames 5, Canucks 2
Kraken 4, Red Wings 2