Tyler Seguin

Martin Jones shutout The Buzzer 3 stars highlights
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The Buzzer: Saturday of surprises, including a Martin Jones shutout

Three Stars

1. Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks

Saturday ended up being an oasis in the desert for struggling California goalies. Both Jones and Jonathan Quick earned their first wins of 2020.

Jones managed his win most impressively, pitching a 39-save shutout, his first goose egg of the season. Minnesota fired quantity over quality at Jones, but it was quite the volume nonetheless. This marks quite the turnaround, as Jones allowed 13 goals over his last three appearances.

Despite this performance, Martin Jones sits under 90 percent on the season with an .894 save percentage. Yes, the Sharks defense can be porous, but Jones’ freefall remains a huge disappointment for a franchise that carried lofty aspirations.

2. Tyler Toffoli, Los Angeles Kings

Consider this a dual prize for Toffoli and Quick, who helped the Kings steal the Stadium Series skirmish from Colorado.

Toffoli scored all three of the Kings’ goals, including the late game-winner and an empty-netter. The latter tally pushed Toffoli to the first hat trick in an outdoor game. Toffoli already ranked as one of the bigger trade target fish in a shallow pond, but a hot streak could puff him up, and he now has four goals in his last two contests.

Quick faced the busier evening overall, though, and was almost perfect. He made 32 out of 33 saves, only allowing a goal when he made the wrong choice to grab his stick during a scrambly sequence for L.A.

3. Kyle Turris, Nashville Predators

If people can resist thinking of Turris as a $6M player — or at least maybe contain it to the occasional reference — they might be heartened by his OK play. It’s easier after outputs like Saturday when Turris scored a goal and two assists as Nashville gutted out a win against St. Louis. Turris has more goals (8 to 7) and points (27 to 23) than last season. It’s easy to forget that he was limited to 55 games played in 2018-19, but either way, it’s reasonable to see that he exceeded those totals in 50 games this season.

Still, there’s novelty to choosing Turris over, say, Patrick Kane (who also scored a goal and two assists). Other honorable mentions include Semyon Varlamov (42 saves, but in a 1-0 loss) and Antti Raanta (36 of 37 saves, kept Alex Ovechkin snakebitten).

Speaking of Ovechkin, his next shot at 700 goals comes on Monday. NBCSN will carry that game against the Golden Knights, with coverage beginning at 6 p.m. ET.

Highlights of the Night

Tyler Seguin won it for Dallas in overtime with a mind-melter:

Brad Marchand just going to keep doing this, isn’t he?

Factoids

  • The Flames are becoming masters of bad starts. They’ve allowed a goal on the first shot they faced nine times this season, the most of any team in the NHL. (Sportsnet Stats)
  • Fear the Fin’s Sheng Peng points out that Martin Jones has been a menace to Minnesota. Jones generated three of his four shutouts from the past to seasons against the Wild.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury became the 18th goalie to reach 60 career shutouts. (Sportsnet Stats)
  • Auston Matthews reached 42 goals and 71 points on Saturday. Matthews became the first Leaf to score 70+ points by 59 games played since Mats Sundin, who got there in 57 back in 1996-97. (NHL PR)
  • The Lightning set a new franchise record with their longest home winning streak at 11 games and counting. (NHL PR)

Scores

BOS 4 – DET 1
NSH 4 – STL 3
TBL 5 – PHI 3
EDM 4 – FLA 1
SJS 2 – MIN 0
DAL 4 – MTL 3 (OT)
TOR 4 – OTT 2
LAK 3 – COL 1
CHI 8 – CGY 4
ARI 3 – WSH 1
VGK 1 – NYI 0

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Amid virus outbreak, concerns about a hockey stick shortage

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Jack Eichel snapped his stick over the crossbar in frustration after an empty-net goal sealed a Buffalo Sabres loss, splintering it across the ice. He and other NHL players might want to think twice about sacrificing their sticks in a situation like that for now.

The coronavirus outbreak that began in China is affecting the production of hockey sticks used by the world’s top players, raising concerns about a potential shortage. Two major manufacturers, Bauer and CCM, have factories in China that have closed.

Players are beginning to make preparations in case stick supplies dry up.

“We’ll see how long it lasts,” Eichel said. “Hopefully not too long. Obviously, I go through sticks pretty quickly.”

Eichel estimates he goes through 100 sticks a season, and he’s not alone. Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin changes sticks each game and was worried enough about running out that he stopped at his mom’s house outside Toronto before a game against the Maple Leafs to pick up two more, just in case.

“That’s all that was left in the garage,” Seguin said. “I’ll just manage.”

Bauer and CCM officials say they are monitoring the situation so clients like Eichel, Seguin and Toronto’s Auston Matthews don’t have to dig up old sticks in the garage. Warrior, the other major supplier of custom sticks for top hockey players, has not been affected because its production is based in Tijuana, Mexico.

Beer leagues can go on without worry. Bauer and CCM each independently said there has been no impact on the production of sticks for amateur players.

CCM said in a statement government approvals could slow the reopening of factories and expects to have a better picture of capacity and deliveries in coming weeks. Bauer CEO Ed Kinnaly said the situation remains fluid and hopes the company can re-start operations in China soon.

“We have backup stock in the U.S. and Canada to meet these needs, and we are working closely with equipment managers to understand their inventory levels and ensure players have what they need throughout this situation,” Kinnaly said.

NHL equipment managers, players and their representatives are trying to navigate the situation as best as possible. Detroit Red Wings equipment manager Paul Boyer said he has enough inventory for the next couple of weeks but isn’t sure what might happen after that given a two-week lag time for sticks to be delivered.

“I do have good sales guys and we came up with a plan to stock up ahead of Chinese New Year, but then the virus hit and there has been an even longer gap without producing sticks,” Boyer said. “Am I concerned? Yes, but I’m not panicking.”

Just how many sticks are used each season in the NHL is not known, but it’s a lot. Boyer figures Red Wings players go through 70 to 120 each year, which would translate to about 1,600 for a full team – and more than 50,000 across the 31-team league.

Among players, the level of concern varies widely. Some, like Maple Leafs captain John Tavares, don’t go through sticks as quickly, and teammate Jason Spezza thinks it will be fine as long as the production drought doesn’t last three or four months.

Across the locker room, there are some different sentiments.

“I’ve got to go take stock of what I’ve got back there,” Toronto defenseman Tyson Barrie said. “I hope I’m not running low.”

Barrie uses CCM and wasn’t in love with the idea of switching manufacturers.

“I mean, if I had to, I guess,” he said. “But if you ask anybody it would be tough to switch. You’re used to using it every day – your flex, your curve, the whole thing. It would be an adjustment to switch to something else.”

American Hockey League teams have not been affected by the shortage, and the league office remains in contact with CCM. The National Women’s Hockey League has also not seen an impact because it gets sticks from Warrior, which makes them six days a week in Mexico.

“We are ready and committed to help the NHL and its players meet hockey stick demand if the need arises,” Warrior said in a statement. “Our thoughts remain with those whose health is being impacted by this health crisis.”

NHL players understand they’re far from being the most impacted by the coronavirus outbreak blamed for more than 1,300 deaths among tens of thousands of cases since December. Many were aware of the Chinese New Year and ordered extra sticks knowing fewer are made at that time.

“Any guy, pick a stick, you have it for a while, you like that stick, and that’s your stick, that’s what you use,” Detroit’s Dylan Larkin said. “Other than skates, it’s one of the most important part of hockey and how you feel.”

The Buzzer: Lightning win ninth straight; Smith’s hat trick powers Predators

Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 and Brayden Point #21 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate
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Three Stars

1) Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning

Vasilevskiy extended his point streak to 20 games after a 29-save performance in the Lightning’s 3-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers. The Russian goaltender improved to 18-0-2 during the impressive streak. The Bolts have erased a slow start thanks to a 10-game winning streak at home and a 21-2-1 record in their past 24 games. The Boston Bruins currently have a one-point advantage in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings on the surging Bolts.

2) Zach Sanford, St. Louis Blues

A four-goal performance wasn’t enough to help the Blues escape Las Vegas with two points, but was a career night for the forward, nevertheless. Sanford scored in a variety of ways around the net and added a wicked wrist shot to cap off his excellent performance. Sanford gave the Blues a one-goal lead with 8:15 remaining in the final period, but the Golden Knights found a way to tie the game and notch the overtime winner. It was St. Louis’ first game since Jay Bouwmeester’s medical incident on Tuesday.

3) Craig Smith, Nashville Predators

Smith’s first career hat trick helped Nashville snap a two-game losing streak. Juuse Saros made 31 saves and collected his second shutout of the season in the Predators’ 5-0 win against the New York Islanders. Smith buried a sharp-angled shot to open the scoring 35 seconds into the game. He later wired two wrist shots from the slot to complete the hat trick. The 30-year-old has five goals in the previous three games.

3A) Mikael Backlund, Calgary Flames

In a 6-0 rout against the Anaheim Ducks, Backlund scored twice as the Flames picked up their third win in the previous five games. The Swedish centerman benefitted from Michael Stone’s spinning pass midway through the opening period to give the Flames a 2-0 lead. Fast forward to late in the second period, Ducks forward Rickard Rakell floated a backhand pass from the point that Backlund easily intercepted. Backlund raced up ice and converted a neat deke to his backhand to help the Flames run away with this one.

Other notable performances

  • James van Riemsdyk recorded a goal and an assist in the Flyers’ 6-2 win against the Panthers.
  • Artemi Panarin had a goal, an assist and shootout tally as the Rangers collected their third straight win.
  • Wayne Simmonds scored twice as part of a four-goal third period in the Devils’ 4-1 win against the Red Wings.
  • Tyler Seguin ended a 17-game goal drought in the Stars’ 3-2 win against the Maple Leafs.
  • Jack Eichel had a goal, an assist and a beautiful set up for Victor Olofsson for the overtime winner.

Highlights of the Night

Jack Eichel raced past a defender in overtime, then stopped on a dime and set up Victor Olofsson for the overtime winner.

Auston Matthews fired a laser past Ben Bishop to tie David Pastrnak for the NHL scoring lead at 41 goals.

Smith picked Nick Leddy‘s pocket, then found an opening from a sharp angle 35 seconds into the game.

Vladislav Gavrikov found Nathan Gerbe trailing the play when the Blue Jackets took a one-goal lead in final minute of opening period.

Panarin showed great patience with this impressive deke, but should it have counted?

Stats of the Night

Scores

Buffalo Sabres 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 3 (OT)

Dallas Stars 3, Toronto Maple Leafs 2

Tampa Bay Lightning 3, Edmonton Oilers 1

Philadelphia Flyers 6, Florida Panthers 2

New Jersey Devils 4, Detroit Red Wings 1

Ottawa Senators 3, Arizona Coyotes 2

New York Rangers 4, Minnesota Wild 3 (SO)

Nashville Predators 5, New York Islanders 0

Washington Capitals 3, Colorado Avalanche 2

Vegas Golden Knights 6, St. Louis Blues 5 (OT)

Calgary Flames 6, Anaheim Ducks 0


Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.

PHT Morning Skate: Celebrating the Sedins; When will Canadiens sell?

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

• Examining the Hall of Fame credentials for Henrik and Daniel Sedin. (TSN)

• The numbers that defined the Sedin’s career. (Sportsnet)

• The Mighty Ducks sequel series. (Variety)

• The Jason Zucker trade makes sense for the Pittsburgh Penguins on every level. (Pensburgh)

• Tyler Seguin is lacking goals for the Dallas Stars. (Rotoworld)

• With Connor McDavid sidelined it is time for Leon Draisaitl to put the Edmonton Oilers on his back. (The Hockey News)

• Victor Olofsson and Kyle Okposo could return for the Buffalo Sabers. (Buffalo Hockey Beat)

• The Montreal Canadiens have to decide at what point they will start selling players. (Habs Eyes On The Prize)

• Cole Bardeau has been recalled by the New York Islanders due to Casey Cizikas‘ injury. (Lighthouse Hockey)

• Detroit Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha has an ambitious plan for the rest of this season. (Detroit Free Press)

• San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns shows Mario Ferraro how to better protect himself. (NBC Bay Area)

• Trading Josh Manson would be a very tough but also very beneficial move for the Anaheim Ducks. (Anaheim Calling)

• Carter Hart‘s new goalie mask for the Philadelphia Flyers honors Ray Emery. (NBC Philadelphia)

• Why a Josh Anderson trade should not be a priority for the Boston Bruins. (Bruins Daily)

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

My Favorite Goal: Bolland clinches Cup for Blackhawks 17 seconds later

Dave Bolland Blackhawks
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Welcome to “My Favorite Goal,” a regular feature from NBC Sports where our writers and personalities remember the goals that have meant the most to them. These goals have left a lasting impression and there’s a story behind each one.

Today, Adam Gretz looks back at Dave Bolland’s goal to win the Chicago Blackhawks the Stanley Cup.

This isn’t necessarily about the goal itself.

It wasn’t a highlight-reel play, or a superstar putting the puck in the net with a signature move, or even a team or player that I had any particular personal rooting interest in.

It was about the moment. The experience. And everything that came along with it and everything that followed it.

It was Game 6 the 2013 Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins, and the Stanley Cup itself was in the building.

At that point I had been writing about hockey full-time for about five years and had already attended hundreds of games for work and as a hockey fan. Regular season games, outdoor games, playoff games, and yes, several Cup Final games. One thing I had never had the opportunity to witness in person was the Stanley Cup actually being handed out.

On this night, it was a possibility as the Blackhawks and Bruins took the ice with the former holding a 3-2 series lead.

It became a reality when Dave Bolland jammed a loose puck into the back of the net with 58 seconds to play in, capping off an insane final two minutes in what is still one of the most exciting hockey games I have ever had the joy of witnessing in person.

The goal itself was the definition of an “ugly” goal.

An innocent shot from the blue line gets thrown at the net, while a third-liner crashes the crease and is in the right place at the right time to pounce on a rebound off the goal post and put it in the net.

At this point the Blackhawks’ dynasty hadn’t been born yet. They had won their first Stanley Cup (2010), but a salary cap crunch had ripped apart a lot of its depth and that first championship was followed by consecutive first-round losses (to Vancouver in 2011 and to Arizona in 2012). The potential was there, but their legacy could have still gone either way

In this particular postseason Jonathan Toews — later known for being one of the most clutch players in the league — was getting absolutely crushed for a lack of production (he scored just one goal in his first 20 playoff games), starting goalie Corey Crawford was having both his glove and blocker side brutally criticized and scrutinized, and even Patrick Kane had gone seven consecutive games at one point in the playoffs without scoring a goal.

Even with all of that the Blackhawks were still just one game away from winning another championship. It was a testament to how deep of a roster they had assembled, and just how good the entire team was that their best players could slump for so long and they could still just be a game away from a championship.

The game itself was full of scoring chances, close calls, near misses, and some great goaltending that kept it a 1-1 game for the first 53 minutes. Then, with just seven minutes to play in regulation, Milan Lucic scored to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead. It was then that everyone started to prepare for what seemed to be an inevitable Game 7. It wasn’t just a possibility, it was simply going to happen. There was no way the league’s best defensive team at the time (Boston), with Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, and Tuukka Rask all at the height of their power as players, was going to give up that lead, in that game, in that building.

Simply. Not. Happening.

As the clock ticked away, I was doing the same thing every other writer in the press box and/or media room was doing — putting the finishing touches on an initial column on how the Bruins had forced a Game 7 and ready to submit as soon as the clock hit zero.

And then, with 1:16 to play, it all started.

Bryan Bickell tied the game for Chicago, forcing everyone to put their Game 7 plans on hold and start preparing for overtime in Game 6.

Those new plans would only last for 17 seconds.

Because that’s how long it took for Bolland to follow Bickell’s goal and score the game-winner.

There are so many things I remember about that moment. The deafening, stunned silence of TD Garden minus the emphatic cheers of the thousand or so Blackhawks fans in attendance. Bolland forgetting that there were still 58 seconds to play in regulation and throwing his stick and gloves to the ice as if he had scored an overtime goal. Me highlighting every word of the story I had written about a Bruins win and hitting the “delete” button to start over with an entirely new story. The adrenaline of rushing down to the tunnel and waiting to get on the ice to conduct player interviews for the winning team. Actually walking around on the ice while players still celebrated with the Cup. Then frantically writing a new story on the Blackhawks’ second championship (the first team to win multiple Cups in the salary cap era). Going back to my hotel at 2:30 in the morning, and staying awake for the next four hours — still trying to comprehend the insane comeback I had just witnessed — to catch an early train back home.

But the madness did not stop there.

It is incredible to look back at the sequence of events that goal and that game set into motion.

The Blackhawks as a team were now on their way to becoming a mini-dynasty.

The Bruins, just 76 seconds away from forcing a Game 7 where anything could have happened (maybe they win and become the dynasty?), ended up making Tyler Seguin their scapegoat (something they highlighted and put out there for public consumption) and traded him to Dallas in a deal they would have literally nothing to show for just a couple of years later.

The Blackhawks, facing another salary cap crunch, traded Bolland to the Toronto Maple Leafs just six days after he clinched a championship for them. He would play one injury-shortened season for them before signing a huge free agent contract with the Florida Panthers, something they may not have happened had his 2013 postseason gone the way it did. 

I did not care who won the game or the series. I just wanted to experience a good series and maybe get a chance to see something cool happen.

It all delivered, and there still is not a goal that stands out to me more, even if the goal itself was relatively simple.

PREVIOUSLY ON MY FAVORITE GOAL:
Darren McCarty shows off goal-scoring hands during 1997 Cup Final
Alex Ovechkin scores ‘The Goal’ as a rookie
Marek Malik’s stunning shootout winner
Paul Henderson scores for Canada
• Mario Lemieux’s end-to-end masterpiece; Hextall scores again
Tomas Hertl goes between-the-legs
Borschevsky’s goal sealed with a kiss

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.