cyclelikesedins

I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.
Getty

Lundqvist now alone at 10th all-time in wins with 404

11 Comments

Even while facing unusual struggles, Henrik Lundqvist continues to hit milestones and climb up the NHL’s record books.

In the case of Tuesday, the New York Rangers’ 5-2 win against the Florida Panthers gave Lundqvist the 404th win of his distinguished career. In doing so, Lundqvist broke his tie with Grant Fuhr for 10th all-time in goalie victories.

There’s a chance he can rise up another spot in 2016-17, too:

1. Martin Brodeur – 691 wins
2. Patrick Roy – 551
3. Ed Belfour – 484
4. Curtis Joseph – 454
5. Roberto Luongo – 453
6. Terry Sawchuk – 447
7. Jacques Plante – 437
8. Tony Esposito – 423
9. Glenn Hall – 407
10. Lundqvist – 404

Doing this against the Panthers seems like a nice touch, as Roberto Luongo and Jaromir Jagr have been putting together impressive marks/records of their own at times this season.

If 404 wins is a little too “vanilla” for you, Lundqvist also did something else impressive if more obscure:

Ah, those specific stats are the best, aren’t they?

The Rangers also give themselves an outside chance to crawl into the second or third spot in the Metro, though the Penguins and Blue Jackets hold some significant advantages at the moment:

2. Blue Jackets – 90 points in 65 games (beat the Devils)
3. Penguins – 88 points in 64 games (inactive)

First wild card: Rangers – 88 points in 67 games

And, as Jeremy Roenick and Brian Boucher discussed on Monday, there are actually some positives if the Rangers finish in that first wild card spot (especially if it means that Lundqvist can rest and regain confidence):

Blues grab key win in Yeo’s return to Minnesota

Getty
5 Comments

Even if Mike Yeo downplays the emotional side of beating the team he once coached in his return to Minnesota, this is still a big win for the St. Louis Blues.

In edging the Wild 2-1 in regulation, the Blues are swinging the pendulum back in their favor. This marks their second straight win after they dropped five straight losses (which was preceded by a six-game winning streak).

David Perron and Vladimir Tarasenko scored to give the Blues a 2-0 lead, and luckily for Jake Allen, a late blooper goal didn’t wash away what was a strong night overall. Allen fell just short of two straight shutouts thanks to the goal below, but he still stopped 32 out of 33 shots.

The most obvious perk of this win comes in strengthening their grip on the West’s second wild card spot. With 71 standings points, their lead grows to three or more on the West’s bubble teams.

St. Louis is also in a more reasonable position to catch the Nashville Predators for third place in the Central, although that wouldn’t happen tonight.

The Blues play back-to-back games at home this weekend and then set off for a five-game road trip. Perhaps grinding out a win like this will power them to a confident showing through March, as it seems like they’re on a bit of a roll again.

Update: Nashville grabbed a “charity point” to get to 74, losing to the Ducks in a shootout.

Also, to his credit, Yeo admitted beating the Wild felt good.

Gudas as he gets: Flyers stay in hunt by smashing Sabres

7 Comments

Tonight’s overall outlook can vary depending upon how the East’s other wild card teams perform, but the Philadelphia Flyers held up their end of the bargain on Tuesday.

Even Radko Gudas‘ loudest proponents would be surprised by his one-goal, two-assist night, which helped Philly handle the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 6-3.

The Flyers put themselves in a solid spot with 70 standings points, also wounding the Sabres’ thin playoff hopes in the process. Philly enjoyed scoring from a varied committee, from obvious choices (Claude Giroux with a goal, though those haven’t come easily for him lately) to surprises like Jordan Weal‘s one-goal, one-assist offering.

(Jack Eichel crossed the 100-point barrier on Tuesday, but it wasn’t enough on Tuesday. More on the young star finishing at 101 with two goals and an assist here.)

With at least a point (3-0-1) in their last four games, the Flyers seem like they’re gathering steam heading into two big games as they visit the Maple Leafs on Thursday and the Bruins on Saturday.

Overall, it’s a tough road ahead – just three home games through March 26 – but we’ll see if they can fight through it for another strong finish.

Update: Both the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders won their respective games on Tuesday, so the Flyers didn’t climb, but they also did not slip.

Bob keeps robbing: Sergei Bobrovsky pitches third straight shutout

Getty
4 Comments

The New Jersey Devils shouldn’t beat themselves up too much; few opponents are having any luck against Sergei Bobrovsky lately.

The red-hot Russian accomplished another first in Columbus Blue Jackets history on Tuesday, grabbing a third consecutive shutout at home as Columbus beat New Jersey 2-0.

That factoid might seem a bit on the highly specific side, but three straight shutouts is impressive anyway you slice such an accomplishment.

This also marks the second consecutive time that Bobrovsky blanked the Devils, although this time he had to work much harder, making 33 stops. “Bob” also fattened his franchise record for wins in a single season, grabbing his 35th.

Along with those 35 wins, Bobrovsky has six shutouts in 2016-17 and continues to build his argument in the increasingly crowded Vezina race.

From the look of things, Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets might set some other franchise records by the time they hit game 82.

Those 90 points place the Blue Jackets alone at second in the hotly contested Metro, at least for now.

Ho-Sang scores first NHL goal, now you can compare it to Lemieux’s (Video)

Getty
10 Comments

Some people are annoyed that New York Islanders forward Joshua Ho-Sang is wearing 66, the same number that Mario Lemieux made famous. Others are annoyed that people are annoyed.

So, with Ho-Sang scoring his first NHL goal on Tuesday, the only mature thing to do would be to allow those people to argue about the situation again. It’s a public service, really.

Ho-Sang wasn’t able to score his first goal in his first shift in his first game. Instead, it happened late in the first period of his fourth game. Still pretty good.

Here’s the tally off a howling shot:

And here’s an inevitable (and quite-solid) joke about it all.

Now, enjoy Mario Lemieux’s famous “first shift, first game, first goal,” for needless comparison’s sake. Have fun.