Hockey Day In America

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The Buzzer: Binnington posts another shutout; Barkov scores wonder goal

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Three stars

1. Jordan Binnington, St. Louis Blues

The kid has been in this category a pile of times since Jan. 7 when he made his first start of the season. That night, he recorded his first NHL shutout and grabbed his first NHL win.

Fast forward a month and a bit and Binnington’s flashy start hasn’t turned out to be a fluke. He shutout the Minnesota Wild with a 30-save performance on Sunday, three days after he shutout the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.

‘Winnington’ has four shutouts on the season now. That’s four since Jan. 7. He owns a 12-1-1 record. That’s also since Jan. 7. And he’s a big, big part of why the Blues have 10 straight wins, matching a franchise record.

There’s no hotter goalie in the NHL and subsequently, no hotter team.

2. Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers 

Barkov belongs on the list for this goal, alone:

But Barkov also had a hat trick on the night, including the go-ahead goal (the one above) and the insurance marker in the third period.

He added an assist for the four-point night.

3. Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins needed someone to step up to keep ahold of their playoff spot and Evgeni Malkin’s two goals 2:31 apart in the third period gave the Penguins just what they needed in a 6-5 win.

Malkin missed five games because of injury and another because of suspension, but since he returned from his ailment, all he’s’ done is produce. He’s got four goals and two assists in three games since his return.

Pittsburgh is in a real fight for a playoff spot, so a hot Malkin, as opposed to a hot-headed Malkin, will be key down the stretch. They need his production in a big way.

Highlights of the night

The legend:

Ovechkin hits 40, again:

Odd but effective:

Factoids

Scores

Penguins 6, Rangers 5
Blues 4, Wild 0
Devils 4, Sabres 1
Flyers 3, Red Wings 1
Panthers 6, Canadiens 3
Ducks 5, Capitals 2

If you missed any of the Hockey Day in America stories, check out NBC Sports here. 


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

 

Coyne Schofield’s global impact empowering women

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The past month has been a whirlwind for U.S. Women’s National Team member Kendall Coyne Schofield. And that might just be understating an understatement.

Indeed, Coyne Schofield hit the ground running at the 2019 NHL All-Star Skills with her blistering time in the fastest skater, and since then, she’s been promoting the women’s game like none other.

Coyne Schofield spoke of the past month on Hockey Day in America on Sunday.

NBC Sports is celebrating Hockey Day in America with an NHL Sunday tripleheader on NBC and NBCSN, as well as a collection of stories and features which explore hockey’s impact and influence across the U.S.

Pre-game studio coverage begins at noon ET on NBC with NHL Live, which will be on-site in Hockeytown at The Rink at Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit, Mich. Liam McHugh and Kathryn Tappen will anchor pre-game, intermission and post-game coverage throughout the day alongside analysts Mike Milbury, Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick. In addition, Tappen will provide reports and interviews from the Team USA vs. Canada women’s hockey game at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Sunday afternoon.

NBC Hockey Day in America schedule:
Penguins beat Rangers 6-5
Blues shutout Wild 4-0
Philadelphia at Detroit – NBCSN –  6 p.m. ET (Watch live)


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

Incredible rise of Arizona State’s hockey team

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Not many people think of hockey when they think of Arizona, but the Arizona State University Sun Devils might just change the perception of the sport in the desert.

The Sun Devils have been a revelation in NCAA Division I men’s hockey this season. They have a 21-10-1 record, including a current five-game heater, and are on the brink of the NCAA Tournament with two games remaining in their regular season.

It wasn’t always this way, however. This is one incredible story of a rise to prominence in a place most unexpected.

NBC Sports is celebrating Hockey Day in America with an NHL Sunday tripleheader on NBC and NBCSN, as well as a collection of stories and features which explore hockey’s impact and influence across the U.S.

Pre-game studio coverage begins at noon ET on NBC with NHL Live, which will be on-site in Hockeytown at The Rink at Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit, Mich. Liam McHugh and Kathryn Tappen will anchor pre-game, intermission and post-game coverage throughout the day alongside analysts Mike Milbury, Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick. In addition, Tappen will provide reports and interviews from the Team USA vs. Canada women’s hockey game at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Sunday afternoon.

NBC Hockey Day in America schedule:
Penguins beat Rangers 6-5
Blues shutout Wild 4-0 
Philadelphia at Detroit – NBCSN –  6 p.m. ET (Watch live)


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

Blues’ white-hot run matches history with 10th straight win

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Who amongst you is going to stand up and beat the St. Louis Blues?

*crickets*

At the moment, no one can stop the mighty Blues, who seem to score all the goals these days and let few, if any, by them. And it’s a run that has now matched a franchise record for wins in a row with 10 — a mark they set 17 years ago in 2002 — after a 4-0 win against the Minnesota Wild on Hockey Day In America.

The success is startling.

The Blues were 31st — dead last — on Jan. 3. Now, they’re third in the Central Division with 67 points, four points clear of the Dallas Stars and six points back of the second-place Nashville Predators with three games in hand on their division rivals.

And there are no signs of slowing. Like, zero.

The Blues came into Sunday having shutout the Colorado Avalanche 24 hours earlier with Jake Allen between the pipes. Two days before that, Jordan Binnington, a rookie sensation who has now won eight straight starts (a record for the longest winning streak by a Blues goalie), posted a 21-save shutout against the Arizona Coyotes.

Binnington to stopped all 30 shots he faced in the game for his fourth shutout of the season, and third straight game where the team has shutout the opposition.

Consider this: Binnington didn’t start his first game this season until Jan. 7 — ironically a shutout performance.

He’s now 12-1-1 in 15 appearances and has a save percentage north of .930.

As good as it’s going in the crease, it’s going just as well 200-feet yonder.

Vladimir Tarasenko has erased all memories of his slump earlier in the year and now has points in 12-straight, a career-long points streak that has seen 11 goals and 11 assists now after a three-point performance in Sunday’s win over the Wild.

The Wild, meanwhile, looked flat and disinterested.

Earlier this week, coach Bruce Boudreau promised, defiantly, that his squad would make it into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. At this point, that appears to be wishful thinking in Minnesota.

Two nights after they blew a 4-1 lead to lose 5-4 in overtime to the lowly New Jersey Devils, the Wild put up their latest dud.

The Wild are still (barely) holding on to the second and final wildcard spot in the Western Conference, but they have several teams hot on their heels. The loss of Mikko Koivu has proved detrimental to their cause, and neither of their goalies is doing much to help out their sputtering offense.

NBC Sports is celebrating Hockey Day in America with an NHL Sunday tripleheader on NBC and NBCSN, as well as a collection of stories and features which explore hockey’s impact and influence across the U.S.

Remaining NBC Hockey Day in America schedule:
Philadelphia at Detroit – NBCSN –  6 p.m. ET (Watch live)


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

Minnesota Wild Blind Hockey makes sport more accessible

Minnesota Blind Hockey invites a range of players from legally blind to totally blind to take part in a modified version of the sport, resulting in a great opportunity to make hockey more accessible.

As the video above notes, nets are tweaked, pucks are bigger and make more noise, and other changes are made to make hockey accessible. Here are the full rules from Minnesota Wild Blind Hockey:

  • Typically, totally blind athletes play goal (or defense); lower sighted athletes play defense; and higher sighted athletes play forward.
  • The puck is bigger, slower and makes noise compared to a traditional puck so the players can locate it. 
  • Custom 3 foot high nets are used rather than the traditional 4 foot nets to keep the puck low and near the ice so it can make noise and be tracked aurally.
  • Teams must complete one pass in the attacking zone prior to being able to score. This provides both the low vision defense and the goalie an extra opportunity to track the puck.
  • An on ice official uses a different whistle to indicate that a pass has been completed and the attacking team is eligible to score.
  • Tag-up off-sides is used with the assistance of verbal communication from on ice officials. The game is played with standard IIHF safety protocols including no-touch icing, and crease violations to ensure utmost player safety.
  • All players must wear full protective gear including face mask.

Clever, cool stuff, right? Read more about its history – for decades in Canada, and really picking up in the U.S. back in 2014 – here.

NBC Sports is celebrating Hockey Day in America with an NHL Sunday tripleheader on NBC and NBCSN, as well as a collection of stories and features which explore hockey’s impact and influence across the U.S.

Pre-game studio coverage begins at noon ET on NBC with NHL Live, which will be on-site in Hockeytown at The Rink at Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit, Mich. Liam McHugh and Kathryn Tappen will anchor pre-game, intermission and post-game coverage throughout the day alongside analysts Mike Milbury, Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick. In addition, Tappen will provide reports and interviews from the Team USA vs. Canada women’s hockey game at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Sunday afternoon.

NBC Hockey Day in America schedule:
Penguins beat Rangers 6-5
St. Louis at Minnesota – NBC – 3:30 p.m. ET (Watch live)
Philadelphia at Detroit – NBCSN –  6 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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.