Tom Wilson “gifted” the Department of Player Safety quite the situation to mull over during the holidays. Wilson got involved in some of the chaos during the Boston Bruins’ 7-3 win against the Washington Capitals on Monday. Wilson received a misconduct penalty as he went after David Pastrnak, seemingly striking an official in the process.
In other words, the Bruins and Capitals took the wrong message from this being a season of giving.
While the league mulls over specific incidents, maybe there should also be bigger-picture discussions about goonish moments when games are no longer in doubt?
Boost for Bruins?
Boston must be elated to enter the break with a blowout win. The Bruins only won once in their last 17 games (1-12-4) against the Capitals coming into this one. Boston struggled beyond games against Washington lately, as they were on a three-game losing streak and a 1-4-4 slump.
Don’t be surprised if Monday’s mayhem plants seeds for future nastiness between two East powers.
The first hat trick of Acciari’s career helped Florida to a 6-1 rout of the Senators and ended the Panthers’ three-game losing streak. The three-goal night was also the first multi-goal game of his career.
Korpisalo registered 30 saves and Oliver Bjorkstrand provided a pair of goals in the 3-0 shutout of the Capitals. The shutout was the third of Korpisalo’s career and he’s yet to lose to Washington in three career starts. Columbus’ win put head coach John Tortorella into 15th place all-time with 635.
St. Louis scored four consecutive goals en route to a 5-2 win over the Avalanche. After going down 2-1 midway through the second period, the Blues scored twice in a 36-second span, with Perron tying the game on the power play. He’d complete the fifth hat trick of his career late in the third period with an empty netter to seal the victory.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NIGHT
• Acciari’s second goal came via some lovely dangling from Jonathan Huberdeau, who had four assists on the night. Huberdeau now has 400 points in 500 career NHL games:
• Artemi Panarin is wondering how this puck did not cross the goal line:
San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane was ejected from Tuesday’s 5-2 loss against the Washington Capitals for elbowing Caps defenseman Radko Gudas.
The hit came shortly after Kane scored a goal in what had already clearly been developing into a lopsided win for the Capitals. Gudas clearly seemed disoriented by the hit, as he was helped to the bench by Capitals’ staff.
“It’s a high hit. It’s a reviewable penalty. The league will deal with it from there,” Reirden said. “But it’s the type of stuff we’re working to remove from the game.”
Gudas didn’t return to the game for the Capitals, but considering that it was late in the third period of a game that wasn’t very close, that isn’t all that surprising. Even so, it wouldn’t be surprising if Gudas suffered a longer-lasting injury from that hit.
The Jets’ early struggles have kept Hellebuyck’s strong start under the radar (for the most part), but an Oct. 29 showing against the Ducks wasn’t so great, as Hellebuyck allowed five goals on only 19 shots on goal in about a half-game’s worth of action. Hellebuyck made up for that in a big way against Anaheim’s neighbors in San Jose.
The Sharks managed a commanding 53-19(!) SOG advantage on Friday, but they didn’t even get a pity point for their considerable efforts. Hellebuyck basically had a night’s work in the second period alone, allowing just one goal despite a 28-SOG barrage by San Jose.
Hellebuyck ended up making 51 out of 53 stops, so chances are, his strong work is now noticed … if the Sharks, if by no one else.
Goalies had a tendency to steal games involving California-based teams on Friday.
Despite the Canucks generated a 19-5 SOG advantage through the first period, the Ducks ended the first 20 minutes up 1-0 thanks to a Jakob Silfverberg shorthanded goal. Vancouver went on to generate a 40-29 SOG advantage overall, yet the Ducks won in overtime thanks to all-world goaltending by their all-world goalie.
Perhaps the Ducks are playing a little better under Dallas Eakins as they didn’t under Randy Carlyle, but this team still depends on Gibson as much as just about any NHL team leans on a goalie these days.
When in doubt — and there’s usually doubt in such an exciting, skilled league, especially on busy nights — I tend to go with goals over assists, and so one. Two of Aho’s three points were goals, and his assist was a primary one.
It also rarely feels like a bad time to mention Aho, who deserves more mentions as one of the NHL’s great stars.