Brian Campbell has never missed a game in a Florida Panthers uniform, although there are probably a few along the way that he wished he had. It wasn’t always winning and fun and Spacey in Space hoodies for these guys. Campbell knows what the dark days were like, which makes the bright ones the Panthers are having this season seem all the better.
With their 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night, the Panthers earned their 99th point of the 2015-16 season. No Panthers team has ever had that many points before. And when Campbell steps on the ice Tuesday night in Montreal, it will be the 1,000th game of his career and his 374th consecutive as a Panther. And if things go the Panthers way, Campbell could be part of a Panther team that clinches the Atlantic Division and secures home ice advantage for at least the first two rounds of the playoffs. Should the Panthers win Tuesday night in Montreal and the Tampa Bay Lightning lose, either in regulation or extra time, when they visit the New York Rangers, the Panthers will clinch the division.
John Scott is on his way to Montreal is slated to finish the season in the NHL with the Canadiens.
The Canadiens recalled the NHL All-Star Game MVP from the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps on Sunday afternoon, sending center Michael McCarron down in a corresponding move. TSN’s Frank Seravalli is reporting that Scott is expect to remain with the Canadiens, whose season consists of three more games – the last being Saturday when they host Tampa Bay.
When Tobias Lindberg steps on the ice with the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Buffalo Sabres tonight, he’ll be part of a team record that hasn’t been matched in almost 100 years.
Lindberg, one of the prospects acquired from the Ottawa Senators in the Dion Phaneuf trade, will become the 12th player to make his NHL debut for the Leafs this season, joining William Nylander, Zach Hyman, Byron Froese, Nikita Soshnikov, Brendan Leipsic, Kasperi Kapanen, Rinat Valiev, Frederik Gauthier, Garret Sparks and Viktor Loov. It’s actually 13 if you include goalie Antoine Bibeau, who dressed as a backup for 11 games this season, but didn’t see any action.
It’s official: no Canadian NHL teams will be making the playoffs this season. We knew this in our hearts for at least a month, but now it’s written in stone. And other than the Rogers TV execs trying to remember which of their molars contains the cyanide capsule, there’s no need to worry if you’re a Canadian.
For shame, Great White North. For shame. A year after five of seven Canadian NHL teams booked tickets to the big playoff dance, 0.0 will participate in the post-season. Monday night’s results pretty much nailed the nation’s collective coffin shut. The Ottawa Senators would have to win their final six games, and the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings would have to lose out aside from their remaining head-to-head matchup. So, yeah, Ottawa won’t pull off a miracle two years in a row.
It seems most fan bases and local pundits accepted that fate several weeks ago, however, as no Canadian squad was anywhere near a playoff berth. The Sens still sit 10 points back. It’s time to move on and start asking about next year. Which Canadian team, if any, has the most realistic odds of returning to the post-season in 2016-17? It’s time to rank their chances, from worst to best.
Canadiens defenseman Tom Gilbert has had a tough season. He’s currently nursing a season-ending knee injury, and when the campaign closes, 2015-16 will officially have been the worst statistical season of his professional career.
Gilbert’s struggles haven’t been made any easier by Montreal’s play, either. The 33-year-old blueliner was part of a Canadiens team that started the year in such promising fashion only to watch it all slip away behind an injury to star netminder Carey Price, an ever-growing injured list and an inability to turn around a sinking ship. And Gilbert, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent, told La Presse’s Marc Antoine Godin that it was a lack of maturity that played a part in the season spiralling out of control.
“(We) found excuses while we lose, instead of finding ways to come together to win,” Gilbert told Godin. Read more
Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban has missed the past six games, and while the blueliner is back to practice, there’s still no date set for his return to action.
Subban, 26, has been on the sideline since March 12 with a neck injury, the result of a collision with teammate Alexei Emelin that saw him stretchered off during the late stages of the Canadiens’ 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
“I’ve always been taught not to stay down on the ice, to get up after something happens,” Subban said Wednesday, via Sportsnet. “And in that situation, when you start feeling weird feelings in your hands and stuff like that, it’s a little scary.” Read more
The Red Wings’ playoff streak is in serious danger. At 24 consecutive seasons and counting, the Wings’ stretch of post-season appearances is the longest active streak in the big four North American pro sports leagues. But for the third year in a row, the Red Wings will have to go down to the wire to keep it alive, fending off a late challenge by the Philadelphia Flyers that threatens to finally snap the streak.
There’s an argument to be made that the Wings’ streak is the most impressive in NHL history, given the size of the league and the relentless push toward parity. But it’s not the only such streak the league has seen, or even the longest. Five other NHL teams have had playoff streaks longer than 20 consecutive seasons.
Let’s take a look back at those five teams, and how their streaks eventually ended.