On a Panthers team where more than half the roster is under the age of 30, it could be considered surprising that the only 40-plus skater on the roster would come up clutch in one of the biggest games of Florida’s season. It’s not really as surprising when that 43-year-old hero is Jaromir Jagr, though.
Jagr opened the scoring for the Panthers, giving them a 1-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the second period while on the power play. But the highlight-reel goal – and the game-winning tally – came later.
With little more than six minutes remaining, Jagr came rocketing down the left wing and absolutely froze Ottawa’s Craig Anderson with a fake slapshot. With Anderson down and out, Jagr swung around the net and buried Florida’s third goal of the night: Read more
It’s not often two goaltenders are forced to make incredible paddle saves, but Anaheim’s John Gibson and Washington’s Braden Holtby both made stick saves Sunday that will find their way onto end of year countdowns.
Holtby’s save, which came earlier in the day during a matinee between the Capitals and New York Rangers, was made off the stick of Rangers rookie Jimmy Hayes.
With Washington up by one on their division rivals midway through the first period, and with New York on the power play, Hayes received a beautiful cross-ice feed and had just about the entire net to shoot at. After quickly settling the puck, Hayes fired and Holtby, extending as much as humanly possible, robbed a sure goal with the shaft of his stick: Read more
The first career highlight for Anaheim Ducks rookie Chris Wagner isn’t a beautiful goal or a crisp tape-to-tape pass for his first NHL point. Rather, the 6-foot, 200-pound Wagner made his way onto the highlight reel with a massive check on New Jersey Devils defenseman Jon Merrill — one that sent Merrill flipping into the space between the two benches.
Wagner, who has played just six games this season and in his third straight game Sunday night, delivered the hit little more than two minutes into the Ducks’ game against the Devils, and he was rewarded by Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau with the second most ice time of his young career. You can check out the hit, and the hilarious follow-through, below: Read more
I’ve argued recently that, for the sake of competitive integrity, the NHL ought to do away with its loser-rewarding points system. However, I’ve also said on a number of occasions that the league maintains the system because it functions as it’s intended to function: to create as tight a playoff race as possible in order to help more teams sell more tickets for longer into the regular season, to fans who hope their franchise somehow continues to play after its conclusion.
Never was that more true than on Sunday – the day it felt like the NHL has entered this season’s equivalent of the two-minute warning of a football game. Eight games were played, and every one of them had playoff implications. Read more
Blackhawks star center Jonathan Toews is one of Manitoba’s favorite sons. But his popularity in his home province will take a hit after his goal with half a minute remaining in regulation time Sunday gave Chicago a late 4-3 win over Winnipeg and dealt a significant blow to the Jets’ playoff hopes.
The 26-year-old Toews, who hails from Winnipeg, saw his team fall behind 3-1 to the Jets at MTS Centre after two periods. But the Hawks, who also need every point they can get to stay ahead of the Minnesota Wild for third place in the Central Division, got a goal from Patrick Sharp early in the third – and with 30.8 seconds left in the frame, Toews stepped up with a deflection past goalie Ondrej Pavelec to give the visitors the lead and the win: Read more
The Pittsburgh Penguins confirmed earlier today that defenseman Kris Letang is out of the hospital, but will be out indefinitely with a concussion after taking a hit from Coyotes winger Shane Doan on Saturday night.
The playoffs are just around the corner and it’s time to take a look at some of the players who stepped up their game down the stretch. The top three forwards and top three defensemen are ranked by most points thus far and goalies were ranked based on wins since the All-Star break.
Before any Pittsburgh fans go and get their jerseys in a jumble, just pause for a second, take a deep breath and think about it: if the Penguins fail to get back to the Stanley Cup final for the sixth straight season, what else is left for the franchise to do but blow up the core?
After an off-season of upheaval in which Pittsburgh brought in a new coach, a new GM and a new supporting cast for Sidney Crosby, there would be few options left but to raze the roster to the ground and begin anew. Sure, the Penguins could use Marc-Andre Fleury as a scapegoat and try using the same roster again next season with a different goalie, but that would only be putting off the inevitable. (Just ask the San Jose Sharks, who are years behind on the rebuilding schedule after sticking with their core despite perennial playoff failures, including their first-round faceplant last year.)
The best thing for the Penguins to do would be to try to trade Crosby for the next Crosby.