Taylor Hall made a move so brilliant it broke Steve Mason.
OK. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but what Hall did was spectacular.
Hall gets in on a breakaway behind Shayne Gostisbehere. He dekes and dipsy-doodles the puck to a point where Mason bites. With his right hand on his stick, Hall sweeps the puck past the out-stretched skate of the goaltender and into the net.
Mason was clearly in distress afterward. It looked like he stretched completely out to make the save. Could it be his groin? Knee? A hammy? After a couple minutes, he was helped to the locker room.
Almost immediately after Mason left the ice, the Philly broadcast opined that this could be the last time fans saw the netminder in a Flyers’ jersey. Mason is an unrestricted free agent after the season, but come on. There are 12 games left. Give the guy the benefit of the doubt even if he is (allegedly) made of glass.
The season ending injury talk was indeed a bit premature. Reports after the game were that Mason was suffering from cramping. He’ll be evaluated again on Friday.
The team was losing 4-2 when Michal Neuvirth replaced Mason. Adam Henrique scored a goal on Neuvirth and Hall picked up his second of the game on an empty net. Devils snap a 10 game losing streak, 6-2.
BREAKING NEWS! Connor McDavid is human. He is capable of making a mistake.
Friday night in Edmonton, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin enters the offensive zone and takes a slap shot on Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot. The puck hits Talbot and dribbles off the netminder towards the open net.
McDavid makes the initial kick-save…
… but the puck goes right into the leg pad of Talbot as he’s turning around. It ricochets quickly and just nearly misses McDavid’s skate before heading into the net.
The goal is credited as unassisted to Malkin for his 32nd of the year.
You can put The Chosen One in Edmonton, but sometimes you can’t wash the Oil off The Chosen One.
As the great philosopher Harry Dunne once said:
Hide all the valuables, Robin Lehner is probably in a mood to smash things. The occasionally volcanic netminder was at the wrong end of a school yard play by Nikita Kucherov in the shootout.
Kucherov uses a strategy that is less about shooting and more about mind games. In fact, he doesn’t really shoot at all. He lets the puck do the work.
After coming in wide he appears to pull puck back and drag it around to shoot. Only thing is, he doesn’t have the puck on his stick. It’s sliding underneath Lehner and into the net.
Let’s have the Tampa Bay Lightning announcers recount the play as it might be the most incredible thing they’ve ever seen.
Brandon Dubinsky’s hatred of Sidney Crosby fuels his play versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. It usually results in Dubinsky getting penalized (and/or later suspended) for something he did to Sid.
It was clear that John Tortorella wanted Dubinsky out there versus Crosby and playing at home he could make the matchup work. Mike Sullivan countered by having Sid skip a shift or two or play an extra long shift so he’d only face Dubinsky for a few seconds.
This leads to Dubinsky building up a fire that could only result in a spectacular game winning goal in overtime after Sid ends his shift.
Sidney Crosby does amazing things on the ice almost every night. Scoring point No. 995 was no different.
Chris Kunitz passes Crosby the puck through approximately a million St. Louis Blues players. Crosby receives the pass on his backhand while down on one knee.
With one of the best backhands in the game Crosby makes it look easy as he roofs it in the semi-lunge position.
As the great Tracy Jordan once said, “I love [that goal] so much, I want to take it behind a middle school and get it pregnant.”
After that spectacular goal, it was just another three point night for the Pittsburgh Penguins captain. He assisted on Justin Schultz’s ninth tally of the year and added an empty netter to seal the game for the Pens at 4-1.
Crosby has three points to go before hitting number 1,000.
If Ryan Johansen is ever looking to make some scratch on the side being a pool shark might be his best bet.
The Nashville Predators forward put the proverbial nail in the coffin of the Minnesota Wild with a trick-shot-esque empty netter.
Defenseman Ryan Ellis swipes away a loose puck in the neutral zone and back to Johansen – who is about five feet behind the blueline. The forward chips the puck high up in the air, like he’s going for an alley-oop, but the arc is so perfect it coasts into the net.
(Let’s give a little love to his time in Columbus for allowing him to work on his chip game while on the golf course… sorry.)
The point was the third of the evening for Johansen, and iced the game against the Minnesota Wild, 4-2.
If San Diego Chargers fans need another reason to ‘Join the Nest’ of the San Diego Gulls, might we show them an example of the talent they’ll be seeing.
It just so happens that Gulls forward, and Anaheim Ducks prospect, Kalle Kossila submitted his goal of the year nomination.
“I’ve been in pro hockey for 30 years and I’ve never seen a player pull that off in a game,” said Gulls head coach Dallas Eakins.
“I’ve done it in practice, but obviously a game situation is way different,” said Kossila afterward. “The puck happened to stay on the top of my stick, and their defenseman wasn’t pressuring me, so I tried it.”
Gulls would go on to win 5-1 in front of a sellout crowd in San Diego.
Alex Ovechkin has always had a flare for the dramatic.
Going into Monday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, Ovechkin needed three points to reach 1,000 for his career and only one goal to tie Maurice “Rocket” Richard with 544 goals at 29th overall.
Scoring three points in the game, he nearly accomplished both, but alas, he’d only hit one major milestone tonight.
In front of the Montreal crowd and on the power play (of course), Ovechkin tied the legendary Richard’s record.
It feels apropos that Ovechkin would hit this milestone in Montreal where Richard spent his entire NHL career. The trophy that bears Richard’s name for the top goal scorer each season has been earned by Ovi a league high six times.
After a difficult start to the season, Evgeny Kuzentsov is finally back to the form we saw him in last year when he ended up tenth in NHL scoring.
Not only is he putting up points again, he’s doing it in style.
Case and point: Monday evening’s goal against Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens to give the Washington Capitals the 2-1 lead.
Alexander Radulov is attempting to get control of the puck when Kuznetsov swipes it from him. The Caps forward dangles around Jeff Petry and beats Carey Price.
GREAT ODIN’S RAVEN!
The goal stood as the game winner with the Caps eventually winning the game, 4-1.
In the battle of Connor McDavid versus Patrik Laine, there is one thing that Laine will have over McDavid – a personality.
Laine has yet to have the fun beat out of him by the league. He’s reminiscent of Alex Ovechkin when he first entered the NHL both in personality and shot on the power play.
Hell of a slapper by Laine.
That’s not even the best part, though. It’s the flourish at the end that’s so undeniably Laine.