With one week left before the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs, it’s time to have some fun with another edition of Hump Day Hockey!
How awesome is Jaromir Jagr? He’s 44-years-old, playing great, and loving life. Before Monday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, he posed for a picture with a fan during warmup.
I didn’t know “only got one selfie in” was a thing. Better than the selfie? Jagr talking about the selfie…
Just got home and finally watched the sports highlights. Feeling pretty special to have @jaromirjagrofficial talk about me in an interview. #floridapanthers#jagr #nhl#tsn A video posted by kblades1983 (@kblades1983) on
Roy calls out Duchene
Patrick Roy ripped into his own player, Matt Duchene, on Sunday.
Duchene scored his 30th goal of the season, and reacted how you’d expect…
…If not for the fact that he scored it when his team was down 4-0, with less than five minutes to play in the game. This, when the Avs are fighting for their playoff lives.
“The thing I have a hard time is the reaction of Dutchy after he scores. It’s a 4-0 goal … big cheer. Are you kidding me? What is that?” Roy told reporters after the game. “I mean, it’s not the (reaction) we want from our guys, not at all.”
The loss on Sunday effectively killed their playoff chances. Colorado is five points back of the last playoff spot, with just two games to go.
Gotta say I agree with Roy on this one. I know we want hockey players to be less robot-like, but how do you get that excited when your team is still down 4-1? I mean, that’s like doing the wave at a Canucks game in the third period when they’re losing. Wait…
Year of the offensive defencemen
It’s been a special year for a couple of offensive defencemen in the NHL this season. Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns have already broken the 70-point plateau.
It’s a new career high for both players. Karlsson (80 points), who scored 78 points back in 2011-12, while Burns (74) scored 60 points last season.
This is the first time that two blueliners have finished with more than 70 points in the same season since 2005-06. That year Nicklas Lidstrom (80) and Sergei Zubov (71) accomplished the feat in a power play-heavy post-lockout season. Before that, you have to go back to 2000-01 to find another example (Brian Leetch had 79, Lidstrom 71).
Of course this is still a far cry from 1993-94 when 8 d-men scored more than 70:
- Ray Bourque (91)
- Sergei Zubov (89)
- Al MacInnis (82)
- Brian Leetch (79)
- Scott Stevens (78)
- Paul Coffey (77)
- Larry Murphy (73)
- Garry Galley (70)
Here are my picks for the major NHL awards this year.
Winner: Patrick Kane
Reason: The wire-to-wire scoring winner, he’ll be the only player to crack the 100-point plateau this season.
Runners-up: Erik Karlsson, Jamie Benn
Winner: Erik Karlsson
Reason: He’s a point-a-game player, and the leading scorer on his team. Those are incredible achievements for a defenceman.
Runners-up: Brent Burns, Drew Doughty
Winner: Cory Schneider
Reason: One of the league leaders in save percentage while appearing in 57 games. He also plays in front of a terrible team and has a significantly higher save percentage than his backup.
Runners-up: Ben Bishop, Braden Holtby
Winner: Connor McDavid
Reason: It may seem criminal not to give the award to a 70+ point player like Artemi Panarin, but he was put in a very favourable spot with Patrick Kane this season. McDavid missed nearly half a season, but he’s right there with the rookie scoring leaders.
Runners-up: Artemi Panarin, Jack Eichel
Winner: Anze Kopitar
Reason: Kopitar is near the top of the league in points, Corsi, plus-minus, and defensive-zone faceoffs.
Runners-up: Patrice Bergeron, Joe Thornton
Winner: Anze Kopitar
Reason: To be as strong and as defensively sound as he is and only put up 14 PIMs is insane.
Runners-up: Johnny Gaudreau, Tyler Seguin
Winner: Barry Trotz (Washington)
Reason: The Caps have been the best team all season and this award shouldn’t always just go to the most improved team.
Runners-up: Gerard Gallant (Florida), Lindy Ruff (Dallas)