What a weird night across the NHL.
We saw some things that were probably to be expected, like the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues continuing to win, and win relatively easily. We also saw some really, really strange things, including Jason Pominville scoring despite the fact his stick shattered, David Backes scoring a goal without actually putting the puck in the net, and the NHL changing a final score after a game ended.
With their 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Monday the Boston Bruins increased their current winning streak to nine-games, opening up a five-point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, while the St. Louis Blues became the first team in the NHL to hit the 100-point mark this season with their dominating 3-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets -- which was originally a 4-1 final score, until the NHL decided that it wasn't.
Phoenix used a two-goal third period against Los Angeles to pick up two huge points and jump over the Dallas Stars for the final Wild Card spot in the West, while Tampa Bay celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its Stanley Cup win by holding off a late Vancouver rally (the Lighting also added to the night's weirdness by using the wrong date in their Stanley Cup tribute video).
Just another day in the crazy NHL.
All the NHL Scores
Bruins 4, Wild 1
Blues 3, Jets 1
Three things we learned
1. Carl Soderberg can be a difference-maker for the Bruins
Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron make all of the headlines for the Bruins, and for good reason. They are all among the best in the league at their positions. But once you get past the superstars the Bruins are still one of the deepest teams in the league and have one of the best third lines going in the NHL right now, and 28-year-old Carl Soderberg is starting to become the straw that stirs the drink on that line. He was outstanding on Monday night against Minnesota, setting up Loui Eriksson's second-period goal with a tremendous individual effort that saw him force a turnover, circle the net, and make a perfect pass to Eriksson to allow him to slide the puck into an abandoned net. Later in the period he nearly set up another goal with a slick between-the-legs pass. He now has 20 points in 27 games since Jan. 1.
2. The Canucks' luck isn't changing
A lot of things have gone wrong for the Vancouver Canucks this season. Injuries being at the top of the list, as well as a little bad luck every now and again. Monday was one of those games where lady luck was simply not on their side. Two of Tampa Bay's goals went bounced into the net off of Canucks defenseman Ryan Stanton. Earlier in the second period Ondrej Palat's attempted pass on a two-on-one rush bounced off the leg of Stanton and past Eddie Lack as he slid along the ice in an effort to take away the passing line. With less than 20 seconds to play in the period Stanton was again on the wrong end of a bad bounce as Valtteri Filppula's centering pass deflected in off of his skate.
3. Ryan Miller probably enjoys it in St. Louis
Think Ryan Miller is enjoying his new team? Not only did he improve his record to 7-0-1 as a member of the St. Louis Blues thanks to a 3-1 win against Winnipeg on Monday, he only had to face 17 shots to do it. In his eight games with the Blues he's faced an average of just 24 shots per game and has faced more than 30 shots two times. In 40 games with the Sabres he faced fewer than 30 shots just three times. Talk about going to opposite ends of the NHL.
The one play or moment from Monday that is going to be making headlines over the next couple of days.
After initially awarding the Blues a fourth goal, the NHL apparently decided after the fact that it did not count as the play was apparently whistled during a line brawl that broke out at the end of the game. No, it doesn't change anything on Monday, but given that goal-differential is a tiebreaker and the Jets are still involved in a playoff race there needs to be some sort of explanation from the league as to what happened here.
Stat of the Night
After scoring zero goals on his first 79 shots on goal this season, Canucks forward Alex Burrows has now scored five goals on his past 15 shots over four games. That includes a pair of two-goal games as well. Shooting luck. It's a funny thing sometimes.
Post to Post
- Which type of NHL forward ages gracefully?
- The Dallas Stars have a pretty big strength of schedule advantage in the Western Conference Wild Card race.
- The Chicago Blackhawks need to work some salary cap magic to get Teuvo Teravainen in the lineup.
- Does Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux deserve to be an MVP finalist?