With so much drama swirling off the ice these days, it's nice to just sit back, relax and enjoy a full slate of games on Saturdays.
Of course, that wasn't the case at all. No, for all the early and mid-afternoon action the NHL offered, fans were still subject to the same trade rumors that have been stewing for a week. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you enjoy speculation, but the hockey on tap Saturday was really far more interesting.
Story lines abound, whether it was Alex Ovechkin scoring his 43rd goal against the Bruins, Toronto collapsing late again in Montreal or the Blackhawks burying the Penguins in the snowy turf at Soldier Field. The trade speculation is everywhere. But Saturday was a nice escape.
All the NHL Scores
Capitals 4, Bruins 2
Blackhawks 5, Penguins 1
On Saturday we asked you five burning questions about the day's games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
1. It's the final
Winter Classic NHL Stadium Series game. Who wins at Soldier Field?
The Blackhawks, and it wasn't really all that close. Jonathan Toews played like he was holding a grudge against his Team Canada teammate, torching Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins with two goals and an assist. The 5-1 result was surprising, if only because the ice surface was covered by at least an inch of snow at at times. It didn't keep Toews from scoring what might be the prettiest outdoor goal of all time.
2. How will Marty Brodeur fare in what could be his final start in New Jersey?
Brodeur and the Devils weren't really tested much by the Islanders, but the Devils legend stopped 18 of 19 shots to help New Jersey claim a 6-1 win. If that really was the end of Brodeur's career in New Jersey, it's nice to see that he went out a winner.
3. Will Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Valeri Nichushkin continue tearing up the competition?
I'll let our pals at Defending Big D take this one:
Definitely looking great was the Stars first line, but none of Jamie Benn, Nichushkin nor Seguin could turn some absolutely dominant shifts into actual point production. Such things happen, of course, and creating chances is obviously being better than held completely quiet. But you'd like in a game like this, especially late, to see them do damage on the scoreboard.
Alas, the Lightning took a 2-0 lead and ran with it. Dallas put 40 shots on net but couldn't figure out how to beat Ben Bishop, who was once again astounding in net for Tampa Bay.
4. Will the game in Montreal descend into madness?
It actually took about 50 minutes for either of these two teams to show any signs of life. The Leafs finally got things going with two breakaway goals in the third period, but two goals from P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty earned Montreal an overtime win.
5. Will Ryan Johansen score again?
Surprisingly enough, Johansen failed to score in a game where the Blue Jackets scored six goals. His assist on David Savard's second period goal means he has ten more points than the Jackets' second-leading scorer.
The one play or moment from Saturday that is going to be making headlines over the next couple of days
Roberto Luongo expressed his disappointment about getting benched for the Heritage Classic on Sunday, leading to a maelstrom of Canucks goalie controversy tweets. Now, Luongo's quotes probably don't mean he's going to demand a trade. But it is yet another slight against Luongo in what has been a rough few years for the veteran in Vancouver.
Luongo timeline: pic.twitter.com/pz27jeeEl8— Wyatt Arndt (@TheStanchion) March 1, 2014
Stat of the Night
This record will probably never be beaten.
100th career goal for Versteeg. He's the only player in NHL history to score at United Center, Wrigley Field and Soldier Field #Blackhawks— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) March 2, 2014
Post to Post
- The Penguins want Ryan Kesler. Badly.
- So that Ryan Miller trade? Yeah, it kind of divided the Buffalo Sabres front office and led to Pat LaFontaine resigning. Whoops.
- Marian Hossa suffered an upper-body injury last night.
- Finally, the Panthers are looking to deal Mike Weaver and Brad Boyes before the trade deadline.