With his team's 4-0 win over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night, Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville became just the third coach in league history (joining Scotty Bowman and Al Arbour) to win 700 games in the NHL.
The milestone win came against the team that he won his first 307 games with, and also prevented the Blues from becoming the first team in the league to clinch a playoff spot this season.
It also came with a price.
The Blackhawks lost leading scorer Patrick Kane to a leg injury that is going to keep him out of the lineup for at least the next three weeks. It is not yet known whether or not he will play in any of Chicago's remaining regular season games. Kane was injured in the second period when St. Louis' Brenden Morrow fell on his left leg.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, Steven Stamkos scored three straight goals in a 5-3 Tampa Bay win over Toronto, a performance that was overshadowed by Alex Killorn's hit from behind on Paul Ranger, a play that resulted in Ranger leaving the game on a stretcher, and a fan going for a run on the ice.
All the NHL Scores
Blackhawks 4, Blues 0
Three things we learned
1. We've missed a lot of Steven Stamkos the past two years
The last time Stamkos played a full 82-game season he scored 60 goals. But because of last year's lockout and the unfortunate leg injury that sidelined him for most of this season we've missed a lot of brilliant hockey from one of the game's best players over the past couple of seasons and that is unfortunate. How many goals could have scored this season? Or even last season? Between the two he's appeared in just 72 games and scored 48 over that stretch, including his 19 this season.
2. The Jets are still alive ... barely
Thanks to Blake Wheeler's overtime goal on Wednesday, a marathon effort that left every other player on the ice in a path of destruction, the Winnipeg Jets are back to within four points of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. That's still a tall mountain to climb this late in the season, especially with so many teams still in the race, but the Jets at least have something to play for down the stretch even though they have won just four of their past 13 games.
3. Starting goalies in back-to-back games is always a risk
There was some disagreement in Toronto on Tuesday night as to how well James Reimer played in a 3-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Coach Randy Carlyle thought he was just "OK," while Reimer argued that he was "pretty good." Riveting stuff. Well, because Toronto's other goalie, Jonathan Bernier, is sidelined with an injury Reimer had to start the second game of a back-to-back situation and that rarely works out well as Toronto found out in a 5-3 loss to the Lightning. Reimer had a brutal first period, allowing three goals on the first eight shots he faced including a terrible goal from Radko Gudas that slowly slid in along the ice from the blue line. It was the first time all season Carlyle started the same goalie in a back-to-back situation.
The one play or moment from Wednesday that is going to be making headlines over the next couple of days.
There were no shortage of big moments on Wednesday, from Alex Killorn's hit on Paul Ranger that resulted in the Toronto defenseman having to leave on a stretcher, to Patrick Kane being sidelined for three weeks due to a leg injury he suffered in the Blackhawks' 4-0 win over the St. Louis Blues, to the continued collapse of the Maple Leafs, winners of just four of their past 11 games (with only two of them coming in regulation).
In the case of Ranger, he was taken to a hospital for precautionary reasons while Killorn, who has no previous history of dirty play, could be facing his first suspension in the NHL.
Stat of the Night
Ryan O'Reilly scored his 26th goal of the season for the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night as he continues to add to his career-high. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that added to his consecutive games without a penalty streak to 71, a streak that goes all the way back to the end of last season. In 68 games this season he has not been called for a single penalty while playing more than 20 minutes a night. Other than O'Reilly, there have been just 14 players in league history that played more than 60 games in a season and did not record a single penalty. The only player on that list with more points than O'Reilly's 57 is former New York Islander Butch Goring. He had 60 points and zero penalty minutes during the 1980-81 season.
Post to Post
- Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin just keeps on keeping on.
- Are you an NHL season ticket holder? Does your team treat you well? Well, we have the answer.
- If you want to execute a set play in the NHL, watch what the Toronto Maple Leafs did here and then do the opposite of that.
- The Sharks can beat anybody in the league ... except for bad teams in the Eastern Conference.