There are few things better than sad Henrik Lundqvist — I got the taste for this in the playoff series of 2015, and I’ve loved it ever since. That being said, Erik Cernak got an even sweeter front-row seat to sad Lundqvist, scoring his first NHL goal off a feed from Ryan Callahan in last night’s victory over the New York Rangers. You can read up on the rest of the game in the recap on our front page, but here it is, and the lovely celebration afterwards:
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) February 3, 2019
A few of the beat writers noted that Nikita Kucherov’s first goal ever in the NHL was also through Lundqvist — on Kucherov’s first-ever shot.
Something Erik Cernak and Nikita Kucherov have in common: their first #NHL goals cam against future HOF’er Henrik Lundqvist. Kucherov’s came on first shot of debut.
— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) February 3, 2019
The subhead. It’s a testament to Brayden Point’s work ethic that he hasn’t sat out a game yet this season until last night, game 52. And not only that, it broke his 165-game playing streak. What have you done 165 times in a row? (For me it’s probably something like “eat Girl Scout cookies.”) The rest was well-deserved
Brayden Point had played in 165-straight regular season games, including every game this season, until missing tonight’s game against the Rangers. More on his injury. #Bolts #TBLvsNYRhttps://t.co/ZP0oz53gkq
— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) February 3, 2019
There are not many details about his day-to-day lower-body injury, but hopefully he rests up and rejoins the team soon. With the Bolts’ bevy of forwards, Point can take his time.
The Lightning didn’t waste Cernak’s first goal holding on to win 3-2 behind a strong game from Louis Domingue.
On the second half of a road back to back, any type of win will do. This wasn’t a pretty one but four points in two days is still a good showing. Louis Domingue was the star in net and the new second line looked like something the coaches might want to stick with even when everyone is healthy. On a night where the team was outshot by a comfortable margin, they doubled up the Rangers when they were on the ice.
In Friday night’s game against the Islanders, Nikita Kucherov did something that the NHL Department of Player Safety construed to be a slew foot. Someone saved a snippet of video on Twitter, and you can judge for yourself. [Tampa Bay Times]
The Department of Player Safety announced Saturday that Kucherov will be fined $5,000, the maximum allowed by the CBA, for his ‘dangerous trip’ of Scott Mayfield.
This was the dangerous trip by Nikita Kucherov that led to $5,000 fine https://t.co/XwNG2yXWC8
— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) February 2, 2019
(In an unrelated incident yesterday, Senators’ Zach Smith was also fined 5,000, for elbowing a Pittsburgh Penguins defender. [ESPN] )
Oddly enough, rather than disliking the low-scoring Super Shootout from the other night (Loserpoints’ term that I actually don’t like as much as Shutty McShootout), New York Islanders fans want to tangle with us in another playoff series. [Eyes on Isles]
Then in the second matchup, the Isles blew them out 5-1. Putting on an absolute clinic against the heavily favored Lightning. The Islanders were in each of the three games they played, winning one. I know the sexy storyline is Islanders vs Toronto but give me Tampa. These teams match up really well against each other and it would be a phenomenal series.
Finally, our pal Eugene wrote, Will Lightning respond to Maple Leafs’ Muzzin trade? My question is, does the team have to respond to it? Tampa is still kind of first in the league. [THW]
After seeing this key improvement to one of their biggest rivals, this may cause the Lightning to rethink their deadline plans. This leads to the question: will BriseBois react and attempt to shore up his roster at the trade deadline, or will he trust his depth and run with the players who made it to the top of the league in the first half of the season?
This is good, right? I think it’s good.
Divisional Point Paces through 2/1/2019 pic.twitter.com/G525LgJ5mI
— Mike Gallimore (@mikegallimore) February 2, 2019
The Crunch also won last night beating Cleveland 6-3. In addition to the players noted below, Carter Verhaeghe racked up another three points giving him 54 in 43 games and pulling him within three of AHL scoring leader Daniel Carr.
After giving up the first two goals, the Syracuse Crunch rallied back with five unanswered goals in a 6-3 victory over the Cleveland Monsters tonight at the War Memorial Arena.
Cameron Gaunce paced the team with his first career multi-goal game as 10 Crunch players found the scoresheet. The victory puts the Crunch on a six-game winning streak and advances the team to 27-13-2-1. The team also takes the four-game season series against the Monsters, 2-0-1-1.
— Eliteprospects (@eliteprospects) February 2, 2019
— AHL Communications (@AHLPR) February 2, 2019
It is well beyond time for this.
Ducks fans call for Carlyle’s firing after 9-3 debacle https://t.co/kdLbQl9Uzp
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) February 3, 2019
It is also well past time for this: Brent Seabrook tells Blackhawks that he will not waive his no-movement clause, per report [Second City Hockey]
“The Blackhawks have gone to Brent Seabrook and said would he’d be willing to waive his no-move clause. To this point, he has said, ‘no.’ He loves being a Blackhawk and he does not want to do that. But I think, they might still check around to see the market,” Friedman said.
And it looks like Garret Sparks got a W last night: Maple Leafs bury the rebound, beat Penguins 3-2 on Saturday Night [Pension Plan Puppets]
So there you go. A terrible loss to Detroit, followed by a really solid win over the best player in the world and his Stanley Cup contending team. Just like it was drawn up. See you next time when the Buds are at home to face the Anaheim Ducks who just lost 9-3 to the Winnipeg Jets. Hey, they beat us by one goal. That means Randy gets to keep his job this time, right?
Er, ok: NHL players don’t want data to overrule hockey sense [LV Review Journal]
Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch doesn’t see the tech as a good player evaluation tool, though. Tuch likened the stats’ usefulness to the advanced metric Corsi, which measures puck possession through shot attempts.
Corsi has its positives, but it also paints an incomplete picture because it doesn’t factor in shot quality. Just like the tracking data can provide insight but can’t account for instincts and hockey sense.