Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman is a Norris Trophy finalist
Hedman ranks among the top three defensemen in the NHL, the Crunch lose their first game of the playoffs, and prospect highlights.
"The NHL has announced the three finalists for the Norris Trophy: the San Jose Sharks’ Brent Burns, the Ottawa Senators’ Erik Karlsson, and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Victor Hedman. Hedman finished the season with career highs of 16 goals, 56 assists, and 76 points." [Raw Charge]
Finally. ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/nPB0DNxzbH— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) April 21, 2017
"I'm extremely humbled and honored," said Hedman, the first Lightning defenseman to be a finalist for the award. "I look forward to being in Vegas with Brent and my buddy Erik (a fellow Swede)." [Tampa Bay Times]
"Victor Hedman just completed the finest season ever for a Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman. Reading through Hedman's list of achievements from 2016-17 is daunting. Better settle in." [Tampa Bay Lightning]
In honor of his nomination, here's one of my favorite Hedman goals from this year.
Reminder: We have him for eight more years.
The Syracuse Crunch lost 2-1 to the St. John IceCaps in the first game of the AHL playoffs. Special teams play was problematic early in the game. "The Crunch had four man-advantage opportunities in the opening period and could barely get set up in the attacking zone on any of them." [Raw Charge]
Cameron Darcy (#13 in white) and Brian Hart (#22) each scored a goal while Nick Riopel (#29) stopped 24 of 27 shots as the Kalamazoo Wings lost 3-2 to the Toledo Walleye. "A late surge by Kalamazoo went for naught and Toledo grabbed the 3-2 series lead." [Raw Charge]
Johnathan MacLeod was voted Most Improved Player by his teammates at Boston University. "He’s probably not a top-four defenseman in the NHL, but he does fit the mold of what Steve Yzerman has been looking for more recently in his defenders. Smart positionally, takes care of the defensive end first, and steady on the puck." [Raw Charge]
Taylor Raddysh (#17 in yellow) had another three-point night (2G, 1A), Anthony Cirelli (#22) scored a goal and and assist, and Erik Cernak (#14) was held off the score sheet as the Erie Otters defeated the Owen Sound Attack 6-1. Raddysh earned first star honors for his performance. The Otters lead the series 1-0. [Otters Hockey]
Mathieu Joseph (#21 in black) scored a goal and was named first star of the game as the Saint John Sea Dogs defeated the Chicoutimi Saguenéens 4-1. Bokondji Imama (#51) was held off the score sheet. Saint John leads the series 1-0.
"Following the dramatic collapse of Brian Elliott in the two most important games of the season, the Calgary Flames will undoubtedly be looking elsewhere for their next starting goaltender. And the most logical target will be a man they quietly courted last June: Ben Bishop." [Sportsnet]
"At the moment, it appears that the NHL rules regarding goaltender interference have become barely more than loose guidelines. Eventually, someone is going to get hurt." [InGoal Magazine]
The New York Islanders may have a new arena next year. "Per a new article in Newsday, the team will indeed bid on building an arena at the Belmont Park site that everyone and their grandmother with a 516 or 613 area code kinda already figured they would be. In this case, that grandmother is none other than NHL commissioner Gary Bettman who spilled the beans during an AP Sports Editors conference (and who used to have a 516 area code)." [Lighthouse Hockey]
PK Subban reflects on his emotional return to Montreal last month to face his former team for the first time.