Washington Capitals forward and captain, Alex Ovechkin, hit yet another milestone in his illustrious career.
He became just the sixth player in NHL History to have six seasons of 50+ goals during a season. Ovechkin joined elite company with the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Guy Lafleur, and Marcel Dionne.
As the game has continued to evolve, Alex has defined his scoring ability. After 10 seasons in the league (though his tenth year is still in progress), he has amassed a whopping 472 goals and 419 assists for a total of 891 points. Only playing in 755 games, he has been well over a point-per-game player.
“The Great Eight” has continued to contribute at a very high level and is surely a lock for the Hall of Fame. His leadership, offensive prowess and his vastly improving defensive game has contributed to the Washington Capitals success. Although he has not won a cup, it is hard to say that he won’t win one before his career is over.
Kimmo Timonen (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Tonight will be (most likely) the final time the fans of Philadelphia will ever see Kimmo Timonen on the Wells Fargo Center ice. The 40 year old returns to the “City of Brotherly Love,” however it will not be in a Flyers jersey. He returns as a Chicago Blackhawk.
After a trade near the deadline that sent Timonen to Chicago in exchange for a second round pick in 2015 and a conditional pick in 2016, Timomen has been a piece of one of the best blue lines in the NHL.
Kimmo wanted to win a cup, so the Flyers found a trade partner that would give him the best chance to do so. The Blackhawks were the perfect fit for him to do that. Once Patrick Kane returns from injury, look out.
The Blackhawks are well within the playoff race, with the seventh best record in the NHL. The Philadelphia Flyers on the other hand will not be making the playoffs this season after owning the seventh worst record in the NHL with a whopping 74 points.
Puck drop is at 8 PM on the NBC Sports Network.
Bobby Ryan, Mika Zibanejad, and Mike Hoffmann celebrate goal against San Jose Sharks (Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports)
A few weeks ago, the Ottawa Senators were not even in position to make the playoffs. However, with the emergence of goaltending sensation, Andrew Hammond, the Senators have gone on an absolute tear in the Eastern Conference and have just overtaken the Boston Bruins in the standings.
The Bruins, who were in the last wild card spot until last night, have lost seven out of the last eight games. In dramatic fashion, the Sens have a 15-1-1 record in their last 17 games.
Give much of the credit to Hammond, as he has posted a 14-0-1 record in the last 15 games with a 1.67 goals against average (GAA) and an incredible .946 save percentage.
With blossoming players like Mika Zibanejad, Mike Hoffman, Alex Chiasson, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, the Senators are looking to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Casey Bailey (Getty Images)
When Penn State University created a Division 1 hockey program in 2012, everyone knew the program would be a competitive team in no time. As the Nittany Lions had a successful 2014 season, posting a 18-15-4 record, a star emerged in Casey Bailey.
After playing two years for the Omaha Lancers in the United States Hockey League, the 6’3″ 195lb. forward, Bailey decided to go the college route. The Anchorage, Alaska native played in 96 games during his collegiate career and posted a total of 80 points. Bailey tallied half of his points in just his final year at Penn State. In 37 games he posted 40 points this past season and was a Hobey Baker Award candidate, which goes to the best college hockey player in the country.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been in quite a flux this past season. They are not in the playoff hunt and are practically rebuilding the roster after a few years of failed expectations. Bailey, however, may be the first piece of the puzzle to bring the Leafs back from the basement floor.
This past week, the Maple Leafs signed Casey Bailey to a two-year entry-level contract. Bailey, 23, was the fifth college free agent signed within the past few weeks and will begin playing games as early as this upcoming weekend.
Johnny Gaudreau (The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh/Associated Press)
What a night for the local kid from Carney’s Point, NJ. Johnny Gaudreau tallied three points (1G, 2A) in the Calgary Flames thunderous 4-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers. He currently leads the Calder Memorial Trophy standings, which recognizes the NHL Rookie of the Year. To this point he has a total of 56 points in 70 games.
As for the Philadelphia Flyers, it may be safe to say that with only nine games left, their playoffs hope are all but gone. Being ten points out of a playoff spot to the surging Boston Bruins, it is hard to see the Flyers making the playoffs. The Flyers have been inconsistent all year long and unless there is some magical shift in the standings over the next few weeks, the Orange and Black will be looking to hit the links.
Other than the lone goal from Claude Giroux, it was a rather quiet night in the scoring department.
Steve Mason (who has been the most consistent and MVP of the Flyers thus far) was questionably pulled midway through the second period after allowing a goal, in which he was screened by teammate and defenseman Nick Schultz.
The Flames continue their playoff push against the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday, while the Flyers play the Edmonton Oilers at 10 P.M. EST, tomorrow night as well.
Jaromir Jagr (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)
Jaromir Jagr just keeps on ticking. Tonight, the Florida Panther passed NHL Hall of Famer Phil Esposito for fifth all-time on the NHL goal list.
Jagr’s 13th goal of the season happened to be his 718th career goal and is only 13 goals behind the next man on the totem pole, Marcel Dionne.
At age 43, it doesn’t seem like Jagr will be retiring anytime soon will he?
It has been a rough past few weeks to be a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers. After only being a mere two points out of the playoff race on March 7th, the Flyers lost a heartbreaker in overtime to the Boston Bruins. This seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
The night after the desperate game against the Bruins, the Flyers did not even show up against the defensively stout New Jersey Devils. Outplayed in almost every facet of the game, the Devils easily took home a 5-2 victory. This was the weekend that may have ultimately cost the Flyers a playoff berth.
Fast forwarding to now, the Flyers still seem to be stuck in the rut from that dreaded weekend. In the five games after, the Flyers have only accumulated a whopping four points out of ten. Other than the schlacking the Flyers put on the Detroit Red Wings, the Flyers have once again been outplayed and have played to their competition.
That has seemed to be the achilles heel for this team. They can play like a playoff contending team if they are playing teams like the St. Louis Blues, Boston Bruins, or those pesky Pittsburgh Penguins. However, give them a team like the New Jersey Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs, or the Carolina Hurricanes, they ultimately stoop to their level.
Now coming down the home stretch of the season, the Flyers embark on their second game of the “west coast swing” looking to get back in the winning column.
After getting throttled by the Vancouver Canucks, the Flyers will take on the young and energized Calgary Flames team who are in the thick of the playoff race. With young stars like New Jersey’s own Johnny Gudreau, the Flames have a hefty amount of talent and they are, indeed, a threat.
If the Flyers come out flat again tonight and for the rest of this trip, things could really get ugly in the “City of Brotherly Love.”