HEAR THEM ROAR: The IIHF Council has agreed the 2021 Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship, which was postponed in April, will now take place on August 20-31. The location has not yet been decided.
GET KRAKEN: The Seattle Kraken are officially the 32nd NHL team after making their final expansion payment to the league on Friday. Just think – for a cool $650 million you, too, could be the proud owner of an NHL franchise.
COLE’D ONE: Canadiens forward Cole Caufield notched his first career NHL goal Saturday night – an overtime winner against Ottawa. Heck of a way to kick it off, kid.
VIRTANEN ON LEAVE: Canucks forward Jake Virtanen has been placed on leave after troubling allegations of sexual misconduct recently came to light.
BAKER’S DOZEN: Connor McDavid is 13 points away from 100 with seven games left, but he’s not sweating individual accolades as the regular season winds down.
Thank you, Ryan Miller
Last week Ryan Miller announced this would be his last season playing in the NHL. Throughout his 18 year career he donned a jersey for the Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, and Anaheim Ducks. He has built up quite the resume and his accolades include:
- Vezina Trophy (2010)
- Most wins by a US-born Goaltender (387)
- Most shootout wins by a goaltender in one season (10)
- Olympic Silver Medal (2010)
- Olympic MVP (2010)
Miller will be remembered for his time in Buffalo where he was drafted in 1999. During his first full season with the Sabres, he played 63 games and his team won the Presidents’ Trophy. He holds a handful of franchise records for the club that include:
- Franchise leader in goaltender games (540)
- Franchise leader in goaltender minutes (31,661)
- Franchise leader in career wins (284)
- Franchise record for most wins in a season (41 in 2009-10)
We can’t talk about Miller without talking about the show he put on at the 2010 Winter Olympics. There were so many candidates for MVP and the fact that he walked away the title speaks volumes about his performance. The hockey world continues to collectively congratulate Ryan Miller on an unbelievable career as he trades his goalie stick for a golf club.
U-18 Men’s World Championship – Quarterfinals
Russia vs Belarus | Canada vs Czech Republic
Finland vs Switzerland | Sweden vs United States
Another milestone for Patrick Marleau? Sure, why not. He has 1,197 NHL points and is three away from reaching the 1,200 mark. San Jose has five games left against some pretty tough opponents and Marleau will need to double his point-per-game pace (0.18 to 0.36) in order to have a shot to hit the 1,200.
The NWHL’s Mallory Rushton makes history by becoming the first female to coach Amherst Junior Hockey League for the Junior A Ramblers in Nova Scotia. She will be behind the bench as an assistant coach for the rest of the playoffs.
Like Rangers fans need another reason to hate the Islanders. Semyon Varlamov is now the first goalie of the expansion era to shut out a team four times in one season. He blanked the Rangers on Saturday night with a final score of 3-0.
Alex Ovechkin has played in 1,195 NHL games. The Capitals have five games left in the regular season, which means there is a chance he will celebrate his 1,200th game played on the last day of the regular season. Currently he is day-to-day but has returned to practice as the Caps return to the ice tonight against the Rangers.
What to Watch This Week
Monday – Dallas at Florida (7:00pm ET)
In a battle of teams going in different directions, the surging Florida Panthers still have an outside shot at dethroning the Carolina Hurricanes for top spot in the East division, while the Dallas Stars will be desperately trying to keep their playoff hopes alive amidst an ill-timed three-game skid. Now, about that capacity crowd in the postseason…
Tuesday – Edmonton at Vancouver (10:00pm ET)
Playoffs-wise, this one doesn’t mean much. The Edmonton Oilers appear comfortably settled into the No. 2 spot in the Scotia North, while the Vancouver Canucks, losers of four in a row and residents of the North division cellar, appear ready to see their season from hell end. However, three games this week of an otherworldly Connor McDavid against a spiraling, exhausted Canucks squad has the recipe for a red light special. 100 points on the season? How about 100 points before Cinco de Mayo!
Thursday – Montreal at Toronto (7:00pm ET)
One of hockey’s most storied rivalries… okay, can we stop pretending this is all that exciting anymore? Sure, Toronto and Montreal are on a collision course to meet in the playoffs for the first time since 1979 and that’s pretty darn cool. But 10 meetings in a 56-game season is just So. Many. Games! Couple that with the fact that there’s no fan presence at Bell Centre or Scotiabank Arena to instill a non-manufactured buzz and it’s hard getting amped up for game nine of what’s been a pretty tepid and largely one-sided (Leafs lead 5-2) in-season rivalry.
Thursday – U18 Gold Medal Game (8:00pm ET)
The U18 World Hockey Championships are underway in Frisco, Texas right now, and Thursday will mark the crowning of the gold medal-winning country. The winning nation will earn international bragging rights, while the losers will have to contend with merely being world class hockey players with limitless potential opportunities awaiting them. Poor kids.