Yesterday’s NHL Scores
Last Night’s News 📰
POWER UP: It was a big weekend for 2021 No. 1 overall pick Owen Power, who signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Buffalo Sabres on Friday and joined his new teammates on the ice for the first time on Sunday for practice. Michigan’s defensive anchor will make his NHL debut on Tuesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
MATTY ICE: While on the subject of Wolverines alumni and top 2021 picks arriving in the NHL, Power’s Michigan teammate Matty Beniers also agreed to terms on his three-year entry-level contract with the Seattle Kraken. As the No. 2 pick, Beniers represented the first draft selection in Kraken franchise history.
ON THE BRINK: Not to be left behind, Denver forward Bobby Brink signed a three-year deal with the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. Brink, a second-round selection by the Flyers, led the NCAA in scoring with 57 points (14 goals, 43 assists) in 41 games while helping the Pioneers to a national championship on Saturday over Minnesota State.
PUNCHING PLAYOFF PASSES: Over the weekend, both the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs clinched a spot in the postseason. The Maple Leafs will look to redeem themselves after last year’s first-round exit, while the Rangers are making their first playoff appearance since 2017.
SID THE KID ENDS THE SKID: Sidney Crosby netted the overtime winner on Sunday night, registering the 1,400th point in his career. Crosby had two goals and an assist in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 3-2 extra-frame victory over the Nashville Predators, snapping a four-game losing streak.
HATS A FIRST: It had been 4,898 days since Jordan Staal’s last three-goal performance, setting the NHL record for the longest span between regular-season hat tricks. Staal potted three markers on Sunday for the Carolina Hurricanes’ first hat trick of the season, as the Canes eliminated the Anaheim Ducks from playoff contention with a 5-2 win.
By the Numbers – Dryden McKay
On Friday, the 2022 Hobey Baker Award, handed out to the best player in NCAA Division I men’s hockey, was presented to Minnesota State goaltender Dryden McKay. The senior, who led the Mavericks to the Frozen Four final (where they lost to Denver 5-1 on Saturday), beat out Denver forward Bobby Brink and Minnesota forward Ben Meyers. Here are some notable numbers from McKay’s sensational season.
3 – Goalies who have won the Hobey Baker Award, including McKay. The other two were Minnesota’s Rob Stauber in 1988 and Michigan State’s Ryan Miller in 2001. McKay is also the first Minnesota State player to win the award.
34 – Shutouts McKay recorded in his four seasons at Minnesota State, the most in NCAA history. The 24-year-old is also the only player to have at least 10 shutouts in three consecutive seasons.
38 – Wins McKay registered this year, most in a single season in NCAA history. His career total of 113 ranks second all-time (behind Michigan’s Marty Turco, who had 127).
1.27 – McKay’s goals-against average (GAA) this year was second in the nation (behind Quinnipiac’s Yaniv Perets, who had a 1.17 GAA). McKay went 38-4-0 with a .934 save percentage (third in the NCAA) and recorded 10 shutouts (tied for second).
2 – Times McKay has been a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. He made it to the final three last season, ultimately losing out to Wisconsin forward Cole Caufield, who now plays in the NHL for the Montreal Canadiens.
0 – Teams who selected McKay in the 2021 NHL Draft. He wasn’t one of the 21 goaltenders drafted last year and is allowed to sign with any team as a free agent.
3 – NCAA Tournament appearances Minnesota State made while McKay was there. As a freshman starter in 2018-19, he helped the Mavericks qualify for the tournament before losing in the first round. After canceling the 2019-20 tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic, McKay and the Mavericks made it to the Frozen Four last year and finished as runners-up this season.
Beast of the East vs Best of the West
With playoff races heating up and nearly three weeks of regular-season play remaining, much remains unsettled across the NHL landscape. However, one thing that looks pretty firmly established is the identity of the top seed in the Eastern and Western Conferences as we head towards the postseason.
The Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche have been the cream of the crop in their respective conferences all season long without slowing down while building a sufficient cushion to render each team’s final 10 games positionally meaningless. There’s something unfair in a “rich getting richer” way about the league’s top two teams also boasting the two longest current win streaks. Anyway, let’s compare these impressive front-runners:
We’re Going Streaking!
Nothing to play for? Time to rest your key players and take your foot off the gas before the playoffs? Someone forgot to tell Florida and Colorado as they race toward clinching the best record in their conference while riding respective seven- and six-game win streaks. The Panthers somehow rallied from four goals down twice in three games and have notched 38 goals over the seven-game streak. Meanwhile, the Avs have knocked off Calgary, Edmonton, and Pittsburgh (twice) during their run.
Leave ‘Em in the Dust
Those win streaks have the Panthers and Avalanche sitting pretty—not only atop their respective Atlantic and Central Divisions but looming above the East and the West. Florida has scored 25 more goals than any other NHL team and owns an eight-point cushion ahead of the Hurricanes, Rangers, and Maple Leafs, their nearest competition. Colorado reigns even more dominant, 13 points clear of any other Western team.
We know—there’s only one trophy these teams care to win. But with such impressive collective units, surely there will be some individual accolades to be awarded at the season’s end. Aleksander Barkov probably stands as a perennial candidate for the
Bergeron Selke Trophy, and Andrew Brunette should at least be part of the Jack Adams Award conversation. Over in Denver, 77-point man Cale Makar will get Norris consideration, while Jared Bednar appears poised to be on any Jack Adams shortlist.
No, neither team will be content with merely having a great regular season. The Panthers anxiously await another playoff opportunity after dropping a thrilling first-round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning last spring. Likewise, the Avalanche are still smarting from a series loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. These teams are far from finished!
Player Spotlight – Jack Hughes
The New Jersey Devils shut their young superstar down for the remainder of the season after suffering a low-grade MCL sprain in his left knee. Despite multiple injuries, the 20-year-old had a phenomenal season with 56 points in 49 games before ending his year. Fans know plenty about what he brings to the ice, but what about his life outside of hockey? Let’s check in.
Something You Think Is Overrated?:
Your First Concert?:
Which Celebrity Would You Be Most Starstruck By?:
What’s the Most Skilled Goal in NHL History?:
Current or Former Player You Would Want as a Teammate?:
How Do You Feel in the Penalty Box?:
NHL’s Leading Scorers
Today’s NHL Schedule
- Today’s newsletter was edited by Kyle Knopp, with contributions by Ben Fisher, Kristy Flannery, and Grant Tingley.
- Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.
- Give us a hand spreading the Morning Skate! Please forward this email to a hockey-loving friend today.
- Want more ways to talk hockey with The Hockey Writers? Join the discussion on Discord!