April 19 – Franchise Win Records & Officiating History

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

GLORIOUS: The Seattle Kraken has two new minority owners. The organization announced Macklemore and Marshawn Lynch will lead the Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena initiatives to connect with hockey fans, music lovers, and community members. Fans may remember Lynch as a guest announcer at the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.

KAKKO TO MISS TIME: The New York Rangers announced Kaapo Kakko will miss time due to a lower-body injury. He was injured in the first period of Saturday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, but head coach Gerard Gallant says he does not believe the injury is serious, and Kakko should be ready for the playoffs.

LARKIN SHUT DOWN: The Detroit Red Wings’ leading scorer is officially done for the season. He underwent successful core-muscle surgery on Monday and the recovery is estimated to be eight to 10 weeks. The team captain has 31 goals, which lead the team, and finished with 69 points in 71 games.

PEZZETTA SUSPENDED: Michael Pezzetta of the Montreal Canadiens has been suspended for two games for an illegal check to the head of Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie. He will forfeit $7,500.00, which will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

BARZAL FINED: Although not suspended, New York Islanders star Mathew Barzal is a little lighter in the wallet after being fined $2,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct during the Isles’ 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night. While sitting on the bench, Barzal bizarrely decided to clutch onto Toronto’s Mitch Marner while Marner was on the ice.

Trivia Tuesday – John Carlson

Few players are riding the hot streak of Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson. The two-time All-Star is riding a seven-game points streak for the surging Caps and was named one of the NHL’s “Three Stars” a week ago. He’s one of the top offensive blueliners in the league, but how well do you know John Carlson?

  1. How many times has Carlson reached 70 points in his career?

A. 0
B. 1
C. 2
D. 3

2. Carlson won the Calder Cup with the Hershey Bears which two seasons?

A. 2009 & 2010
B. 2008 & 2010
C. 2009 & 2011
D. 2008 & 2009

3. Carlson scored his first NHL goal against which team?

A. New Jersey Devils
B. Pittsburgh Penguins
C. Dallas Stars
D. Carolina Hurricanes

Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.

Just Win, Baby

At this time of the year, the success of NHL teams is measured more in relation to their rivals than compared to their own historical standards. Setting new benchmarks as an organization is nice and all, but winning division battles or earning home-ice advantage in the playoffs is nicer. Still, that doesn’t mean that such achievements shouldn’t be celebrated.

On Sunday, the Toronto Maple Leafs did something they haven’t done in any of their previous 103 seasons by winning game number 50 of the season. The Maple Leafs, who also set a new franchise points mark in their 4-2 home win over the New York Islanders, aren’t the only team to have already achieved or be on track to achieve a new wins record for their organization. Heck, they aren’t even the only Original Six team! Have a look:

Florida Panthers

As the Florida Panthers continue to run roughshod atop the Eastern Conference, it’s hardly a surprise they’re doing something unprecedented in their history. In fact, a franchise record for wins is old news to the Panthers. It was more than two weeks ago that Florida set their record by topping the Buffalo Sabres for win number 48 with 13 games still left to play.

Colorado Avalanche

The 2000-01 NHL season saw the Colorado Avalanche ride a league-leading and franchise-record 52 wins and 118 points all the way to the Stanley Cup. Here’s the thing: this Avs team might actually be better. Colorado surpassed those 52 wins in style last Wednesday, clobbering the Los Angeles Kings 9-3, and is now embroiled in a two-horse race with the Panthers for the Presidents’ Trophy.

New York Rangers

Yes, the Minnesota Wild are just two wins shy of their franchise record and, if you want to get technical, the Seattle Kraken set their own wins mark in the second game of the season. But those pale in comparison to what the New York Rangers would accomplish with five wins in their final six games. Those five victories would give New York 54 on the year and bring a new wins mark for the 95-year-old Blueshirts franchise.

The Black Officials Who Made History

Last Thursday, referee Jordan Samuels-Thomas made his NHL debut when the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the San Jose Sharks at the United Center. That night there was more to celebrate than a Blackhawks shootout victory, as he along with linesman Shandor Alphonso became the first two black on-ice officials to work an NHL game together. Jay Sharrers broke the color barrier by becoming the NHL’s first black official on Oct. 6, 1990, but it wasn’t until Thursday that multiple men of color worked a professional game.

Let’s put the spotlight on the two men who are leading the way for more diversity in hockey.

Shandor Alphonso (far left) and Jordan Samuels-Thomas (middle left) made history Thursday night in Chicago (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)

Shandor Alphonso

The 37-year-old linesman never played in the NHL, but he did play some junior hockey. The Ontario native began his career with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves. He appeared in 183 games for the Wolves between 2001 and 2004, accumulating 73 points (25 goals, 48 assists). Later on at Lakehead University, Alphonso played in 115 games between 2005 and 2010, registering 43 points (19 goals, 24 assists).

After attending an officiating camp put on by the league in 2009, Alphonso decided to shift from playing to officiating. He worked his first OHL game on Sep. 25, 2011. While working as a financial planner in 2014, he signed a minor league contract with the NHL and worked his first game on Oct. 17, 2014. He became a full-time NHL linesman prior to the 2016-17 season.

Jordan Samuels-Thomas

Despite being drafted into the NHL (203rd overall by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2009 NHL Draft), the 31-year-old referee never got a chance to play in the league. Still, Samuels-Thomas made his mark in pro hockey, totaling 131 points (54 goals, 77 assists) in 307 games while bouncing between the AHL, ECHL and playing overseas in Europe.

After seven seasons of pro hockey, Samuels-Thomas called it a career in Jan. 2021. He decided to pursue a career in officiating, signing a minor-league contract with the NHL prior to this season. He made his debut on Thursday night, wearing number 42 in honor of pioneering baseball icon Jackie Robinson.

Trivia Answers

1. C – 2

2. A – 2009 & 2010

3. D – Carolina Hurricanes

NHL Standings

NHL’s Leading Scorers

Today’s NHL Schedule