April 6 — Honoring Hossa & a Living Tribute for Bossy

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

BATTERED BROCK: The Vancouver Canucks’ already dim playoff chances took another blow on Tuesday with the news that Brock Boeser would be out with an upper-body injury. Boeser appeared to injure his arm during Sunday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, getting caught up in teammate Elias Pettersson’s hit on Ben Hutton late in the second period.

DEVILS SHUT DOWN HUGHES: At the New Jersey Devils game last night, the organization announced superstar Jack Hughes will be held out of game action for the rest of the season with a low-grade MCL sprain. The injury occurred on Sunday against the New York Islanders. The 20-year-old has 56 points in 49 games this season. 

GETZLAF’S GOODBYE: On Tuesday, long-time Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf announced his retirement from the NHL at the end of this season. Getzlaf will play his final professional contest at home on Sunday, April 24, against the St. Louis Blues, forgoing the last two road games to finish his career in Anaheim. 

THIRD FASTEST TO FIFTY: Colorado became the second team to punch its ticket to the postseason, as the Avalanche defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 for the Avs’ 50th win in 70 games played. It is the third-fastest that a team has reached 50 wins in the last 25 years, behind the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning (66 games) and 2015-16 Washington Capitals (69), and the ninth team in NHL history to reach 50 wins in 70 games or fewer. 

JOHANSEN’S FIRST HATTY: After 774 games, Ryan Johansen finally has a hat trick. Completing the feat with an empty-net goal in an already decided game against the Minnesota Wild, the 12-year veteran hit the 20-goal mark for only the third time. Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and an assist for the Wild, his 40th goal on the season. 

Yeah, Mike Bossy Was Good

With the sad and speculative news that New York Islanders legend Mike Bossy has entered palliative care amidst his battle with lung cancer, now seems like the perfect time to pay something of a living tribute to one of hockey’s greatest goal-scorers. After all, we are about a month away from the 35th anniversary of the final game of his career that ended prematurely due to severe back issues leading many current fans to know little of Bossy beyond being a guy on some pretty good Islanders teams.

Mike Bossy ((Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

If the 65-year-old’s heyday with the Islanders in the 1980s came a bit before your time, here are some of what made Bossy an all-time NHL great.

Pretty Good Start

As the legend goes, late former Isles GM Bill Torrey asked Bossy how many goals he thought he could score in his rookie year as they negotiated his first contract. Torrey laughed when his first-round pick replied with “Fifty” (no rookie had scored more than 44), but he wasn’t laughing when Bossy notched 53 for one of the best first years ever.

Making 50 Look Routine

Although the fanfare over Auston Matthews and Leon Draisaitl hitting the 50-goal mark over the past week was pretty cool, scoring half a century’s worth of goals became routine for Bossy in his day. He never scored fewer than 51 goals across the first nine seasons of his career, a consecutive feat unmatched by any other player. Sure, it was a different game back then, but you have to go back to the late-80s/early-90s to find the last time the NHL even produced a 50-goal scorer nine years in a row.

Cup Collector

Clark Gillies, Bryan Trottier, and Bossy formed the heart of the Islanders’ dynasty. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images)

If Bossy was superb in the regular season, he might have been even better come playoffs. He reeled off a league-leading 17 postseason goals three years in a row, including an NHL-best 35 points in 1980-81 and a 27-point postseason in 1981-82 that earned him the Conn Smythe Trophy. Of the 25 players with at least 160 career playoff points, only one (Mario Lemieux, 107) belongs to the elite group with fewer career postseason games than the four-time Stanley Cup champion’s 129.

By the Numbers: Marian Hossa

Hall of Famer Marian Hossa will sign a one-day contract with Chicago on Thursday to retire as a Blackhawk. He will also be honored when the Blackhawks host the Seattle Kraken at United Center Thursday night. The 43-year-old stopped playing hockey in 2017 due to a progressive skin disorder.

Hossa carved out a very long and productive career in the NHL, earning induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2020. He also became a legend in Chicago, helping bring multiple Stanley Cup titles to the city. Here are some notable numbers from Hossa’s storied career.

19 – Seasons Hossa played in the NHL. The right winger was drafted 12th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 1997. He made his NHL debut on Oct. 1, 1997, and appeared in 1,309 total games in the league between 1997 and 2017.

1,134 – Points Hossa amassed during his career, the 59th-most in NHL history. Those points came on 525 goals and 609 assists.

5 – Teams Hossa suited up for during his NHL career. After playing seven seasons for the Senators, they traded him to the Atlanta Thrashers before the 2005-06 season. Atlanta then traded him to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the middle of the 2007-08 season. After finishing that season in Pittsburgh, he signed with the Detroit Red Wings, staying one year before signing with the Blackhawks in July 2009. 

100 – Points Hossa scored for the Atlanta Thrashers during 2006-07 (43 goals, 57 assists), the lone season he reached the triple-digit points mark. He scored 80 or more points in a season four times, all in consecutive years (80 in 2002-03, 82 in 2003-04, 92 in 2005-06, and 100 in 2006-07).

3 – Times Hossa won the Stanley Cup, all with the Blackhawks. The first was 2009-10, his first season with Chicago (he had made it to the Stanley Cup Final with Detroit and Pittsburgh the previous two years). His second Cup came in 2012-13, while the third followed in 2014-15.

Playoff Watch 👀

The playoff picture is starting to focus, and fans are anxious while awaiting postseason hockey. Let’s see how things are shaping up in the standings.

Locked In

Florida Panthers: This week, the Florida Panthers were the first team to punch their tickets to the playoffs. They are currently on a three-game winning streak beating the New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, and Toronto Maple Leafs. What’s impressive is they came back against both the Devils and Maple Leafs to win 7-6 in overtime. 

Colorado Avalanche: Colorado clinched a playoff spot last night after a victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Avalanche are the first team to reach 50 wins this season and are currently on a four-game winning streak. Mikko Rantanen leads the team with 84 points, while Nathan MacKinnon has 74 points in 54 games. 

In the Driver’s Seat

New York Rangers: Only two points behind the Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division, the Rangers are surging thanks to their goaltender Igor Shesterkin who is in the Hart Trophy conversation. The Rangers are 7-2-1 in their last 10, and while they have only won one game in the past week, New York has a three-game homestand coming up to find a rhythm as the playoffs loom. 

MINNESOTA WILD: Like the Avalanche, the Wild are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. Youngster Kirill Kaprizov leads his team with 87 points, and their goaltending tandem solidified at the deadline with Cam Talbot and Marc-André Fleury. They have an impressive home record of 24-7-2, and with eight games left at Xcel Energy Center, the Wild hope that will be enough to keep them in the second spot in the Central Division. 

In the Hunt

Vegas Golden Knights: The Golden Knights are in the middle of the fight for their lives as they remain outside the playoff picture. Vegas is on the right track with a record of 7-3-0 in their last 10 and are on a five-game winning streak. Jonathan Marchessault and Chandler Stephenson lead the team with more than 50 points each. 

Winnipeg Jets: Winnipeg is in an interesting situation as the Jets remain in the hunt, although it seems a postseason appearance is bleak. The fact of the matter is, they are only six points behind the Vegas Golden Knights and seven behind the Dallas Stars, who are in the second wild-card spot. According to Tankathon, the Jets have the seventh-hardest remaining schedule. Only time will tell if Winnipeg can pull this one out. 

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