April 8 — Planning for Playoffs & the MLB/NHL Man

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

BEST WISHES, DOUG: Hockey Hall of Famer Doug Wilson announced on Thursday that he would be stepping down after 19 years as general manager of the San Jose Sharks. A Norris Trophy winner in his playing days, Wilson oversaw 14 playoff appearances by the Sharks, including a trip to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. Wilson has been on medical leave since last November with Joe Will filling in on an interim basis. 

AWE-STON MATTHEWS: Auston Matthews continues to score at will, notching two goals last night to set the single-season goals record for the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was Matthews’ 55th and 56th goals, passing Rick Vaive, who scored 54 times in 1981-82. With 11 games remaining, he is on pace to score 65 this season. 

WHEN IN ROMAN: Roman Josi had a helper on each goal scored in the Nashville Predators’ 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, eclipsing the Preds record for points in a season. Set in 2005-06 by Paul Kariya with 84 points (31 goals, 54 assists), Josi’s three assists last night put him at 87 points (19 goals, 68 assists) with 12 games remaining. 

HANG IT FOR HOSSA: Yesterday, the Chicago Blackhawks announced they would retire No. 81 next season in honor of Marian Hossa. Hossa tallied 186 goals and 229 assists for 415 points in 534 regular-season games for the Blackhawks, winning three Stanley Cups in the Windy City. 

BIG 10 BUSTED: Michigan and Minnesota, the top two NCAA teams from the Big 10 Conference, were eliminated from the Frozen Four last night. Michigan lost to Denver 3-2 in overtime on a goal by Edmonton Oilers’ prospect Matthew Savoie, while Minnesota was trounced 5-1 by rival Minnesota State. Denver and Minnesota State will play for the National Championship on Saturday night. 

Friday Favorites

Let’s look back at our favorite moments of the week.

Setting Franchise Records

It was a big week in the league as both Auston Matthews and Roman Josi hit milestones for their respective clubs. The Toronto Maple Leafs forward scored his 56th goal against the Dallas Stars, the new single-season franchise record. Roman Josi set a franchise record for points in a single season with 87. The Predators captain currently leads all defensemen in points and is a front runner to take home his second Norris Trophy. 

Tkachuk Joins Neighborhood Game

After Sunday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk wanted more. He pulled into his driveway and noticed that some neighborhood kids playing street hockey were waving him over to join. He put his suit jacket down and joined in on the fun, saying he probably enjoyed it more than the kids.

Postseason Bound

With the playoffs fast approaching, teams are punching their tickets for the postseason, as the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, and Florida Panthers have all secured their spots this week. The Panthers are on a five-game winning streak, while the Avalanche have won their past four. Fans of these teams can comfortably watch their clubs prepare to battle for the Stanley Cup. 

Three Weeks & Counting: Playoff Battles!

As is always the case at this stage of any NHL season, some playoff races are beginning to sort themselves out, whereas the only clarity emerging from others is that things are poised to go down to the wire. Most clubs have roughly 11 or 12 games remaining, so while there’s still time for many teams to make a run (with only eight teams mathematically eliminated), every game is critical.

We’re pretty clear on the Eastern Conference’s eight playoff teams and three of the four division winners. After that, though, things start getting pretty messy. Here are the biggest playoff battles to look ahead to with exactly three weeks of regular season play left:

Metropolitan Division Winner

The Carolina Hurricanes had dropped eight of their past 12 games before earning a much-needed 5-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres last night. Still, Carolina’s slide has tightened things up atop the Metropolitan Division, with the New York Rangers narrowing the gap to two points. However, the division lead may not be particularly coveted—as it stands, the winner will be looking at a first-round date with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Atlantic Division Spots

The comeback king Florida Panthers, winners of five straight and eight of nine, appear to be running away with the Atlantic Division. That leaves two division spots available between the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, and Lightning, with a first-round matchup awaiting the victors. Just five points separate the three teams, with Boston and Tampa set to go head-to-head tonight.

Western Conference Wild Cards

Barring some significant swings, the Colorado Avalanche and Calgary Flames have established themselves as clear favorites to clinch their respective division crowns, with the Central and Pacific producing front-runners for the remaining divisional spots. That leaves two wild card slots to be filled, likely by some combination of the Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars, and Vegas Golden Knights, with the Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks having plenty of catching up to do.

Player Profile – Jim Riley

Opening Day of the 2022 Major League Baseball (MLB) season was yesterday, with many teams kicking off their regular seasons today. That got us thinking about hockey players who also excelled in baseball, and it turns out that one person did play both sports professionally, becoming the first and only person to play in both MLB and the NHL. That person was Jim Riley.


Jim Riley was born James Norman Riley in Bayfield, New Brunswick, on May 25, 1895. Born in Canada to an American father and a Canadian mother, hockey was his first sport. Riley turned professional following playing amateur hockey for the Calgary Victorias of the Alberta Senior Hockey League in 1914-15.

At the time, there were two major hockey leagues in North America: The Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA), which consisted of four teams from Canada, Washington, and Oregon, and the National Hockey Association (NHA), a six-team league in Canada and the precursor to the NHL, which formed in 1917.

Riley chose the PCHA, signing with the Victoria Aristocrats in 1915. After one season with the Aristocrats, he joined the Seattle Metropolitans, with whom he would play until 1924. A left winger, Riley logged 167 total games in the PCHA, posting 94 goals and 26 assists for 120 points. He also won the Stanley Cup with Seattle in 1917.

In the summer of 1916, fresh off his first pro hockey season, Riley tried his hand at baseball, getting a tryout with the Tacoma Tigers of the Northwestern League. He didn’t make the team, but after years of playing on amateur clubs, he earned a spot as a second baseman for the Pacific Coast International League’s Vancouver Beavers in 1921. He went on to play pro baseball until 1932, primarily in the minor leagues.

MLB/NHL Career

After hitting nine home runs and sporting a .303 batting average in 56 games for the Beavers, Riley signed with the struggling St. Louis Browns, who called him up to the majors less than a week later. He made his MLB debut on July 3, 1921, as a late-game replacement in a game against the Chicago White Sox. The second baseman started both games of a doubleheader the next day and started the day after that before being sent down to the minors after going hitless in the four games.

Riley made it back to the majors in 1923 as a first baseman with the Washington Senators, where he appeared in the last two games of the season. It would be his final MLB action. Riley played six games as a professional at the highest level, going 0-for-14 with a run and three errors.

Riley didn’t play hockey in 1925, as the PCHA folded that year. He returned to the ice following the 1926 baseball season, joining the expansion Chicago Black Hawks. Pete Muldoon led that Hawks team and had coached Riley in Seattle.

Riley made his NHL debut on Jan. 19, 1927, against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He played in three games for the Black Hawks before being traded to the Detroit Cougars. He played six games for Detroit, registering two assists. In total, Riley appeared in nine NHL games, tallying two points.

NHL Standings

NHL’s Leading Scorers

Today’s NHL Schedule

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