March 2 — No Time for Penalties & Managing the Interim

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

BUZZER BEATER: Detroit Red Wings rookie sensation Lucas Raymond provided the overtime heroics on Tuesday night, scoring a power-play goal with eight seconds remaining to hand the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-3 loss, snapping the Canes’ five-game win streak. With 16 goals and 43 points on the season, Raymond holds a narrow lead over Michael Bunting of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Trevor Zegras of the Anaheim Ducks in the NHL rookie points race. 

CALDER CHASE: Speaking of Zegras, the Ducks rookie provided a late game-winner of his own, scoring on Anaheim’s power play with 22 seconds remaining in the third period to defeat the Boston Bruins 4-3. Trailing Raymond by two goals in the Calder Trophy race, Zegras also added an assist on the night to tie Raymond in assists at 27 on the season while ending the Bruins’ own five-game winning streak. 

TOURS DU CHAPEAU À WINNIPEG: On a night in which both teams traded 12 scores in three four-goal outbursts, one would think that there would be at least one hat trick in the Winnipeg Jets’ 8-4 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Josh Anderson notched his first career three-goal game, bringing the Canadiens back from a quick 4-0 hole to tie the game. However, Mark Scheifele led the Jets’ potent power play, as they scored four goals on the man advantage, with three coming in the third period. Scheifele finished the game with a Gordie Howe hat trick (a goal, assist, and a fight) as another five-game streak came to an end. 

FIRST TO 40: Last night, the Colorado Avalanche became the first team this season to hit the 40-win plateau. After being down 3-2 heading into the second intermission to the New York Islanders, the Avs scored three goals in the third period to notch their fourth win in a row. That ties the 1995-96 and 2001-02 Red Wings as the second-fastest team (40 wins in 54 games) to reach the 40 win mark in a season (the 2015-16 Washington Capitals won 40 in 53). 

VEGAS MILESTONES: Vegas Golden Knights forward William Carrier played in his 300th career game, as Vegas beat the San Jose Sharks 3-1 for head coach Pete DeBoer’s 500th victory. Riley Smith had two goals and Robin Lehner became the 11th goalie to record 20 wins, as DeBoer has gone 500-368-119 across 15 seasons with the Golden Knights, Sharks, Florida Panthers, and New Jersey Devils. 

Who Said It

1) “I’m still pretty young and I feel like I have a lot more in me to go. I’ve been pretty healthy, knock on wood, in my career. That goes back to some of the work to be able to put yourself in good spots and in good condition to be able to keep laying through that. Hopefully, I can keep that going.”

A. Calvin de Haan
B. Sam Reinhart
C. Pavel Zacha

2) “I am proud that we are seeing a big number of players have success in the NHL, but also the expectations have risen in Switzerland. I also am proud of the mentality that’s changed in Switzerland, that there is a bigger horizon for all the young players.”

A. Timo Meier
B. Roman Josi
C. Nico Hischier

3) “You’re playing worse every day and right now you’re playing like it’s next month.”

A. Jacques Lemaire
B. Pat Burns
C. Herb Brooks

Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.

The No Penalty Club

At this point in the season, even fourth-line depth guys have amassed somewhere in the vicinity of 500 minutes of ice time (provided they’ve been healthy, of course). That leaves plenty of time for every NHL roster regular around the league to have hooked, held, tripped, slashed, or even just interfered with an opponent. Maybe they just launched a puck over the glass!

When you consider how easy it is to get dinged for two minutes in the penalty box in a given game, it’s remarkable to think that these players have made it to March with a big ol’ goose egg when it comes to penalty minutes on the season. I mean, even the Lady Byng Trophy winners get called for a couple of minor infractions every year! Here are some notable NHLers that still haven’t taken a penalty this season:

Jack Hughes, New Jersey Devils

Jack Hughes, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

It’s true that Jack Hughes, the New Jersey Devils’ 2019 first-overall pick, has only played 34 games after missing time due to a dislocated left shoulder. But the 20-year-old has had time to score 17 goals and record 39 points, which both rank second on the club. Older brother Quinn isn’t quite as saintly, with 22 penalty minutes on the year with the Vancouver Canucks. Maybe an April 16 rematch with the Seattle Kraken and Carson Soucy, the player who put him on the shelf, might bring some time in the box.

Riley Sheahan, Seattle Kraken

Riley Sheahan, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Riley Sheahan has generally slotted in the bottom-six of the Kraken forward corps as a penalty killer this season in a role that tends to come with less ice time but with an expectation of bringing some grit and physicality. But that’s never been Sheahan’s style, as the 30-year-old topped out at a career-high 17 minutes in the box during a 2018-19 season in which he played a full 82-game slate.

Will Butcher, Buffalo Sabres

Will Butcher, formerly of the New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

A defenseman named Will Butcher brings to mind a fearsome, intimidating presence on the blue line. No disrespect intended to the 27-year-old who recorded 44 points in his rookie season, but this particular Butcher doesn’t have that same presence. It’s a good thing he was traded to Buffalo this season, as with just two penalty minutes in 54 games across the past two seasons, he was never truly meant to be a “Devil,” was he?

In the Interim

On Tuesday, the Chicago Blackhawks removed the interim tag from Kyle Davidson, making him full-time general manager. Davidson, who has been with Chicago in hockey operations roles since 2010 and was the assistant general manager under Stan Bowman, took over as GM on Oct. 26, after Bowman stepped down.

With Davidson now full-time, there are no interim GMs in the NHL. There are, however, five head coaches in acting roles as of right now, and all five have the chance of following Davidson in having their interim tags removed. Let’s look at these coaches and see how they’ve done so far in their temporary positions.

Andrew Brunette, Florida Panthers

Andrew Brunette, Florida Panthers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Brunette, an assistant under Joel Quenneville, took over as head coach of the talented Panthers on Oct. 29, one day after Quenneville resigned. Florida, which was 7-0-0 at the time, hasn’t missed a beat under Brunette. They are 28-13-5 under him, and despite losing their last three games, they still occupy second place in the Atlantic Division.

Derek King, Chicago Blackhawks

Derek King (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

Hopefully, for King, history repeats itself. He took over as interim head coach of the Rockford IceHogs, Chicago’s AHL affiliate when Jeremy Colliton got promoted to head coach of the Blackhawks in 2019. That turned into a full-time gig, which he held until he replaced Colliton following his firing after a 1-9-2 start on Nov. 6. The rebuilding Blackhawks are 18-18-7 under King.

Mike Yeo, Philadelphia Flyers

Mike Yeo, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Unlike the others on this list, Yeo already has experience as a full-time NHL head coach. He led the Minnesota Wild from 2011-16 and the St. Louis Blues in 2017-18, amassing a record of 246-181-55. Named an assistant under Alain Vigneault in Philadelphia three years ago, he took over on Dec. 6, after Vigneault got shown the door following nine straight losses. Philadelphia is 8-16-6 under Yeo in its last 30 games.

Dave Lowry, Winnipeg Jets

Dave Lowry, Winnipeg Jets (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Lowry, a former junior coach in Canada, joined the Jets coaching staff in 2020, coaching his son Adam who plays for the team. He was named interim head coach on Dec. 17, following the resignation of Paul Maurice. Under Lowry, Winnipeg is 10-10-4 and currently sits six points back of the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.

Martin St. Louis, Montreal Canadiens

Martin St. Louis (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Like Yeo, St. Louis is an outlier on this list, but for the opposite reason. His only prior coaching experience at any level was as a special teams consultant for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Nevertheless, the former star player was named interim head coach of the Canadiens on Feb. 9, following the firing of Dominique Ducharme. Montreal, the worst team in the NHL (13-33-7), is 5-3-0 since St. Louis took over.

Who Said It Answers

1) Sam Reinhart
2) Timo Meier
3) Herb Brooks

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