The Capitals clinched the Presidents’ Trophy, Canadian teams are almost out of it, Vesey says no to Nashville, and more in six things we learned in the NHL.
All the Presidents’ men
The Capitals improved to 54-16-5 on the season.
Of course, regular season dominance can mean nothing once the post-season rolls around. Just ask the 2009-10 Capitals, who finished with the league’s best record only to get bounced from the playoffs in a first-round upset at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens.
Next up for the Capitals is a chance to help goaltender Braden Holtby make a run at Martin Brodeur’s single-season wins mark of 48. Holtby picked up No. 46 in Monday’s win.
Canadian teams aren’t dead. At least not yet.
The Ottawa Senators remain the only Canadian team with a shot at making the post-season. The odds are slim, but they’re odds nonetheless.
Allow this Reddit thread to serve as an explainer.
In short, an improbable run by the Senators, a collapse for the age by the Boston Bruins and some help from the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers could clear the path for one Canadian team to make a playoff appearance.
The last time no Canadian teams qualified for the post-season? Well you would have to go back to the 1969-70 season when both the Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs failed to make it. The year’s Best Picture was Midnight Cowboy and the No. 1 song according to Billboard was Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel.
Make your own Ambassador Bridge joke.
New Yak City
Yakupov made headlines late Sunday amid reports that he requested a trade out of Edmonton earlier this season. The former first overall pick took to the ice Monday night versus the Anaheim Ducks and scored his first goal in 13 games in a 2-1 loss.
Yakupov has struggled to grasp the defensive aspects of the game and consistency has evaded him on the offensive side. In 249 games, Yakupov has totalled 49 goals and 108 points and sports a minus-89 rating.
Expect the disgruntled forward to find a new home this summer, which is probably best for everyone involved at this point.
Burns sets Sharks’ record…wait no he doesn’t
Burns scored his 27th goal of the season in the second period, which pushed him past Sandis Ozolinsh to set a new record for most goals in a single season by a blue-liner until he didn’t.
Joe Pavelski was awarded the goal at the start of the third period.
One thing nobody can take away is the incredible save Jonathan Quick made with the game tied 2-2 with just seconds left in the second frame.
Mark that one as a save of the year candidate.
Josi sets Predators’ record
Burns wasn’t the only defenceman making a run at a team record Monday night.
Josi eclipsed Shea Weber‘s mark, which was set in 2013-14.
Vesey spurns Predators for unrestricted free agency
Harvard forward Jimmy Vesey will not be signing with the Nashville Predators.
The college standout will test the market as an unrestricted free agent, which appears to have sent Predators GM David Poile into a mood.
The Predators selected Vesey 66th overall in 2012. The Bruins and Maple Leafs are widely rumoured to be the front-runners to land his services.