Five things we learned in the NHL: Domi domination

Ben Bishop’s outlet passed began a beautiful tic-tac-toe play from Ondrej Palat to Vladislav Namestnikov to Steven Stamkos, who buried with ease.

A deadly snapshot, Max Domi‘s career highlight and a great day to be Coach Q.

Here’s what we learned in the NHL on Tuesday night:

Careful, Kessel, you’ll shoot his eye out.
It takes an insane amount of bravery to be a goaltender in the NHL.

Case in point: During the first period of Tuesday’s game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes, Phil Kessel nearly takes goaltender Cam Ward‘s head off when he sends a signature wrist shot straight into his face. The force knocks poor Ward over and causes him to lose his helmet.

Thankfully, Ward was just fine right after the play — even smiling! (He did save it, afterall.)

The Hurricanes would go on to win 3-2 in overtime, thanks to Jeff Skinner‘s winner, which is as fun to say as it was to watch.

Crease control in Columbus
It’s not just that the Columbus Blue Jackets are on the losing end of most of their games this season. (Their record to date this year is 15-25-4.) It’s how they’re losing.

As Sportsnet Stats pointed out, the Blue Jackets have let in three or more goals in each of their last nine games, dating back to Dec. 21. The final score of Tuesday’s matchup against the New York Islanders was 5-2, with three of those goals coming from Brock Nelson in his first career hat trick.

The club has been without starting netminder Sergei Bobrovsky since Dec. 8, and boy do they miss him. In addition to that nine-game streak, the team has lost 11 of 15 games in Bobrovsky’s absence, most of which have seen their opponents rack up the goals.

Head coach John Tortorella told reporters after the game that while the effort of the team’s backups is there, the experience just isn’t.

https://twitter.com/smitchcd/status/687108669213929473

Something’s gotta give in Columbus.

Rough night in Winnipeg

Get this: Before Tuesday’s rumble between the San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets, there hadn’t been a fight between the two clubs since Oct. 19, 1995.

Well then, maybe they were just making up for lost time as the teams battled it out in the Sharks’ eventual 4-1 victory.

The game saw two sets of fighting majors, and plenty of rough stuff.

But none of that compared to Tyler Myers‘ brutal cross-check to the head of Tommy Wingels with seven minutes and change left in the game:

Myers received a five-minute major and a game misconduct, and might be getting a phone call from the league.

Great day for Coach Q
Sign an extension in the morning, make history in the evening. Not a bad day to be the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Joel Quenneville and the Blackhawks reached an agreement Tuesday morning that will see him remain behind the Blackhawks’ bench through the 2019-20 season. Nothing like winning three Stanley Cups in eight seasons to earn you a little job security.

The players rewarded their much-loved coach Tuesday night by defeating the Nashville Predators 3-2. The victory was No. 782 of Quenneville’s career, tying him with the legendary Al Albour for second place in all-time wins among NHL coaches.

Also of note: Marian Hossa celebrated his 37th birthday by notching two assists in Chicago’s win. Happy birthday, Hossa!

Domi dominates

Max Domi went into Tuesday’s home game against the Edmonton Oilers without a goal in his last 15 games.

Apparently he’d been saving up for the Oilers, scoring all three of the Arizona Coyotes‘ regulation goals to earn his first career hat trick and force overtime. Watch all three here:

Domi’s efforts helped the Coyotes extend their now 21-game point streak against the Oilers — they haven’t lost in regulation to Edmonton since Jan. 25, 2011 — and Oliver Ekman-Larsson‘s OT winner sealed the victory in a thrilling result in the desert. Ekman-Larsson also assisted on all three of Domi’s goals, earning himself a nice little four-point night.

Another noteworthy fact from the game: Leon Draisaitl ended his 14-game goal drought with a first period marker.