Tuesday night featured two different kinds of hat tricks, two very different kinds of dives, a couple of strong soundbites and more.
Here’s are six things we learned on a busy evening in the NHL.
Devils’ Kalinin channels Gordie Howe
Tuesday’s matchup between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils was eventful, to say the least. We saw an example of a good dive (Cory Schneider‘s outrageous paddle save, above) and a, uh, not-so-good dive (see Joseph Blandisi‘s second embellishment call in a week.) We were also reminded that fighting with a taped hand can earn you a match penalty, as was the case with J.T. Miller.
But here’s another cool fact to come out of that game: Miller’s opponent in that fight, Sergey Kalinin, wound up registering a Gordie Howe Hat Trick to help the Devils to a 5-2 victory — with his very first NHL fight, no less.
After earning himself one of hockey’s most notable single-game achievements, the 24-year-old Russian rookie had a pretty awesome quote:
Well played, man. Watch the fight:
Hurricanes stump Gostisbehere
Well, that was fun.
After 15 games, Philadelphia Flyers rookie Shayne Gostisbehere‘s point streak officially came to an end against the Carolina Hurricanes. A point in Tuesday’s 3-1 loss would have tied him with Peter Stastny (1980-81) for the third-longest rookie point streak in NHL history. Paul Stastny (2006-07) holds the record at 20 games, with Teemu Selanne (1992-93) in second place with 17.
The 22-year-old blue-liner has 12 goals and 22 assists in 40 games with the Flyers since being called up in mid-November. It’s been said before, but we’ll say it again: Calder candidate?
Credit for the ending of the streak goes, of course, to goaltender Cam Ward, who was acrobatic in many of his 36 saves on the night, and… not so acrobatic in others.
Forsberg’s on fire
It was Filip Forsberg against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. The 21-year-old Swedish winger scored three consecutive goals (one in the first, two in the second) before the Leafs could get on the board, carrying the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The feat marked Forsberg’s first regular season hat trick (he had one in last year’s playoffs) and the first natural hat trick scored by a member of the Predators since James Neal did it in 2014. Forsberg now leads the team in goals with 23. He’s second in overall points with 42, behind Roman Josi‘s 44.
Forsberg has been hot all month and is now just three goals away from matching last year’s 82-game total.
At this point, Washington Capitals fans should just stay away from watching any Predators footage, right?
Clune vs. Bass III
Or is it IV? We’ve lost count.
Tuesday night’s pregame scuffle between Rich Clune and Cody Bass got pretty heated when Clune approached Bass at the centre line during warmups. Words were exchanged before the two were separated.
Their rivalry goes back to the AHL, with the two dropping the gloves twice last season when the Milwaukee Admirals (Clune) and Rockford IceHogs (Bass) faced off.
So, what were those words, exactly?
“It’s just an ongoing battle with him. Every time we’ve fought he’s on the losing end and he’s wearing my number in Nashville now so I just tell him I would rip that jersey off his chest if he’s playing, but he wasn’t playing,” said Clune, who wore No. 16 during his days with the Predators, following the first period.
As Clune points out, Bass was a late healthy scratch, so we we’ll never know what would’ve gone on between the two as a result of those fighting words.
Ladd’s last goal?
Take a moment, Winnipeg Jets fans.
Jets captain Andrew Ladd scored what just might be his final goal as a member of the home team in Winnipeg. The Jets lost to the Dallas Stars 5-3 in their final home game before the trade deadline, when it’s widely believed Ladd could be moved.
Of course, nothing’s set in stone when it comes to the pending UFA’s future with or without the Jets. The 30-year-old winger is a top name in the rental pool, and has been the target of trade rumours for quite some time. Interestingly enough, the assist came from newly-extended Dustin Byfuglien — who, for a little while, was right there with Ladd in terms of sign-him-or-trade-him speculation around the MTS Centre.
Fans gave their captain a standing ovation, which Ladd acknowledged — and expressed his appreciation for — after the game.
Shakeup coming in Edmonton?
It’s not news that the Edmonton Oilers aren’t a very good hockey team right now. But head coach Todd McLellan’s comments about the rebuilding club certainly sent a few ripples through the media — and the roster could feel the effects come Monday’s trade deadline.
Nothing seemed to go right for the Oilers in their dismal 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night, and McLellan made his frustration known following the game, citing that he’s “concerned about the spirit” of the team.
So, what’s the cure?
“Maybe we get rid of some players,” he said.
Change is coming, that’s for sure.