The Ottawa Senators continued to struggle.
The Montreal Canadiens continued to struggle.
It’s cold in December.
Here are three things we learned in the NHL.
Senators can’t get a save
The Ottawa Senators’ season basically ended with Saturday’s 5-0 loss to the Boston Bruins and once again the main reason was poor goaltending.
Condon gave up five goals on 34 shots, three days after Anderson gave up five on 23 to the same Bruins team.
Anderson (.896) and Condon (.899) are both ranked outside the top 40 in the NHL in save percentage and the team has now given up three or more goals in 11 of 14 games in December.
The Bruins (and Maple Leafs) now have a 14-point lead on the Sens for the third playoff spot in the Atlantic division. That’s a lot of ground to make up.
Obviously you need goals to win. But getting a save every once in a while doesn’t hurt either.
The force is strong with James Reimer
While the Senators’ goaltending tandem has struggled, the Panthers have gotten some big games recently from James Reimer.
Reimer made 37 saves to beat the Canadiens 2-0 on Saturday. He’s now won five straight games and only given up six goals during that stretch.
He’s also picked up shutouts on consecutive Saturdays against the Senators and Canadiens, two teams that (as mentioned above) continue to struggle.
Since Roberto Luongo went down with a lower-body injury in earlier this month, Reimer has kept the Panthers afloat, starting every game since Dec. 7 and posting a 6-3-1 record over that span.
The Panthers are still a long way from the playoffs but Reimer’s play this month has to have the team feeling good heading into the new year.
Trotz reaches a milestone
With a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils, Capitals coach Barry Trotz became the fifth-winningest coach of all time. He passed Lindy Ruff, currently an assistant with the Rangers, with 737 wins.
The first 557 wins of his career came behind the bench of the Nashville Predators, whom Trotz coached from the team’s inception in 1997 all the way to 2014.
He joined the Capitals to start the 2014-15 season and has a 180-76-30 record with Washington, which includes two Presidents’ Trophies as the best team in the regular season.
One thing Trotz has yet to win is the Stanley Cup. While Washington hasn’t had much success in the playoffs, any team with Alex Ovechkin should always be considered a contender.