Five things we learned in the NHL: Andersen’s best as a Leaf

Watch as Pekka Rinne gets fooled by a puck that takes a crazy one-hop on him and goes in.

• A Quebecer scored in his Bell Centre debut
• Andersen performs his best game as a Leaf
• A Music City star gave fans an encore

A coach coached 1000, a sniper sniped 100, and a pair of goalies made a 1-1 shootout game thrilling.

Here are five things we learned in the NHL Thursday.

Julien reaches 1000
Early in his second tenure with the Montreal Canadiens, coach Claude Julien is already hitting milestones.

When the Habs hosted the New York Islanders Thursday, Julien coached in his 1000th career game. It was his 162nd game behind the Canadiens bench after he coached the team the first time around from the 2002-03 season (his first in the NHL) to partway through 2005-06.

The Blind River, Ont., native spent most of 10 seasons with the Boston Bruins, winning a Stanley Cup in 2011 and a Jack Adams award in 2009. After Thursday’s loss, Julien’s career record stands at 539-334-10-117. Ah, tie games…

Apparently Julien told the Canadiens he didn’t want to be honoured Thursday.

They did anyway.

One can understand why the new Canadiens bench boss didn’t want the distraction or spotlight. The Habs haven’t been so good lately.

Meanwhile, read this tweet over a couple of times and reconsider your thoughts about the Islanders. Interim head coach Doug Weight sure is pulling his…well:


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Beauvillier scores at home
It wasn’t his first NHL goal but it may have been just as meaningful.

It wasn’t his first NHL game either but Anthony Beauvillier’s Islanders teammates sure treated it as such, giving him the old skating-a-lap-on-his-own treatment pre-game.

The Islanders rookie was playing in his 46th NHL game and his first in his home province of Quebec. And what a way to debut at the Bell Centre.

Watch the whole video as Beauvillier is first pranked by his mates, scores the eventual game-winner (his first in Montreal), then cameras show his parents reacting to the play, his father wiping away some tears.

I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Andersen, Lundqvist star in thriller
Despite the loss Thursday, Frederik Andersen may have played his best game as the Toronto Maple Leafs‘ goaltender.

Only Henrik Lundqvist outdueled him on this night.

For a 2-1 game that went to a shootout, the Leafs’ tilt with the New York Rangers was a thrill to watch, with both goalies trading miracles in the crease.

Andersen made 37 saves in the loss while his counterpart made 32 saves, many of them spectacular.

The overtime alone was a sight to behold.

The goaltending performance was particularly notable for Andersen, whose 2017 has not been as productive as his early-season brilliance.

But don’t listen to me, take it from Mike Babcock.

Elsewhere in this game, Connor Brown — getting some prime ice time with Mitch Marner out with an injury — scored the opener to make some history…and some cash!

The other three Leafs rookies with at least 15 goals are Auston Matthews (28), William Nylander (17), and Marner (15).

Monahan at 100
With a goal Thursday, Calgary Flames rising star Sean Monahan became the youngest Flame to score 100 NHL goals.

That’s some impressive company.

Monahan also raced to 100 earlier in life than Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.

The 22-year-old started his career off strong and has barely kept his foot off the pedal. Sure, there are mistakes made along the way with a Flames team that has sputtered at times, but Monahan has consistently put up respectable goal totals.

His 22-goal rookie campaign was followed by 31 goals in 2014-15, 27 the next year, and now 20 goals in 60 games this season.

The Flames forward is in his first year of a seven-year deal worth $6.375 million per season.

But it ain’t just Mony who’s impressing at a young age.

Johnny Gaudreau, Monahan, Matthew Tkachuk, and Dougie Hamilton have all scored at least 39 points this season. The foursome is also two-through-five in team scoring behind 27-year-old Mikael Backlund.

Forsberg’s encore
It’s not everyday you score a hat trick. But sometimes it is.

After scoring three against the Flames on Tuesday, Filip Forsberg scored another hat trick against the Colorado Avalanche Thursday — the first NHLer to score back-to-back tricks since 2010.

His next game? Saturday versus the team that traded him to Nashville. For Martin Erat.

It was a natural hat trick too and Forsberg now leads the team with 22 goals. Not bad for a guy who took 14 games to score his first this year and 28 games to score his third.

Back-to-back hat tricks after taking 28 games to score three.



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