Three things we learned in the NHL: Stamkos heating up

Hop into a time machine and check out Steve Yzerman collecting a rebound to score against Patrick Roy in the Stadium Series Alumni Game.

The Stadium Series continued with the famed Avalanche-Red Wings rivalry, Stamkos has clearly responded since Yzerman’s no-trade statement, and Ovechkin was the first to hit 40.

Oh, and you might have heard about a couple of Blackhawks trades.

Here are three things we learned in the NHL Friday night.

Ovi hits 40

It’s been a banner year for Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals (well, except for the actual banner) and on Friday night, The Great Eight added to his accolades with his 40th goal of the season and a little history.

The company he’s among is pretty remarkable given the era he’s played in.

Ovechkin’s scoring ability is so prolific, it’s highlight-worthy any time someone stops him, as Darcy Kuemper did here:

The Capitals defeated the Minnesota Wild 3-2. Under new head coach John Torchetti, the Wild initially won four straight games, scoring at least five goals in each. They’ve now lost three straight and sit four points out of a playoff spot.

Stamkos hot since Yzerman statement

#StamkosWatch was on until Yzerman stamped it out.

The Tampa Bay Lightning superstar has been in trade rumours for almost the entirety of 2015 and beyond, but GM Steve Yzerman released a statement on Feb. 15 claiming that his best player wouldn’t be moved ahead of Monday’s trade deadline.

Stamkos has subsequently taken off. In the six games since Yzerman’s statement, Stamkos has scored five goals, all coming in the last five games. He buried one Friday to help the Lightning pummel the New Jersey Devils 4-0.

He also picked up an assist and won 10 of 15 faceoffs. The Lightning currently sit second in the Atlantic Division, three points behind the Florida Panthers.

Red Wings, Avalanche alumni renew feud outdoors

The last best hockey rivalry took to the ice Friday in Denver and it was probably the most well-played alumni game yet.

The Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche played at Coors Field in front of over 40,000 fans and it brought back a ton of great memories. The visuals were pretty sweet too.

Even before they got to the park, a radio interview reignited and recalled the rivalry’s core contention. On a local Denver radio show, former Avs defenceman Adam Foote was asked which Red Wings player he’d like to punch in the face.

“[Kris] Draper for sure,” he said.

Though the game didn’t see any rough stuff, the threat that something could happen at any time was palpable.

Check out the handshake line from after the exhibition:

The Avalanche prevailed 5-2 with Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman each scoring for their respective teams.

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