Sharks Win In Overtime To Take Pacific Division Lead

The Sharks found themselves in the perfect position this afternoon. They were one point behind the Flames for the first spot in the division. As Saturday’s early slate of games got started the Sharks were the last one of the two to end at 7 PM(EST).

The Sharks took on the St. Louis Blues another team looking to gain some traction in the Central division and making a run for the playoffs. The Sharks and Blues have played two times before their final meeting of the regular season. The Blues took the first one 4-0, Sharks won the second one 4-0. But the last time these tow played was November 17th, 2018. Fast forward three and a half months. The Sharks were at 88 points heading into Saturdays game and ended up leaving with 90 points and the Pacific division.

The game started a little slow with no action in the first 10 minutes. Patrick Maroon of the Blues scored his 5th goal (power play). Five and a half minutes later the Sharks found themselves on the power play in which Timo Meier found his 25th of the season and tied the game all up at one. Moments to go (26.7 seconds) in the 1st period Meier scored his 2nd of the game and career high 26th goal of the season. Meier started the break out followed up by Logan Couture play in the neutral zone and after the Sharks gained offensive zone pressure and completed a cycle, Meier went to the net and found a perfectly placed puck on his stick sent by Couture to make the game 2-1.

With literal seconds to go in the 2nd period the Blues tied the game at two off a Brayden Schenn (13) power play goal. Schenn gathered the puck on the wall, drove the net and meant to pass the puck across the crease to Tyler Bozak but Sharks defenseman intercepted it but just left it there. In which Schenn picked it up and back handed it home for a 2-2 game.

In the third period the Sharks were clearly frustrated and not happy with the Blues 2 seconds to spare second period goal. The Sharks peppered Jake Allen with 15 shots in the 3rd period but Allen turned away all 15, stopping 30 of 33 shots in Saturday’s game. Both sides could not find the back of the net, the Blues only managed 4 shots in the third period and 19 all game.

The game went to 3 v 3 overtime. The Sharks re-gathered in the neutral zone, Hertl started with the puck, Kevin Labanc and Logan Couture swung to gather speed. Labanc went middle, Couture went wide, Lebanc dished it to Couture and drove the net for a pass back and the game-winning goal(12).

The power play was a huge key in this game as both teams converted on their power play chances and a major reason the game went to overtime. The Blues went 2/3 on the man advantage, the Sharks 1/2. The Blues won the face-off circle 60 percent to 40 percent, Blues out hit the Sharks 19 to 14, Blues had less giveaways 10 to 12 and more takeaways 14 to 12. But the Sharks dominated in shots 33 to 19 without Allen’s stellar third period it could have been a 5-2 game.

The Sharks now have control of first place in the Pacific division. With 12 games remaining the Sharks have a chance to avoid the former Stanley Cup appearing Golden Knights and play a weaker first round opponent. The Sharks have the Wild, Jets, Florida, Nashville, Vegas(2), Kings, Anaheim, Detroit, Chicago, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton and Colorado to finish the season. Based off their schedule they are at a great advantage here as long as they beat Vegas and Calgary when they play them in March they should remain in first place.

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Patrick Kane Has 46 Points In 2019…

Patrick Kane had two assists in the Blackhawks loss to Buffalo Monday night, in which the two assists tallied his 45-46 points of JUST the 2019 campaign. Kane on the season has 56 assists(T-6th), 40 goals(3rd) and 96 points(2nd). To keep it simple, Kane has been unbelievable this season. Kane has been a major reason the Blackhawks turned around their season and for that split second we thought they could have been a playoff team.

Patrick Kane has played in 24 games in 2019, therefore he is producing at a 1.92 points per game, almost two points per game for 20+ games is almost unheard of. Let alone, 1.9 points per game for 20+ games is still unimaginable. Kane has not recorded a point in just four games since January 1st 2019. He went on that ridiculous 20-point streak that made him the first American player to do so. During his 20-point streak he had 18 goals and 26 assists.

Kane has collected more points in a 24-game span than some NHL players do in a full 82-game season. He has collected more goals and assists in a 20-game stretch then some NHL players do in a full season. Needless to say we can go on and on about Patrick Kane’s phenomenal 20-game point streak and current 46 points in 2019. But the more important question is there anyway we see this guy win the Ted Lindsay award?

Tampa Bay Lightning Clinch Playoff Spot

The Tampa Bay Lightning continue their historic season. Aside from being the first team to 50 wins and 100 points this season, they have yet to lose 15 games all year. And last week they tied the Detroit Red Wings (1995-96) as one of the fastest teams to reach 50 wins. The Lightning accomplished this feat in 66 games.

With 12 games remaining if the Lightning were to win every game but two they will go down in NHL history for most wins in the regular season. The Lightning are 8 wins away from the Flyers home wins in a season record (1975-76), they are 8 wins away from most road wins in a season. With 12 games remaining and a possible 24 points on the table the Lightning could be second all-time in most points in a season.

The Lightning as we all know by now clinched a playoff spot the other night with the Blue Jackets and Canadiens both losing in regulation Wednesday night.

Right now it is looking to be a Lightning vs Canadiens first round match up, the other two still in a potential playoff wild card hunt are the Blue Jackets and Flyers. No matter who the Lightning play first round I think we can assume it will be a series win for them.

With 12 games remaining the Lightning have Detroit (today), Toronto(2) Detroit, Washington (3), Arizona, Carolina, Boston(2), St. Louis, Ottawa, Montreal. Attempting to predict the future, I think we see the Lightning end with 126 points around that marker.

St. Louis Blues G Jordan Binnington The New Andrew Hammond (Aka Hamburglar)?

Jordan Binnington, the 25-year-old, 2011 3rd round pick has been quite the story this season. Binnington came onto the Blues this season when the Blues were in last place and looking to be a guaranteed top-5 draft pick for this years NHL draft.

Well, the one thing the Blues lacked was goaltending and it played a major role in their failures in the early part of the season. Along came Jordan Binnington. Much like the Ottawa Senators and Andrew Hammond aka “The Hamburglar” when he took the league by storm from mid-February to early April in 2015. Hammond was one of the hottest goalies in the league and completely changed the fate of the Senators season during his run. During his run when the Senators had Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner sidelined, Hammond posted a 20-1-2 record, 1.79 goals-against average and .941 save percentage. Hammond propelled the Senators into the playoffs placing them fourth in the division that year but they eventually lost to Montreal 4-2 in the first round.

Well, it seems Jordan Binnington is on that same type of run. Right now Binnington is 15-2-0 with a 1.61 goals against, .936 save percentage in 18 games started. He earned NHL star of the week accolades just two weeks ago and just earned Rookie of the Month for February.

But, I don’t think the Blues want Binnington to be the next “Hamburglar”. After Hammond had his famed season he went onto post a 7-11-4 record with a 2.65 GAA and .914 save percentage the following season. And since his 2014-15 storied season he has played in 26 games total.

Either way Binnington has helped shoot the Blues back into playoff contention, in the top three in the difficult Central division and now a legitimate playoff team that many will over look. Binnington continues his unbelievable season, he has lost 1 game in the last month and 12 starts. Following his first lost of the season on Jan. 21, Binnington went to win the next nine games he played in. Binnington seems to show an uncanny amount of confidence in net and with the media after and before games. The 25-year-old phenomenon continues to impress and hopefully for the Blues he is not just a one hit wonder.

My Reaction Following John Tavares Return To Long Island

As we all know by now the Islanders beat the Leafs 6-1 and John Tavares return to the Coliseum was a very hostile environment. Islanders fans, nearly all of them did not take Tavares return lightly. The stadium was filled with Islander fans wearing Tavares jersey with his name crossed out or written over his name on the back, the emotion was high but the hatred was even higher. I attended the game in section 234, wearing a Tavares jersey without his name crossed out.

Wearing a Tavares jersey without his name crossed out was essentially equivalent to wearing, pink shoes, a pink hat, pink shirt and pants. You stuck out like a sore thumb and everyone was looking at you and laughing. I may have been better off and safer wearing a Rangers jersey to this game. I had numerous fans come up to me and say “why are you wearing that?” or “get a new jersey he is not on the team anymore” or people talking behind my back saying “you see this non Islander fan wearing a Tavares jersey, what a troll”.

My takeaway from this game though and after hearing a lot of Islander fans opinions. 90% of Islanders fans are clues about the game of hockey, I am convinced a majority of the fan base has never stepped foot on ice, played hockey, or played competitively before in there life. The Islanders fan base is the fan base that picked up hockey when they were about 30+ years old, skated a few times play in the men’s league C division and think they could have made it to the NHL or be a coach if “they got their chance”. I have never been surrounded by so many clueless fans before in my life the lack of hockey knowledge and sense by these fans was embarrassing. The Islanders fan base is the fan base that scream shoot any time the player holds onto the puck for more than 2 seconds in the offensive zone. Say hit anytime someone goes in a corner and cheer for every bump or nudge on the ice and say skate anytime a player looks to be skating at half speed. Section 234 really made me think twice about the Islanders fan base…

More importantly. I understand I only heard/saw a handful of Islanders fans but the more important part of this discussion. The Islanders hatred for John Tavares. Yes, he left, yes “he lied”, yes he did not get traded so you can get assets for him. We get it Islanders fan he said he was going to stay forever but did not. He left the organization but how can you put all the blame on him. I can guarantee if Lou Lamoriello was the GM last season and this was the case, Lou would have made Tavares tell him what he was going to do and figure out his intentions.

The blame has to be partially on Garth Snow he did not find out what Tavares was doing or demand him to give the Islanders an answer therefore he can trade him. Lou would have made Tavares give them an answer. Lou would have said you have until x date to give us an answer or we are moving on from you. The same thing is happening in Columbus right now but you know what the Blue Jackets GM is doing he is not sitting there with his hands tied and slucking about the situation. He is building around Panarin to give him a ton of players to work with, making the Blue Jackets a better team and adding top players therefore if Panarin does walk, they will be able to re-sign Duchene and Dzingel so the walking of Panarin will not be so painful.

I was just completely blown away by the fact that no one, or very few Islanders fan in attendance did not even clap for the tribute video. I was blown away by the fact that Islanders fan chanted “JT sucks” the whole game. The Islanders are so bitter that he “lied” to them. Jeez, I guess these people never got lied to before. They are making it like Tavares killed someone in their family and got away with it. Islanders fan need to move on, 90% of these fans would not be fans of the team if it was not for Tavares. Most of them would not know the game if it was not for Tavares. No one off of Long Island would know what the Islanders are if it was not for Tavares. Also what was even more disgusting was some fans throwing snakes at Tavares while he was warming up and throwing a jersey at him as he was exiting the ice towards the locker room.

Look at the LeVeon Bell, Antonio Brown situation both star players, won super bowls with them and just picked up and left. Look at the Ilya Kovalchuk situation, signs a 13 year contract and leaves after like 3 years. The Islanders fan base took a major hit last night and I definitely do not have the same respect for them as I once did.

Celtics Show no Fight in Blowout to Toronto

With a month and a half left in the regular season the Boston Celtics continue to sit in the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, they’ve dropped three straight and lost five out of their last 10 games. Last night was no different, the Toronto Raptors blew Boston out of their home court 118-95, at one point the Raptors were in complete control up 30.

The season has been repetitive up to this point, where the team wins a couple of games in a row and looks like they finally turned the corner on their inconsistent play. Instead of turning the page Boston somehow returns to their old ways and go on a losing streak, where it seems that the players don’t like each other.

Who do we Blame for the Celtics season?

We can point the finger at Brad Stevens for not switching up the lineups when the team goes through these losing moments, we can blame Kyrie Irving for his lack of leadership or we can point at Terry Rozier for his awful play off the bench. Regardless of whose to blame, this Celtics team with so much depth should not be in this position.

Some of it could be the injury to back-up center, Aron Baynes, who’s been sidelined due to a foot contusion. From late December until mid-January Baynes missed 13 games because of a fractured hand injury, he appeared in just nine games before going down again. With Baynes our, the Celtics lack a true big man off the bench once Al Horford takes a breather. Daniel Theis, Guerschon Yabusele and banged up Robert Williams get exposed inside against the opposing big men.

Toronto’s big men of Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam were just to much to handle for Boston’s undersized bigs. Gasol finished with five points, five rebound and eight assists, Ibaka had 14 points and Siakam killed Boston with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting and eight rebounds.

Irving Confident in Team heading into the Postseason

Irving made headlines on Sunday after the Celtics loss to the Chicago Bulls where he said he doesn’t believe anyone can beat Boston four out of seven games. “Like I said, I don’t get frustrated about this stuff anymore. It’s just part of the regular season. In the playoffs, when we can plan for a team, prepare for a team, I still don’t see anybody beating us in seven games,” said Irving.

Irving believes that once the playoffs comes around the Celtics will be a whole different team then what they’re showing. “No, we’ll be fine,” Irving then added, “Because I’m here.” He of all players has the right to be this confident based on his history of coming up big when the pressure is on. Irving hit one of the most clutch shots in Finals history against the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, which secured the Cleveland Cavaliers first championship.

John Tavares Returns To Nassau Coliseum Thursday Night

The New York Islanders and Islanders have had this day circled on their calendar the moment Tavares left and the schedule was released. Returning to the Barclays Center would not have been as emotional of a return but the Coliseum where Islander fans fell in love with Tavares, where Tavares made his name as an Islander is going to make for a whirlwind of emotions.

Some Islanders fan will have mixed feelings about Tavares return but some will not. Their is going to be a thank you video on the big screen before the game but this is going to make for one hell of a game. I will be sure to capture any video or material I can when I am at the tailgate and at the game and report back the next day. Also, I will be supporting a Tavares jersey (Islanders of course) there to see what others have to say about it.

John Tavares played nine seasons with the Islanders, he was their first round first overall selection in the 2009 draft. Immediately when Tavares came to the Islanders he buried 24 goals for 54 points in 82 games. Catching the eye of every Islanders fan. Tavares went onto to score 24+ goals for the next 8-years of his career in New York. The moment Tavares put up 81 points, 31 goals and 50 assists in 82 games during his third year. The word was out on Tavares and all of Long Island fell in love with him (except some Rangers fan on the island). There are many fond moments of Tavares during his early years on the Island and it was during his early years the Islanders struggled yet Tavares was still a top talent in the league. Tavares was one of, if not the sole reason the Coliseum filled seats during their down years and it will be like that once more as he returns for a game vs the Islanders sporting a Leafs jersey.

But, why could it be that Islanders fans are so bitter about Tavares leaving? I’ve heard some arguments supporting his decision but mostly disgruntled fans saying his legacy as an Islander is tarnished. Without Tavares during those first six years of his career I don’t think anyone off of Long Island would have known what the Islanders were. Tavares spent nine seasons with the Islanders in that time the Islanders posted a 289-251-82 record, appearing in the playoffs three times (1 of them in 2012 was the lockout half year) winning one playoff series and missing the playoffs his first three years and 5 of the 9 seasons total.

Was it really unrealistic to think Tavares deserved better? He muscled through the years from 2009-2013 when the only time the Islanders made the playoffs was because half a season. He dealt with numerous coaching changes, dealt with the move to the Barclays center and being the generational talent he is. That is a lot to deal with and to still continuously show up year after year and be a top-10 NHL player, hats off to Tavares. Also, it is worthy to the note the only Islanders playoff series win in 23 years came in 2015-16 vs the Florida Panthers all due to a John Tavares overtime game-winning goal.

It just seems like the Islanders fans are being extremely bitter about the situation. Almost like when your girlfriend breaks up with after nine years because “you guys are just not fit for each other”, sure be bitter but you don’t need to have a nineteen page report from Tavares describing why he left the Islanders. I think it was pretty clear he wanted to win, he knows he is getting up here in age. Toronto is his home town. It made total sense to me but to some Islanders fans not so much. Plus how can you be bitter at someone who brought you so much joy and happiness, I mean listen to the crowd and the announcer in that video. One of the only good thing Islanders have going for them is that playoff win in 2016.

It’s just a little odd to me a guy that a six time All-Star, nine-time 24+ goal scorer with the Islanders, four time 70+ point player with the Islanders. A big reason some of you even like Islanders and follow the team to this day, a reason some of you even play or played hockey and a big reason why some of your kids play or played hockey. Tavares did so much for Long Island and to say his legacy is tarnished is beyond me. Let the guy be, enjoy the Thank You clip during the game Thursday, if you don’t like him, great but at least be an adult about it Go and cheer the Islanders on and be happy you still have a good team without him and let the walking of Tavares this summer go. I say this because TSN released a video showing Islanders fan talking bad about Tavares and his return to the Coliseum Thursday, only a few fans but if you agree with those people you probably kicked rocks and played outfield in little league.