MORE BIG POTENTIAL LOSSES
The Chicago Blackhawks extended their points streak to be the lone record holder at 17 on Friday (then 18 on Sunday), while greatly hurting a team they faced in the playoffs the last time they looked unstoppable: the San Jose Sharks. Ryane Clowe was so enraged by an Andrew Shaw hit that he seemingly jumped the boards before a full line change and started a fight. We’ll find out today if he’ll get what amounts to a fantasy death penalty: a 10-game suspension.
Honestly, even if it’s somehow just 5-6, that’s probably enough in a shortened season for a guy who’s clearly struggling. It’s not like you can stash him on the IR.
Shaw saw no supplemental discipline for the role he played in that Friday exchange, and to add insult to San Jose’s injury, scored the GWG for the ‘Hawks on Sunday. Oh yeah, the good times kept going for Chicago, as Marian Hossa and Corey Crawford returned to action.
Crawford had a 28-save shutout, leaving Joel Quenneville to be ambivalent about who will start for the team on Monday. It could be telling if Crawford gets the nod over Ray Emery in a back-to-back (or merely a reward for a guy who managed a goose egg.)
Speaking of not getting fined or suspended, Max Pacioretty’s retaliatory boarding hit on Ryan McDonagh will go unpunished. It remains to be seen how bad McDonagh’s injury is, but with Dan Girardi hobbled, Michael Del Zotto hurting and Rick Nash possibly concussed, the New York Rangers might be in big trouble.
Finally, big Dustin Byfuglien was hobbled on Sunday. No word on how bad things are, but the versatile fantasy blueliner has already missed five games with ailments, so this is worrisome.
Scott Hartnell returned, but maybe that won’t be such a bad thing by climbing Philadelphia Flyers Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds. Voracek keeps producing strong offense while Simmonds is putting up numbers, but remains rambunctious, with two (!) Gordie Howe hat tricks in one week.
This weekend spotlighted something that must be said: John Tavares is one of the best players in the NHL. With five points in the last three games, he’s now at 25 on the season. He also has a whopping 76 shots on goal. Sweet.
Speaking of heat seekers, Evander Kane has a point in seven straight games. If that isn’t awesome enough, he managed to stuff 15 PIM in there, too. He’s blossoming into the star many of us were hoping he’d become.
One more jump: guys who are getting it together and quick notes.