NHL Notebook- March 24th

Anthony Petrielli
March 24 2015 08:57AM

Last weekend the Philadelphia Flyers and Ottawa Senators played each other in a game with playoff implications. At the time both clubs were still trying to scratch and claw their way in.

The game was tied with five minutes left, and in the rest of regulation the teams combined for three shots on net. With a free point awaiting each team, it was clear what they were trying to do.

In Ottawa’s next game they played Carolina and were faced with the same situation, tied with five minutes to go. The difference this time was that the Hurricanes were firmly out of the playoff picture and playing freely regardless of the situation, so in that game there were eight shots on net in the final five minutes and a flurry of activity.

A few days after that, Colorado played Anaheim and they were tied. The final 20 seconds of that game was spent watching Tyson Barrie stand behind his own net waiting for the time to expire in order to collect a point, while fans booed. 

So while the NHL has been brainstorming ideas to curb shootouts, the real focus should be on more games ending in regulation.

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March Madness: The Hunt for Playoff Hockey

Cam Lewis
March 23 2015 08:00AM

March Madness! Yes, basketball isn't the only sport with a mad month of March that for some results in either madness or sadness — the NHL has two beautiful playoff races this year to keep an eye on.

We have the Eastern Conference Wild Card race with the Bruins trying their best to hand Ottawa or Florida an unlikely playoff berth. On the other side, you have the Canucks, Flames, Kings, and sorta the Sharks all battling for two spots in the Pacific Division.

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First Star, Worst Star: March 22, 2015

jeanshorts
March 22 2015 01:00PM

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Spring is finally here!! *Looks out window. Can't see due to snow covering window* Ehh.... Well we may have to wait a little longer on that one, but no need to wait for this weeks edition of First Star, Worst Star!! 

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Where does Joe Thornton's legacy stand?

Cam Lewis
March 21 2015 03:41PM

In a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier this week, San Jose Sharks centre Joe Thornton recorded the 900th assist of his NHL career, becoming the 19th player ever to do so. This accomplishment got me thinking about Jumbo Joe’s career and where his legacy will stand after he retires. Despite the fact he’s put up consistently great numbers throughout his career — in a relatively low scoring era with one and a half lockouts nonetheless — Thornton’s name doesn’t seem to be one that comes up with the game’s all-time greats. 

As we all know, this is because he’s had limited success in the playoffs, and whether it’s valid or not, he’s been labeled as a choker when it matters most. 

Where will Jumbo Joe end up on the NHL’s all-time scoring list? How much of his legacy is intertwined with his playoff success? What will his legacy by once he retires? Even though he hasn’t won anything, it’s completely valid to say he’s one of the best playmakers ever to play the game. Jumbo may actually finish his career as the greatest NHL player to never win a Stanley Cup. 

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The triumph of a standard bearer: RIP Matthew Wuest

Thomas Drance
March 20 2015 11:49AM

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Screencap courtesy CBS Sports

I've occasionally been asked if NHLNumbers.com plans to position itself as a "replacement" for capgeek.com. 

The short answer is admittedly yes, but the truer answer is that we can only aspire to improve our database and site design to the point where it is half as clean, accurate and thorough as what Capgeek founder Matthew Wuest built and meticulously maintained over the years at capgeek.com. 

The truer answer is that there's no replacing capgeek.com. It was perfect, brilliant and dynamic. 

Much more importantly, there's no replacing capgeek.com founder and sports journalist Matthew Wuest. Wuest died this week after a two-and-a-half year battle with colon cancer and his loss has been poignantly felt across the hockey world. Dignified, humble, hard working, revolutionary - Wuest was and is irreplaceable. 

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