Cup-hungry Bruins shrug off shot at NHL records Hurricanes’ Andrei Svechnikov out for season with torn ACL Connor McDavid puts NHL on notice with goal-scoring frenzy Flyers interim GM Danny Briere believes franchise needs a rebuild Lightning captain Steven Stamkos injures left leg
BOSTON. In a season filled with extreme numbers, the Boston Bruins know exactly how much value they place on winning the most games in NHL history.
“Zero”, defender Charlie McAvoy said last week, the day before Boston became the fastest team in history to 50 wins. “The bottom of everything I care about.”
The Bruins went through the entire regular season and hit milestones along the way. But even though they may have the most wins ever — and the most points — players and management insist they are not interested in the biggest regular season records.
“We’re playing for the Stanley Cup,” Bruins president Cam Neely said flatly. “I tell everyone, ‘Enjoy the ride, but it’s all about the Stanley Cup.’
The Bruins were 100 points in a row and out of the playoffs three times in a row when they fired coach Bruce Cassidy last summer and hired Jim Montgomery to replace him. Key players such as McAvoy, Norris Trophy contender, and Brad Marchandthe team’s second scorer, were recovering from the operation, but the Bruins did not wait until they gained strength.
They won six of seven games before Marchand returned to the ice, climbing to the top of the Eastern Conference in the second week of the season; McAvoy’s return helped them climb to first place overall in the league, where they had remained since Veteran’s Day. They didn’t lose at home in regulation until January.
They were the fastest team in NHL history to reach 100 points and 50 wins and were the first team to make the playoffs this year. However, after winning the 50th game, which also proved to be decisive in the playoffs, the goalkeeper Linus Ulmark couldn’t be less enthusiastic.
“Congratulations then,” he said. “Maybe.”
Boston has a shot at the most wins in NHL history, surpassing the Red Wings’ 62 wins in 1995-96 and equaling the Lightning in 2018-19. He also has a chance to surpass the Montreal Canadiens’ record 132 points in 1976-77.
But for a team that has already won the President’s Trophy twice since 2004 and hasn’t won the Cup both times, a third-place finish in the league isn’t exactly appealing.
“For me, the regular season (record) is nice.” – Capt. Patrice Bergeron said. “But you work hard to get into the playoffs. And that’s the main focus.”
Montgomery said the team didn’t talk about records, instead focusing on getting in shape for the playoffs. If the Bruins only have records to play in the final days or weeks, he said, they will instead try to make sure everyone is rested and healthy for what they hope will be a two-month post-season exhaustion.
“Our preparation for the Stanley Cup playoffs is the most important thing in the regular season,” he said.
Defender Matt Grzelczyk admitted that a regular season record “would be a big achievement” but one that is “pretty low on the list”. It didn’t escape his notice that neither the 1996 Red Wings nor the ’19 Lightning won the Cup.
“We have seen in the past that these are sort of bit commands,” Grzelcik said. “We’ll just go out there and compete and let the chips drop where they can.”
A similar fate befell the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who won 116 games without even making the World Series; the ’16 Golden State Warriors, who broke an NBA record with 73 wins but lost in the Finals; and the 2007 New England Patriots, who won all 18 regular season and playoff games before losing in the Super Bowl.
“It was an incredible season, 18-19, but I think it was too easy for us to play great,” said the former Lightning winger. Ondrej Palatwhose team lost to Columbus in the first round of the playoffs.
“It was very frustrating after such a year,” Palat said. “But I’m not saying it’s like the Bruins. The Bruins are playing incredible hockey and they have a big chance in the playoffs.”
Of course, Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup in each of the next two seasons.
Neely never made it to the trophy, losing in the Finals to the Edmonton Oilers in 1988 and again two years later; he really got his name on the Cup when he helped build the Bruins team that won it all in 2011. This was their last championship, this year’s drought the team hopes to end.
“It was a pleasure to watch this team, there is no doubt about it,” said the Hockey Hall of Famer. “Records are great, it’s nice to have them – especially team records. But really it’s all about who wins the last game of the year.”
ROLEY, North Carolina – Forward, Carolina Hurricanes Andrey Svechnikov Out for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs with a torn ligament in his right knee, a major blow to a Stanley Cup contender.
The team announced that Svechnikov will undergo ACL reconstruction surgery at Raleigh Orthopedic. He was injured in the loss against Vegas.
The Hurricanes had already said Svechnikov was out of action indefinitely with a knee injury, but were hoping for a more definitive diagnosis.
“It’s not easy to say that,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour told reporters earlier Tuesday before the team announced Svechnikov’s status. “I hate him more than anything. He’s worked so hard to get to this point of the year where it’s fun.
“And he won’t be able to be a part of it here in the future. So it’s hard.”
In a statement, team president and general manager Don Waddell said the team is confident the 2018 draft pick will fully recover.
The loss of Svechnikov was a devastating blow to the Carolinas in a busy Eastern Conference, where the Hurricanes were second only to Boston in the league overall for most of the year.
The 22-year-old striker is second on the team with 55 points and third with 23 goals. He played a pivotal role in the Carolinas’ four consecutive playoff berths, starting with reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in Svechnikov’s rookie year.
The Carolinas’ playoffs have included division titles in each of their last two seasons, although a lack of scoring has been a factor in an earlier-than-expected exit from the postseason in the last two seasons.
They solved this problem in the off-season by acquiring a winger Max Pacioretti in July, but over the summer, Pacioretti tore his right Achilles tendon and then did it again a few games later on his Carolina debut in January. They avoided major changes in their lineup by the trading deadline earlier this month.
The Hurricanes have won 16 of their 19 games and have lost 7-0 in their last two games. And ahead of Tuesday’s home game against Winnipeg, their once-comfortable lead in the Metropolitan Division was reduced to a 94-point tie with the New Jersey Devils, who are in second place just because they played one more game.
Connor McDavid entertainment that is a must-see not only for hockey fans.
The best player in the world is having such an outstanding year that his peers can’t help but follow his best moments. The Edmonton Oilers captain has already set a career high with 55 goals and 127 points, with 15 games remaining in the regular season.
“He’s from another planet,” said the captain of the Washington Capitals. Alexey Ovechkin said.
McDavid’s last performance was as a scorer after spending his first seven seasons in the NHL more as a playmaker. First he shoots, then he asks questions and gets the attention of the whole league.
“He dominates,” Pittsburgh Penguins captain. Sidney Crosby said. “He just keeps getting better. And like any player, this is what you want. But when it’s a guy like that, it’s scary.”
Trying to defend McDavid is a daunting proposition for opponents and has been since he burst into the league in 2015 with his dazzling stickplay and blinding speed. He has already won the Hart Trophy as MVP twice and has taken home the Art Ross Trophy for the most points in a season four times.
This time, McDavid creates another MVP-worthy season, and in doing so runs away with the scoring title. Just as he focused on improving the face-off circle and completing his two-way play in previous years, he made a concerted effort to score more and broke the 50-goal mark for the first time in his career.
“I’ve never been an elite scorer,” McDavid said. “I’ve kind of always been the first guy. I’ve kind of always said I pick the best game available, but this year I just feel like I’ve been put in a few good spots, obviously I’ve played some good players and the puck is flying. I think in the end it’s just a difference. “.
The difference between McDavid and the closest scorer, teammate Leon Draisaitl, is 29 points. Boston to David Pastr ranks second in the league in goals and is still nine behind McDavid.
After six multi-goal games in his last 10 games, McDavid is approaching the highest single-season total since the beginning of the salary cap era in 2005, surpassing the 65 games Ovechkin received in 2007-08. Ovechkin, who is second only to Wayne Gretzky on the list of career goals and is 79 points away from the record, admires what McDavid is doing.
“The way he drives the game, the way he controls the puck, the way he controls speed, he’s interesting to watch,” Ovechkin said. “It’s great that he can not only show one year, but consistently does it over and over again.”
Crosby, a two-time MVP and three-time Stanley Cup winner, is impressed by McDavid’s commitment to development. Dallas Stars coach Peter DeBoer uses McDavid as an example for young players to isolate weakness and turn it into strength.
“I think it’s a lesson for everyone that this guy just hasn’t been touched by the hand of God with talent,” DeBoer said. “He worked on that and on his game to get better.”
Dylan Strom witnessed McDavid honing aspects of his game when they were…