Sunday is Hockey Day in America and it features a quadruple header of games on the NBC networks. The Capitals, coming off of a 3-2 shootout loss in Detroit on Saturday afternoon, have earned at least a point in 21 of their past 23 games (19-2-2) to put themselves in a great position to win the Presidents’ Trophy for a second consecutive year. Saturday’s game was their first game back from their bye week and snapped what had been a six-game winning streak where they scored at least five goals in five of the games. On Sunday they visit a Rangers team that has won six of its past seven games but can not seem to gain any ground in a division where everybody seems to keep winning and collecting points.
Born in Scottsdale, AZ., Auston Matthews has taken the NHL by storm in his rookie season as an elite talent headlining an impressive freshman class. Taken first overall last June, Matthews made history with four goals in his debut, surely a dizzying experience for Maple Leafs fans accustomed to heartbreak and frustration. And he really hasn’t slowed down since. On Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes — and on Hockey Day in America — the 19-year-old Matthews once again put on a show, scoring his 28th goal of the season. That gave Toronto a two-goal lead. As he’s often done in his brief time in the NHL, this goal was of the spectacular variety, as he broke in off the left wing and, as he was
It is generally accepted that Mike Babcock, or maybe Joel Quenneville, is the best coach in the NHL. You see all the success they’ve had for years and years, getting winning hockey out of good or even great teams despite immense pressure. The idea there, obviously, is that Boudreau does more with less.