Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while fully appreciating that Chris Sale got his money’s worth.
*What an ugly situation that continues to play out in Ottawa as Mike Hoffman is most definitely on the trade block as the Senators try to clear up a situation where it seems either Hoffman or Erik Karlsson need a change of scenery. Clearly they’ve got to hope that shipping off Hoffman would persuade Karlsson to sign an extension with them. I just wonder what team would want him after this entire situation has gone public with the alleged cyber-bullying, but FOH Bruce Garrioch says there are NHL teams out there that would still have interest in him.
*Pro Hockey Talk has six players that should stay put this summer, including defenseman Oskar Klefbom in Edmonton after he’s been linked in trade rumors with the Bruins.
*Thank goodness T.J. Oshie has confirmed that Alex Ovechkin has actually shared the Stanley Cup with his Capitals teammates. We were wondering given all of the footage from the last week.
*Cool story on veteran goalie Mike McKenna, who has paid his dues to the point where it could lead to an AHL championship.
*Are the Washington Capitals going to deal away Philipp Grubauer this offseason? They certainly might as it appears he wants to take a run at being a No. 1 goalie, and it isn’t going to come with the Capitals after Braden Holtby’s Cup-winning body of work.
*Slava Voynov is trying to get back into the NHL after some disturbing allegations of domestic violence. Clearly he’s a talented player, but the real question is whether somebody with that in their past deserves a second or third strike in their NHL career.
*Great idea for a Massachusetts high school showcase going on this weekend at Walter Brown Arena where local players will get a look from NHL scouts.
*For something completely different: This footage of a 6-foot-10 12-year-old in a youth basketball game is ridiculous.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while we continue to inch closer to Infinity War coming out. Can’t wait.
*A tiny oral history of the Game 7 from the first round of the 2013 playoff series between the Bruins and Leafs shows a Toronto team still hurting over it, and a current Bruins group that doesn’t want to talk about it. What a moment in Bruins playoff history, though.
*It continues to be really ugly in Ottawa as ownership is warring with the fans, the media and everybody else while trying to rebuild after a dreadfully discouraging season. At some point, you need to wonder if it’s time for new ownership there.
*Speaking of owners, it sounds like the honeymoon is over for the new ownership of the Carolina Hurricanes.
*Jack Edwards ruffling feathers up in Canada after going ballistic when Andreas Johnsson went down with an injury in the third period and negated a potentially important B’s rush into the offensive zone.
*Kevin Hayes sits down for a 1-on-1 with the Athletic where he talks about the Rangers getting back to Cup contention next season.
*Nathan MacKinnon is really breaking out with the Colorado Avalanche in these playoffs and showing that world class speed he has to attack.
*For something completely different: Aaron Rodgers apparently wants a say on personnel decisions with the Green Bay Packers. Of course, he does.
GOLD STAR: Danton Heinen has been gathering momentum as of late with the playoffs just around the corner, and the rookie winger had one of his best games in a while with a game-winning goal and two points in the B’s win. It was Heinen leading a 2-on-1 break with Ryan Donato in the second period before he faked pass, and then snapped off a far top corner sizzler against Daniel Taylor to give the Bruins a two-goal lead at the time. Heinen also assisted on the empty net goal from David Backes in the closing seconds to ice the game, but both plays really put an emphasis on how much Heinen put into his 11:42 of ice time. The rookie winger finished with five total shot attempts, a hit and a takeaway along with a plus-2 rating, and now has goals in two consecutive games after falling in a bit of a first year malaise over the past month prior to getting going recently.
BLACK EYE: It’s fair to say that Daniel Taylor probably didn’t look like an NHL caliber goalie after this one was all over. He let up four goals on 34 shots after being spotted a one-goal lead in the first period and didn’t look great doing it. Certainly the first Bruins goal wasn’t on him as it was a perfect pass to a perfect one-timer chance from David Pastrnak in the left face-off circle. Taylor didn’t have a shot of stopping that one. But then it was a couple of longer distance shots off the rush from Tommy Wingels and Danton Heinen that got by Taylor, and then a Noel Acciari breakaway where he went five-hole on Taylor to truly put the game out of reach. Credit the Bruins for scoring the goals, but at least a couple of those probably don’t go in if they’re facing a playoff-caliber goalie next week.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins were down 1-0 after one period and really weren’t playing all that well, and they looked very much like they did for most of the last three games against Philly, Tampa and Florida. But that all changed in the second period when the Bruins finally got on the power play, and then scored a whopping five seconds after they took possession on the PP. It was a David Pastrnak screaming one-timer from the face-off dot and it effectively buckled the Senators as they allowed another goal to Boston just 51 seconds later. It was at that point when the Sens completely lost momentum in the game, and opened things up for the Black and Gold to take it the rest of the way. The B’s power play is going to have that kind of potential to break games wide open in the playoffs if they can get it going, and it’s just a matter of getting some chances to get the man advantage warmed up.
HONORABLE MENTION: Patrice Bergeron wasn’t great in the first period and would definitely admit as much. But No. 37 really came around in the final 40 minutes of the game, assisted on the David Pastrnak PP strike that got things moving and finished with eight shot attempts and 12-of-20 face-off wins. Bergeron did finish a minus for the game and truly hasn’t been his complete, 100 percent outstanding self in the last couple of weeks since coming back from the fractured right foot. But things got better in the final 40 minutes after the B’s coaching staff and the top line had a chat about spacing and supporting each other, and the rest was history for the Black and Gold in a game they dominated after the first intermission.
BY THE NUMBERS: 10 – the number of goals for Noel Acciari this season after getting his breakaway score in the third period to help ice the game. Give the Rhode Island kid credit for hitting double-digit goals as a gritty, hard-hitting fourth liner that brought plenty to the table this season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We’re in a position to take [the Atlantic Division and the No. 1 seed], and that’s a credit to the guys. We’ve worked hard to get here. This wasn’t by accident." –Bruce Cassidy, on the chance to clinch the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed in a Sunday night showdown with the Florida Panthers.