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from Emily Kaplan of ESPN,

Player X is in the NHL. After home games, he has a routine. Typically, he'll meet a few teammates at a local restaurant for a late dinner. He likes to order steak after games -- medium rare, a side salad, mashed potatoes. Then, he'll go home.

Player X sometimes has a hard time unwinding; it was a day of unbounded stimulation. He woke up and arrived at the rink for a morning skate and meetings, went home to nap, returned to the arena for warm-ups (bright lights and eardrum-blasting music), then exerted his body for 20-some sub-one-minute shifts where he shoves, sprints, reaches, shoots, gets hit and sometimes bleeds on the ice. By the time he gets home at night, he needs something to ease the process of getting to bed. So he'll often reach for his weed pen and take a few hits. "Just to relax," he says. "Honestly, it's the easiest and most natural way for me to fall asleep and be ready for the next day."

Because Player X is on a Western Conference team based in a state in which there are broad laws legalizing marijuana, he knows he's not doing anything wrong. Actually, he's doing what he estimates thousands of other professionals who live in his city do every night as well.

And because he plays in the NHL -- and not, say, the NFL, NBA or MLB -- he knows he won't be punished.

continued

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WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps

Washington 5, PHILADELPHIA 3

VANCOUVER 3, Toronto 2 (OT)

St. Louis 5, ANAHEIM 4

VEGAS 2, Calgary 1

THREE HARD LAPS: QUICK HITS FROM WEDNESDAY

Marc-Andre Fleury tied Jacques Plante for eighth place on the NHL’s all-time regular-season wins list after his career-high shutout streak eclipsed 200 minutes.

Alex Ovechkin recorded the 1,198th and 1,199th points of his NHL career as the Capitals reclaimed first place in the Metropolitan Division standings.

* The Blues and Canucks each staged third-period rallies to defeat the Ducks and Maple Leafs, respectively.

 Read below for more on each storyline.

FLEURY TIES PLANTE FOR EIGHTH PLACE ON ALL-TIME WINS LIST

Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves to earn the 437th regular-season win of his NHL career and tie Jacques Plante for eighth place on the League’s all-time list.

 

* Fleury saw his career-high shutout streak end at 200:41 when Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic scored at 11:54 of the second period. Vegas (37-26-5, 79 points), which occupies third place in the Pacific Division standings, went on to eventually defeat Calgary and extend its win streak to five games.

 

* It marked the 67th instance in NHL history of a goaltender recording a shutout streak of at least 200 minutes. The longest shutout streak in NHL history is 460:49, a mark set by Alec Connell from Jan. 28 – Feb. 22, 1928 with the original Ottawa Senators.

^Twenty-six of the 67 instances occurred before the 1929-30 season, when the League instituted rules permitting forward passing inside all three zones

 

Fleury%20Media-07015608.png

 

OVECHKIN APPROACHES ANOTHER MILESTONE AS CAPITALS EXTEND WIN STREAK

Alex Ovechkin (46-31—77 in 66 GP) scored his League-leading 46th goal of the season and collected an assist to help the Capitals improve to 7-1-0 in their last eight games dating to Feb. 18, including five consecutive wins. Washington moved to 39-21-7 (85 points) overall this season and reclaimed first place in the Metropolitan Division standings.

 

* Ovechkin moved within one of reaching the 1,200-point milestone (653-546—1,199 in 1,069 GP), a feat accomplished by 48 players in NHL history including Penguins captain Sidney Crosby on Tuesday (441-761—1,202 in 927 GP). His 653 goals would be the second-most in NHL history by a player at the time of their 1,200th career regular-season point, behind only Brett Hull (656-544—1,200 in 1,039 GP).

 

* Ovechkin scored the 245th power-play goal of his NHL career to move within one of tying Phil Esposito (246) for fifth place on the League’s all-time list (since 1933-34). Esposito (33 years, 45 days as of April 6, 1975) was the last player to conclude a season leading the NHL in goals at age 33 or older – a feat that Ovechkin (33 years, 201 days as of April 6, 2019) can also accomplish this year.

^Ages based on final day of respective regular season

 

Ovie%20-%20Media-07012115.png

 

BLUES ERASE DEFICIT LATE IN REGULATION TO DEFEAT DUCKS . . .

Robert Thomas (2-0—2) tallied the tying goal at 18:56 of the third period and Alex Pietrangelo (1-1—2) scored the winner 12 seconds later as the Blues erased a 4-3 to defeat the Ducks. St. Louis improved to 35-25-6 (76 points) this season and occupies third place in the Central Division standings.

 

* The Blues overcame a deficit in the final 90 seconds of the third period to win a game in regulation for the first time in franchise history. St. Louis became the second team to accomplish the feat this season, joining Minnesota on Feb. 26 (3-2 W at WPG).

 

* Pietrangelo scored the 22nd game-winning goal of his NHL career (all w/ STL) to move into a tie with Al MacInnis for the most among defensemen in franchise history. His 92 career regular-season goals overall (92-297—389 in 672 GP) trail only MacInnis (127-325—452 in 613 GP) for the most by a Blues blueliner.

 

Blues%20Media-07015649.png

 

. . . CANUCKS ALSO RALLY PAST MAPLE LEAFS

Vancouver overcame a 2-0 deficit in the third period and Alexander Edler scored at 3:11 of overtime as the Canucks improved to 10-1-0 in their last 11 home games against the Maple Leafs dating to Jan. 10, 2006 (TOR: 1-8-2). Edler scored the fourth regular-season overtime goal of his NHL career (all w/ VAN) and trails only Sami Salo (7) and Mattias Ohlund (6) for the most among defensemen in franchise history.

 

* The Canucks overcame a multi-goal deficit in the third period to win a regular-season game for the 39th time in franchise history. The first time Vancouver ever accomplished the feat was against Toronto on Jan. 16, 1973 (6-4 W)Andre Boudrias (3-0—3) and Bobby Schmautz (2-2—4) each scored twice in the final frame to help the Canucks rally from a 4-2 third-period deficit and defeat the Maple Leafs.

 

Josh Leivo, who was traded by Toronto to Vancouver on Dec. 3, 2018, scored in his first game against his former team. He became the first former Maple Leafs player to score in his first regular-season game against Toronto since John-Michael Liles on Jan. 9, 2014 (w/ CAR).

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Defensemen combined for three game-winning goals on Wednesday. It marked the 11th four-game day in NHL history to feature at least three game-winning goals scored by defensemen and first since Feb. 18, 2008, when blueliners had the decisive markers in each contest (Chris CheliosEd JovanovskiFreddy Meyer and Mike Motte).

 

QUICK CLICKS

 

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says game in a good place following GM Meetings

NHL World Gaming Championship returns. Registration now open

NHL participates in player safety summit with other hockey associations

 

SNEAK PEEK AT THURSDAY’S ACTION
 

Mar_7th_Schedy-07012058.jpg

 

PRICE CAN ESTABLISH NEW CANADIENS RECORD FOR WINS

Carey Price, who tied Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Jacques Plante for the most wins in Canadiens history with his 314th career victory in Los Angeles on Tuesday, can establish a new franchise record with a win on Thursday in San Jose. Plante had held the franchise mark since the 1959-60 season.

 

* Price is one of 16 goaltenders in NHL history to record 300+ wins with one franchise and sits three shy of matching Chris Osgood (317 wins w/ DET) for the fourth most career wins by a goaltender with an Original Six franchise.

 

Price%20Original%20Six-07020522.png

 

BRUINS AIM TO KEEP WIN AND POINT STREAKS ALIVE

The streaking Bruins (40-17-9, 89 points) look to stretch their overall winning streak to five games, their home winning streak to nine contests and their point streak to 18 games when they host the Panthers at TD Garden.

 

* The Bruins, ho have not suffered a regulation loss since Jan. 19, look to extend their point streak to 18 contests (13-0-4 in last 17 GP). Boston also had an 18-game point streak last season (14-0-4 from Dec. 16, 2017 – Jan. 25, 2018) - one of six teams since 2000-01 to record a point streak of 18 or more games (CBJ: 18 GP in 2016-17; CHI: 24 GP in 2012-13; SJS: 20 GP in 2007-08; DET: 20 GP in 2005-06; TBL: 18 GP in 2003-04).

 

MULTIPLE TEAMS CHASING WILD CARD SPOTS IN WEST

The Avalanche (29-26-12, 70 points), Coyotes (32-29-5, 69 points) and Oilers (29-30-7, 65 points) are all in action on Thursday as they chase the Stars (34-27-5, 73 points) and WIld (32-27-8, 72 points) for the two Wild Card positions in the Western Conference.

Thanks to the NHL PR department for the information above.

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33 minutes ago, Sharkhaywood said:

 

 

Should have never played the All Star game

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THURSDAY’S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps

BOSTON 4, Florida 3

PITTSBURGH 3, Columbus 0

NY Islanders 4, OTTAWA 2

DETROIT 3, NY Rangers 2 (SO)

Minnesota 3, TAMPA BAY 0

CHICAGO 5, Buffalo 4 (SO)

DALLAS 4, Colorado 0

EDMONTON 3, Vancouver 2

ARIZONA 2, Calgary 0

St. Louis 4, LOS ANGELES 0

SAN JOSE 5, Montreal 2  53518737_2581702311845381_70633610859438

THREE HARD LAPS: QUICK HITS FROM THURSDAY

The Bruins scored twice in the final minute of regulation to rally and defeat the Panthers, while extending their point streak to 18 contests (14-0-4 dating to Jan. 29).

* Alexander Radulov and Jason Zucker netted hat tricks for the Stars and Wild, respectively, as their clubs strengthened their grips on Western Conference Wild Card positions.

* Connor McDavid led the Oilers to their fourth consecutive win after reaching the 60-assist mark for the third straight season.

Read below for more on each storyline.

BRUINS STAGE LAST-MINUTE COMEBACK TO EXTEND STREAKS
After Matt Grzelcyk tied the game with 37 seconds remaining in regulation, Patrice Bergeron (2-0—2) tallied the game-winning goal 30 seconds later to help the Bruins (41-17-9, 91 points) extend their home win streak and overall point streak to nine and 18 contests (14-0-4 dating to Jan. 29), respectively. 

* Thursday marked the 10th instance in NHL history, and second by the Bruins, in which a club overcame a deficit in the final minute of the third period and won in regulation. Boston first did so on Dec. 4, 1986, when Tom McCarthy (19:42) and Ray Bourque (19:59) scored 17 seconds apart.
 

BOS%20Graphic-08123842.png

 

* The Bruins 18-game run matched the second-longest point streak in team history, trailing only the club’s 23 game-stretch during the 1940-41 campaign (15-0-8).


* Bergeron’s first of two tallies Thursday marked his second shorthanded goal in as many contests. He is the third skater to score a shorthanded goal in consecutive games this season, joining Mark Giordano (Dec. 12-15, 2018 w/ CGY) and Mark Jankowski (Dec. 27-29, 2018 w/ CGY). Meanwhile, he is just the fifth Bruins player in the last 30 years to accomplish the feat and first since Brian Rolston (Oct. 13-16, 2001).

 

RADULOV, ZUCKER NET HAT TRICKS TO LEAD CLUBS IN WILD CARD RACE

Alexander Radulov and Jason Zucker each netted hat tricks to help the Stars (35-27-5, 75 points) and Wild (33-27-8, 74 points) strengthen their grips on the first and second Wild Card positions in the Western Conference standings, respectively.
 

* Radulov joined Jamie Benn (March 2 at STL), who also scored Thursday, as the second Stars player to record a hat trick this season. Meanwhile, Ben Bishop turned aside all 31 shots to post consecutive shutouts (also March 5 vs. NYR) for the first time in his career.

 

Radulov%20Media-08020936.png

 

* Zucker scored the second natural hat trick of his NHL career and joined Marian Gaborik (Dec. 20, 2007 and Nov. 13, 2001) as the only players in Wild franchise history to post multiple such outings. Minnesota holds a three-point advantage over Arizona (33-29-5, 71 points), the next-closest club in the Western Conference standings - which also won Thursday.
 

McDAVID NETS THIRD STRAIGHT 60-ASSIST SEASON . . .

Connor McDavid (0-2—2) factored on his team’s second and third goals to reach the 60-assist mark (33-61—94) for the third consecutive season and lift the Oilers (30-30-7, 67 points) to their fourth straight win. Edmonton sits seven points back of Minnesota (33-27-8, 74 points), with one game in hand, for the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.

* The Oilers captain joined Sharks forward Joe Thornton (5 from 2005-10) as the only active NHL players to accomplish the feat in three or more straight campaigns. Additionally, McDavid is just the fifth Oilers player to do so, joining Wayne Gretzky (9 from 1979-88), Paul Coffey (5 from 1981-1986), Mark Messier (4 from 1986-90) and Jari Kurri (3 from 1983-86).

 

. . . WHILE 33-YEAR-OLD BURNS REGISTERS HIS FIRST

Brent Burns collected his eighth assist in nine contests to record 60 assists for the first time in his NHL career as the Sharks (40-19-8, 88 points) reached the 40-win mark. Only three players in NHL history have recorded their first 60-assist campaign at an older age than Burns (33 years, 363 days).


bURNS-08020951.png


* Since the Sharks entered the NHL in 1991-92, only four other franchises have registered more 40-win seasons than San Jose (16): Detroit (20), New Jersey (17), Dallas (17) and Philadelphia (17).

* Additionally, the 2018-19 campaign marks the sixth time in franchise history in which the Sharks recorded their 40th win in 67 contests or fewer. Only one season has featured the club reach the mark in fewer than 60 games (57 GP in 2008-09).
 
KUEMPER, COYOTES SHUT OUT CONFERENCE-LEADING FLAMES

Darcy Kuemper turned aside all 30 shots he faced as the Coyotes (33-29-5, 71 points) shut out the Western Conference-leading Flames (41-20-7, 89 points). Arizona, which improved to 8-2-0 in its last ten games, moved within three points of the conference's final Wild Card spot.

 

* Kuemper improved to 16-4-3 (.928 SV%, 2.19 GAA, 3 SO) dating to Jan. 1 and tied Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy (16-5-2) and Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (16-3-1) for the most wins over that span.


QUICK CLICKS

 

Sidney Crosby extends goal streak to six games in Penguins victory

What Gender Equality Month means to me: Lyndsey Fry

Patrick Kane moves into fourth on Blackhawks’ all-time points list

Justin Williams front and center for resurging Hurricanes

 

SNEAK PEEK AT FRIDAY’S ACTION

 

Mar_8th_Schedy-08123932.jpg

 

The information above was supplied by the NHL PR department.
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3 hours ago, Sharkhaywood said:

 

Not a surprise and evidence of the botch job the sharks did here. Now we have a level of honesty that this is very serious. I dont think he will magically be right for the postseason and if he is not they should not play him at all.

 

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4 minutes ago, danvilleshark said:

And Fugazi dont think I did not see what you did on that NHL page.....Puck me!

 

:lol:

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1 hour ago, danvilleshark said:

And Fugazi dont think I did not see what you did on that NHL page.....Puck me!

Well played, Fug

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1 hour ago, danvilleshark said:

Not a surprise and evidence of the botch job the sharks did here. Now we have a level of honesty that this is very serious. I dont think he will magically be right for the postseason and if he is not they should not play him at all.

Yup.  Probably healthier for Shark fans to -not- count on Karlsson for this post-season than believe he's waiting to be some kind of savior.

But with surprisingly steady play of Simek, Heed and Ryan this season, the Shark blueline is not in shambles.  Team momentum into the playoffs is way more important than wondering when Karlsson might return.    Also you probably don't give a guy like that $11 Mil a season at this wounded stage of his career. 

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3 minutes ago, LordNelson said:

Yup.  Probably healthier for Shark fans to -not- count on Karlsson for this post-season than believe he's waiting to be some kind of savior.

But with surprisingly steady play of Simek, Heed and Ryan this season, the Shark blueline is not in shambles.  Team momentum into the playoffs is way more important than wondering when Karlsson might return.    Also you probably don't give a guy like that $11 Mil a season at this wounded stage of his career. 

Free agency just too a nasty turn for EK65. Very risky for any team to take this on but somebody will.

#damagedgoods

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Just now, LordNelson said:

Yup.  Probably healthier for Shark fans to -not- count on Karlsson for this post-season than believe he's waiting to be some kind of savior.

But with surprisingly steady play of Simek, Heed and Ryan this season, the Shark blueline is not in shambles.  Team momentum into the playoffs is way more important than wondering when Karlsson might return.    Also you probably don't give a guy like that $11 Mil a season at this wounded stage of his career. 

Meh.  I do like the depth of the Sharks front and back this year, but I would prefer a 90% Karlsson somewhere in the playoffs.  He can be a big difference maker.  But as we have all concluded this year, let’s see how the goalie plays come playoffs.  I think Jones and Dell are both better options than the sloth.

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23 minutes ago, danvilleshark said:

Free agency just too a nasty turn for EK65. Very risky for any team to take this on but somebody will.

#damagedgoods

One theory has #65 actually ending up back in OTTAWA to have his girlfriend/wife stop crying her west coast crocodile tears.  #forevercity

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45 minutes ago, badger1 said:

Meh.  I do like the depth of the Sharks front and back this year, but I would prefer a 90% Karlsson somewhere in the playoffs.  He can be a big difference maker.  But as we have all concluded this year, let’s see how the goalie plays come playoffs.  I think Jones and Dell are both better options than the sloth.

You wont get a 90% Karlsson. He may play the first period at 90% but by the end of the game he will be this guy:

 

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51 minutes ago, badger1 said:

Meh.  I do like the depth of the Sharks front and back this year, but I would prefer a 90% Karlsson somewhere in the playoffs.  He can be a big difference maker.  But as we have all concluded this year, let’s see how the goalie plays come playoffs.  I think Jones and Dell are both better options than the sloth.

I think if this team enters the postseason healthy they have enough for a deep run. With EK65 the way he is now I think that very unlikely.

I predict he will play game one of the postseason but in round one he will no longer be able to.

This is a huge blow. Also we dont know what is really going on with Kane and that would that kill any chance if he also has suffered a groin injury.

 

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7 hours ago, Sharkhaywood said:

 

Oh FFS....

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7 hours ago, Fugazi said:

Should have never played the All Star game

It's ******* ridiculous that he was allowed to play. My guess is if he wasn't an UFA the team wouldn't have been concerned about pissing him off.

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2 hours ago, danvilleshark said:

I think if this team enters the postseason healthy they have enough for a deep run. With EK65 the way he is now I think that very unlikely.

I predict he will play game one of the postseason but in round one he will no longer be able to.

This is a huge blow. Also we dont know what is really going on with Kane and that would that kill any chance if he also has suffered a groin injury.

 

Maybe but the guy has also recovered from a torn Achilles and came back to win the Norris and was the best player on his team when they made their run in 2016, doing so on ripped ligaments in his foot.

Saying that, I'm not optimistic about the situation either but maybe don't share your level of pessimism, which seems like has been all season with him.  Any reason why?  I'm genuinely curious.

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12 minutes ago, John96 said:

Maybe but the guy has also recovered from a torn Achilles and came back to win the Norris and was the best player on his team when they made their run in 2016, doing so on ripped ligaments in his foot.

Saying that, I'm not optimistic about the situation either but maybe don't share your level of pessimism, which seems like has been all season with him.  Any reason why?  I'm genuinely curious.

Well he came off a pretty serious injury. He started slowly and I soured on him early. He proved me quite wrong for sure as he found his stride with this team.

As for now it actually has nothing to do with him. Groin injuries are really bad and I doubt he has time for a real recovery. He may even need surgery.

I would love to see a reporter straight up ask he his doctor has advised him of surgery options in the off season. He could of course lie but that will all come out soon enough.

Its such a bummer for this to happen to him now when the teams seems like a very serious contender.

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12 minutes ago, danvilleshark said:

Well he came off a pretty serious injury. He started slowly and I soured on him early. He proved me quite wrong for sure as he found his stride with this team.

As for now it actually has nothing to do with him. Groin injuries are really bad and I doubt he has time for a real recovery. He may even need surgery.

I would love to see a reporter straight up ask he his doctor has advised him of surgery options in the off season. He could of course lie but that will all come out soon enough.

Its such a bummer for this to happen to him now when the teams seems like a very serious contender.

True.  He's not helping himself with this injury heading into free agency either.

Being healthy enough to contribute to a deep playoff run is one thing, what his health means when it comes time to negotiate a new contract is another.  I have no doubt someone will give him the 10M+ he wants on a long term deal but will it be Doug Wilson?  Having a better awareness as to the actual extent of his injury no doubt is a plus for Wilson, one we've seen him use before (Dany Heatley). 

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3 minutes ago, John96 said:

True.  He's not helping himself with this injury heading into free agency either.

Being healthy enough to contribute to a deep playoff run is one thing, what his health means when it comes time to negotiate a new contract is another.  I have no doubt someone will give him the 10M+ he wants on a long term deal but will it be Doug Wilson?  Having a better awareness as to the actual extent of his injury no doubt is a plus for Wilson, one we've seen him use before (Dany Heatley). 

The Dany Heatley comparison is what scares me for this post season run. They put him out there when it was clear he could not help them. That injury was also terrible timing. 

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13 hours ago, danvilleshark said:

The Dany Heatley comparison is what scares me for this post season run. They put him out there when it was clear he could not help them. That injury was also terrible timing. 

To be fair to him though, those were the days when the depth guys were Dwight Helminen, Benn Ferriero, and Andrew Desjardins.  I would think they're in better position to weather the storm now but in reality Tim Heed, Joakim Ryan, and Radim Simek aren't some dynamic back up options and the regression we've seen from Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun is concerning too.

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