In this edition of NHL Talk, we discuss the top storylines with quotes from players, coaches, managers, and more.
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Flyers Get First Win Since Giroux’s Departure
The Philadelphia Flyers won its first game since trading long-time captain Claude Giroux, 2-1, over the New York Islanders on Sunday. There is a culture change underway in Philadelphia after sending Giroux to the Florida Panthers after he played his 1000th game with the team that drafted him against the Nashville Predators on Thursday. Philadelphia head coach Mike Yeo discussed this opportunity for his players after picking up win No. 1 without Giroux.
“There’s a bit of an opportunity here for guys to step into, I don’t want to say a new era, that sounds a little bit corny here, but that’s kind of what it is,” Yeo said. “We’re going to need some of these guys to take another step in their career, and they’re certainly ready for that, for sure. I don’t mean that as a slight to what they’ve done in the past. It’s just we’re asking more of them now. They’re not the followers anymore. Now, they’re the leaders.”
Capitals’ Ovechkin Ties Gretzky for Most 40-Goal Seasons in NHL History
Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin scored his 40th goal of the season in a 3-2 loss against the Dallas Stars on Sunday. It is the 12th time in his career that he has tallied 40 goals, tying Wayne Gretzky for the most in NHL history. The 36-year-old leads the Capitals with 76 points (40 goals, 36 assists) in 62 games this season.
“He’s been consistent from start to finish with his game. Pretty incredible accomplishment,” Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said. “But for me, it’s been a consistent thing we’ve seen from training camp right from the start of the season right through now.”
Rangers’ Georgiev Makes Season-High 44 Saves in Shutout Win
New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev earned the seventh shutout of his NHL career in a 2-0 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. He saved all 44 shots, a new career-high for the 26-year-old. It was a statement performance for a goaltender who has been up-and-down this season, with a .899 save percentage (SV%) and 2.99 goals-against average (GAA).
“It felt pretty great,” Georgiev said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had a game like that, where it’s been not a lot of goals in a tight game until the end. I tried to enjoy that and be in the moment.”
Sabres’ Dahlin Secures Victory With Overtime-Winner
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin scored 48 seconds into overtime in a 3-2 win at the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. After tallying an assist on the Sabres’ second goal of the night, Dahlin fired a puck through the five-hole of Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko – although the shot was intended for the top of the net. The 21-year-old improved to 39 points (nine goals, 30 assists) in 61 games this season.
“Anybody that had any doubts about Rasmus Dahlin, just watch that game,” Sabres head coach Don Granato said. “He was amazing both ways. Even the penalty he took, you can see how assertive, aggressive he is in killing a play and wanting to kill a play, and he takes as much pride defensively now and loves the defensive side of the game, and tonight obviously prolific offensively. He’s just slippery.”
Tom Pepper is a columnist at The Hockey Writers since June 2020. He is a diehard fan of the St. Louis Blues.