NHL best and worst: Wild looks legit, more Zegrus magic, DeAngelo going full heel

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March Madness in college hoops may be around the corner, but with the home stretch reaching its peak, the NHL’s got its own pre-playoff excitement to keep an eye on this month.

This week, we’ve got lots of crafty hands, impromptu savings, some old friends reuniting, a meal plan you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy, and everything else worth catching up on from the past seven days in hockey. .

goal of the week

While toiling on one of the league’s worst teams has been a somewhat quiet year for Trevor Zegras, the American phenom was back to his old tricks last week, netting his best goal of the season on Tuesday against the Seattle Kraken. . Tally had the hockey world buzzing and even made his way to the crew on TNT, which led to this hilarious accident From Jane Bottrill.

savings of the week

Oh god Casey DeSmith. While the Philadelphia Flyers were buzzing for an equalizer on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, DeSmith pulled this doozy out of his bag of tricks as he robbed Owen Tippett blind. This save would prove crucial for Penn, as they would follow it up with a crucial insurance marker just a few minutes later, eventually winning the game 5–1 and staying hot in a tight Eastern Conference wild-card race.

What might be the quietest comeback season ever for Nikita Kucherov. The 29-year-old has struggled with injuries last season – in some cases very publicly – but has been fit for the first time since 2018-19 and is once again dominating. On pace for 118 points, on top of his career high of 128, there is a parallel non-McDavid universe where Kucherov holds the Hart Trophy, re-working as the engine of one of hockey’s best teams ever. even if he has weird hiccups this year. Want proof of how influential Kucherov is? Look no further than last Thursday night, when he collected this gorgeous assist as part of his league-high seven points last week.

hand of the week

The Maple Leafs posted a 4-3 win against an excellent New Jersey Devils team last Tuesday, and Mitch Marner was a big part of that. While Toronto took the lead in the end, the goal gave them what should have been nothing short of sweet shorthand tricks unleashed by the former London Knight on a hapless Vitek Vanacek. Marner eventually went on to pick up an assist on the game-winner as well – capping off a long Maple Leafs road trip in style.

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healthiest moment of the week

Last Monday in the Windy City to take on the Blackhawks with the Ottawa Senators, two bright young German stars of the sport met for the first time in Tim Stutzl and Lukas Reichel. Both members of the 2020 NHL Draft, the pair eventually found themselves on the ice after a whistle, leading to this adorable moment between two players with a lot of history dating back to their U16 days.

worst of the week

to quote Lucille Bluth of Arrested DevelopersT: “I mean a pack of this Spaghetti Michael, what can it cost, ten dollars?” Needless to say, hopefully the fan playing the game took the plunge.

dish of the week

With his fresh $70-million contract in tow, Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin has his sights set on the remainder of the regular season. While Detroit’s slim playoff hopes have faded in recent weeks, that doesn’t mean Motown hasn’t had its share of highlights this season as they emerge from their rebuild. On it, Larkin winds up the beneficiary, as Alex Chiasson makes a slow move between the legs to feed the Wings star, as they combine for a lovely powerplay tally.

career oriented

After the Buffalo Sabers sent defenseman Chase Priskey to the Anaheim Ducks on trade deadline day, the 26-year-old did what any other young professional would do after changing careers: updated his LinkedIn profile. Hey, you never know who might call when they stumble upon your digital resume.

bucket, chuck it

After taking a stick in the face, Erik Karlsson was furious Tuesday night as the referee swallowed his whistle and failed to make the call. In response, the Swedish defenceman, known more for his even temperament and clever footwork, raised his hand in protest to the officials, heavy-hogging his helmet as he headed down the tunnel.

low blow

Tony DeAngelo being in the middle of things is definitely nothing new. The often controversial figure has made his fair share of enemies over the years, both on and off the ice, but this could be a new low. while the daughter-in-law Lightning players made an exception for DeAngelo, it was initially unclear what exactly had happened. That was until another replay angle showed the not so beautiful flashpoint of this dogpile.

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what’s on the menu?

Jakob Chychrun apparently has the diet of a prehistoric caveman. Whatever you get, I guess.

save stinger

After the trade deadline, James Reimer made your views known After failing to find San Jose a new home to chase the Stanley Cup one last time. If the ever-optimistic Reimer finds it in himself to make a couple more such saves at Morgan Barron, though, the 34-year-old could find himself another home this summer. Here’s hoping hockey’s best goaltender gets at least one more shot.

let the kids play

Carolina’s Storm Surge celebration may not have grabbed the headlines it once did, but the tradition is still alive and well and sweet as ever. After pulling off an impressive 6-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, the Keys celebrated Family Day at the rink in the most Hurricane way possible: bringing the kids out for the game-winning storm surge.

loose latch blade

Since the removable skate blade phenomenon made its way onto the NHL, it’s hard to imagine any player’s struggles being as funny as those of the always-imposing Milan Lucic. The Hulking Flames grinder got caught with his proverbial pants – or should we say skate blades out – messing with every fan leaving the seasoned tough guy to stumble his way to the Calgary bench.

cutting edge journalism

The Tampa Bay Lightning are struggling at the moment. With just three wins in their last ten matches, it would be easy for the Boults to let the frustrations inside the room boil over and create a negative atmosphere around the team. When you’ve won two of the last three Stanley Cups, and made the Finals three years in a row, maybe it’s too easy to win cooler heads.

The good vibes around the team also shone from the always-demanding John Cooper, as he graciously waited for this young reporter to get his question before the conclusion of Saturday’s presser.

figure of the week

Have you heard that the Boston Bruins are cool? well, as it turns out, they really are Historical Good. No team has reached the 50-win plateau this season faster than Boston, as they raised the marker Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings. The Eastern Conference may be full, but it’s hard to see anyone above the Bruins in the seven-game series for sure.

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No team in the NHL is hotter than the Minnesota Wild right now, as the hockey state has scored at least one point in its last 12 games, propelling them to the central standings. They are just two points behind the Dallas Stars for pole position in the division and three behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the top spot in the West.

The Minnesota Wild have been one of the feel-good stories of the NHL season. (Getty)

You’d think the biggest culprit has been the team’s superstar combo of Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello — and they’ve been great — but it’s really been the defense and goaltenders, with a dazzling .970 team save percentage since March 1. that leads the NHL. by a large margin. Slowly, yet surely, it looks like Bill Guerin has carved out a contender in Minnesota, and if things keep going this way they could do some damage come playoff time.

Trending Down: Montreal Canadiens

no teams in the nhl as beaten and crushed As do the Montreal Canadiens, who have accumulated six straight losses and fall firmly in the depths of the Connor Bedard sweepstakes. Not much to see outside of the draft lottery in La Belle Province this spring, given all the injuries, but glimpses of a foundation being built have been shown. Some clever goals this week, really, from two of the team’s building blocks Nick Suzuki And Caden GuhleCould help ease the pain for Habs fans, and provide an oasis in the desert of unremarkable hockey games.

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