Some Monday morning musings from the NHL and the rest of the hockey world to prepare you for the upcoming week, which will include:
Tinkering with overtime and expanding video review on goals appear to be the two main areas of discussion when the NHL's general managers gather on Monday for three days of meetings in Boca Raton, Fla.
There has been talk about expanding video replays to help in other areas of the game for quite some time now. Then, on Jan. 18, in the Red Wings' 3-2 shootout win at home over the Kings, Detroit got away with a fluky late-game goal that should not have counted.
A shot from Red Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall was deflected, went off the netting behind the Kings' goal and then bounded off the back of goalie Jonathan Quick and in to tie the game. Video review could not be used to overturn the illegal goal. The GMs would like to change that.
Some would also like to see fewer games that extend into overtime decided in a shootout. Detroit GM Ken Holland brought up the topic when the GMs assembled in Toronto last November, but more discussion was required.
Does the NHL want to extend four-on-four OT sessions past five minutes? Does it want a three-on-three component? Does it want the two sides to switch ends in order make line changes more difficult?
With five weeks remaining in the regular season, 14 per cent of games have been decided by a shootout, which is the third-highest rate in the nine seasons since the penalty-shot competition was implemented.
Pulling for Bozon
The hockey community has rallied to support Helene and Philippe Bozon as their son Tim continues his desperate battle against a form of acute bacterial meningitis, an infection that can cause the tissues around the brain to swell and, in severe cases, result in paralysis or a stroke.
After the 19-year-old Bozon scored a goal in the Kootenay Ice's 4-2 win over the Saskatoon Blades on Feb. 28, he was rushed the following morning to the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, where he reportedly has been induced into a coma to better treat his critical condition.
Bozon, a Montreal Canadiens third-round draft choice in 2012, was traded by the Kamloops Blazers to Kootenay last fall. In 63 games this season he has 33 goals and 69 points.
He followed in the footsteps of his father and his grandfather Alain by suiting up for France at the world championship in Helsinki last spring. Alain was a France national team captain in the 1960s and 1970s. Philippe played in nine world championships and four Olympics for France.
Tim was born in St. Louis when Philippe, one of the most decorated French-born players, played for the Blues. The younger Bozon later learned the game in Switzerland when his dad played for Lugano.
It was a family dream come true when Tim was drafted by Montreal. Philippe grew up a Habs fan, and when he played junior for the St-Jean Castors in the mid-1980s he often would make the short trip into Montreal to watch the Canadiens play
Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux refuses to use a freak accident playing golf last summer, which left him with a damaged right index finger, as an excuse for his slow start.
Giroux was playing a round in the Ottawa area last August when his club shattered and splintered into his finger. He required surgery.
"There obviously were a few weeks of rehab into the season," he said this weekend. "But I'm not going to use it as an excuse. It's behind me now."
Some have theorized that Giroux picked up the pace this season after he wasn't named to the Canadian Olympic roster on Jan. 7. But he has been one of the game's top producers since Dec. 1.
Top goal scorers since Dec. 1:
23: Alex Ovechkin, Washington (36 games)
23: Joe Pavelski, San Jose (39 games)
21: Jeff Skinner, Carolina (38 games)
21: Max Pacioretty, Montreal (39 games)
20: Kyle Okposo, N.Y. Islanders (38 games)
19: Patrick Sharp, Chicago (37 games)
19: Claude Giroux, Philadelphia (38 games)
19: Phil Kessel, Toronto (38 games)
19: Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay/N.Y. Rangers (39 games)
Top point getters since Dec. 1:
49: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh (35 games)
43: Tyler Seguin, Dallas (38 games)
42: Taylor Hall, Edmonton (38 games)
Nathan MacKinnon saw his impressive consecutive-game point streak end at 13 games on Saturday. Still, the young Avalanche forward joined some pretty impressive company. Here are the longest rookie point streaks since the 1998-99 season.
Meanwhile, MacKinnon hit and went over the 50-point barrier during his streak. With 22 goals and 51 points, the native of Cole Harbour, N.S., became the fifth-youngest NHLer to reach 50 points, behind Bep Guidolin (18 years, 58 days), Ted Kennedy (18 years, 97 days), Sidney Crosby (18 years, 161 days) and Brian Bellows (18 years, 182 days).
Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff earned his 600th victory last week with a 3-2 win over his old club, the Buffalo Sabres, to become only the fourth man in league history to win 600 or more games as a head coach after playing in more than 650 regular-season games. The full list:
By the numbers
29: Goals for St. Louis Blues forward Alex Steen this season, a career high.
30: Goals scored by Steen's father, Thomas, with the Winnipeg Jets in 1984-85, a career high.
66: Career regular-season shutouts for Roberto Luongo after he blanked Buffalo on Friday night in his first game back with the Panthers to tie Patrick Roy for 14th on the all-time shutouts list. Luongo is 10 shutouts shy of cracking the top 10.
18: 20-goal seasons for New Jersey Devils veteran Jaromir Jagr, fifth on the all-time list behind Gordie Howe (22), Ron Francis (20), Dave Andreychuk (19) and Brendan Shanahan (19).
42, 20: Jagr's age (years, days) when he scored his 20th goal last week. Howe was the oldest to hit the 20-goal milestone at 42 years, 324 days.
5: Years between 20-goal seasons for Jagr.
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