Posts Tagged ‘2022 NHL Season’

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar was voted the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Sunday night.

The reigning Norris Trophy recipient led all NHL blue-liners and ranked third among all skaters in this postseason with 29 points over 20 games.

He’s the first unanimous Conn Smythe winner since the PHWA started disclosing its votes five seasons ago, according to the organization’s president, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli.

The 23-year-old is also the youngest playoff MVP in 52 years and only the third player to win it at that age or younger. Bobby Orr did it as a 22-year-old with the Boston Bruins in 1970, and Serge Savard was 23 when he nabbed the honor with the Montreal Canadiens one year earlier.

Colorado defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game 6 to capture the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2001.

Makar came into the contest leading all skaters still playing in the playoffs in average ice time at 27:13. He logged 24:21 in the decisive matchup.

He already has an impressive amount of hardware, having also won the Calder Trophy in 2019-20 and the Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA’s top men’s hockey player in 2018-19.

The Colorado Avalanche dashed the Tampa Bay Lightning‘s hopes of a three-peat, prevailing 2-1 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Sunday to win their first championship in over two decades.

Artturi Lehkonen scored the eventual winner in the second period, giving the Avalanche their first regulation lead since early in Game 3.

Nathan MacKinnon provided Colorado’s first tally earlier in the second frame, tying the contest after Steven Stamkos opened the scoring in the first.

The Avalanche outshot the Lightning 30-23. Colorado goaltender Darcy Kuemper stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced. His counterpart, Andrei Vasilevskiy, made 28 stops in the defeat.

Colorado defenseman Cale Makar won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after claiming the Norris Trophy earlier this week. He racked up 29 points over 20 games to lead all blue-liners and rank third among all skaters behind Edmonton Oilers superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

The Avalanche swept the Oilers in the Western Conference Final.

Colorado went 16-4 in the postseason and never trailed in a series.

Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar became the first bench boss to win the Stanley Cup, the AHL’s Calder Cup, and the ECHL’s Kelly Cup. The 50-year-old captured the other trophies with the Lake Erie Monsters in 2015-16 and the South Carolina Stingrays in 2008-09. Colorado hired him in August 2016.

The Tampa Bay Lightning spoiled Colorado’s party to stay in the hunt for a third straight Stanley Cup title, beating the Avalanche 3-2 on Friday night in Game 5.

Ondrej Palat scored with 6:22 remaining and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 36 shots in front of a raucous crowd hoping to celebrate the Avalanche’s first championship in 21 years. The Cup was all shined up and in the building, too.

It’s heading back to Tampa for Game 6 on Sunday night. The Lightning trail the best-of-seven series 3-2.

Nikita Kucherov and defenseman Jan Rutta also scored for the Lightning. Valeri Nichushkin and Cale Makar had goals for Colorado. Makar’s third-period tally bounced off the skate of Erik Cernak and through the pads of Vasilevskiy to tie it at 2.

It set the stage for Palat, whose shot slipped through the pads of Darcy Kuemper. A brief hush fell over the crowd.

Tampa Bay regrouped after an emotional Game 4 loss at home on a overtime goal from Colorado forward Nazem Kadri. The Lightning felt the Avalanche might have had too many players on the ice on the winner.

A too many players on the ice penalty was called Friday on Colorado with 2:43 remaining. The Lightning went on the power play and made it so that Colorado couldn’t pull Kuemper until around 30 seconds remaining. They weathered the Avalanche’s late barrage.

Just the Lightning showing their championship mettle. They’ve already rallied back from a 3-2 deficit to Toronto in the first round, and climbed out of a 2-0 hole against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference finals.

Completing this comeback series win would put them in an entirely different category. Only one team has rallied to capture a Game 7 in the final after trailing 3-1 in a series — the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs.

This is a gritty Lightning squad that’s showing no signs of slowing down even against a speedy Avalanche team and even after all the contests they’ve logged. Tampa Bay has played in 67 postseason games since the start of the first round in 2020. That’s basically an entire extra season.

Their resolve has impressed Lightning coach Jon Cooper. His team improved to 3-0 this season when facing potential elimination games.

The Avalanche are trying to capture their first title since 2001. The Avalanche fans were out in full force — both inside the building (an upper-level ticket on game day was going for around $1,500) and outside at a nearby watch party.

Colorado knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Makar said leading into the game this was the “toughest one that we’ve had so far.”

The Avalanche are 2 for 2 in their visits to the Stanley Cup Final. They also won in 1996, which was their inaugural season in Denver after relocating from Quebec.

Soon after Nichushkin tied it at 1-apiece in the second, Kucherov knocked in a goal off the post. The power-play goal was with Alex Killorn in the box for holding, along with J.T. Compher (holding the stick) and Makar (tripping), making for a 4-on-3 situation.

Rutta zapped some of the energy from the crowd with his first goal of the playoffs. It was on a slapshot from the side that slipped through Kuemper.

It bode well for the Lightning — teams that score the first goal when staring at elimination in the final are 55-25.

“If we had our choice, we would just write our name all the way around the circle (of the Cup),” Cooper cracked before the game.

Toronto Maple Leafs sniper Auston Matthews won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player on the strength of the league’s first 60-goal season in a decade.

Matthews also won the Ted Lindsay Award on Tuesday, which goes to the league’s most outstanding player as voted by his peers.

The 24-year-old edged out Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid and New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin to win MVP. McDavid led the league in scoring with 123 points, while Shesterkin, who was awarded the Vezina Trophy on Tuesday, authored one of the best goaltending seasons in recent memory.

Here’s how the voting broke down, with Matthews winning in a landslide:

1Auston Matthews1630(119-49-15-6-4)
2Connor McDavid1111(29-66-56-20-19)
3Igor Shesterkin738(24-26-41-29-24)
4Johnny Gaudreau617(3-19-44-66-36)
5Jonathan Huberdeau506(13-21-21-31-31)

Matthews is only the third Maple Leaf in the franchise’s 104-year history to win the Hart Trophy and the first since 1954-55. He’s the club’s only player to win the Ted Lindsay.

He finished the year sixth in scoring with a career-high 106 points but only played in 73 games due to injuries and suspension. Matthews’ 1.45 points per game trailed only McDavid (1.54) among players to suit up in at least 50 contests this season. His 0.82 goals per game in 2021-22 is the highest clip in the salary-cap era and the most since Mario Lemieux’s 0.99 in 1995-96.

On top of leading the league in goals for the second year in a row, Matthews excelled defensively. He finished 10th in Selke voting and led all forwards with 92 takeaways. Matthews also paced all forwards to play at least 1,000 minutes with a 64.15% expected goals rate and finished second under the same parameters in expected goals against per 60 at 2.04, according to Evolving-Hockey.

Matthews was also a Hart Trophy finalist in 2020-21.

New York Rangers star Igor Shesterkin is the 2022 winner of the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender.

Jacob Markstrom of the Calgary Flames and Juuse Saros of the Nashville Predators were the other finalists. The NHL’s 32 general managers voted to determine the winner at the end of the regular season. Here are the results:

1Igor Shesterkin (NYR)154(29-3-0)
2Jacob Markstrom (CGY)53(0-14-11)
3Juuse Saros (NSH)32(0-9-5)
4Frederik Andersen (CAR)21(1-3-7)
5Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB)14(1-2-3)
6Ilya Sorokin (NYI)11(1-1-3)
T7Thatcher Demko (VAN)1(0-0-1)
T7Ville Husso (STL)1(0-0-1)
T7Tristan Jarry (PIT)1(0-0-1)

Arguably the key to the Rangers’ success in 2021-22, Shesterkin led all NHL goalies who played at least 25 games with a career-best .935 save percentage and 2.07 goals against average across 53 appearances.

Shesterkin, who was also nominated for the Hart Trophy, posted the league’s third-best goals saved above average (22.34) and second-best goals saved above expected (21.08) at five-on-five, according to Evolving Hockey.

The 26-year-old helped propel the Rangers to a surprising second-place finish in the Metropolitan Division with a 36-13-4 record and six shutouts.

Markstrom, 32, paced all netminders with nine shutouts. He boasted a 37-15-9 record while piloting the Flames to a finish atop the Pacific Division.

The Swede rebounded fantastically after a tough first season in Calgary, rocking a career-best 2.22 goals against average and a sparkling .922 save percentage.

Saros put the Predators on his back en route to an unexpected playoff appearance after authoring a .918 save percentage and 2.64 goals against average in a league-leading 67 outings.

The busiest goaltender out of the trio of finalists, Saros faced 2,107 shots this season, emerging with a 38-25-3 record. Those 38 victories trailed only Andrei Vasilevskiy and Sergei Bobrovsky for the most wins in 2021-22.

Colorado Avalanche star Cale Makar is the recipient of the 2022 Norris Trophy awarded “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”

Makar edged out Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi and Tampa Bay Lightning stalwart Victor Hedman for the honor. The award is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. Here’s the results:

1Cale Makar (COL)1631(92-98-5-0-0)
2Roman Josi (NSH)1606(98-76-17-3-0)
3Victor Hedman (TB)940(4-14-142-30-2)
4Charlie McAvoy (BOS)358(1-7-22-55-24)
5Adam Fox (NYR)248(0-0-4-61-45)

For the full results, click here.

It’s the first career Norris Trophy for Makar, but likely not the last. He’s just 23 years old and was the runner-up for the award a year ago despite missing 12 games.

Makar recorded 28 goals this season, the most among defensemen. He ranked second to Josi in points with 86, but his underlying numbers were far superior, specifically on the defensive side of the puck.

Makar led all NHL defensemen with 22.7 goals above replacement, according to Evolving-Hockey. Josi ranked fourth with 20.2, and Hedman ranked fifth with 19.8.

Despite having star defensemen like Sandis Ozolinsh, Rob Blake, and Ray Bourque don Colorado’s blue and burgundy in its storied past, Makar is the first player in Avalanche history to win the Norris.

The Calgary, Alberta, native may need to make more room on his trophy shelf, as he’s also currently the favorite to win the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP.

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie in 2022.

The only blue-liner among this year’s finalists, Seider dazzled on a struggling Red Wings squad. He led all Detroit skaters in average ice time (23:02) while appearing in all 82 games in 2021-22.

The 21-year-old German became just the third rookie defenseman to reach 50 points in the salary-cap era, joining Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes. Seider also paced the rookie class in assists (43), power-play points (21), and blocked shots (161) while ranking third in shots on goal (187).

Trevor Zegras of the Anaheim Ducks and Michael Bunting of the Toronto Maple Leafs were the other two finalists.

Here’s how the vote broke down:

1Moritz Seider1853(170-18-3-4-0)
2Trevor Zegras1191(15-100-57-18-2)
3Michael Bunting877(7-51-65-34-23)
4Lucas Raymond499(1-10-40-61-36)
5Jeremy Swayman210(2-3-14-22-33)

Zegras tied for second in the rookie class with 23 goals – including five game-winners – and his 61 points trailed only Troy Terry on the Ducks’ roster. The forward also set a franchise record for most points by a rookie.

If there were a trophy that rewarded virality, Zegras would have it in the bag. The 21-year-old quickly became known for his ability to execute highlight-reel plays with alarming consistency.

Bunting topped all rookies with 63 points (23 goals, 40 assists) after thriving on the Maple Leafs’ top line with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner for much of the 2021-22 campaign. Fifty-eight of those points came at even strength, which led the rookie class by a substantial amount: Zegras was a distant second with 44.

The 26-year-old Bunting was selected by the Arizona Coyotes in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, making him the only 2022 finalist who wasn’t a first-round pick.

The Professional Hockey Writers Association votes annually to determine the Calder Trophy finalists and winner.

Steven Stamkos, Pat Maroon and Ondrej Palat each had a goal and an assist, and the Tampa Bay Lighting scored four times in the second period and beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 Monday night in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Anthony Cirelli, Nicholas Paul and Corey Perry also scored to help the two-time defending champion Lightning bounce back after playing poorly while losing the first two games on the road. Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman had two assists, and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 37 shots.

Stamkos, Paul, Maroon and Perry scored in the second period, when the Lightning chased Colorado goalie Darcy Kuemper while pulling away to trim their series deficit to 2-1.

Gabriel Landeskog had two goals and Mikko Rantanen had two assists for the Avalanche. Kuemper gave up five goals on 22 shots before he was replaced by Pavel Francouz, who finished with nine saves.

Game 4 is Wednesday night at Amalie Arena, where the Lightning have won a franchise-record eight straight playoff games and Colorado lost on the road for the first time this postseason.

Two nights after being limited to just 16 shots in a 7-0 loss in Denver, the Lightning rebounded by finally finding way to neutralize Colorado’s speed and solve Kuemper to avoid falling to the brink of elimination.

The Avalanche lifted their goaltender when Maroon scored a soft goal that put the Lightning up 5-2 with 8:45 remaining in the second. Perry reached behind Francouz to tap in a rebound that came off the right post to make 6-2 with 5:02 left in the period.

The back-to-back champions overcame a 2-0 series deficit in the Eastern Conference final to eliminate the New York Rangers in six games. They’re looking to do it again against Colorado to complete their quest for the NHL’s first three-peat in nearly 40 years.

 Andre Burakovsky scored 1:23 into overtime and the Colorado Avalanche opened the Stanley Cup Final with a 4-3 victory over the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night.

Burakovsky ended it after the Avalanche failed to score on a power play that began late in regulation when three-time champ Patrick Maroon put the puck over the glass. Burakovsky is one of only two Avalanche players who have won the Cup.

The game likely wouldn’t have even reached OT if not for big penalty kills by the Avalanche, who were 3 for 3 against Tampa Bay’s potent power play. The final kill featured a crucial save by goaltender Darcy Kuemper and a series of clears by Norris Trophy finalist defenseman Cale Makar.

An earlier kill built momentum for Colorado, which opened the scoring on captain Gabriel Landeskog’s goal 40 seconds after Josh Manson’s penalty expired. Manson — one of general manager Joe Sakic’s expensive trade deadline pickups — more than made up for a holding the stick minor with some big hits.

The Avalanche’s other deadline acquisition also kept up his knack for scoring key goals. Artturi Lehkonen had their third goal of the first period after Valeri Nichuskin scored the second as part of a dominant performance all over the ice.

Tampa Bay’s latest additions also played a major role, with Nick Paul outracing Colorado defenseman Jack Johnson to a loose puck for a goal in the first that limited the damage and kept the defending champs in the game. Brandon Hagel, who has been banged up and was a question mark to play, got beaten to a loose puck by Landeskog, an uncharacteristic goal for reigning playoff MVP Andrei Vasilevskiy to give up by letting the initial shot sneak through under his left arm.

In another example of what has made the Lightning the NHL’s best team over the past three years, they turned the tide in the second period with goals by Ondrej Palat and Mikhail Sergachev 48 seconds apart. That set the stage for the first of what should be many fantastic finishes in a series between evenly matched opponents.

The arena was rocking from the start of warmups for the first Stanley Cup Final game in the city in 2001 — also the last year the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup, with Sakic serving as captain. Fans chanted, “We want the Cup!” throughout the leadup and at times during the game, which was a showcase of the high-scoring hockey that has been the standard all season.

Tampa Bay’s most prolific goal-scorer from each of the past two title runs was back, with center Brayden Point returning to play his first game since injuring his right leg a month ago.

Colorado has a series lead despite playing without forwards Nazem Kadri (right thumb) and Andrew Cogliano (right hand), who were injured last series in a sweep of Edmonton in the Western Conference final.

The Avalanche swept Nashville in the first round, as well, and dispatched rival St. Louis in six before taking out Connor McDavid and the Oilers. If anything, Game 1 against the Lightning showed this series won’t be easy for either team.

The Philadelphia Flyers are in the final stages of negotiating a contract with John Tortorella for their head coaching vacancy, ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reports.

The deal is not done, but the team has offered the 63-year-old the job, Weekes adds.

Tortorella was identified as one of the Flyers’ coaching candidates last month, and he said he was “very fortunate” to have interviewed with the franchise.

Philadelphia is in the process of selecting its seventh bench boss in the last 10 years after opting to move on from interim boss Mike Yeo. Yeo took over for Alain Vigneault in December and finished the season last in the Metropolitan Division.

Tortorella became a studio analyst for ESPN after he and the Columbus Blue Jackets mutually agreed to part ways following the 2020-21 campaign. He coached the Ohio franchise for six seasons, qualifying for the playoffs four times.

The two-time Jack Adams Award winner has also coached the Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers, and Tampa Bay Lightning in his career, winning a Stanley Cup with the Bolts in 2004.