March Madness may be right around the corner in College Hoops, but with the home stretch reaching a crescendo, the NHL’s got its own pre-playoff excitement worth keeping tabs on this month.
This week, we’ve got lots of slick hands, improvised saves, 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
Amid what’s been a somewhat quiet year for Trevor Zegras while toiling on one of the league’s worst teams, the American phenom got back to his old tricks last week, cashing in maybe the nicest goal of the season Tuesday night against the Seattle Kraken. The tally had the hockey world buzzing and even made its way over to the crew on TNT, which led to this hilarious mishap from Jen Botterill.
Save of the week
Oh my goodness Casey DeSmith. With the Philadelphia Flyers buzzing for an equalizer on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, DeSmith pulled this doozy out of his bag of tricks, robbing Owen Tippett blind. That save would prove crucial for the Pens, as they’d follow it up just a few minutes later with an important insurance marker, eventually winning the game 5-1 and staying hot in the thick of a tight Eastern Conference wild-card race.
Nikita Kucherov might be having the quietest comeback season of all time. The 29-year-old has battled injuries at times over the past number of seasons — in some cases very publicly — but has remained healthy for the first time since 2018-19 and is dominating once again. On pace for 118 points, just shy of his career high of 128, there’s a parallel non-McDavid universe where Kucherov has Hart Trophy written all over him, serving as the engine of one of hockey’s best teams yet again — even if he’s had the odd hiccup this year. Want proof of just how dominant Kucherov has been? Look no further than last Thursday night, when he collected this gorgeous assist as part of his league-high seven points this past week.
Hands of the week
The Maple Leafs pulled off a gusty come-from-behind 4-3 win last Tuesday against an excellent New Jersey Devils squad, and Mitch Marner was a big part of it. While Toronto did end up blowing the lead this goal gave them, that shouldn’t diminish from the sweet shorthanded moves put on by the former London Knight on a helpless Vitek Vanecek. Marner eventually went on to pick up an assist on the game-winner as well — capping off a lengthy Maple…
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