Stanley Cup Playoffs Review June 7, 2021
CANADIENS WIN AND INCH CLOSER TO STANLEY CUP SEMIFINALS
With legendary Canadiens Stanley Cup winners Guy Lafleur, Yvan Cournoyer and Rejean Houle in attendance, Montreal produced a five-goal output to move within one win of the Stanley Cup Semifinals. The Canadiens, whose six-game win streak is the franchise’s longest in a playoff year since an 11-game run during their Stanley Cup-winning season in 1993, have not trailed in 376:14 of game time.
Joel Armia (2-1—3), who accounted for two of Montreal’s five goals with a pair of shorthanded markers, became the second Canadiens player in as many games to score a shorthanded goal (Tyler Toffoli: Game 2). The 2021 Second Round marks just the fourth time the club has scored at least one shorthanded goal in consecutive playoff games (also Game 3 & 4 of 1991 DF; Game 2 & 3 of 1968 SCF; Game 3 & 4 of 1955 SF).
Armia’s second tally of the contest, into an empty net, was Montreal’s fourth shorthanded goal of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In the process, the Canadiens forward became the NHL’s first player to score multiple shorthanded tallies in a playoff game since Los Angeles’ Dustin Brown in Game 2 of the 2012 Conference Quarterfinals.
Toffoli extended the League’s longest active point streak to five games in the effort (also Max Pacioretty: 5 GP w/ VGK). Only two players in franchise history have recorded a longer playoff point streak while appearing in their first season with the club: Michael Cammalleri (6 GP in 2010) and Howie Morenz (6 GP in 1924).
A quick turnaround will have the Canadiens and Jets square off for Game 4 tonight. Montreal, which owns an all-time record of 33-0 when leading 3-0 in a best-of-seven series, has recorded an NHL-record 22 sweeps in that scenario.
MARCHESSAULT’S HAT TRICK HELPS GOLDEN KNIGHTS PULL EVEN
Jonathan Marchessault (3-0—3) scored his first-ever postseason hat trick and third by a Golden Knights player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs as Vegas drew even in its Second Round series with the Presidents’ Trophy winners.
Marchessault (20-24—44 in 58 GP), who joined Mattias Janmark (Game 7 of 2021 R1 vs. MIN) and Mark Stone (Game 3 of 2019 R1 vs. SJS) as the only Golden Knights players to record a three-goal performance in the postseason, became the first player to score 20 playoff goals with the franchise.
After falling behind in a best-of-seven series 2-0 for the first time, the Golden Knights earned consecutive home wins to draw even at two games apiece. Vegas improved its all-time playoff home record to 20-10 and have recorded the most home wins by any team in the postseason since entering the NHL in 2017-18.
As the series shifts back to Colorado, the Golden Knights have their sights set on becoming just the fourth team in NHL history to win a best-of-seven series against the League’s top-seeded club after dropping the first two games. Chicago achieved the feat twice (1962 SF vs. MTL & 1965 SF vs. DET), while Boston stands as the only team to do so against the Presidents’ Trophy winners (2011 SCF vs. VAN).
ISLANDERS, BRUINS EYE SERIES LEAD IN GAME 5 SHOWDOWN
David Pastrnak and the Bruins will host Kyle Palmieri and the Islanders for Game 5 of their Second Round showdown after New York rallied to even the series on Saturday.
After a four-goal performance in their last outing, the Islanders have boosted their offense in the postseason and are averaging 0.50 goals per game more in the playoffs (3.20 G/GP; 3rd) versus the regular season (2.71; 21st) – including six of 10 games in which they scored four or more goals.
Palmieri leads the Islanders with five goals this postseason (5-2—7 in 10 GP) after he found the back of the net in Game 4. Only four Islanders players in the last 30 years have scored more through their first 10 games of a playoff year than Palmieri: Anthony Beauvillier (6 in 2020), John Tavares (6 in 2016), Ray Ferraro (11 in 1993) and Pierre Turgeon (6 in 1993).
Pastrnak leads all Bruins players with 11 points during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs (5-6—11 in 9 GP) and has collected 25-39—64 in his postseason career (61 GP). Pastrnak can become just the fifth active player to record 40 playoff assists in 62 career contests or fewer, in which he would join Sidney Crosby (50 GP), Evgeni Malkin (54 GP), Erik Karlsson (55 GP) and Jason Spezza (62 GP).
Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award Three Finalists
Fan Vote to Help Determine Award Winner Opens Today, June 7-11 at NHL.com/OReeAward
The National Hockey League (NHL®) today announced Renee Hess (founder of the Black Girl Hockey Club), Kevin Hodgson (executive director of HEROS), and Howard Smith (co-founder of Pittsburgh I.C.E.) have been named the three finalists for the 2020-21 Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award presented by MassMutual, which is given to an individual who – through the sport of hockey – has positively impacted his or her community, culture or society.
The three finalists, and ultimate winner, will be determined by fan vote and weighted votes from Willie O’Ree, the NHL and MassMutual. Fans are encouraged to start voting today until June 11 at NHL.com/OReeAward. The winner will receive a $25,000 USD prize and the two finalists will each receive a $5,000 USD prize, each of which will be donated to a charity of their respective choice.
Following are the finalists for the 2020-21 Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award presented by MassMutual, in alphabetical order:
Renee Hess founded the Black Girl Hockey Club, a nonprofit organization, in 2018 to “inspire and sustain passion” for hockey within the Black community, and specifically for women in the Black community. Hess’s organization began as a safe space for hockey fans and it has since grown into an organization that hosts events across the U.S., provides leadership and mentorship development programs, and offers education and hockey scholarships. Click here to visit the Black Girl Hockey Club website. Click here to watch Hess find out she is a 2020-21 finalist.
Kevin Hodgson is the executive director of HEROS (Hockey Education Reaching Out Society) which empowers at-risk youth, and SuperHEROS, which provides boys and girls living with physical and cognitive challenges with a safe and inclusive environment as well as an adapted on-ice curriculum. Hodgson oversees the volunteer-driven nonprofit that operates 28 programs in 12 cities across Canada serving participants from diverse backgrounds. One in three participants are girls, and almost half of the participants are new Canadians. On the ice, HEROS provides free hockey programming in a safe, stable environment. Off the ice, they provide opportunities for personal development as well as education and scholarship assistance to help young people succeed. Since 2000, nearly 10,000 boys and girls have participated in the program. Click here to visit the HEROS website. Click here to watch Hodgson find out he is a 2020-21 finalist.
Howard Smith was the co-founder, alongside Cliff Benson, of Pittsburgh I.C.E. (Inclusion Creates Equity), a Hockey Is For Everyone program that is committed to offering children of all socio-economic backgrounds the opportunity to learn and play hockey. Currently Howard spends countless hours working with Steel City Icebergs, an adaptive ice hockey program for both children and adults with developmental disabilities such as Autism and Down Syndrome, and Pittsburgh Warriors, a nonprofit organization of honorably discharged members with a service-connected disability united around hockey, who served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. Prior to his involvement in grassroots hockey, Smith served in the U.S. Navy for more than 20 years. His love for hockey began as a youth hockey coach and for more than two decades he has coached boys’ and girls’ hockey teams, wounded veterans’ hockey teams, and special needs hockey teams. Howard is a player and coach and continues to help others use hockey as therapy. Click here to watch Smith find out he is a 2020-21 finalist.
The Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award presented by MassMutual honors former NHL forward Willie O’Ree, who on Jan. 18, 1958, became the first black player to compete in the League. O’Ree, who lost sight in his right eye at a young age, went on to play professional hockey for 21 years. For more than two decades he has served as the NHL’s Diversity Ambassador, traveling across North America to schools and hockey programs to share his story and experiences as well as to promote messages of inclusion, dedication, and confidence. O’Ree has used hockey as a platform to build character and teach life skills and has used his influence to foster positive values through the sport. In 2018, O’Ree was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Last season, Dampy Brar (Apna Hockey) was the recipient of the Award. Brar, alongside Lali Toor, co-founded Apna Hockey, an initiative that provides a network and support for South Asian hockey players.