While he came at the expense of P.K. Subban, defenseman Shea Weber has been a tremendous acquisition for the Montreal Canadiens.
In seven games, Weber has three goals and nine points while averaging 25:59 of ice time per night. His plus-12 rating leads the NHL; the next-closest is Detroit forward Darren Helm, with nine. The Canadiens are out to a 6-0-1 start.
Weber’s greatness, of course, is no secret. Prior to arriving in Montreal, he spent 11 seasons in Nashville. Over the 11-plus seasons, he’s scored 169 goals, which is tops among all NHL season going back to his 2006 debut. The output, which has come in 770 games, leads second-best Dustin Byfuglien (152) by 17.
Only Chicago blue liner Duncan Keith – who has multiple Stanley Cups and Norris Trophies to his credit – and the recently-retired Dan Boyle have more points than Weber’s 452 since he came into the league. However, he’ll become second in short time, as he sits just two points behind Boyle. Keith is 12 points ahead of Weber, with 464.
Two things Weber doesn’t have (through no fault of his own)? A Stanley Cup and a Norris Trophy. Who knows, both could be crossed off the list this year.
Since we’re all abuzz about the NHL possibly expanding to Seattle, why not give a neat little Seattle stat?
Of the top 15 television markets in the U.S., 12 have NHL franchises. The three that don’t? That would be ninth-ranked Atlanta, No. 10 Houston, and 14th-ranked Seattle. Atlanta, of course, is 0-for-2 in the NHL, and Houston hasn’t had a team but could in the future.
Therefore, Seattle would be the 12th-highest NHL television market should a team move there. Another good sign for the city, which looked primed to get a team for some time, and the dream came that much closer to becoming a reality on Tuesday when investor Chris Hansen proposed a privately financed arena in the city. The news reopened talks of Seattle being home to an NHL and NBA team.
The city has a good background in the NBA, of course, with the SuperSonics playing in Seattle from 1967 to 2008, when the franchise moved to Oklahoma City. The city has never had an NHL team.
When Jimmy Hayes scored in the final second of regulation for the Bruins on Tuesday night against Ottawa, it put an exclamation point on the B’s 7-3 win over their Atlantic Division rivals. It also gave Hayes his first NHL hat trick.
But in terms of reaching a statistical milestone not recorded in quite some time – or in Hayes’s case, ever – the job had already been done.
With Hayes’s three-goal night along with two-goal performances from Patrice Bergeron and Matt Beleskey, the Bruins had three multiple goal scorers in the same game for the first time since Dec. 28, 2001.
In that game, the Bruins defeated the Florida Panthers, 7-1, on the heels of two-goal performances by Bill Guerin, Mike Knuble, and Glen Murray. The other goal scorer that night was Rob Zamuner.
Also in that 2001 game, Joe Thornton notched five assists, which has been done by a Bruin just once since, when Bergeron assisted on five goals on Dec. 19, 2006 against Ottawa. Overall, there have been 25 such performances since the night Jumbo Joe had a helper for each hand.
While there was no five-assist performance on Tuesday night, there were certainly no puck-hogs wearing black-and-gold, as 13 Boston assists were recorded on the scoresheet, the highest since the B’s recorded 14 on Feb. 18, 2014, a 7-2 win over the Sens. Loui Eriksson, Torey Krug, Ryan Spooner, and Max Talbot each had two assists on Tuesday.
It’s common practice for NHL teams to play a ‘home-and-home’ series – in which two teams play back-to-back games with each other, both hosting a game – a handful of times per season. The Boston Bruins have four such encounters in the 2015-16 season.
The B’s are in the midst of its third home-and-home, hosting the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night after playing a tilt on Sunday night in Canada’s capital city. After sweeping the first two home-and-homes of the season with Toronto and Pittsburgh, the Bruins dropped the series opener to the Sens, 3-1, and take the Garden ice on Tuesday in danger of being swept, something that hasn’t happened to Boston since 2011.
The most recent sweep came at the hands of Montreal, who doubled up the B’s twice in three nights, on Oct. 27 and 29th, 2-1 and 4-2. The pair of losses dropped the Bruins to 3-7 in what turned out to be a failed defense of the Stanley Cup. The Bruins went 46-22-4 the rest of the way to win their third division title in four seasons, but lost to Washington in seven games in the opening round of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Bruins have played in seven series since, sweeping three. They’ve played the Senators twice over that span, splitting both times. Ottawa last swept the Bruins in a home-and-home in Nov. 2007, the latter victory coming in a shootout. Boston emerged pointless against Ottawa earlier that year, when the Sens went 2-for-2 against the B’s in January.