NHL Weekly Recap: May 1
The 2021-22 NHL regular season is officially over. While fans are focusing on the playoffs, there were still plenty of big storylines down the stretch. Here were some of the biggest storylines at the end of the season.
0-to-60 for Auston Matthews
The Toronto Maple Leafs are having a historical season, hitting the 50-win mark for the first time in franchise history. However, one player hit the number 60.
Center Auston Matthews crossed the 60-goal plateau on Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings, something that is incredibly rare in the modern era of hockey.
The last 60-goal scorer was back in 2012 when Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos had 60.
Matthews became the first Maple Leaf to achieve this milestone and the first US-born player to reach the 60-goal mark.
The Maple Leafs will take on the defending back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Lightning in the first round.
Steven Stamkos joins the 100-point squad.
Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos hit the 100-point mark for the first time in his 14-year NHL career. Throughout his tenure, Stamkos has had a tough time staying healthy, but this season he played 81 of 82 games for the Bolts.
Stamkos is the eighth player this season to reach 100 points, joining Connor McDavid (123), Jonathan Huberdeau (115), Johnny Gaudreau (115), Leon Draisaitl (110), Kirill Karpizov (108), Matthews (106) and Matthew Tkachuk (104).
Vegas eliminated from postseason for the first time
The Vegas Golden Knights barely missed the playoffs this season. This is the first time in their five year history they have missed the postseason.
Since their historic run to the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural campaign, Vegas has seen nothing but playoff failure. After losing to the Washington Capitals in the 2018 championship , Vegas has been eliminated in the first round once (2019) and the third round twice (2020, 2021).
After a great start in the first half of the season, Vegas was dealing with very important injuries. Mark Stone and Alec Martinez missed significant time and Robin Lehner had a tough time staying healthy.
Lehner only played 44 games and went 23-17-2 with a .907 save percentage and a 2.83 goals-against average.
Jack Eichel was a blockbuster addition for the Golden Knights in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres in hopes of enhancing Vegas’s depth down the middle.
Eichel was not the impact player that Peter DeBoer and the rest of the coaching staff had hoped for. During his tenure in the sin city, Eichel only had 22 points in 33 games.
Florida clinches Presidents’ Trophy
The Florida Panthers are another team that have dominated this season. The Panthers clinched their first ever Presidents’ Trophy with a league-best 122 points. This means that the Panthers will play on home ice throughout the playoffs.
The last team to win the Presidents’ Trophy and the Stanley Cup in the same season was the 2013 Chicago Blackhawks.
The Panthers were an offensive powerhouse this season with a +94 goal differential.
Jacob Cheris is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Fourth-Year / Broadcast Journalism
Jacob Cheris is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is an aspiring sports writer. Jacob is a huge Washington Capitals fan and has a great passion for hockey. He played all throughout high school. He is also a member of Penn State Sports Night, where he analyzes hockey and other sports on YouTube. Jacob also covers Penn State Men’s hockey as the lead editorial writer for Penn State Rivals, giving in depth analysis on the team, and feature stories on specific players. Jacob is also the host of CommRadio’s hockey talk show “The Sin Bin”. Jacob is looking to expand his love for hockey and use it across all sports.