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Around the NHL: The Predators blow a 3-1 lead with less than three minutes left, the Vezina and Calder trophy finalists are announced, and more!

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
Who doesn’t love Around the NHL?
The ongoing playoffs have given us a ton of news, sadly, several players have dealt with injuries, while a team were just minutes away from tying a series. Moreover, finalists for two trophies have been announced.
Let’s start with the bad news.

Vladislav Namestnikov injury

In Game 4 of the series between the Winnipeg Jets and the Colorado Avalanche, Jets’ forward Vladislav Namestnikov was hit in the face with a shot after it deflected off a stick.
He went to the hospital and was diagnosed with a fractured cheekbone and will be out of the lineup for Game 5, as one can imagine. He joins defenceman Brendon Dillon in missing games, after he was cut on his hand at a scrum at the end of Game 3.
To replace Namestnikov, the Jets will play Cole Perfetti in what is a do-or-die game as the Jets are down 3-1 in the series.

T.J. Oshie played with a broken hand

According to T.J. Oshie himself, the 37-year-old suffered a broken hand in Game 3 of the Washington Capitals series against the New York Rangers. Despite the injury, he played all four games of the series, meaning yes, he played with a broken hand.
The forward’s future is in question, as he’s had back injuries the past several years, and the health of his back will determine whether or not he plays in the 2024-25 season, the final year of his deal.
If this is the end for Oshie, the right-winger had a great career. In 1,010 games, he has 302 goals and 695 points, along with a Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2017-18. In the playoffs, he has 34 goals and 69 assists, only missing out on the postseason three times in his 16-year career.

Nashville’s blown lead

Moving on to some funny news that has some implications for the Calgary Flames, the Nashville Predators had a 3-1 lead with less than three minutes left. The Vancouver Canucks’ Brock Boeser scored with 2:48 left in the third period to cut the lead to 3-2.
The Predators’ Colton Sissons had a chance to end the game, but hit the post on an empty net, similar to Patrik Štefan’s flubbed empty net in the 2006-07 season.
With just eight seconds remaining in the game, Boeser scored to tie the game, his hat trick goal, sending the game to overtime.
In overtime, former Flame Elias Lindholm ended the game after being left all alone in the slot. This gave the Canucks an improbable 4-3 lead, as well as a 3-1 series lead.
The implications for the Flames is that they have the Canucks’ first-round pick, meaning that the sooner the Canucks are eliminated, the higher the pick will be. With injuries to Thatcher Demko and Casey DeSmith, the chances for the Canucks to beat the Edmonton Oilers (who are also up 3-1 in their series) look slim. However, DeSmith should be back by Round 2.

Vezina Trophy and Calder Trophy Finalists

Speaking of Demko, the Canucks’ goaltender was one of three starters nominated for the 2024 Vezina Trophy, with Connor Hellebuyck and Sergei Bobrovsky being the other two.
This season, Demko had a .918 save percentage and a 2.45 goals-against average in 51 games, posting a 35-14-2 record with five shutouts. Bobrovsky had a .915 save percentage and a 2.37 goals-against average in 58 games, posting a 36-17-4 record with six shutouts.
However, both will more than likely fall short to Hellebuyck, who had a .921 save percentage and a 2.39 goals-against average in 60 games, posting a 37-19-4 record and five shutouts. It’s been a rough four games in the playoffs for the 30-year-old netminder, but he’s the clear-cut favourite to win his second Vezina Trophy.
The winner of the Calder Trophy will be Connor Bedard, it’s not really a debate. The 18-year-old centre had 22 goals and 61 points in 68 games for the awful Chicago Blackhawks. Not really much of a debate.
Right-shot defenceman Brock Faber definitely deserves some recognition though, as he scored eight goals and 47 points in 82 games this season for the Minnesota Wild. Aside from the two games with the team in 2022-23, the 21-year-old had a fantastic rookie campaign and will be a defenceman to watch for seasons to come.
Left-shot defenceman Luke Hughes had a similar season, scoring nine goals and 47 points in 82 games with the New Jersey Devils, but is arguably on a better team than the two players listed above. Still a great season for the third Hughes brother, though.
Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.
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