Gallagher’s stock on the rise
The Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher can’t say he’s surprised by his success this season. “You expect to play well, but it is the NHL — the best league in the world — and you can’t take anything for granted,” he said. Gallagher’s stock in the rookie-of-the-year derby is going up with each game. His goal against the New York Islanders on Thursday gave him 18 points, tying him for third place in the rookie scoring race behind Tampa’s Cory Conacher (22) and Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau (20). What sets Gallagher apart is that he’s playing on a winning team and is the runaway rookie leader in plus/minus at plus-10. He also leads with three game-winning goals.
Habs have history with “Mr. Hockey”
There was a time when Minnesota high-school players were high on the Canadiens’ radar, but we don’t see the team picking Grant Besse in the first round of the NHL draft this spring. Besse was named Mr. Hockey — an honour that goes to the best high school player in Minnesota — but NHL Central Scouting has the 5-foot-8 winger at No. 124 on its list of top North American skaters. The Canadiens have used their first-round pick on Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey on three occasions. They picked a winner in 2007 with Ryan McDonagh, but then gave him away to the New York Rangers in the Scott Gomez deal. A year earlier, the Canadiens selected David Fischer, who never rose above the ECHL level. The first Mr. Hockey with the Canadiens was Tom Chorske, who was selected 16th overall in 1985. He played 71 of his 596 NHL games with the Canadiens and won a Stanley Cup with New Jersey in 1985.
Selanne skating at age 50?
At 42, Teemu Selanne of the Anaheim Ducks has been taking it one year at a time, but the Finnish star might be looking farther into the future after teammates Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf signed eight-year contract extensions. “It they can play eight more years, I can, too,” Selanne told reporters. “I’m in better shape than they are.” Getzlaf, Perry and Bobby Ryan are the top scorers for the Ducks with 35, 24 and 23 points, respectively, but 38-year-old Saku Koivu is pulling his weight with 22 points and Selanne has 19.
Brodeur adds to record haul
Marty Brodeur owns most of the NHL’s goaltending records and he added two more Thursday night when he was credited with a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes. The goal, which ended a 13-year drought for the Montreal native, was his second regular-season goal and his third overall. That moved him out of a tie with Ron Hextall in both categories.
Stars aiming for third Cup
The Montreal Stars will be gunning for their third consecutive Clarkson Cup victory Saturday when they meet the Boston Blades, the regular-season champions in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. The teams cleaned up in the season-ending awards, with Meghan Agosta-Marciano of the Stars winning the Angela James Bowl as the league’s leading scorer for the second consecutive year. Former McGill star Ann-Sophie Bettez was named rookie of the year, while Catherine Ward was named top defenceman. Boston’s Hilary Knight was named most valuable player and teammate Geneviève Lacasse was the top goaltender. Lacasse is one of three goaltenders on Team Canada, but stayed in the Boston area after graduating from Providence College. The Clarkson Cup final can be seen on TSN2 on a tape-delayed basis at 11 p.m. Saturday.
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