Ramblings: McDavid Nearing 100, Matthews Reaches 40, Carter Scores 4 (May 7)

Ian Gooding

2021-05-07

So… quite the Capitals-Rangers game on Wednesday night. Next season's rematch should be highly anticipated. Whether you liked it or not, it undoubtedly grabbed your attention.

No surprise that the Rangers were fined $250,000 for their statement regarding Tom Wilson and George Parros. As much as publicly calling for someone to be fired from their job is unnecessary, the NHL has decided that words should be punished far more heavily than acts of violence (think Tom Wilson's $5,000 fine). Maybe that's the case because a large corporation can absorb a much larger fine than an individual? Don't feel too sorry for Wilson, as $5,000 to him is about what your fantasy league dues are to you.

In isolation, Pavel Buchnevich is deserving of his one-game suspension for smashing Anthony Mantha in the face. However, we all saw how violent that game was, and the Rangers were focused on retribution. I'm willing to bet the Buchnevich incident never would have happened had Wilson received proper discipline, but I guess the league wasn't too concerned about what would happen next after not suspending Wilson. And no, a choke slam is not a hockey play, even if Panarin confronted Wilson.

Buchnevich served his suspension during Thursday's game against Boston. With no Buchnevich, Artemi Panarin, or Chris Kreider, the Rangers line combinations looked like this:

RYAN STROME – JONNY BRODZINSKI – KAAPO KAKKO

PHILLIP DI GIUSEPPE – KEVIN ROONEY – MORGAN BARRON

MIKA ZIBANEJAD – COLIN BLACKWELL – VITALI KRAVTSOV

FILIP CHYTIL – TIM GETTINGER – ALEXIS LAFRENIERE

If that version of the Rangers looked watered down, it really couldn't generate anything against the Bruins on Thursday. Jeremy Swayman had a relatively easy time, stopping all 15 shots he faced in a 4-0 shutout win. Swayman has looked nothing short of fantastic in his brief NHL time. His shutout is his second in nine games, eight of which are quality starts. Among goalies who have at least as many games played as he does, Swayman has the best goals-against average (1.44) and save percentage (.946). Yet the Bruins will likely begin the playoffs with Tuukka Rask as starter and Jaroslav Halak backing up as per usual.

After two wins to begin his NHL career, underdog Michael Houser received a dose of reality on Thursday. The Sabres' fourth-string (or is it fifth-string by now?) goalie surrendered eight goals to the Penguins. Just when you thought it was safe to add a Buffalo goalie. This is how quickly goaltending numbers can turn: