This Week in Hockey: April 4th, 2022


Conner Keough, Staff Writer

Panthers Clinch a Playoff Berth

The Panthers are the first team to punch their ticket to the playoffs after defeating the Buffalo Sabres on April 3rd, 5-3. This season has truly been a remarkable one for the Panthers. After many people thought last year’s roster was the best team in Panther, history they added Sam Reinhart and Claude Giroux to their top 6 forwards.  

MVP: Jonathan Huberdeau broke the franchise single-season point record set by Aleksander Barkov in 2018-2019. In 69 games, Huberdeau has 24 goals and 73 assists for 97 total points. He trails only Mcdavid (105) and Draisaitl (101) for third in the NHL this season.

Unsung Hero: Sam Reinhart might be having a career year. After leaving Buffalo, Reinhart has flourished into the first-round talent he was projected to be. A lot of Reinhart’s points have come centering Florida’s potent top power-play unit. So far this year, Reinhart has 22 points on the power play.

Norris: Aaron Ekblad entered himself in the Norris Trophy (best defenseman) conversation for the second season in a row. The former 1st overall pick from 2014 has finally turned into the elite player he was envisioned to be. Ekblad’s offensive and defensive numbers have been elite this year. Scoring 57 points in 61 games, Ekblad had a real shot at getting Norris consideration before his season-ending injury.

Depth: The 2022 Panthers are known for one thing, their insane goal-scoring ability.  The Panthers average over 4 goals per game. Players that wouldn’t be stars on other teams are scoring in buckets with the Panthers for one reason or another. Anthony Duclair has bounced around the league quite a bit over his first 7 seasons. But, in 2 years with the Panthers, Duclair has 84 points in 104 games (including 38 goals)


Controversies Surround Marchand, Bruins Goal 

On April 4th, the Bruins and Blue Jackets met for an Eastern Conference showdown.  With under two minutes left in the 1st period, Bruins’ forward Brad Marchand laid a big hit on Columbus defenseman Andrew Peeke. After the hit, the Bruins took control of the puck and broke out of their own zone. Immediately following that, Charlie Coyle scored from Charlie McAvoy for the Bruins to tie the game at 1.

Several controversies arise in situations like this. First, what kind of repercussions will Marchand be facing for the hit? From the looks of it, the department of player safety did not find the hit illegal. Marchand, who has a history of illegal hits, was not fined or suspended as some fans had hoped.

Secondly, regarding the goal, shouldn’t the play have been blown dead due to Peeke’s injury? Well yes, but right now there is no uniform rule of when the play should be stopped. Most refs will blow the whistle right after the injury occurred, however some wait until the team with the injured player regains control of the puck. In this situation, the refs were waiting for Columbus to regain possession of the puck, but they never did.  Marchand gave a lead pass to the eventual goal scorer.  

The Bruins won the game 3-2 on the back of Brad Marchand.

GOTTA SEE: Brad Marchand hit against Andrew Peeke


If the Playoffs Started Today


Eastern Conference

Florida Panthers vs Washington Capitals (ATL 1 vs WC2)

Carolina Hurricanes vs Tampa Bay Lightning (MET 1 vs WC1)

New York Rangers vs Pittsburgh Penguins (MET 2 vs MET 3)

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins (ATL 2 vs ATL 3)


Western Conference

Colorado Avalanche vs Dallas Stars (CEN 1 vs WC 2)

Calgary Flames vs Nashville Predators (PAC 1 vs WC 1)

Minnesota Wild vs St. Louis Blues (CEN 2 vs CEN 3)

Edmonton Oilers vs Los Angeles Kings (PAC 2 vs PAC 3) 


Draft Order if the Season Ended Today

This isn’t 100 percent set in stone yet. The first and second overall picks are entered into a lottery for any team that did not make the playoffs. While the worst team has the best chance of winning the lottery, it is not guaranteed that they win the first overall pick. As of April 6th, 2022, this is the order the teams would pick in disregarding the lottery.

  1. Montreal Canadiens
  2. Arizona Coyotes
  3. Seattle Kraken
  4. New Jersey Devils
  5. Philadelphia Flyers
  6. Ottawa Senators
  7. Chicago Blackhawks
  8. Buffalo Sabres
  9. Detroit Red Wings
  10.  San Jose Sharks
  11.  Anaheim Ducks
  12.  Columbus Blue Jackets
  13.  New York Islanders
  14.  Winnipeg Jets
  15.  Vancouver Canucks
  16.  Vegas Golden Knights