The NHL’s Version of March Madness is Already Underway

Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

We are just over one week into the month of March, and things are already getting crazy in the NHL.

Of course, the trade deadline is on everyone’s mind, but that hasn’t been what’s made March so wacky. There have been more than a few mind-boggling scores so far this month, but there was something special in the water on Tuesday night.

March has been a crazy month for the NHL.

The worst team in hockey nearly scored double-digit goals, four of the favorites in the Western Conference lost, and the stars were having incredible nights, even by their standards. If that doesn’t scream March Madness, I’m not sure what does.

Here is a recap of a wild Tuesday night in the NHL.

Coyotes, Blackhawks, Senators Combine for 21 Goals

I probably would have guessed it impossible for the Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks, and Ottawa Senators to combine for 21 markers in one night, but here we are.

The Yotes put up nine goals in a seven-goal victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Combine that with Arizona’s performance over the weekend, and the team has a total of 17 goals scored in its last two games.

The Hawks wasted no time in their game against the Anaheim Ducks, as they scored five goals in the first period, to take a 5-0 lead into the first intermission. They ended up with eight goals in total to win the game by a five-goal margin.

Forward Patrick Kane was one of the many NHL stars to show off on Tuesday, as he recorded six points (one goal and five assists) by himself. Those six points are a career-high in a single game for the decorated Chicago winger.

The Sens scored four goals, and while that isn’t an astronomical number, it gives the team nine tallies in its last two games, and it helped Ottawa take down a strong St. Louis Blues team on Tuesday.

Star Players Stand Out

I mentioned already that Kane set a personal best with six points, but he was not the only elite forward that impressed on Tuesday.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored two goals against the Calgary Flames, the second of which was the 766th of his career. With that goal, he ties Jaromir Jagr for the third-most goals in NHL history.

Ovi now has 36 goals on the season, and he trails only Gordie Howe (801) and Wayne Gretzky (894) on the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring list.

Auston Matthews, another potent goal scorer, struck for three goals in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 6-4 victory. With the hat trick, Matthews extended his total to 43 goals on the season in only 54 games played.

His 43 markers lead the NHL, with the next closest players having 38 on the campaign.

Western Conference Favorites Fall

If you are a contender in the West, and you played on Tuesday night, you probably lost. The West-leading Colorado Avalanche gave up five consecutive goals to lose to the New Jersey Devils, 5-3.

Staying in the Central Division, the Blues, as mentioned previously, were outshot and outscored by the Senators as they lost their game 4-1.

Switching gears to the Pacific Division, the Flames fell victim to Ovechkin’s record-tying goal, dropping two points against the Capitals with a 5-4 loss. The Vegas Golden Knights also lost, as the Philadelphia Flyers held them to only one goal despite the fact that Vegas more than doubled Philly’s shot total.

The Golden Knights and Blues have been struggling recently, but to see the Avalanche and Flames, two of the NHL’s hottest teams, also lose (especially against the teams they played) on the same night is very strange.

Trending. Could the Avalanche Pull Off a Trade for Patrick Kane?. light

The March Madness that everyone anticipates this time of year may not be upon us just yet, but that doesn’t mean that the NHL can’t get the ball rolling a little early.