This Weekend In Hockey: McDavid Cracks 100 Pts; Wings Win Finale In The Joe

This Weekend In Hockey: McDavid Cracks 100 Pts; Wings Win Finale In The Joe
Photo: © Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
It was a busy weekend for hockey as the NHL's regular season came to a close, along with the NCAA tournament and the IIHF Women's World Championships.

McDavid Hits 100

Connor McDavid continues to live up to the hype. The 20-year-old became the third youngest player to ever win the Art Ross Trophy, awarded to the league's leading scorer. Only Sidney Crosby and Wayne Gretzky were younger.

The Oilers captain also became just the third player to reach 100 points in the past four seasons -- Crosby scored 104 points in 2013-14, while Patrick Kane scored 106 points in 2015-16. Crosby and Kane finished second to McDavid with 89 points apiece this season.

It came down to the last game of the season, but McDavid recorded two assists to put him at 30 goals and 70 assists for the even triple-digit mark. 

The sophomore's impressive season helped carry Edmonton back into the playoffs for the first time since 2005-06.

Farewell To The Joe

The Detroit Red Wings closed down Joe Louis Arena on Sunday after 39 years. It was a high note to a low season; the first time the team has missed the playoffs in the past 25 years.

Henrik Zetterberg scored a goal and an assist in his 1,000th game, bringing the 36-year-old to 17 goals and 68 points on the year, his best output since the 2011-12 season when he scored 22 goals and 69 points.

Riley Sheahan opened the scoring, recording his much-anticipated first goal of the season in his 80th game. He added a second goal in the third period, which held up to be the last goal at the Joe in the 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.

After the game, the team sat in on a memorable ceremony that featured Red Wings legends of seemingly all eras.

TV broadcaster Ken Daniels hosted the event, which featured a speech from Scotty Bowman, endless stories, and players old and new conversing with the legends following the event.

The Wings will open the state-of-the-art Little Caesars Arena next season in The District Detroit. 

USA Women's Wins World Championships

In the buildup to the IIHF Women's World Championships, 23 members of Team USA refused to play as they searched for equitable compensation and better treatment from USA Hockey. The heat of the debate grew hotter when the team's brass began searching for replacement players. The players held firm, and no one crossed the line during the strike, which ended on March 29 and gave the women 48 hours to prepare for the tournament.

The team came together once again for five wins in eight days for the USA's fourth straight WC title.

In overtime, Hilary Knight had a key block on Canadian Halli Krzyzaniak's shot from the blue line. The block started a two-on-one rush with Kendall Coyne, who set up Knight for the winner.

The women have shifted their focus to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, which is now less than 10 months away.

Denver Wins National Tournament

The No. 1-seeded Denver Pioneers were the favorite when the NCAA tournament got underway on March 24.

Denver scored at least five goals in each of its three games to reach the finals, defeating Michigan Tech 5-2, Penn State 6-2, and Notre Dame 6-1. On Saturday, the Pioneers capped off their season by defeating Minnesota-Duluth 3-2. 

Sophomore Jarid Lukosevicius led Denver with a hat trick. Pioneers goaltender Tanner Jaillet recorded 38 saves and earned the Mike Richter Award as the most outstanding goalie of the regular season.


It was Denver's eighth national championship and first since back-to-back tournament victories in 2004 and 2005.

Craig Cunningham Laces 'Em Up

Back in November, Craig Cunningham of the AHL's Tucson Roadrunners, collapsed during warmups. It was a horrifying scene, as Cunningham underwent roughly 85 minutes of CPR.

The cause of the collapse was largely a mystery but has been reported as a heart attack by multiple sources. Following the incident, a circulation problem forced doctors to amputate Cunningham's left leg shortly below the knee.

With support, the Roadrunners' captain was all smiles when he skated on March 31 with his new prosthetic limb.
 
On Saturday, Cunningham turned another corner in his recovery.


Cunningham's story has turned into an incredibly inspiring one as he continues to progress every day and get back to the game he loves in whichever way he can.

NHL Postseason Set

It came down to the last day of the season, but the first round of the playoffs is officially set. Here is your primer for the first game of each series. All times listed in EST.

First Round
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-seven format

Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Game 1: Thursday, April 13, at 7 PM in Washington

Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers
Game 1: Wednesday, April 12, at 7 PM in Montreal

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Game 1: Wednesday, April 12, at 7:30 PM in Pittsburgh

Ottawa Senators vs. Boston Bruins
Game 1: Wednesday, April 12, at 7 PM in Ottawa

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-seven format

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators
Game 1: Thursday, April 13 at 8 PM in Chicago

Anaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames
Game 1: Thursday, April 13, at 10:30 PM Anaheim

Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues
Game 1: Wednesday, April 12, at 9:30 PM in Minnesota

Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks
Game 1: Wednesday, April 12, at 10 PM in Edmonton

Have a question or a comment for Jacob Messing? You can find him on Twitter @JMessing23.
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