NHL Notebook: Canadiens defenceman Kaiden Guhle suspended one game, Nathan MacKinnon’s home point streak ends, and more

Photo credit:Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Brennan Delaney
13 days ago
There are less than three weeks left in the regular season, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton of news.
Thursday offered a lot of exciting games, and a suspension came out of it. Moreover, a fellow Canadian team has given a contract extension to a defenceman (Vincent Desharnais next please), and a netminder has joined the Philadelphia Flyers.
Let’s dig in!
Kaiden Guhle suspended
On Thursday evening, Kaiden Guhle slashed Flyers winger Travis Konecny in the hand from the bench, and was suspended for one game for it.
Usually, this would just be a penalty, but the difference is that Guhle did it from the bench, which is a big no-no. Players on the bench should not be participating in the play on the ice.
Guhle was drafted two picks after Dylan Holloway in the 2020 draft, and has 10 goals and 39 points in 112 career games. This season with the Montréal Canadiens, he has six goals and 21 points, both of which are a career-high.
The Edmonton-native played for the Western Hockey League team in  2021-22, scoring five goals and 25 points in 25 regular season games after the trade deadline. In the playoffs, the left-shot defenceman scored eight goals and 16 games to help lead the Edmonton Oil Kings to a WHL championship.

Maple Leafs extend Benoit

Speaking of a young defenceman, the Toronto Maple Leafs have extended left-shot defenceman Simon Benoit to a three-year deal with a cap hit of $1.35 million a season.
The Laval-native moved signed with the Leafs after the Anaheim Ducks didn’t qualify him after the 2022-23 season. This season, the 25-year-old has a goal and five points in 54 games, behind his career-high three goals and 10 points with the Ducks last season.
Edmonton Oilers’ right-shot defenceman Vincent Desharnais could re-sign a comparable contract,  as the 27-year-old (also from Laval) plays a similar role with the Oilers and has a goal and nine points in 67 games while killing penalties.
Personally, I’d be fine with a three-year deal with Desharnais (who is a pending unrestricted free agent) making $1.35 to $1.5 million a season. There’s still some room to get better and Desharnais fits the room well.

Ivan Fedotov joins the Philadelphia Flyers

Back in the 2015 draft, the Philadelphia Flyers drafted a Russian netminder by the name of Ivan Fedotov in the seventh-round. Well, his Russian club, CSKA Moscow, ended his contract early leaving him to join the Flyers. Daily Faceoff went into greater detail about the whole situation, and you can read that here.
As for the 27-year-old’s performance in the Kontinental Hockey League, Fedotov had a .914 save percentage and a 2.37 goals-against average in 44 games with CSKA Moscow in 2023-24. In the playoff, he posted a .916 save percentage and a 2.57 goals-against average in a first-round exit.
The Flyers’ goaltending situation is in peril with Carter Hart charged in relation to the 2018 World Junior team scandal. Samuel Ersson has started the majority of the games this season, posting an .895 save percentage and a 2.73 goals-against average in 44 games. 
Fedotov joining the Flyers in the late stretch will surely help the team, as he consistently posted save percentages around or above .920 in the KHL since becoming a regular in 2019-20.

Nathan MacKinnon’s season-long home-point streak ends

Nathan MacKinnon is a darn good player, and he was on the precipice of making history. Since the beginning of the season, MacKinnon had at least one point in every home game he had played, which was 35 leading into Thursday’s game.
However, he failed to register a point in the Colorado Avalanche’s shootout loss to the New York Rangers, ending his home point streak at 35 games. For context, the record is held by Wayne Gretzky with the Los Angeles Kings in 1988-89, when he started the season on a 40-game point streak at home.
Still, MacKinnon has the chance to win his first Art Ross and Hart Trophy this season. He is second in points with 123, one behind 2019 winner Nikita Kucherov, and one ahead of the 2017, 2018, 2021, 2022, and 2023 winner, our very own Connor McDavid.
Unfortunately for MacKinnon, he and the Avalanche have just nine games remaining. For context, Kucherov and the Lightning have 10 games remaining, and McDavid and the Oilers have 11 games remaining. However, MacKinnon has a much stronger case for the Hart Trophy.

Nashville Predators’ 18-game point streak ends

MacKinnon’s 35-game point streak wasn’t the only streak that ended on Thursday. From February 17 until last night, the Predators were in the midst of a 18-game point streak that saw them go 16-0-2 with wins over the Avalanche, Winnipeg Jets, Florida Panthers, and Vegas Golden Knights.
Well, that ended on Thursday, as the Predators fell 8-4 to the Arizona Coyotes thanks to a Logan Cooley hat trick and a four point performance from Clayton Keller. Interestingly, long-time Coyote, Shane Doan’s son was called up to the Coyotes recently.
In his first game on Tuesday, he scored twice in Arizona’s 6-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, but also picked up two assists in Thursday’s game against the Predators.
Still, the Predators are getting hot at the right time, as the win streak catapulted them from four points out of a playoff spot on February 16 to on the heels of the Winnipeg Jets for third in the Pacific Division. They are in the first Wild Card Spot.
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