NHL Weekly: Maurice loses his cool at the right time and Pickard steps up to the plate

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NHL Weekly: Maurice loses his cool at the right time and Pickard steps up to the plate

Paul Maurice can be hot-headed on the bench
Paul Maurice can be hot-headed on the benchProfimedia
Another full week of NHL is behind us but who picked up the most points? Which goaltender stood out? What has been trending on social media? And what caught the attention of former player and Flashscore expert Ladislav Smid? All that and more is in our regular NHL Weekly.

Most productive player

Both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are shining in the playoffs, but just like in the regular season and in the key games of the year, it's a bit forgotten how outstanding a campaign young back Evan Bouchard is having for Edmonton.

This time, he recorded five points (2+3) in three games, with game four against Vancouver decided by a goal in the 60th minute. He became only the fourth player in club history to decide a playoff game in the last minute of regular time.

With an average ice time of 24:10, he was the club's most utilised player and with 18 points (5+13) in 11 games, he is the most productive defender of the entire playoffs.

Goaltender of the week

A 2016 World Champion with Canada, Calvin Pickard hasn't exactly had an easy year. He was placed on the unprotected list by Edmonton right at the start of the season and was given a chance in the first team mainly because Jack Campbell struggled. When the Oilers needed a boost in the playoffs, he went into action in the fourth game in place of Stuart Skinner.

Edmonton won 3-2, and even though he reassumed his role as a substitute after a 3-2 defeat in game five, he didn't disgrace himself. In two games, he stopped 51 of Vancouver's 56 attempts and had a 91.1% success rate. Thanks to him, the Canadian club still have hope.

Story of the week

Russian forward Valeri Nichushkin of Colorado is having a tough time in his life. When he's on the ice, he's doing very well - nine goals in eight playoff games says it all - but off the rink it's one big problem.

The former first-round draft choice hasn't played between January and March as he was placed in an assistance program due to his battle with addiction and he's already been in it twice before. This third trip means a six-month suspension without pay. It should be added that the Russian is in the third year of an eight-year, $49 million contract.

"That's the decision he made," defenseman Jack Johnson said after Nichushkin's departure. The former Dallas forward's nametag was promptly removed from the team's locker room, and whether he'll ever return is unknown.

Stat of the week

The Colorado Avalanche confirmed that the regular season is a completely different competition than the playoffs. In 82 games between October and April, they had a 31-9-1 record on home ice and were the best team on their home rink in the competition. But in round two against Dallas, they lost all three games at the Pepsi Center.

On the other hand, it was against a club that was the best team on away rinks in the regular season with a 26-10-5 record.

Social media highlight

There is only one coach in NHL history who has managed to coach more games than Paul Maurice, the legendary Scotty Bowman. So it's clear that when the current Florida coach speaks, everyone listens, let alone when he raises his voice!

Against Boston, he yelled at his charges in game four of the series when the Bruins were up 1-0. The Panthers scored in the very next play.

Photo of the week

Carolina forward Jordan Martinook made a perfect save in the absence of goalie Frederik Andersen.

Jordan Martinook saving the day
Jordan Martinook saving the dayx.com/spittinchiclets

Ladislav Smid's hot take

"The series between Boston and Florida was peppered by a conflict between Sam Bennett and Brad Marchand. Bennett hit the Bruins captain in the head during one of the fights in a strange way and Marchand had to miss two games.

"But the playoffs are a special case, even though fans often complain that they have to be officiated like the regular season. For me, it's not like that, that's why it's been said for years that the Stanley Cup is perhaps the hardest to win, and I don't mind if the referee lets it go a little.

"This is a game for tough guys, teams that aren't afraid of physical play win. The champion is the best and the strongest. Finishing every fight is a bit of an investment for you - the more you beat your opponent, the better your chances of winning. Series are long, and hindering important opponents can help significantly because they then fail to perform as well as they are used to.

"Some of the hits are borderline, of course, but otherwise I think it's a clean game. The current playoffs are one of the best in years for me."

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