Deep Blue Sea: John Leonard’s family reacts to first NHL goal

Plus power rankings, oversized goalies and more in today’s news and notes.

If there’s one bright spot in the San Jose Sharks’ season so far, it might be rookie John Leonard, who notched his first NHL goal in Monday’s 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

The goal — assisted by former UMass Amherst teammate Mario Ferraro — earned the forward a shout out in this week’s 31 Thoughts column, which is no small feat of its own.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette checked in on Leonard’s family back in Amherst, who watched the broadcast from home:

Though there were no fans in the arena, Leonard had his cheering section going crazy back in Amherst. The Leonards – his dad John Sr., mom Cindy and older sister Alyssa – watched the game live. Cindy and Alyssa jumped for joy. His younger brother Ryan, a sophomore forward for Pope Francis, was asleep.

“The text messages were going crazy,” John Sr. said. “Special moment.”

John Leonard said he had the puck and would likely give it to his parents at some point.

Read more about it linked below:

News & Notes

  • First NHL goal ‘a dream come true’ for Amherst’s John Leonard [Daily Hampshire Gazette]
  • 31 Thoughts: Tavares, Gagner blazing a trail in minor hockey involvement [Sportsnet]
  • Sharks’ Erik Karlsson discusses injury, hopes it won’t “get any worse” [The Mercury News]
  • An Expensive Scoring Defenseman Can Ruin a Perfectly Good Roster [The Hockey Writers]
  • San Jose Sharks: A better way to use Erik Karlsson when he returns [The Mercury News]/

Blood in the Water

  • NHL Power Rankings: 1-31 poll, plus stocks to buy or sell for each team in 2021 [ESPN]
  • NHL scraps third Dallas Stars game in row due to wintry weather in Texas [ESPN]
  • The NHL vs. COVID: Latest updates on postponements, rapid testing, playoff plans, financials [ESPN]
  • As NHL deals with COVID-19 issues, is on-ice transmission among players to blame? [USA Today]
  • What does good defense look like in the NHL? [Broad Street Hockey]
  • NHL players to wear custom skates honoring Willie O’Ree [NBC Sports]
  • Hockey Has a Gigantic-Goalie Problem [The Atlantic]
  • World’s longest hockey game played in deep freeze in Alberta [Associated Press]
  • Dysfunction in the desert: Finger-pointing, fear and financial woes roil the Coyotes organization [The Athletic]/

Scores & Recaps

  • Minnesota Wild 0, Los Angeles Kings 4
  • Washington Capitals 3, Pittsburgh Penguins 1
  • New York Islanders 3, Buffalo Sabres 0
  • New Jersey Devils 5, New York Rangers 2
  • Colorado Avalanche 3, Vegas Golden Knights 2/

Click on a team name to find a recap on their SB Nation site!

On the Schedule

  • Florida Panthers at Carolina Hurricanes, 2 PT/5 ET on NHLN, FS-CR, FS-F
  • Ottawa Senators at Toronto Maple Leafs, 4 PT/7 ET on SN, TVAS
  • Chicago Blackhawks at Detroit Red Wings, 4:30 PT/7:30 ET on NBCSN
  • Winnipeg Jets at Edmonton Oilers, 7 PT/10 ET on NBCSN, TVAS, SNW, TSN3
  • Vancouver Canucks at Calgary Flames, 7 PT/10 ET on SN1, SNP/