Elias Says: Feb. 22, 2017

The Lakers promote Magic Johnson

The Lakers named Magic Johnson as their new president of basketball operations. The Lakers’ 84-220 (.276) record over the last four seasons (2013-14 to present) is the second-worst in the NBA over that span, ahead of only the 76ers (68-234, .225).

Unless they win 22 of the 24 games left on their schedule, the Lakers will finish with a losing record for the fourth straight season (since 2013-14). That would be the longest such streak for the franchise since they had six consecutive losing seasons from 1955-56 through 1960-61. From 1960-61 (the team’s first season in Los Angeles) through 2012-13 the Lakers finished with a losing record in only seven of 53 seasons.

The Lakers’ 712-272 (.724) record from Magic Johnson’s rookie season of 1979-80 through the 1990-91 season, Johnson’s last season before his first retirement, was the best in the NBA over that span.

Crosby and Malkin score, Penguins win

Sidney Crosby scored his 33rd goal of the season and Evgeni Malkin scored goal #25 in the Penguins’ win over the Hurricanes. It was the 74th time that Crosby and Malkin both scored at least one goal in the same game since they became teammates in 2006-07 and the Penguins are 69-4-1 (.939) in those games, 32-0-0 over the last four seasons.

Forsberg records a hat trick in the second period

Filip Forsberg scored three goals in the Predators’ four-goal second period on Tuesday night. It’s the second time in his career that Forsberg has scored three goals in one period. He also lit the lamp three times in the second period against the Blues on February 27, 2016. The only other players in Predators history to score three goals in one period were Rob Valicevic at Chicago in 1999 and Steve Sullivan versus Ottawa in 2006. Three other players scored three or more goals in one period this season: Ryan Hartman on January 8 (third period), Evgeni Malkin on January 16 (second period) and Patrick Marleau, who scored four goals in the third period on January 23.

Laine scores goals #29 and #30

Patrick Laine scored goals #29 and #30 in the Jets’ overtime loss to the Maple Leafs. Laine reached career goal #30 in his 55th NHL game and at the ripe old age of 18 years, 308 days. The only other active player to reach 30 career goals in 55 or fewer games is Alex Ovechkin, who did it in game #43. The only active players to reach 30 career goals before their 19th birthday are Sidney Crosby (18 years, 216 days old) and Jeff Skinner (18, 325).

Toews: 3 goals, 2 assists

Jonathan Toews recorded a hat trick and two assists in the Blackhawks’ win over the Wild. The last NHL player to score at least three goals and assist on at least two others was Evgeny Kuznetsov at Edmonton on October 23, 2015 (3 goals, 2 assists). The last Blackhawks player to do it was Jeff Hamilton at Phoenix on March 10, 2007 (3 goals, 2 assists).

Toews has scored 20 points over his last 12 games (8 goals, 12 assists). That matches the best 20-game stretch of his NHL career. He also scored 20 points over a 12-game span in November/December 2011.

Four-point game for Kucherov

Nikita Kucherov scored one goal and assisted on the other three Lightning goals in their 4-1 win over the Oilers. The last Tampa Bay player to score four or more points in a game and record a point on every goal scored by the team was Martin St. Louis on January 18, 2014 in a 5-4 loss to the Sharks. Kucherov has scored four points in a game three times this season, the most in one season for a Tampa Bay player since Steven Stamkos had four such games in 2010-11.

Byron beats Rangers

Paul Byron scored the shootout-deciding goal for the Canadiens in their win against Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers. Byron has scored a goal on four of his seven career shootout attempts (including two in two tries versus Lundqvist), and his last three shootout goals have been game-deciders.