NHL

No line changes on Lucic’s watch

No line changes on Lucic’s watch

Milan Lucic provided one of the funniest moments in the NHL this week.  (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Milan Lucic provided one of the funniest moments in the NHL this week. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

It’s the spookiest time of the year, and that means there are plenty of macabre moments and devilishly devious plays to catch up on this past week in the NHL. Here’s the best and worst of the last week of October.

Goal of the week

It’s always scary for opposing teams Connor McDavid he is clicking and as usual the best player in the league absolutely is on fire. It was another nice week for McJesus, who had five points in four games, including a hat trick against the Blackhawks. This particular tally to complete the trifecta was particularly remarkable as it went away Jake McCabe in the dust before making a mockery Alex Stalock.

It was of the week

Marc-Andre FleuryThe Wild’s uneven start has put the Wild in some tough spots through the first month of the season, but when The Flower is pulling these kinds of tricks out of his bag, you know you’re going to love it. The 37-year-old netminder had style in mind in this one, as he stole Alex DeBrincat blind with a nifty glove, including a slick little windmill to top it off.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time a player who wasn’t on the Edmonton Oilers led the league in scoring. However, already at the end of October, it is David Pastrnak who looks as scary as ever. He didn’t just do it Bruins The sniper’s nine points this week tied him for the league lead, but the goals he’s scored have also been pretty odd. Check out this absolute rocket from earlier this week Ville Husso he had no chance of stopping.

Performance of the week

Joe Pavelski may be one of the oldest players in the NHL, but it turns out that the zombified remains of the Dallas stars snipers are still producing at a higher level. After an 81-point season last year, it’s been business as usual for one of the Stars’ most consistent contributors. His eight points in nine games through Saturday are marked by his big performance last weekend against the Montreal Canadienswhere he conceded three against a Montreal team that had no chance of stopping him.

Best hands of the week

Did we mention that McDavid is not of this planet? An alien invasion is the only logical explanation for the kind of crazy things this guy is doing in what looks like a night base. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone with the audacity to try to juggle the puck mid-game, but when you’re #97, it must be just another day at the office.

Dish of the week

Tied to be a bottom feeder this season, the Philadelphia Flyers they’ve come roaring out of the gate with 10 points from seven games, good for first place in the Metropolitan Division. while Carter Hart‘s flawless goalkeeper has been at the forefront of the Flyers’ success, contributions up and down the lineup, combined with a coach who knows how to get the most out of his playersthey have lifted the Flyers to amazing heights early on.

Travis Konecny has added a little creative wrinkle to his game this year, as evidenced by this cheeky little pass to set up Tony D’Angelo for his second of the season.

The worst of the week

While Canucks since then they’ve won a couple of games (getting Bruce Boudreau to be theirs Victory number 600 in the process), that’s not to say his season opener wasn’t straight out of a horror movie. From team fights to owner calls Francesco Aquilini to sell the teamthings have gone sideways very quickly for this Canucks team that was hoping to make a playoff push.

Perhaps the lowest moment, however, came last week, when a fan had enough and threw his shirt onto the ice in disapproval. This is certainly one way to take the temperature of an increasingly frustrated fan base.

Quote of the week

Brad Marchand is back in action for the Bruins after offseason surgery on both hips, which is remarkable in itself. Also, everyone’s favorite rat hasn’t missed a beat, scoring a pair and adding an assist in his season opener on Friday against the blue jackets. These are truly exceptional things. But perhaps the best part of Marchand’s triumphant return was this quote he told the media last Thursday before his debut. Talk about getting to work.

Funniest moment of the week

Announcers being interrupted by on-ice plays are nothing particularly new, but this particular instance last Tuesday was particularly amusing. Look, all I’m saying is that there are worse things you could be talking about while the action is going on. Ask Nick Castellanos.

Two-for-one milestone special

Phil the Thrill had a big week in the milestone book. Of course, as has been widely reported, the the most unlikely ironman perhaps in NHL history he has crossed the 990 game plateau, moving him ahead of Keith Yandle for the most streaks of all time. More underrated, however, was Kessel scoring his 400th goal in the same game. Hitting his first Maple leaves teammate James Reimer, Kessel became the 106th player in NHL history to reach that mark. Not bad for a guy accused of doing a daily trip to Front and John St for hot dogs.

Healthier time

Alex Nedeljkovic had a beautiful message for someone special last weekend during the red wings‘ match against the Anaheim Ducks. Who says October is all about creepy stuff? Kudos to Ned for telling Mom she’s wet.

Dahlin is Ballin

Although his streak has since been snapped, Rasmus Dahlin’s start to the season has been a revelation for the Buffalo sabers, who for the first time since the early 2010s doesn’t look like the headless horseman lost at sea. Sitting in third place in a crowded Atlantic Division, Dahlin has been a key cog for a young Sabers d-core that looks like a different beast. Alongside Owen Power, who pundits project to work his way into the Calder conversation, the future suddenly looks very bright in Buffalo… wait, where have I heard that before?

Who says Drai can’t play defense?

For years, Leon DraisaitlThe harshest critics ever had a retort when debating his place among the game’s elite. “Sure, he can score at will,” they say, “but he can’t defend for his life.” Yes, Draisaitl has had it their struggles in the past suppressing chances against his team, but when it comes to defending home ice, Draisaitl shows good sense here when a visiting fan decided to be a little more last Monday.

Mullet Arena Mayhem

After a long six-game road trip to start their season, the Coyotes of Arizona finally got the chance to host a game at Mullet Arena. While the atmosphere was supposedly a lot of fun, the widely shared view of the away locker rooms certainly caught a lot of people’s attention. Fortunately, it appears this setup is only temporary, but this is certainly not the arrangement NHL players are used to.

stay with him

Toronto Maple Leafs team manager Bobby Hastings has had his time in the spotlight before he had an assist off the bench on a play by Mitch Marner in 2018, but this work by Hastings that went viral last week is something entirely different. Check out the laser focus this one takes as it moves from stick to stick depending on which player has possession of the puck. Now these are some fast twitch reflexes.

Oh no you don’t!

Milan Lucic is a far cry from his days with the Bruins when he served as a top-of-the-lineup stalwart who could knock down the best of them. Despite his diminished skill set, the 34-year-old still likes to throw his weight around from time to time and can be a real bully on the ice when he feels the need. For example, check out this hilarious sequence from last Saturday, where the big kid saw the Hurricanes were going to switch lines and just decided it wasn’t going to happen as he skated to his bench.

Uptrend:

No team in the NHL is firing on all cylinders like the Bruins are. They look lethal to start their season, having won eight of their first nine and five in a row. The club are cruising, with the best goal difference plus 18 in the league, and it only looks to get better from here with Marchand back to the fold. Under the hood, the kit looks as lethal as ever, even with key gears Charlie McAvoy it will still be some time. They are in the top five of the league for percentage of goals, expected goals for percentage and corsi for percentage. As Mark Twain once said, “Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

Downtrend:

There was a period in the mid-2010s when John Gibson looked poised to follow in Ryan Miller’s footsteps and become the next great American goaltender. Often argued to be one of the most underrated netminders in the league, Gibson somehow failed to win a Vezina Trophy during his 20-year period of dominance.

Those days appear to be a distant memory as the 29-year-old has fallen down the league’s elite list and is now at the bottom of the pile by metrics such as more goals saved than expected on a putrid Anaheim Ducks team out of the gate. Sitting at just 1-6-1 and losers of their last seven games, things are looking bleak for the Ducks, who appeared poised to turn a promising Trevor Zegras campaign into a springboard for future playoff success. Instead, it was a bad case Duck season in Anaheim as the club desperately looks to get back on track and salvage a horrible start.

Best Halloween Costume

Last but not least, late October means group Halloween costumes for NHL players across the league. There have been a few real standouts, (The Rangers’ take on Dodgeball is also a real winner), but no one could top the timeless and current set of Super Mario Bros. of the Bruins, which received plenty of laughs across hockey Twitter. With Patrice Bergeron as Mario and Marchand as his brother Luigi, the B’s filled the roles perfectly.

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