The best and worst of the last week in the NHL
November is here, which means teams are starting to find their identity and the best players in the league are setting themselves apart from the rest with standout performances. As November rolls around, we’ve got everything you need to catch up on the week that was in this edition of the NHL’s best and worst.
Goal of the week
For a team that was supposed to sink into the Earth’s crust, the Chicago Blackhawks It sure looks like a team that has found a few hidden gems that could fetch a nice amount at the deadline. Among these solid complementary pieces are Andreas Athanasiouwhich has been found in the first line next to it Max Domi i Patrick Kane after a good start to the campaign. Combine some extra minutes with those nifty moves, and there’s no doubt the 28-year-old could get a nice trade return this season.
Savings of the week
Alexander Georgiev had his growing pains early on with the Colorado Devessall as he acclimated to a new team, posting a .907 save percentage in his first four games with the club. After a couple of strong games in response, however, including a couple of big displays across the pond in Finland, the Bulgarian goalkeeper seems to have found his groove for the reigning champions. That eye stop she sees, just keeping the puck dribbling over the goal line, was easily her best work this week as it somehow stopped her on the way to a 6-3 win against the Anaheim Ducks.
Star of the week: Erik Karlsson
With six goals and nine points in just three games, fans have been treated to some vintage Erik Karlsson this week, the likes of which we haven’t seen since his epic playoff run in 2017. Looking as engaged as he has been since long ago, Karlsson plays like a man possessed, as he continues to drag the corpse of the San Jose Sharks to some respectability. The highlight of the 32-year-old Swede’s week definitely came last Wednesday, when he hit that marker for his first career hat-trick against the Ducks.
Hands of the week
Speaking of old-timers who still “get it,” check out John Tavares’ epics here vs Philadelphia Flyerswhile spinning Travis Sanheim inside out and beats Felix Sandstrom distant post Since dealing with the discussion over the summer that his days as a star were numbered, Tavares has done nothing but produce to open the season. Toronto’s captain leads the club in scoring through 12 games with 14 points, marked this week by this crafty goal, one of three records for him on the night.
The worst goal of the week
It’s been that kind of season for Anaheim, who currently sits in last-last in the Pacific Division and third-last in the entire NHL. Jakob Silfverberg is one of several Ducks who has struggled to put the puck on net, with just three goals so far this season. This absolute snipe of the year would be his fourth…except it’s not where you’re supposed to shoot the puck.
Quote of the week
Darryl Sutter is arguably one of the funniest coaches in the National Hockey League today, with his hard-nosed attitude and cheeky sense of humor. Last weekend, following the Calgary Flames‘loss to the Edmonton Oilersthe Jack Adams winner had one interesting answer why one of their stars briefly left the bench early in the game.
Funniest moment of the week
Sometimes you just have to know when to pick your battles. For this Avalanche reporter, he certainly got his money’s worth after mocking the Avs’ defense Bowen Byram about his clothing. Needless to say, I think it’s pretty clear who wins this back and forth.
Hit of the week
The New York Rangers they have built a group of young guns in the rear, with Adam Fox and K’Andre Miller leading a talented core that doesn’t feature a single player over 28. With plenty of speed and skill already up top, the Rangers look like they’ve gotten a lot done with second-year defenseman Braden Schneider. The 2020 first-round pick played in 43 games last year and looks to be a mainstay for the Blueshirts this year on the right side. A big part of what will keep him in the lineup? More bone crushing blows like this, which saw him absolutely laid Bruins extreme Frederic Trent.
Every time your name is flashed with the Great One, you know you’ve done something special. Last Halloween, after dressing up as the hockey GOAT, Thompson decided to etch his name next to him as a hockey legend of the spooky season, tying Wayne Gretzky’s record for most points in a game Halloween with six.
Listen, it’s perfectly natural. Sometimes we all get a little excited and accidentally let go a little too soon. Just ask Alex Kerfoot, who was sure he was going to slide in front of the netminder, arms raised in celebration, only to have the puck run out on the edge of the cage. Even worse, the Ducks would proceed to dial a few moments laterfinally won the Maple leaves 4-3 in overtime to end a California road swing the Maple Leafs would surely like to forget.
The coolest moment of the week
Usually, it’s the rookie players who get all the love, but what about the first-time officers? NHL linesman Ryan Jackson got to participate in his own rookie round last Sunday, before the Blackhawks’ game against the Minnesota Wild. Jackson, the son of longtime NHL referee-turned-ESPN analyst Dave Jackson, had a special night, as did many other officials who marked the 27-year-old’s path. they made their way to the game to see the special night of the newbie zebra.
The healthiest time of the week
Two of the nicest players in the entire National Hockey League, it’s no surprise that when James Reimer and Trevor Zegras crossed paths, the fusion of the heart was bound to happen. Check out the silly banter between these Pacific Division rivals, though you wouldn’t know they were rivals by how this kibitz went down.
celly of the week
Sporting old Robo-Pen shirts as their reverse retros, Pittsburgh Penguins come in Jason Zucker had some fun after hitting home a timer against the Buffalo sabers last wednesday In tribute to the great Jaromir Jagr, in matching celly attire, Zucker pulled a blast from the past out of his bag of tricks, which caught everyone’s attention. Most prominently, the man behind the movement he himself had nothing but kind words for Zucker and the penguins, save for some hilarious comments about Zucker’s heartbeat.
A suitable sponsorship
I know we’ve piled on Coyotes of Arizona and his installation of the visitors’ room last week, but this one is also a bit on the nose. The Coyotes announced their home helmet sponsorship last week, and for a club that has had its share of struggles, this seems too perfect a game not to have at least one laugh.
Speaking of Coyotes, this unfortunate giveaway Karel Vejmelka It’s certainly one of the ugliest goalie mishaps we could see this season. Listen Coyotes fans, I know it’s ugly, but look at it this way. There’s at least an 18.5 percent chance that Connor Bedard is waiting at the end of this sad tunnel.
Jamie Benn he’s always had the ability to be a pain in the rear to play with, so at first glance, it certainly seemed surprising to see him befriend Zach Hyman. Not too soon, though, the Stars captain reminded everyone why he’s one of the league’s most underrated villains after a bit of silliness led to quite the fight between the two forwards. As the old saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
After missing the postseason last year, the Vegas Golden Knights were a team that appeared to be facing a lot of questions heading into the 2022-23 NHL season. With their starting goalkeeper ready lose the year, Jack Eichel After a disappointing first season with the Golden Knights, and a rapidly thinning depth chart, some pundits even had the team missing the playoffs.
Instead, Vegas has been the best team in the league heading into Saturday night, posting an unblemished 11-2-0 record with solid underlying metrics and having won seven straight. Behind a bounce-back start to the season for Eichel, resurgent years of secondary scorers like Reilly Smith i William Karlssonand a surprise netminder break Logan Thompsonthe Golden Knights look like a bandwagon and have immediately jumped into the early discussion of top contenders this season.
Oh, and their social media remains among the best in the league, too.
Downtrend: The Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins have been a staple as one of the league’s preeminent franchises since the mid-2000s, but after a terrible seven-game losing streak, the Penguins look like they might finally be nearing the end of an era of dominance.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the team’s numbers under the hood, such as expected goals and Corsi For percentage, remain among the best in the league, but the club can’t buy a shutout. With Tristan Jarry’s .903 save percentage and Casey DeSmith’s .904 save percentage, the club has struggled to stay in games. The Penguins are averaging 3.67 goals against per game, which ranks 26th in the league, and are in a tight spot with their contract situation, with few assets to go out and improve their net . They’ll need one of their goaltenders to step up soon, or things could continue to get out of hand and quickly.
See a highlight that deserves the spotlight? Tag @JNeginShecter on Twitter using the hashtag #BestAndWorst and may be featured in next week’s edition of NHL Best and Worst.
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