December 1 — Scoreboard Overload & Dancing With the Goons

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

LETANG’S HEALTH SCARE: Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that defenseman Kris Letang is out indefinitely after suffering a stroke on Nov. 28, his second since 2014. Doctors stated the stroke is not career-ending, and Letang commented that he is okay and optimistic he can return. Get well soon, Kris! 

MAKE IT 18: With an empty net goal with 1:11 remaining in the third period of a 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner extended his points streak to 18 games. Marner tied the Maple Leafs’ franchise record for longest points streak, matching Darryl Sittler and Eddie Olczyk.

AMERICAN MADE: Wednesday celebrated the 50th anniversary of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, with five new members joining. Olympians Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureau-Morando, sled hockey player Steve Cash, USA Hockey executive Jim Johannson (posthumously), and goaltender Ryan Miller were enshrined. In addition, the late Warren Strelow took home the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service. 

SEASON OF SZA: In the latest NHL crossover into the pop-culture world, Grammy award-winning artist SZA is wearing a custom St. Louis Blues jersey on the cover of her upcoming album, “S.O.S.” In the photo, SZA, born Solána Imani Rowe in St. Louis, rocks a road white with the album title on her sleeves, “SZA” on the nameplate, and an “S” in place of a number.

LEON ME: Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl notched two goals and added a helper to hand the Chicago Blackhawks their eighth straight loss last night. Stuart Skinner had 21 saves, while Mattias Janmark, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Connor McDavid each contributed a goal and an assist. 

Top Shelf Thursday – Top NHL Dancers

A couple of weeks ago, “Dancing With the Stars” crowned its winner, and for the first time in years, the season didn’t feature any athletes. Usually, the producers will throw in a former NFL player, and recently, NBA guard Iman Shumpert took home the Mirror Ball. Throughout their 31 seasons, only one NHL alum made the show, and it was none other than Sean Avery. The former enforcer isn’t necessarily the ideal representation for the league, so today, we are breaking down some retired NHLers who would be perfect for the ballroom.

Andrew Shaw

Who knew “Mutt” had the moves? Andrew Shaw shared his hidden talent while with the Montreal Canadiens, saying he is a pretty good dancer and singer. No one would work harder on the choreography than the former Stanley Cup champion, and the behind-the-scenes would offer a chance to show a softer side to the enforcer. Shaw would likely be the underdog, but having Daniella Karagach or Witney Carson as his partner would do wonders for him, propelling them to the semi-finals. 

P.K. Subban

If any former NHLers have the personality for a nationally streamed dance competition, it’s Pernell-Karl Sylvester Subban. P.K. was made for television and would have no problem bringing his swagger to the dance floor. With his flashy style, the former blueliner would have Carrie Ann Inaba falling out of her chair as he cha-cha-chas across the ballroom. 

Pekka Rinne

One player that could walk into the ballroom and steal viewers’ hearts is former Nashville Predators netminder Pekka Rinne. Standing 6-foot-5, the goaltender has the charisma and charm to impress the audience and judges alike. Derek Hough would instantly become a fan, and Rinne’s waltz would go down in “Dancing With the Stars” history because, let’s face it, he is the perfect leading man

Cam Janssen

Would Cam Janssen go far on “Dancing With the Stars?” Absolutely not. Would he provide laughs that would live on in “Dancing With the Stars” history? Undoubtedly. For that reason alone, this man should be on the producers’ shortlist to call for next season. Dancin’ Cam Janssen is what the people want—and frankly need—in 2023. 

Highest Scoring NHL Games

On Tuesday, the Seattle Kraken and Los Angeles Kings squared off in one of the season’s most entertaining games. Seattle eventually won in overtime 9-8, and the 17 goals were the most scored in the 2022-23 season. It also was the 12th time in the last 35 years that two teams recorded 17 or more goals in a game. So we thought we would reminisce on some of the most dominant offensive efforts in NHL history. 

Detroit Red Wings vs. New York Rangers: 15-0 (1944)

Although the 15 goals are less than the Kraken and Kings matchup, this game deserves some credit because the Detroit Red Wings’ victory remains the most lopsided in NHL history. Meanwhile, the second-largest blowout came when the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Quebec Bulldogs 16-3 in 1920. We don’t know if we will ever see a performance like this again, which included Rangers goalie Ken McAuley allowing 15 goals while making 43 saves. Meanwhile, Wings netminder Connie Dion stopped all nine shots he faced. 

Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto St. Patricks: 14-7 (1920)

The highest-scoring game in NHL history came in 1920 when the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Toronto St. Patricks in a 21-goal fest. Although the mark was tied when the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 12-9 in 1985, the Montreal and Toronto matchup was the first to reach the milestone. It will likely remain that way, as the record has stood for over 102 years! Canadiens forward Newsy Lalonde accounted for 42% of the team’s scoring, posting a six-goal game.

Ottawa Senators vs. Washington Capitals: 11-5 (2001)

To go a bit more recently, the Ottawa Senators defeated the Washington Capitals in a 16-goal fest, with some notable players on Ottawa’s roster. Marián Hossa scored twice, Chris Neil found the back of the net, and Zdeno Chára had two assists, as the 11 goals scored in the contest for the Senators remain the most in their history. As far as the Capitals go, Jaromír Jágr had an assist. What a game full of legends from the 2000s! 

Real or Fake: Ilya Sorokin

This weekly segment looks at a notable, eye-opening trend in the league, be it an individual or team performance, and examines whether it’s real or if it’s more likely an aberration that should correct itself over time.

It isn’t entirely surprising that the New York Islanders are back in the upper tier of the Eastern Conference. After all, this team was one win away from dethroning the Tampa Bay Lightning and reaching the Stanley Cup Final 17 months ago. What is surprising, however, is who’s behind the hot start for a team looking to put a disastrous 2021-22 season behind them.

Ilya Sorokin has been the Islanders’ MVP through the first quarter, as the 27-year-old goaltender currently ranks second among eligible NHL netminders in save percentage (.933%) and third in goals-against average (2.18). Is Sorokin enjoying some early-season puck luck, or are we witnessing the rise of the next big star between the pipes?

Ilya Sorokin, New York Islanders (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Real: The Third Season Jump

There are several parallels between Sorokin and Igor Shesterkin, from their age (Sorokin is five months older), shared position, common Russian heritage, and standing as the respective No. 1 goaltender on each of the rival New York teams. However, the most encouraging parallel for Isles fans is that Sorokin is now in year three of his NHL career—the same year that Shesterkin burst onto the scene, claiming the Vezina Trophy after leading the league in SV% and GAA.

Fake: Track Record of Inconsistency

As you might expect from a young goalie with fewer than 100 NHL games, Sorokin has battled inconsistency to date. A torrid March last season that featured a .944 SV% and 1.98 GAA gave way to a rough season-ending April in which he posted a .918 SV% and 2.88 GAA. As we enter December, it’s worth keeping an eye on whether the 2014 third-round pick can maintain his level of play.

Real: He’s a Gamer

Sorokin got involved in New York’s 2021 postseason run while splitting with Semyon Varlamov, winning his first four playoff starts before getting shelled in Game 5 of the Tampa series. Although last year didn’t provide many big-game opportunities, those early signs of getting up for games that matter have carried over to this season. Last Wednesday, Sorokin shut out the high-powered Edmonton Oilers with a stunning 49-save performance. Earlier in the year, he shut down Shesterkin’s Rangers with a 41-save effort.

NHL Standings

NHL’s Leading Scorers

Today’s NHL Schedule