December 28 — The NHL Is Back & Shocking WJC Upsets

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

BLACK AND BLUE LINE: A pair of veteran defensemen won’t be rejoining their teams following the holiday break—thanks to injuries. The Washington Capitals have placed John Carlson on injured reserve after being hit in the face by a Brenden Dillon shot last Friday. Meanwhile, Torey Krug was placed on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) by the St. Louis Blues with a lower-body injury.

TAKE WARNING: With a 3-0 win against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Carolina Hurricanes extended their point streak to 15 games with a 13-0-2 record, which ties a franchise best. They also extended their win streak to nine games. You could say teams with upcoming games against the Hurricanes may want to take warning! 

MacKINNON AROUND: Yesterday, Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar stated that Nathan MacKinnon could return as soon as this week. MacKinnon has been out since Dec. 5 with an upper-body injury and was on pace to return to action in January. Colorado has home games against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday and Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

ROOKIE RECOVERY: Arizona received some upsetting news when it came out on Tuesday that the Coyotes would be without rookie sensation Matias Maccelli for at least six weeks due to a lower-body injury. Maccelli was injured in the Coyotes’ game against the Kings on Friday and is second among NHL rookies in points with three goals and 19 assists in 30 games. 

WJC DAY 2: Four games took place at the 2023 World Junior Championship yesterday, with both North American teams off. Czechia parlayed its emotional win over Canada into a 9-0 trouncing of Austria, as German goaltender Nikita Quapp held Sweden to one goal in a loss a day after the Swedes exploded for 11 against the Austrians. Finland bounced back against Slovakia a day after losing to the Swiss in overtime, scoring three goals in the second for its 5-2 victory. Finally, Switzerland went beyond regulation for the second day in a row, downing Latvia in a shootout

Who Said It

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1) “I would say this one is probably the best one we’ve done yet. Seeing the families, the kids, siblings, and just how excited they were, it’s a very nice feeling. I left that night thinking about if I could have done more… It reaffirms why you do it, especially during the holiday season, and what that is all about.”

A. John Carlson
B. Evander Kane
C. Bo Horvat

2) It’s very hard to get here. You get an opportunity, but you have to make the most of it. I’ve had great coaches and great teammates that have made me better. I had great leadership from the guys when I first broke in, which helped me get better. Overall, I’ve taken the same approach every day, constantly working on my game to keep raising the bar.”

A. Josh Morrissey
B. Cody Glass
C. Quinn Hughes

3) In a way, you want to prepare for the game like it’s any other game, and part of that is not thinking about all that means, all the time I spent idolizing the team. And when you have a chance to wear that jersey, it’s obviously really special.

A. John Tavares
B. Trevor Moore
C. Mike Matheson

Answers can be found at the bottom of the email

Wacky Wednesday (Pt. 12)

There is never a dull moment in hockey, so we will keep you updated on all the “wacky” stats from around the NHL during the 2022-23 season. Here is part 12 of our “Wacky Wednesday” series—enjoy!

What’s My Line?

One of the strangest penalties of the season came on Dec. 15 when the St. Louis Blues faced the Edmonton Oilers. St. Louis took a penalty 31 seconds into the game because head coach Craig Berube started the wrong lineup. Brayden Schenn was supposed to be part of the Blues’ starting line with Ryan O’Reilly and Josh Leivo, but Brandon Saad took the ice instead. Edmonton scored on the opportunity, but St. Louis ultimately dodged a bullet and won 4-3 in the shootout. 

Klutch Klingberg

Anaheim had some success in the second week of December when the Ducks won two games in regulation, doubling their regulation wins on the season. Factoring in both wins was John Klingberg by scoring the game-winning goals against the Montreal Canadiens and Oilers. According to the Ducks’ Twitter, he became the second defenseman in Anaheim history to score a game-winning goal in consecutive games. Sheldon Souray last accomplished it in 2013.

Full Circle Moment

One of the most talked about moments this week was when Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin passed Gordie Howe in goals (801) and now sits second all-time with 802 goals. However, his teammate Anthony Mantha is the one with a fun connection to the milestone. His grandfather, André Pronovost, was Howe’s teammate on the Detroit Red Wings from 1962-65. Now, 57 years later, Mantha assisted on Ovechkin’s 800th goal and played a big part in Ovi passing “Mr. Hockey.”

King of the Pacific

Elias Pettersson of the Vancouver Canucks has been having a terrific season with 41 points in 31 games, and most of his success has come against the Pacific Division. Pettersson has 24 points in 12 games against his Pacific rivals (including a goal in last night’s game against the San Jose Sharks) and it helps that the Cancucks are 10-2-0 in those contests. No team in the division wants Pettersson to come to town! 

World Junior Shockers

In the past, the round-robin portion of the World Junior Championship has typically played out pretty routinely and predictably. More often than not, the hockey powers cruise through at the expense of the tournament’s also-rans, with most of the drama saved for the elimination round. After just one day of play in the 2023 tournament, it’s pretty clear that isn’t the case this time.

Both reigning finalists kicked things off on a losing note, as Finland dropped a 3-2 overtime shocker to Switzerland, and Czechia stunned Canada with an emphatic 5-2 victory over the hosts. Although both countries have plenty of time to recover (in fact, Finland already rebounded with a 5-2 win over Slovakia), Monday’s surprises harken back to some of the bigger upsets we’ve seen at past tournaments.

Kazakhstan Over Canada, 1998

Canada’s performance at the 1998 event defies any possible explanation. A roster featuring Vincent Lecavalier and Alex Tanguay up front with Roberto Luongo between the pipes may not have represented the best Canadian entry ever but was formidable enough for medal contention, given that the country had won five straight tournaments. Instead, they dropped games to Finland, Sweden, and the US en route to the seventh-place match. Once there, an already-despondent Canadian side suffered its most significant indignity of all—a 6-3 loss to lowly Kazakhstan.

Switzerland Over Russia, 2010

While the Russians, featuring Vladimir Tarasenko and Evgeny Kuznetsov, didn’t earn a bye to the semifinals in 2010, they weren’t necessarily shaking at the prospect of facing a thin Switzerland side that was missing Roman Josi and Luca Sbisa. They did, however, have goaltender Benjamin Conz and forward Nino Niederreiter. Conz made 50 saves, and Niederreiter scored two goals, including the overtime winner, in a 3-2 victory.

Czechia Over USA, 2022

Unfortunately for Team USA, we don’t have to go back very far for our most recent upset example. Coming in as the defending champions, the Americans steamrolled through a 4-0-0 round robin, only to come up against a motivated Czech team in the quarterfinals. David Jiříček scored a goal and added two assists as Czechia delivered a 4-2 stunner, denying a potentially juicy Canada-US showdown.

Who Said It Answers

  1. Evander Kane
  2. Josh Morrissey
  3. Mike Matheson

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