January 3 — Beginnings in Baseball & Canadian Team Resolutions

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

FANTASIES AT FENWAY: In a dream come true, Jake DeBrusk scored twice and Linus Ullmark made 26 saves to lead the Boston Bruins over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic, 2-1. DeBrusk’s two goals were his first in three outdoor games played, while the win extended Boston’s home point streak to 22 games, the longest in Bruins history to start a season. 

EMERALD CITY, HERE WE COME: Next year, the league’s newest franchises will take it outside, with Seattle hosting the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Park for the 2024 Winter Classic. It will be the second time outdoors for the Golden Knights, while the Kraken will become the 29th NHL team partaking in the experience.

LIGHTNING EXTEND PERBIX: On Monday, the Tampa Bay Lightning signed Nick Perbix to a two-year, $2.25 million contract extension. Perbix is in his rookie year after signing a one-year, entry-level contract over the summer and has eight points in 29 games this season, which is fourth-best among Lightning defensemen. 

WHO ELSE WAS IT GOING TO BE?: Canada joined Sweden, Czechia, and the United States in the semifinals at the World Junior Championship after a dramatic 4-3 overtime victory over Slovakia in the quarter-finals. Connor Bedard sent Canada into the final four with his second goal of the night after already taking possession of the country’s record for most points at the tournament.

MAC ATTACK IS BACK: Just 25 seconds into his second game back from injury, Nathan MacKinnon registered a goal before adding an assist for the rallying Colorado Avalanche. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep the Avs from their fourth straight loss, as Nicolas Roy scored two goals to lead the Golden Knights to a 3-2 victory. Logan Thompson made 27 saves for Vegas in the victory, while Colorado forward Darren Helm logged 8:55 of ice time in his season debut following abductor surgery in November.

KONECNY THE DOTS: Travis Konecny and Joel Farabee supplied a goal and assist, as Noah Cates and Kevin Hayes chipped in with two helpers to orchestrate the Philadelphia Flyers’ first three-game win streak since the opening week of the season. Konecny’s two points equaled his fifth multipoint game since Dec. 20, the most by any player in that span, and helped the Flyers earn their first-ever California sweep. 

Trivia Tuesday

How Well Do You Know the History of the Winter Classic?

The 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins. Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Sky Candy Studios/NHLI via Getty Images)
  1. What was the location of the NHL’s first Winter Classic in 2008?
    • Ralph Wilson Stadium
    • Heinz Field
    • Wrigley Field
    • Fenway Park
  2. How many times have the Buffalo Sabres appeared in the Winter Classic?
    • Zero
    • One
    • Two
    • Three
  3. Who was the first player to take a penalty shot in the Winter Classic?
    • Denis Gurianov
    • Patrick Kane
    • Sidney Crosby
    • Daniel Brière

Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.

Hey, Batter, Batter!

When the Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins squared off in the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic, both teams arrived at Fenway Park dressed in vintage baseball uniforms. Pittsburgh honored the 1925 Pirates team, while the Bruins said their baseball jerseys were a classic ode to the Red Sox uniforms. With the event at such an iconic baseball stadium, we thought we would look at some of the Bruins and Penguins’ connections to America’s pastime. 

Charlie Coyle – Bruins

Charlie Coyle grew up playing baseball in the East Weymouth Little League in Massachusetts and made headlines for scoring baseball-swing goals in 2020. His baseball coach, Mike O’Connor, said he always taught the kids hand-eye coordination with bunting and fielding balls without gloves, skills Coyle may have picked up from his little league days and impacted his NHL scoring. O’Connor said Coyle was 10 years old and played catcher at the time and was very good. However, he was a dual sport athlete who had to miss some games due to hockey, but Coyle said he is glad his parents signed him up for Little League. It has paid dividends, as he is tied for the eighth-best scorer on the Bruins with 19 points in 37 games.

Jeff Petry – Penguins

Baseball runs deep for defenseman Jeff Petry. His father, Dan Petry, had a 13-year MLB career as a starting pitcher where he won the World Series with the Detroit Tigers in 1984. Jeff mentioned that he stopped playing baseball (first baseman) in his junior year of high school and chose hockey as his path because he was better at it, enjoyed it more, and was more passionate about it. However, he remains a Tigers and baseball fan in general, as he said it is his favorite sport outside of hockey while also mentioning his three oldest sons are baseball fanatics.

Jake Guentzel – Penguins

Tagging along to play whatever sports his two older brothers (Ryan and Gabe) were getting into, Jake Guentzel is no stranger to competition. Guentzel grew up playing baseball, soccer, golf, and hockey. However, baseball was the most volatile sport for Jake, as his dad mentioned that he was so competitive that he would stomp or kick on the baseball field if something went awry. Guentzel is now an ultimate professional and competitor, sitting third in scoring on the Penguins with 33 points in 33 games. 

Trent Frederic – Bruins

Leading up to the Winter Classic, the Bruins asked the players to name the best baseball player. There were some mentions of Coyle, but another name that stood out was forward Trent Frederic. Teammate Linus Ullmark said he has a heck of an arm. Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo said he is the team’s best athlete, and Jake DeBrusk mentioned Frederic played baseball when he was younger. We want to see him in the batter’s box one of these days!

North of the Border: New Year’s Resolutions

It’s about that time to check back in with the seven Canadian NHL teams. What better way to do that than by looking at their outlook for the upcoming year? Here are some new year’s resolutions for the league’s Canadian septet.

Calgary Flames: Finding Some Chemistry

There was bound to be a transition period in Calgary this season, stemming from the departures of Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau and the subsequent arrivals of Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri, and MacKenzie Weegar. The Flames hope that’s all there was to their slow start. With a 5-1-1 record in their past seven games, there’s reason to believe the team is starting to gel.

Edmonton Oilers: Keeping the Puck Out

It’s no secret that Jack Campbell is struggling in Edmonton. But he’s just one part of the Oilers’ ongoing problem with keeping pucks out of their net. Edmonton’s high-powered offense means that elite scoring prevention probably isn’t needed, but relying on Stuart Skinner in goal and an under-performing Darnell Nurse to carry a thin blue line likely won’t get it done.

Montreal Canadiens: More Opportunities for Slafkovský

Montreal’s youth movement is paying early dividends. Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield lead the club in scoring, while rookies Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj, and Jordan Harris have all assumed impactful roles. Next will be finding a consistent, top-six spot for the reigning No. 1 overall pick, Juraj Slafkovský.

Ottawa Senators: Get More Out of Their Depth

The new guys (Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux) are fitting in just fine, and the holdovers (Brady Tkachuk, Drake Batherson, Tim Stützle, and others) are doing their part. So why have the Ottawa Senators struggled? Ottawa’s splashy off-season acquisitions haven’t addressed inadequate depth up front and on the blue line. Whether through trade or internal development, the Sens need more help further down the lineup.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Experience This Second Round People Keep Talking About

Things are all good in Toronto for now but get back to us in April and May.

Vancouver Canucks: Net a Haul in Futures

Not that the Vancouver Canucks wanted to find themselves here at the start of the season, but there’s a real opportunity for the Jim Rutherford- and Patrik Allvin-led front office to chart a path forward for the organization. Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser have seen their names bandied about in trade rumors. If one or both get moved, it could represent the start of a decent rebuild.

Winnipeg Jets: Get Healthy

Good news isn’t hard to find right now if you’re the Winnipeg Jets, from the club’s 23-13-1 record under new head coach Rick Bowness to Connor Hellebuyck’s Vezina-worthy campaign. The latest reason for positivity: the Jets look to be on the verge of getting some key contributors back in the lineup. Nikolaj Ehlers, Blake Wheeler, Cole Perfetti, Nate Schmidt, and Saku Mäenalanen all took part in the team’s first practice of the year, suggesting that this resolution may be imminent.

Trivia Answers

  1. Ralph Wilson Stadium
  2. Two Times
  3. Daniel Brière

NHL Standings

NHL’s Leading Scorers

Today’s NHL Schedule