Last Night’s News 📰
PUTTING THE “K” IN KOMAROV: Long-time New York Islanders forward Leo Komarov is reportedly KHL-bound. The veteran of nearly 500 NHL games has agreed to terminate his contract with the Isles and will be returning to Russia to sign with SKA St. Petersburg. Do svidaniya, Leo!
TO THE RAFTERS: Yesterday, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced Rick Nash’s number will be retired on March 5, 2022. Nash’s No. 61 will be the second number raised to the rafters by the Blue Jackets this season, but the first number officially retired. Columbus is displaying the No. 80 for the season in honor of Matīss Kivlenieks.
ALWAYS REMEMBER: With 11 games on the slate yesterday, multiple teams celebrated Veterans Day and Remembrance Day by wearing special military-themed warmup jerseys that will be auctioned and raffled off to raise money in support of military veterans and their families. On Long Island, Shaquille O’Neal surprised a group of veterans who were touring the Islanders’ UBS Arena to unveil The Chair of Honor.
Let’s look back at some of our favorite moments from the week.
The Return of Scott Wedgewood
On Nov. 4, 2021, the Arizona Coyotes claimed Scott Wedgewood off of waivers from the New Jersey Devils. Then, two days later, on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, goaltender Karel Vejmelka was pulled 59 seconds into the game after giving up two goals and Wedgewood stepped in to make 27 saves, securing the Coyotes first win of the season. The best part is, he has done this before. Wedgewood is the only goalie in NHL history to snap two 11-game winless streaks to start a season with the same team.
Connor McDavid’s Goal of the Year
I don’t think I can say anything that hasn’t already been said. Connor McDavid shocked the hockey world when he skated through four New York Rangers players before he got the puck past the goaltender and into the back of the net. He is a generational talent, and this was the goal of the week, month, season, and quite possibly decade. All hail, Connor McDavid.
Remembering Colby Cave
A moment that will pull at your heartstrings. The Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins honored their former player Colby Cave on Thursday when they faced off in Boston. Cave passed away in April, four days after he had surgery to remove a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on his brain. The Bruins Foundation will auction game-used sticks from the Bruins and Oilers, with all proceeds going to the Colby Cave Memorial Fund.
Highlighting the Hall of Famers
It’s Hockey Hall of Fame induction weekend, which means you will likely hear a slew of lofty, impressive numbers and accolades that help explain the merits behind each new inductee. That’s great and all, but does it really set anyone apart? Sure, an impressive Hockey-Reference.com page is nice and all, but big numbers are what fans expect from Hall of Famers, so unless they’ve set a league record of some kind, stats don’t necessarily tell us much.
Within those numbers, each man and woman has carved out a uniquely impressive and decorated career while contributing something to the game. For the sustained greatness of each of these careers, every new enshrinee boasts a career-high point that has helped cement their legacy. So, what are these career-high points? Well, I’m glad you asked!
The long-time captain of the Calgary Flames did pretty much everything you can in the game short of winning the Stanley Cup. He got soooo close, too, falling just one win short in a seven-game 2004 Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. That season saw Iginla score a league-high 41 goals, finish second in Hart Trophy voting and engineer some unforgettable Game 5 overtime heroics that came to be known as “The Shift” in Flames’ lore.
In retirement, Hossa carries the legacy of a winner, having been a key part of three Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup victories. But that hasn’t always been the case. Prior to signing with Chicago, the Slovakian sniper had to endure the ignominy of finishing runner-up in back-to-back Penguins/Red Wings Cup Finals—first with Pittsburgh and then with Detroit. That said, it probably made winning the Cup one year later in 2010 with the Blackhawks all that much sweeter.
When you win six Stanley Cups, it can get kinda monotonous, ya know? Okay, maybe not, but it’s hard to single out any particular Cup triumph as a stand-alone career highlight for Lowe. Instead, how about the defenseman’s distinction as the first goalscorer in Edmonton Oilers’ NHL history?
An offensive-minded defenseman, Wilson routinely put up points from the back end year after year. But even by those lofty standards, his 1981-82 campaign was something special. Wilson recorded 39 goals and 84 points that season, setting a blazing path toward his first and only Norris Trophy.
St-Pierre’s impressive collection of hardware includes three Olympic gold medals, but the one from the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City probably carries a lot more meaning. That year, she served as the primary goaltender on the path to a gold (Charline Labonte would take charge in 2006 and Shannon Szabados got the nod in 2010), earning top netminder of the tournament honors along the way.
Though not quite the architect of the Red Wings dynasty, Holland had a hand in stretching it longer with some savvy roster tweaks. Still, no move was more impactful than the Red Wings’ addition of Dominik Hašek. At 37 years of age, the Dominator won a league-best 41 games and then followed that up by being in net for each of Detroit’s 16 wins en route to the Stanley Cup.
Bottom Of The Barrel
The Arizona Coyotes are off to a 1-11-1 start through 13 games in the 2021-22 regular season, which gives them a point percentage of .115—by far the lowest in the league. In terms of all-time lowest points percentage among teams in NHL history, Arizona joins a list that features expansion teams and organizations looking to tank for high draft picks. Without further ado, let’s look at three of the worst teams over the 104-year history of the league, and how the present-day Coyotes compare to them.
Washington Capitals – 1974-75
Playing in their inaugural season, it was not a pretty one for Capitals fans to watch. The team finished the year with a record of 8-67-5, including a road record that saw them only win one game the entire season. They scored just 181 goals and allowed an NHL-record 446 against. It’s tough to imagine that a team will ever finish this poorly again, even if the Coyotes are knocking on the door.
Ottawa Senators – 1992-93
Starting with one of two teams from 1992-93 to crack the list, the Senators had only 10 wins during the season and were close to beating out the Sharks when it came to losses. However, since they secured four ties, they ended up higher in the standings, not that it’s an accomplishment. Ottawa gave up the most goals in the Prince of Wales Conference that season, allowing 395 on the year, and only scored 202 to make up for it.
San Jose Sharks – 1992-93
The Sharks finished their second-ever season with an NHL record of 71 losses, which is basically in the Wayne Gretzky tier as far as league records go. Since they scored 218 goals, they land behind the Senators on this list, although it is painfully close. It doesn’t help that they allowed the most goals against in the league, surrendering 414 with the likes of goaltenders Jeff Hacket and Artūrs Irbe in the crease.