November 15 — Starting From the Bottom & the NHL Avengers

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

BLACK & BLUE LINE: Toronto will be without two veteran defensemen for a while, as the Maple Leafs announced that Jake Muzzin (cervical spine injury) is out indefinitely until his re-evaluation in late February. Meanwhile, T.J. Brodie (oblique injury) was placed on injured reserve and will miss at least two weeks. 

HUBY IS BACK: Calgary Flames forward Jonathan Huberdeau missed the last three games due to an upper-body injury but returned to action last night. Huberdeau scored a goal in the first three minutes against the Los Angeles Kings, ultimately helping the Flames win 6-5. Calgary fans are hoping Huberdeau gets back on track after previously netting only one goal in 11 games.

ON THE SIDE LAINE: Already down Zach Werenski (torn labrum), Nick Blankenburg (fractured ankle), and Jakub Voracek (upper-body injury), the Columbus Blue Jackets will be without Patrik Laine for the next 3-4 weeks with a sprained ankle. Laine—recently returned from a sprained elbow—has four points in eight games this season with Columbus. 

MAKAR-A-WISH COME TRUE: On Monday, the Colorado Avalanche teamed up with the Make-A-Wish foundation to give a young fan the memory of a lifetime. Jack Rodell was the Avs’ VIP last night, complete with a personalized jersey hanging in his locker stall next to Nathan MacKinnon. However, Colorado couldn’t deliver on Jack’s ultimate desire—a win.

Trivia Tuesday

How Well Do You Know the New Jersey Devils?

New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)
  1. Who was the first New Jersey Devils player to score a goal at Prudential Center?
    • Jamie Langenbrunner
    • Brian Gionta
    • Zach Parise
    • David Clarkson

  2. Who is the all-time assist leader for the Devils?
    • Scott Gomez
    • Scott Niedermayer
    • John MacLean
    • Patrik Eliáš

  3. Who was the first player to have his number retired by the Devils?
    • Ken Daneyko
    • Scott Stevens
    • Martin Brodeur
    • Scott Niedermayer

Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.

Basement Belief?

With most teams lingering around the 15-game mark, we’re starting to see some structure developing within the NHL standings. Clubs like the Vegas Golden Knights, Boston Bruins, and the surprise New Jersey Devils occupy the upper tier, sitting atop a bloated middle class and a few teams already in bottom-feeder territory.

Those bottom feeders can take solace in knowing that the season isn’t yet at its quarter-point, and there’s still plenty of time to make up ground. Still, urgency is starting to kick in. Well, that or bolstered hope in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes. If we look at each division’s cellar dwellers, we’re at a stage where it’s fair to wonder just how much reasonable belief there is in a possible playoff future this season.

Columbus Blue Jackets – Metropolitan Division

With just four wins and nine points earned over their first 14 games, it’s probably safe to say that the Johnny Gaudreau honeymoon is over for the Blue Jackets in Columbus. It isn’t that Johnny Hockey has been lacking (six goals and six assists in 12 games), but we probably undervalued the quality of the Calgary Flames squad surrounding him last season. And with Zach Werenski (torn labrum) officially done for the year, the road back toward playoff contention in the Metropolitan Division looks pretty daunting.

Ottawa Senators – Atlantic Division

Managing just one point over a seven-game stretch is rough, particularly in the early part of a campaign brimming with optimism after an aggressive, all-in offseason. However, once you get past the initial disappointment of falling to the basement despite the additions of Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat, there remains a cause for hope. Apart from the Bruins, the tightly-packed Atlantic is so close that a winning streak could get the Sens back in the mix fast. 

St. Louis Blues – Central Division

It’s shocking to see the St. Louis Blues at the bottom of the Central Division standings, which usually means that a market correction is in order. Maybe that means further backsliding by the Arizona Coyotes, who have lost two in a row and aren’t even halfway through a grueling 14-game road trip. Either way, the Blues aren’t that far behind in the only remaining division that lacks a 20-point team.

Anaheim Ducks – Pacific Division

There was some modest intrigue around the Anaheim Ducks heading into the season after adding Ryan Strome, Frank Vatrano, and John Klingberg to a group anchored by rising star Trevor Zegras. Yeah, that didn’t last long. Anaheim now ranks dead-last in goals allowed and goal differential, and Dallas Eakins’ job appears to be in jeopardy as the Ducks have yet to win in regulation.

NHL Players as Marvel Heroes

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” the highly anticipated sequel, was released on Nov. 11, and the film has Marvel fans and people everywhere racing to the movie theaters to see it. Who doesn’t love a good superhero movie? To celebrate, we thought we would see which NHL players resemble some Marvel characters the best!

Patrick Kane as Captain America

Patrick Kane is considered among the best American-born hockey players in the NHL and of all time. He served as the captain of Team USA during the 2018 and 2019 World Championships, so he literally was Captain America at one point. Also, it looks like he could be related to Chris Evans, right? 

Pat Maroon as the Hulk

There are few players you don’t want to get on their mean side in the NHL, and one of them is Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon. He is nicknamed “The Big Rig” for a reason. Maroon is a 6-foot-3, 234-pounder who plays the role of enforcer and depth forward to a tee. He is a force to have on special teams, but don’t make him mad, as he will gladly lay down a big hit or fight in defense of himself or his team. He is currently second in the NHL in penalty minutes with 38, making him the Hulk of the league. 

Connor McDavid as Hawkeye

Everyone knows Hawkeye for his expert marksmanship with a bow and arrow, as he never misses a target. Someone who fits that description is Connor McDavid, as he has one of the most accurate shots in the NHL. Once he gets the puck, look out because 99% of the time, it will end up in the back of the net. He is currently leading the NHL with 15 goals in 16 games.

Josh Anderson as Spider-Man

Montreal Canadiens forward Josh Anderson shared with reporters that he missed the start of training camp because a spider bite he received got infected, causing his hand to swell. Moreover, he joked that the spider bite did not leave him any powers, saying, “I’ve tried. I’ve teased around the guys trying the old Spider-Man move on them. Nothing’s coming out.” Maybe he will get his Spidey powers in due time! 

Trivia Answers

  1. Brian Gionta
  2. Patrik Eliáš
  3. Scott Stevens

NHL Standings

NHL’s Leading Scorers

Today’s NHL Schedule