November 18 — Breaking the Law & Ranking Mascots

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

HELMET CHANGE: Yesterday, the league announced that there would be a helmet rule change in the NHL. It is now mandatory for players who entered the NHL in 2019-20 or later to wear a helmet during warmups. However, the players that came into the league before 2019-20 are exempt from the rule.  

STRETCHERED OFF: Dallas Stars goalie Scott Wedgewood was carted off the ice on a stretcher after suffering an apparent back injury while making a save during the second period of Thursday night’s 6-4 win over the Florida Panthers. The good news is that Wedgewood did not go to a medical facility for further evaluation, and head coach Peter DeBoer noted that the 30-year-old would fly back with the team.

THE STREAKS LIVE ON: New Jersey won its 11th straight game on Thursday and the first in Toronto since the 2005-06 season. It was a dramatic ending as William Nylander tied the game late in the third period for the Maple Leafs to force overtime. Devils forward Yegor Sharangovich kept the winning streak alive in the extra stanza, getting the puck past Matt Murray. In Boston, David Krejčí scored twice to give the Bruins their 10th consecutive home victory to start the season. Boston is one win away from tying the NHL record held by the Panthers (2021-22) and Chicago Blackhawks (1963-64). 

THRILLING IN STYLE: On Thursday, Vegas Golden Knights forward Phil Kessel played his 1,000th consecutive game. And thanks to the team, he arrived for the milestone in style! Vegas gifted Kessel a custom jacket, honoring the NHL ironman’s streak. 

JETS HONOR FINNS: Teemu Selänne and Teppo Numminen watched their jerseys retire to the rafters at Canada Life Centre on Thursday night. Before the game against the Anaheim Ducks, the Winnipeg Jets honored the two Finns by enshrining them into the Jets Hall of Fame.

Friday Favorites

Let’s look back at our favorite moments of the week.

Moms Just Wanna Have Fun

St. Louis hosted its first annual mom’s trip earlier this week, and the content did not disappoint! Some highlights include Calle Rosen’s mother correctly predicting her son scoring the Blues’ opening goal (mother knows best) and the crew belting out “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” Having their moms around was great for the boys, who went 2-0 during that trip. Where can we sign up to hang out with these ladies? 

A True Triple Threat

In addition to their impressive 11-game winning streak, the New Jersey Devils made news off the ice as they finally revealed who their social media admin is. In a hilarious video, the club announced that defenseman Dougie Hamilton is spending his time away from the rink creating “fire memes.” There is no denying Hamilton is a man of many talents, but he has a long way to go to be on the same level as Nashville Predators social media queen Sara Giles, who sent out the perfect PSA saying, “buy her Preds tickets or Pete Davidson will.”

Jets Hall of Fame Inductions

On Thursday night, Teemu Selänne and Teppo Numminen saw their numbers rise to the rafters of Canada Life Centre in Winnipeg while being inducted into the Jets Hall of Fame. Winnipeg held a brief and emotional ceremony for the two players ahead of their matchup against the Anaheim Ducks. Selänne and Numminen joined Bobby Hull, Ulf Nilsson, Anders Hedberg, Dale Hawerchuk, Ab McDonald, Lars-Erik Sjöberg, Randy Carlyle, and Thomas Steen as members of the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame, established in 2016. Congrats, boys! 

Vehicular Misconducts

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang shared a hilarious story with reporters about teammate Evgeni Malkin saying that one of his favorite off-ice memories of him is that he will get pulled over after every road trip. Malkin isn’t the only player in the NHL that has had a brush with the law. Here are some of the more memorable player/cop stories.

The Speedsters

In 2019, then-Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was pulled over for going more than 80 kph in a 40 kph zone. Since the Finnish system gives a 1-day fine for every kph over the limit, he received a 40-day fine that totaled $134,440 (USD). Finland fines its citizens based on income, and Ristolainen was in the final year of his $5.4 million (average annual value) contract. Because of that, it was the most expensive speeding ticket ever handed out in Finland, but he is not the only one. Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov was fined $50,000 for speeding in Finland in 2018! If you ever see these two drivers in their native country again, you can assume they will never exceed the speed limit!

Mistaken Identity

Seattle Kraken rookie Shane Wright became one of the most recognizable prospects over the summer. Pundits expected that Wright would go first overall to the Montreal Canadiens in the 2022 NHL Draft, making him even more recognizable in Canada. He shared a fun story that he and his family were mistakenly pulled over while in Quebec because police were looking for a car involved in an accident that looked like theirs. When stopped, the cop recognized Wright and asked for a photo with him. No harm, no foul! 

Halloween Penalty

Riley Sheahan had quite a memorable Halloween in 2012. He was a 20-year-old prospect for the Detroit Red Wings when he got busted for driving the wrong way on the street under the influence. What makes the story even wilder is when Sheahan got pulled over, he was wearing a Teletubbies costume. It was Tinky-Winky, to be more specific! Sheahan is now 30 years old and playing for the Buffalo Sabres. We think it’s safe to say he won’t be dressing up as another Teletubbies character anytime soon. 

NHL Mascot Rankings

It’s Friday, so we thought it might be a good time to finish off the week with something a little lighter—that will get readers more fired up than they should be. Online sports betting site conducted a fan poll on the best and worst mascots around the league. While some fans will surely be pleased to see their team’s quirky costumed character as being among the NHL’s cream of the crop, others are certain to take issue.

The poll, which ranks the mascots not only by best/worst but also assesses their cuteness, scariness, and even degree of in-game obnoxiousness is bound to ruffle a few feathers. While we won’t delve into the whole thing here (you can find the full poll results at the link above), there are some key takeaways to highlight. Before things get heated, remember—we’re talking about mascots here!

Al the Octopus (DET) – No. 1

Friendly tip: don’t use Al’s No. 1 standing as a reason to make a trip to Little Caesars Arena. That’s because Al doesn’t exist in any physical form during Detroit Red Wings games, making his top-ranked status a little curious (although maybe that’s the point). Named for the Red Wings operations manager who started the octopus-twirling tradition in Motown, Al has a presence up in the rafters and on plenty of team apparel, making him a visible part of the in-game experience.

Gritty (PHI) – No. 9

You knew the Philadelphia Flyers’ giant orange ball of zany would find his way in here. Gritty ranked an underwhelming ninth in the popularity poll, but he was very present among the scariest (No. 2) and most obnoxious during games (No. 1) rankings. The takeaway here: a little Gritty seems to go a long way.

Bernie (COL) – No. 20

Bernie’s middling ranking in the poll wouldn’t appear to inspire many reactions, good or bad. A more passionate response came about for the old Colorado Avalance mascot, Howler the Yeti. In some “former mascot” categories, Howler ranked No. 1 in “Most Remembered” and No. 2 in “Most Missed,” suggesting that Avs fans still have a soft spot in their heart for the shaggy Yeti. Don’t expect a revival—Colorado decommissioned Howler for his involvement in a 1999 “fracas” at McNichols Sports Arena that left a Chicago Blackhawks fan injured. 

Harvey the Hound (CGY) – No. 31

Sorry Harvey, but someone had to come in last. Look on the bright side: because the New York Rangers don’t have a mascot, you didn’t finish 32nd! While Harvey and the Calgary Flames faithful may dispute this ranking, Craig MacTavish probably agrees.

NHL Standings

NHL’s Leading Scorers

Today’s NHL Schedule