November 24 — Happy American Thanksgiving!

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

KOCHETKOV REMAINS IN RALEIGH: On Wednesday, the Carolina Hurricanes announced they signed goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov to a four-year, $8 million extension. So far, Kochetkov has had an impressive season with a 2-1-2 record with a 2.22 goals-against average (GAA) and a .908 save percentage (SV%) in five games. This signing solidifies the 23-year-old’s case as the Hurricanes’ future in net. 

TRADES!: A busy pre-Thanksgiving Wednesday night slate in the NHL saw 30 teams in action, but things weren’t any quieter off the ice. Starting things off were the New York Rangers, who dealt tough guy Ryan Reaves to the Minnesota Wild for a 2025 fifth-round pick. Then the Toronto Maple Leafs addressed an injury-battered blue line by adding Conor Timmins from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for towering AHL defenseman Curtis Douglas.

DISALLOWING A FRANCHISE RECORD: Toronto ended the Devils’ bid for a franchise-record 14 consecutive wins on Wednesday night, handing New Jersey its first loss since Oct. 24. To add insult to injury, the Devils had three goals disallowed in the 2-1 defeat, which will leave fans wondering what could have been.

20 TO GET TO 1: It may have taken until the 20th game of the season, but the Anaheim Ducks finally have a regulation win. Although it wasn’t for not trying, as the Rangers outshot the Ducks 17-2 in the third period and didn’t surrender a chance in the final 13:46. However, Anaheim hung on to survive, 3-2. 

THE (WINGED) WHEEL KEEPS TURNING: Magnus Hellberg continues to rack up the frequent flier miles and the slick pad setups, as the Swedish goaltender was claimed off waivers once again. It is the third time Hellberg has failed to clear with his team since Oct. 3, going from the Seattle Kraken to Ottawa Senators, back to Seattle 38 days later, and now to the Detroit Red Wings, where he originally signed in April. 

NHL Players at the World Cup

Beginning this week, the 2022 FIFA World Cup is upon us, and it’s a big deal for the most popular sport in the world. It is also a big deal in the NHL as most players play soccer with their teammates as an active warm-up exercise before games. However, some are better at the game than others. Here are our picks for which current NHL stars would be good choices to represent their countries at the World Cup.

Jack Hughes – USA

Jack Hughes is probably one of the most talented stick handlers in the NHL, and to nobody’s surprise, his talents have transcended to soccer. In September, the New Jersey Devils shared a video of him juggling a soccer ball while dressed in his full hockey gear on the ice. Team USA is ranked 16th-best in the world, and adding Hughes’ skill to the roster would instantly boost their status. 

Tim Stützle – Germany

Ottawa Senators forward Tim Stützle was asked in 2020 to reveal something that most might not know about him. He responded that he grew up playing soccer and was good at it, but ultimately had to choose, and hockey won out. Considering how explosive Stützle is on the ice with his speed and offensive capabilities, we could see how he excelled at soccer, and he would be an excellent asset for Team Germany. 

Victor Hedman – Sweden

Victor Hedman is a football legend on and off the pitch. He grew up playing soccer and is now more invested as an adult, as he admits he watches soccer more than hockey. Hedman recently bought a 20% stake in the Plymouth Argyle Football Club and was as gifted of a defender as he is in hockey. His childhood friend, Jonatan Lindquist, told a story that when they played soccer together as kids, Hedman volunteered to be a goalkeeper in a rematch against a team that beat them 24-0. Lindquist stated, “We only lost 3-0 that game. So he saved us a good 21 goals.” If Team Sweden ever needs a goalkeeper, the Tampa Bay Lightning may have some competition for his services!

Sebastian Aho – Finland

Sebastian Aho admitted that part of his pregame ritual always includes playing two-touch soccer. With someone as sneakily effective as Aho is for the Carolina Hurricanes, Team Finland could have an instant offensive weapon that would make opponents look silly.

Pierre-Luc Dubois – France

Pierre-Luc Dubois mentioned he is a big soccer fan and loves rooting for Manchester United and French teams like Paris St. Germain. Currently the second-best goal-scorer on the Winnipeg Jets with eight goals, his impressive two-way ability would help take Team Canada to the next level. However, as a Québec native, Dubois prefers the French national team because he understands what they are saying. 

Real or Fake: Jason Robertson

This weekly segment looks at a notable, eye-opening trend in the league, be it an individual or team performance, and examines whether it’s real or if it’s more likely an aberration that should correct itself over time.

It appears as though Jason Robertson was worth the wait. A restricted free agent this past offseason, Robertson didn’t agree to terms with the Dallas Stars until a week before the club’s regular-season opener against the Nashville Predators. The 23-year-old has been making up for lost time ever since, and the Central Division-leading Stars are all the better for it.

Jason Robertson, Dallas Stars (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Currently, the owner of a 13-game point streak, including multi-point games in nine of his past 12, Robertson is the driving force behind Dallas’ attack and has hit the scoresheet in all but three games this season. As a result, his team is 12-5-3 while he occupies the rarefied statistical air typically exclusive to players like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. However, are we witnessing the rise of a new league superstar or simply an impressive heater?

Real: Robertson’s Track Record

Let’s not pretend that Robertson was some scrub up until now. After all, there’s a reason the Stars gave him a $7.75 million annual salary. A season ago, he was one of just 17 players to hit the 40-goal plateau as part of a 79-point campaign. While the California native is off to a better than 120-point pace this season, which would be a considerable leap, it’s not exactly unheard of for players in their early 20s to take strides in improving their game.

Fake: He’s Good, but Is He That Good?

As it stands, Robertson is playing at a 1.55 PPG pace. Who were the only two eligible players to achieve that pace over the last full season? You guessed it, McDavid and Draisaitl. There is plenty of room for the young winger to have a great, ascendant season while still cooling off some from his blazing pace.

Real: Robertson’s Start Might Be Sustainable

Keeping up with a point and a half per game seems daunting, but Robertson doesn’t appear to be doing anything abnormal to attain these gaudy numbers. His 18.2% shooting percentage is lower than his 18.6% figure from last season. More significantly, Robertson picked up toward the end of last season, notching 32 points in the final 30 games, which may well have been an early indicator of the breakthrough underway.

What Teams Are Thankful For – Pacific Division

It’s Thanksgiving week in the States! That time of year when families gather together and pretend to tolerate each other while they stuff their faces with turkey and mashed potatoes. Keeping with the holiday spirit, we continue to break down what each NHL team is thankful for finishing with the Pacific Division. Happy Thanksgiving!

Vegas Golden Knights: A Healthy Jack Eichel

Jack Eichel is finally in the news for something positive—it’s a holiday miracle! Now that he is healthy and can put his surgery and the Buffalo Sabres behind him, he reminded people why he was the second-overall draft selection. In 21 games, Eichel has 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists) and feels right at home in Sin City. 

Los Angeles Kings: Their Deep Prospect Pool

Los Angeles has been an intriguing team to watch. If you’re not paying attention, you may see the Kings as an older club who are on the decline thanks to their veteran core of Jonathan Quick, Anže Kopitar, and Drew Doughty. That couldn’t be further from the case, as they have one of the most impressive prospect pools in the league. Between Gabriel Vilardi and Arthur Kaliyev, this team doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. 

Seattle Kraken: Being Over .500

Folks, the Seattle Kraken are good! They have a record of 11-5-3 and are second in the Pacific Division thanks to contributions from many players, including newcomers André Burakovsky and Matty Beniers. It’s great to see things finally clicking for the league’s newest team. 

Calgary Flames: Still Being In Playoff Contention

While the Flames might not be scorchingly hot, they are playing over .500. Calgary currently is 9-7-3 and has been holding its own in the Pacific. Nazem Kadri has been providing steady offense collecting 15 points, while Jonathan Huberdeau has struggled with only three goals in 16 games. Let’s see if they can make the postseason now that the Seattle Kraken and Los Angeles Kings have entered the conversation. 

Edmonton Oilers: Connor McDavid

Is this the boring answer? Maybe. Is it the safe answer? Absolutely. On a nightly basis, Edmonton fans witness arguably the greatest player to ever suit up for a game. And while the Oilers haven’t won anything since the last guy, they should be excited to watch one of the best continue to break individual NHL records—again. 

San Jose Sharks: Erik Karlsson

To quote Lady Gaga, Karlsson is “talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show-stopping, spectacular, and never the same.” Offensively, the 32-year-old is currently the best blueliner with 29 points—eight in his last five games. We can’t wait to see him accept the Norris Trophy again this summer. 

Vancouver Canucks: Bo Horvat

To say the Vancouver Canucks have struggled may be the understatement of the season. They did not win their first game until Oct. 27, and there are rumblings that head coach Bruce Boudreau is on his way out—really, nothing has gone right. The one bright spot has been the play of Bo Horvat, who has 22 points in 20 games. Fingers crossed that this isn’t his last year in Vancouver, as he will be a UFA this summer. 

Anaheim Ducks: A Regulation Win

Last night the Anaheim Ducks celebrated their first regulation win of the 2022-23 season. It’s been a brutal start for Dallas Eakins’ team, tied for last with only 13 points. However, Cam Fowler is currently on a five-game point streak, while Adam Henrique has five points in his past five games. Can this be the start of something new in Southern California?

NHL Standings

NHL’s Leading Scorers