November 3 — Can Karlsson Come Back & Scoring Touchdowns

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

TELL US WHAT YOU REALLY THINK: Mired in a five-game losing skid, St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly got candid about his poor play. In an interview with The Athletic, O’Reilly acknowledged, “I’ve been absolutely horrible” and called himself out to do more, leadership-wise.

I GOT YOUR BACK, BRO: Philadelphia Flyers’ head coach John Tortorella voiced his support for Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe amidst Toronto’s struggling 5-4-2 record. Torts told reporters, “You don’t know what he’s done for that team. You guys chuck darts at him because you want some results. He’s a terrific coach. I hope he jams it to you all, quite honestly. Not tonight.” Tortorella stated this before the Flyers and Maple Leafs’ game, which the Leafs won 5-2.

PENS SKID HITS SIX: After starting the season 4-0-1, the Pittsburgh Penguins have lost six straight after falling to the Buffalo Sabres 6-3 last night. Tage Thompson followed up his six-point Halloween night with a goal and an assist, while Eric Comrie made 18 saves for the Sabres’ third consecutive victory.

SEDIN THE COACHES: Along with ticket information, the Canadian Hockey League announced the coaching staff for the 2023 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at the Langley Events Centre on Jan. 25, 2023. Manning the benches will be Vancouver Giants (WHL) head coach Michael Dyck and Giants player development coach Brent Seabrook, in addition to Vancouver Canucks legends Daniel and Henrik Sedin serving as assistants.

INJURY UPDATES: Yesterday, the Washington Capitals placed defenseman John Carlson and forward T.J. Oshie on injured reserve. Oshie is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury, while Carlson will miss the next two games. Catch up on all the latest injuries around the league here

Real or Fake: Erik Karlsson’s Renaissance

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.

Believe it or not, it’s been eight years since Erik Karlsson won the second of his two Norris trophies. At the time, the then-Ottawa Senators blueliner was one of the best players in the world, averaging roughly 27 minutes a night for a perennial playoff contender. Karlsson followed up that Norris-winning season with an even more impressive 82-point campaign. Since then, however, the skilled Swede was dealt to San Jose and underwent five consecutive seasons of decreased point totals, hardly aging gracefully.

This season, that 32-year-old skating around the SAP Center in a No. 65 jersey looks like the Karlsson of old. With nine goals and six assists in 12 games and coming off a hat trick against the Anaheim Ducks, we have to ask: is Erik Karlsson back?

Real: Karlsson Has Done It Before

In this league with blue lines anchored by the fresh-faced likes of Cale Makar, Adam Fox, and Moritz Seider, it’s easy to forget that old-timers can play this game, too. At his peak, Karlsson was an elite playmaker and perennial All-Star who led all defensemen in scoring four times in five years. At 32, he’s the same age as other top-d-men like Victor Hedman, Alex Pietrangelo, John Carlson, and Roman Josi.

Fake: Karlsson Hasn’t Helped the Sharks Win

No, you can’t put team success squarely on the shoulders of any one player, but can we call it a true “renaissance” if the team stinks? San Jose is currently 3-8-1, just one point ahead of the beleaguered Vancouver Canucks for last place in the Pacific Division. If Karlsson’s continued success makes the four years and $46 million remaining on his contract more palatable to another team, then you have to figure that new GM Mike Grier will happily pull the trigger on a trade.

Real: Karlsson’s Season Isn’t Entirely Out of the Blue

Last season, Karlsson finally snapped his skid of declining point totals—and put together a pretty good, albeit under-the-radar campaign. A stint on the COVID reserve list, an upper-body injury, and forearm surgery conspired to limit him to 50 games last season, but he made the most of them. Karlsson still managed 10 goals and 35 points, playing the fewest games of any blueliner with 35-plus points. This season’s production is an enhanced extension of what we saw a year ago.

6-Point Heroes

When Buffalo Sabres forward Tage Thompson had a six-point game (three goals, three assists) against the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 31, he became one of 315 players in NHL history with six or more points in one contest. Some names are a given that reached the milestone, like Connor McDavid and Wayne Gretzky, but we thought we would highlight the active NHL players that you may have forgotten who have a touchdown on their resumes. 

Nick Schmaltz

Nick Schmaltz recorded two goals and five assists in the Arizona Coyotes’ 8-5 win over the Ottawa Senators on March 5, setting a franchise record for his seven-point game. Since being acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in 2018, Schmaltz has been one of Arizona’s leading scorers. Although the 26-year-old has been dealing with an upper-body injury to start the season, he is one of the more underrated goal-scorers in the league. 

Mason Marchment

Dallas Stars forward Mason Marchment is one of the best stories to come out of the six-point game list because he does not fit the typical description of an NHL player to have that many points in a game. You may think of elite players like Leon Draisaitl or Sidney Crosby, but not Marchment, who’s typically in a bottom-six role, and moments like that are why we love sports! The 27-year-old had a six-point game (two goals, four assists) while he was a member of the Florida Panthers back in February, leading the Panthers to an 8-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets and tying the Panthers’ record for most points in a game

Sam Gagner

It’s difficult for NHL players to have multi-point games, and it is even harder to reach eight points unless you are 33-year-old Winnipeg Jets forward Sam Gagner. In Feb. 2012, when the Edmonton Oilers were facing the Blackhawks, Gagner helped lead the Oilers to an 8-4 victory with an eight-point night (four goals, four assists). He factored in all the scoring, joining Mario Lemieux as the only two players in NHL history to have points on all eight goals scored in a game. Lemieux helped lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to an 8-6 victory over the New Jersey Devils in 1988. 

Bonus: Mika Zibanejad

In March 2021, New York Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad had a six-point night (three goals, three assists) in an 8-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. He is now tied with Crosby for the most six-plus point games by an active NHL player with two. What makes Zibanejad’s accomplishment even more historic is that the 29-year-old had another six-point game against the Flyer nine days prior, making him the first player to have consecutive six-point games against the same opponent in a season in NHL history

First Month of the 2022-23 Season – Told by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift breaks down the first month of the NHL season. Today she shares her thoughts on the Eastern Conference before reflecting on the Western Conference in tomorrow’s issue. Enjoy!

Metropolitan Division

Maybe it’s the John Tortorella effect, or maybe, it’s the play of Carter Hart, “Call It What You Want,” but the Philadelphia Flyers shocked the league by finishing October with a record of 5-2-1. Tortorella earned his first victory in his season debut against the New Jersey Devils, who started 0-2-0, but since then, “Everything Has Changed.” The Devils enter November as second-best in the division behind the Carolina Hurricanes.

Alex Ovechkin leads his team with eight points, including three power-play goals, which has left fans relieved that he chose to “Stay Stay Stay” with the Washington Capitals. Artemi Panarin is off to a dominant start for the New York Rangers, but I don’t think we need to tell him—”I Think He Knows.” Their New York rivals on Long Island performed well after a “Cruel Summer” where they missed out on multiple free agents with a record of 5-4-0. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets fans saw their teams finish October at the bottom of the Metro Division standings, but “You Need to Calm Down” because the season is only a few weeks old.

Atlantic Division

“Ready For It?” Boston was, as the Bruins finished the first month of the season as the top team with 16 points. However, the most surprising news to come out of the Atlantic Division surrounds Rasmus Dahlin, “22,” who emerged as an early candidate for the Norris Trophy. Things haven’t gone as well for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who finished the month on a four-game losing streak and were able to “Shake It Off” while facing the Flyers last night. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens finished with an identical record of 5-4-0, which leaves the masses wondering if it is a “Hoax,” but the standings don’t lie.

In your “Wildest Dreams,” did you imagine the Ottawa Senators would finish at the bottom of the Atlantic Division? Their busy offseason did not make an immediate impact, similar to the Detroit Red Wings, who finished the month with a 4-3-2 record. With a line that is the biggest in NHL history averaging 6-foot-3 and 224 pounds, Detroit will enter November with a “Fearless” attitude. Finally, the Florida Panthers made a statement off the ice with “Style” thanks to their 2022 Reverse Retro jerseys, which will debut on Nov. 19.

NHL Standings

NHL’s Leading Scorers

Today’s NHL Schedule

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