October 13 — Rink Rations, Referee Rapport & Rebuilding Recognition

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

DON OF A NEW ERA IN BUFFALO: On Wednesday, the Buffalo Sabres signed head coach Don Granato to a multi-year contract extension. Beginning his second entire season behind the bench in Buffalo, Granato will oversee a young, improving Sabres squad anchored by rookie Owen Power, Tage Thompson, and Rasmus Dahlin, among others.

SAMMY SEASON: Buffalo also announced it locked in 22-year-old prospect Mattias Samuelsson to a seven-year, $30 million deal. Samuelsson had 10 points in 42 games last season, and the Sabres expect he will be the team’s top-pairing defenseman for years to come.

MOVING ON TO GREENE(R) PASTURES: Former captain Andy Greene signed a one-day contract with New Jersey on Wednesday to retire as a Devil. Greene played 16 seasons and more than 1,000 games between the Devils and New York Islanders. New Jersey will recognize the 39-year-old’s career on Oct. 15 at the Prudential Center ahead of its home opener against the Detroit Red Wings.

FIRST DOSE OF BONUS HOCKEY: Last night featured the first overtime game of the 2022-23 season, as the Anaheim Ducks needed an extra 55 seconds of hockey to defeat the Seattle Kraken 5-4. Goaltender John Gibson assisted on Troy Terry’s second marker of the contest, earning a point and victory in the opener. Last year, 288 games went beyond regulation, so here’s to hoping for many more! 

STARTING ON TOP: Speaking of firsts in the young season, Connor McDavid netted three goals to record the opening hat trick of the 2022-23 season in a 5-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. It was McDavid’s second opening-night hat trick in his career, putting him tied for the Rocket Richard Trophy race to start the year. 

PRODUCING IN PAIRS: Four other games took place last night, highlighted by a pair of two-goal scorers. After raising the banner to celebrate Colorado’s Stanley Cup championship, Artturi Lehkonen helped the Avalanche defeat the Chicago Blackhawks with two second-period tallies. Cole Caufield kicked off his sophomore campaign with a pair of markers in the Montreal Canadiens’ late 4-3 rally over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Elsewhere in the east, David Pastrňák notched four points as the Boston Bruins beat the Washington Capitals, while Freddie Andersen made 31 saves to lead the Carolina Hurricanes over the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Top Shelf Thursday: Top Rebuilding Teams to Watch

It’s the most satisfying time of year, as the 2022-23 campaign is in full swing. This season, multiple teams are on the rise, and in our first edition of Top Shelf Thursday, we decided to put the spotlight on three clubs you should be watching as they are on the cusp of returning to their former glory.

Detroit Red Wings

In Steve Yzerman, we trust! Detroit was busy this offseason, bringing in Ville Husso, David Perron, and Andrew Copp. Last season, fans witnessed the emergence of Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider as both received votes for the Calder Trophy, with Seider taking home the honors. Although the Red Wings may not be postseason bound this spring, the foundation is being laid for this team to return to Stanley Cup contention.  

Lucas Raymond of the Detroit Red Wings (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

New Jersey Devils

If they get competent and consistent goaltending, can the New Jersey Devils make noise this season? It seems possible with a more balanced roster, including veterans Erik Haula and Ondřej Palát. Their roster was not the only thing to get a makeover this season, as Lindy Ruff’s coaching staff has an entirely new look with the additions of Andrew Brunette, Ryan McGill, and Sergei Brylin. If everything comes together, the Devils can become the dark horse of the Metropolitan Division. 

Erik Haula, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo made a big splash by locking in two of its young players. Tage Thompson, 24, signed a seven-year contract extension worth $50 million, while 22-year-old defenseman Mattias Samuelsson signed his seven-year deal for $30 million. This Sabres team has a ton of young talent, including Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power, with the potential to surprise this season and will be entertaining to watch. 

Tage Thompson, Buffalo Sabres (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Two Minutes For… Entertainment

Before the puck dropped between the Tampa Bay Lighting and New York Rangers on Oct. 11, NHL referee Chris Rooney gave a short speech for opening night, wishing the players luck and a great season. He also stated, “What’s better than this?!” Not often do fans see a referee’s personality since they’re there to manage the game, so we thought we would look back on some other fun moments over the years from the linesmen. 

No Fight Club!

Wes McCauley is one of the coolest referees in the NHL and is never afraid to show humor when making calls. Back in January, when the Detroit Red Wings were facing the San Jose Sharks, Jacob Middleton and Givani Smith got into a fight in the first period. McCauley exuberantly called the penalty, stating, “Both guys, five each—for fighting!” with the punching motion for dramatic effect. We expect more exciting calls from him this season!

That’s a No From Me!

In 2013, referee Mike Leggo called a penalty against former Dallas Stars forward Shawn Horcoff in the second period while facing the Washington Capitals. He made the call by announcing frankly, “You can’t do that! Dallas penalty No. 10. Two minutes for hooking.” It would be funny if more referees announced penalties by immediately stating it’s not allowed! 

Is This Thing Still On?

Referees are just like us. They use their microphone during games to make calls, and sometimes they forget to turn them off, leading to some interesting “hot mic” moments, which is always amusing. One of those moments came in February when the Chicago Blackhawks were facing the Columbus Blue Jackets. Chris Lee called a holding penalty on Columbus defenseman Andrew Peeke, and as Lee was announcing the infraction, Peeke was barking something at him, to which Lee responded, “Shut the f…” before the mic cut off. Oopsie! It happens to the best of them!

Mmmmm… Arena Food

Hockey is back! And so, too, are some new, mouthwatering food offerings across NHL arenas. Sure, there’s the repetitious, standard fare consistent across every rink, but it’s undeniably more fun to focus on the weird and unique options.

We hope you aren’t reading this on an empty stomach, as we’re going to go around the league looking at foods the adventurous hockey fan can try when they get to a game this year.

Meatball Cone

Unfortunately, the Global Series demonstrated that fans of the San Jose Sharks could be in for a long season. The good news (apart from a potential run at Connor Bedard) is that some of the new fares at the SAP Center could help improve the overall game-day experience. One such item will be the new meatball cone, a cluster of Italian meatballs in a waffle cone drizzled with marinara sauce, crushed red pepper, and mozzarella cheese.

Ottawa Senators’ 30th Anniversary Poutine

Apart from boasting what should be a significantly improved roster, the Ottawa Senators are also celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. And what better way to celebrate 30 years in the Canadian capital than with a specially designed poutine dish? This exclusive Canadian Tire Centre menu item features russet potatoes topped with gluten-free gravy and cheese curds, including Cheetos!

Peach Cobbler Tacos

The award for the most inspired fusion might go to the Washington Capitals, who have introduced peach cobbler tacos to sweet tooth-bearing guests at Capital One Arena. Homemade peach cobbler mixed with cinnamon sugar and flaky dough crumbs inside a flour tortilla. Points for creativity!

Chungchun Rice Dogs

For several years, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Scotiabank Arena have worked to develop an array of food options that reflect the city’s multicultural nature. This year, Toronto is offering a South Korean twist on the standard corn dog. Fans can try a rice dog—or mozzarella stick—with a crispy, panko-crusted coating or a beef and chicken rice dog coated in crispy golden potatoes. Hungry yet?

NHL Standings

Today’s NHL Schedule