Yesterday’s NHL Scores
Last Night’s News 📰
CANUCKS IN TURMOIL: On Saturday, the Vancouver Canucks lost their home opener 5-1 to the Buffalo Sabres, making them the only team in the NHL without a win with a 0-4-2 record. Tensions boiled over as the team got booed, fans were throwing their jerseys on the ice, and the president of hockey operations, Jim Rutherford, stated that the Canucks were hard to watch and had bad habits. Vancouver hopes it can stop the bleeding when it faces the Carolina Hurricanes tonight.
TARAS-OV TO A GREAT START: Daniil Tarasov earned his first NHL win on Sunday, backstopping the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-1 victory over the New York Rangers. Tarasov, 23, made 30 saves in the triumph and will see more action behind starter Elvis Merzļikins with Joonas Korpisalo recovering from hip surgery.
FIRST TO 3,000: On Saturday, the Nashville Predators celebrated David Poile’s 3,000th game as a general manager in the NHL. Poile, 72, spent 15 seasons with the Washington Capitals before taking on the same role with the then-expansion Nashville Predators in 1997 and is the first GM to win 1,000 games with two separate teams.
IRONS IN THE FIRE: Tonight, barring any unforeseen circumstance leading up to the game, Phil Kessel will tie Keith Yandle’s NHL ironman streak. Kessel’s streak started on Nov. 3, 2009, in Toronto, and he will have played in 989 straight games over 4,738 days with the Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Arizona Coyotes, and Vegas Golden Knights.
How About Those Blues??
We’ve seen fast and slow starts throughout this young 2022-23 NHL season. To date, however, there’s only been one perfect start. Although the St. Louis Blues are only third in the Central Division, having played just three games, every outcome has produced victories. Therefore, heading into tonight’s visit to the Winnipeg Jets, the Blues reign as the only team league-wide without a loss, in regulation or otherwise.
Because they don’t occupy a big market or employ any elite superstars, St. Louis can often tend to fly under the radar. So let’s celebrate the 2019 Stanley Cup champs by highlighting what’s gone into their 3-0-0 start.
Boring By Design
As the old saying goes, the standings don’t show how you won, just that you won. And the Blues have found success by winning ugly. Their focus on slowing down the game’s pace and clogging things up has resulted in just five goals allowed over those three games. It also kept the Edmonton Oilers, arguably the most exciting team in hockey, in check to the tune of nothing on just 23 shots in a 2-0 slog of a win on Saturday.
Never ‘Bin’ Better
Three games are three games, but the last time St. Louis saw this version of goaltender Jordan Binnington, he backstopped the team to the Cup. Of course, that was an entire season, and this has just been a trio of games, but a 1.65 goals-against average (GAA) and a .940 save percentage (SV%) are impressive, nonetheless. After a disappointing year saw the 29-year-old sport a 3.13 GAA and .901 SV%, the early bounce back has stood out.
Welcome to the Tarasenk-Show
Blues GM Doug Armstrong surprised some in the offseason by holding onto Binnington and opting to trade Ville Husso, who had taken the No. 1 job in net. The early returns on that decision have been promising, as have the returns on the equally curious call to keep Vladimir Tarasenko despite the Russian winger’s trade request. We don’t know whether Tarasenko wants to be in St. Louis, but any disenchantment hasn’t been evident by his two goals and four assists through three games.
The Good and the Bad
We are now a few weeks into the 2022-23 campaign, and there have been lots to unpack. From extremely slow starts to the re-emergence of veterans around the league, October has been ripe with storylines across the NHL. Let’s break some down.
Good: The Devils Won Their Fans Back
It took three days for New Jersey Devils fans to turn on head coach Lindy Ruff and call the season a complete failure. There weren’t enough gyms and tanning beds to keep New Jerseyans happy after an 0-2 start losing to the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings opening weekend. Thankfully the club went a perfect 3-0 last week, and fans are now back in their corner (for now) as the team strung together a three-game winning streak for the first time since Dec. 29, 2021-Jan. 1, 2022.
Bad: The Vancouver Canucks
Not to continue to pile onto an already rough situation, but take a moment today and think of the Vancouver Canucks fans in your life. Send them a funny meme or an animal video because they need some joy in their life, as nothing is going right in Vancouver. Two weeks into the NHL season, the Canucks are the only team without a victory and hold an abysmal record of 0-4-2. To make matters worse, J.T. Miller, who signed a seven-year, $56 million contract extension, was on the ice for the first eight goals against the Canucks to start the season.
Good: The Re-Emergence of Craig Anderson
At 41 years old, Craig Anderson is currently the top goaltender with a goals-against average of 1.00 and a save percentage of .970. Yes, he has only started two games, but the Buffalo Sabres and their fans deserve a shoutout when it’s applicable. Rasmus Dahlin and company have been fun to watch and are winning 80 percent of their games. The good vibes may not last forever in Buffalo but for now, let’s hear more of “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan.
Bad: Plagued with Injuries
Injuries are part of the game, but it seems that, in the past couple of weeks, an obscene amount of players have landed on injured reserve, including Owen Tippett, Jake Muzzin, and Gabriel Landeskog. The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without newly acquired goaltender Matt Murray, who will miss four weeks with an adductor injury, while the Boston Bruins remain without Brad Marchand. It will be interesting to see if this continues throughout the 2022-23 season at this same rate.
The Great Goalie Mask Off
Regarding NHL goalies, they can be the most creative players on the roster with their ability to devise masks that fit their personalities. Goalies develop new and exciting design concepts each season, and the results are usually outstanding. Here are some of the standout masks so far this year.
Calgary Flames netminder Jacob Markström chose a country theme for his mask this season and his artist, Jordan Bourgeault, debuted and explained the detail of the design. Bourgeault illustrated that there is a skull, a cowboy hat with the Flames’ logo, a leather belt with Markström’s name on it, barbed wire, and some extra personal touches. Considering that Calgary is known for its annual stampede, this mask perfectly encompasses the city’s spirit.
Philadelphia Flyers goalie Carter Hart has a Foo Fighters-inspired mask with black and white images of the band’s members Taylor Hawkins and Dave Grohl, along with the “Foo Fighters” name on the top of the helmet. Hart explained the meaning behind it by stating that it’s his dad’s favorite band and that when his dad drove him to hockey games in his younger days, he would blast the song “The Pretender” in the car to fire him up. It also carries more meaning knowing that Hawkins passed away in March, making it a touching way for Hart to honor the band and his dad.
Vegas has gone all-in on the “Golden” look. It debuted golden helmets last season, and its gold jerseys were named the primary home jerseys for this season to celebrate what the Knights call “The Golden Age.” It looks like goaltender Logan Thompson wanted in on the fun with his very own golden chrome mask. Friedesigns shared the look on Twitter, including the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign on the back and the Golden Knights’ logos on the top and the chin. That’s Vegas, baby!
Pavel Francouz was excited to share the newest touches of his goalie mask with the Colorado Avalanche faithful. He described the helmet, stating, “It’s basically the same mask that I wore last year. The only difference was that last year, Bernie was going downhill on the sled to Denver city, but now he is going the opposite direction to the mountains up to his home with the Stanley Cup.” Bernie the Saint Bernard is the Avs’ mascot and appears often on the mask, including paw prints in the snow. The Cup addition makes this a fun manifestation as Colorado attempts to go for back-to-back championships.
MSk8 Debate 💬
As promised on Friday, our Morning Skate crew weighs in on the Adidas Reverse Retro 2.0 jersey drop. Share your best and worst sweaters from the latest round of Reverse Retros by tagging The Hockey Writers on Twitter or Instagram.
Best: If the assignment here was for NHL clubs to have fun with the Reverse Retro concept (and it should’ve been), then the Florida Panthers nailed this one. The baby blue base around the crossed hockey stick and palm tree crest screams South Florida. They’re gonna sell a few of these babies for sure!
Worst: Carolina Hurricanes, what happened here? You’ve got a fantastic hurricane eye logo and already have a sharp-looking stick with two flags on your alternate jersey. But no, you reject both of those, just so you can get a short form of your team name on there? Using “Canes” in place of Hurricanes doesn’t bother me that much, but there was so much potential for more here.
Best: I’m not always the biggest fan of the Vegas Golden Knights jerseys in general, but their Reverse Retro is hard to beat. The fact that it has a glow-in-the-dark feature, the first in NHL history, is a unique characteristic that puts this jersey above all the rest.
Worst: Besides the Columbus Blue Jackets jersey being black, it looks exactly like a regular CBJ sweater. There aren’t many defining features making it bland for a Reverse Retro.
Best: While I am not a fan of the traditional Los Angeles Kings jersey, I think they hit it out of the park with their Reverse Retros. I absolutely love the crown and the fact that they keep incorporating the purple and gold, which is synonymous with LA sports, thanks to the Lakers. Chef’s kiss to the designer of this one!
Worst: I understand why the Calgary Flames opted to go with this design for their Reverse Retro, as it reminisces of the early years of Jarome Iginla. However, the diagonal pedestal hem stripe ruins the entire design and draws your eyes away from the team’s logo.
Best: It’s a tossup between Buffalo, Boston, and Florida for me, as the Sabres and Bruins went retro while the Panthers leaned into their Miami lifestyle. I want to shout out the Canadiens, Kings, and Blues, among others, but I think these teams crushed the assignment.
Worst: As much as I wanted to see more from the Red Wings, Detroit did outproduce the Reverse Retro 1.0 line—although that wasn’t hard. However, the Maple Leafs and Wild left a lot on the table, producing similar products to what was released two years ago. Philadelphia would be here too, but the addition of Cooperalls earns a few bonus points.
NHL’s Leading Scorers
Today’s NHL Schedule
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