October 27 — Way Too Early Favorites & Time Traveling Thrills

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

GONNA BE A WHILE: The streaking Ottawa Senators were dealt a significant blow with the announcement that Josh Norris will be out long-term with a potentially season-ending shoulder injury. Norris, who has a goal and two points in five games this season, injured his shoulder on Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes.

THAT WAS FAST!: Injury news is better in Boston, as Brad Marchand is ahead of schedule on his recovery from off-season hip surgery and could return to the lineup in the coming weeks. Marchand was practicing on the Bruins’ top line on Wednesday. Head coach Jim Montgomery predicted he would get back to game action before American Thanksgiving.

BLACKHAWKS MAKING MOVES: On Wednesday, the Chicago Blackhawks made two minor league trades. First, they sent former 2018 first-round pick Nicolas Beaudin to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for center Cameron Hillis before shipping former 2017 third-round pick Evan Barratt to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Cooper Zech. Beaudin and Barratt struggled to find footing with the Blackhawks and needed a change of scenery. 

TICKETS, GET YOUR TICKETS: Today, tickets go on sale for the 2023 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series featuring the Washington Capitals and the host Carolina Hurricanes. Taking place on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, at N.C. State’s Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, fans can purchase tickets through Ticketmaster at 10 a.m. ET. 

Top Shelf Thursday: Early NHL Award Favorites

It’s never too early to predict which players will take home some hardware at the NHL Awards. The 2022-23 season has started with a bang as there have been plenty of surprises, including Craig Anderson being a top goaltender in the league (yes, we know it was only two starts but let us have our fun). Here are some early names that should be on your radar as the season progresses.

Vezina Trophy

Jake Oettinger: There’s a new kid in town! During the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, hockey fans got introduced to Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger. His performance from Game 7 against the Calgary Flames is one of the best postseason goaltending exhibitions fans have seen recently, making him a netminder to watch this season. 

Jake Oettinger, Dallas Stars. (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Igor Shesterkin: If you’re wondering if the 26-year-old has it in him to repeat last season’s success, the answer is yes. The prince of New York will be in the Vezina Trophy conversation for years to come, and right now, it is his trophy to lose as the 2022-23 season gets going.

Calder Trophy

Mason McTavish: At 19 years old, Mason McTavish is a significant piece of the Anaheim Ducks’ future. He made his NHL debut last season, appearing in nine games and earning three points (two goals and one assist). Through six games this season, he already has four assists and has been on a line with Ryan Strome and Frank Vatrano. Trevor Zegras is not the only young Duckling who should be on your radar this season. 

Mason McTavish, Anaheim Ducks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Owen Power: Buffalo is off to a hot start, thanks to Owen Power strengthening the defense. Power, a 6-foot-6 blueliner, dipped his toes into the NHL last season, appearing in eight games. That makes the 2022-23 campaign his first complete season in the league, and the former first-overall pick will be a real difference-maker for his club as they take a step in the right direction.

Norris Trophy

Cale Makar: This is the only correct answer. The 23-year-old phenomenon is a game-changer at both ends of the ice and will be a finalist—if not a recipient—of the Norris Trophy for seasons to come.

Real or Fake: The Boston Bruins

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.

Given the track record of success from the Boston Bruins over the past decade, it shouldn’t be all that surprising to see them sitting atop the Atlantic Division with a 6-1-0 record. But wasn’t this supposed to be a team on the decline? Last year’s Bruins couldn’t crack the top three of the division and fell in the first round of the playoffs as a Wild Card team. Then, their most significant offseason addition was the return of 36-year-old David Krejčí.

Then throw in a surprise coaching change, and Boston looks like an aging team in flux. Certainly not one that could keep up with the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic. With wins in six of their first seven under new head coach Jim Montgomery, it’s time to reconsider that perspective.

Real: Stars Playing Like Stars

It would be one thing if Boston had a depth player going on a heater that you knew wasn’t sustainable. Instead, the Bruins have benefited from a healthy, productive David Pastrňák and a back-in-form Taylor Hall, who has scored three straight game-winning goals. While one might anticipate some age-related decline from 37-year-old Patrice Bergeron, he’s continued his performance from last year’s Selke-winning campaign.

Fake: Ullmark’s Stellar Start

There aren’t many examples of goaltenders going from tandem or backup options to joining the Vezina Trophy conversation, and with good reason. Linus Ullmark has always served the role of secondary netminder well. However, last season’s 41 games played represented a career-high for a 29-year-old who’s never been a true No. 1. With that in mind, his blazing start (5-0-0 record, 2.01 goals-against average, .936 save percentage) probably requires a grain or two of salt.

Real: Doing It Without Marchand

Say what you will about the Bruins resident super-pest, Brad Marchand, but any player who has averaged over 90 points over their past three full seasons will be an asset to your lineup. And so, the fact that Boston has started this hot without Marchand, who continues to recover from offseason hip surgery, is pretty impressive. To think, they might be even better once he suits up.

Verdict: While the Bruins’ Atlantic rivals will likely have something to say about it, this start feels pretty legit to us!

Back in 2009

Vegas Golden Knights forward Phil Kessel officially broke the Ironman record for consecutive games played with 990 on Oct. 25 when facing the San Jose Sharks. For reference, Kessel’s last game missed was Oct. 13, 2009, so he has not skipped an NHL game in 13 years. Times have changed since 2009, so we thought we would reminisce on all the happenings from that year when Kessel last missed a game.

Top Song:Boom Boom Pow” by The Black Eyed Peas

Top TV Show: “American Idol”

Top News Story: Inauguration of President Obama

Top Movie in Theaters: “Avatar”

Top Fashion Trends: Leggings & Cardigans

Pop Culture News: Michael Jackson died, “Jersey Shore” aired its first episodes, and 3G made internet browsing more accessible on mobile phones.

Reigning Stanley Cup Champions: Pittsburgh Penguins

Top NHL Players: Henrik Sedin, Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Nicklas Bäckström, Steven Stamkos, Mike Green, Duncan Keith, Tuukka Rask, Ryan Miller, and Martin Brodeur.

NHL Standings

NHL’s Leading Scorers

Today’s NHL Schedule