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The AM Skate: Kaner, Ovie, Igor, Leon, and Fire the Coach!?

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It’s a Vancouver Canucks game day and we’ll have a pre-game report for you following the morning skates. In the meantime, you get to go for an NHL twirl …

Let’s Skate! …

Hefty Hawk

Patrick Kane became the third Chicago Blackhawk ever to reach the 1,100 point mark, the milestone achieved with an assist Sunday night against the Nashville Predators as Chicago won 2-1 in overtime. In franchise history, only Stan Mikita (1,467) and Bobby Hull (1,153) have more points than “Kaner”. He’s only the 4th American NHL player to ever reach that number.

Meanwhile, Derek King won his first game as head coach of the ‘Hawks, one day after Jeremy Colliton was relieved of those duties. “Kinger’s” team gets a chance to make it two in a row at home tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Just Say O-Vie

Alexander Ovechkin reached the Brett Hull plateau on Monday night, scoring his 741st NHL career goal to tie the “Golden Brett” for the 4th most all-time. Ovie added two assists and sits 3rd in overall league scoring this season with 21 points, trailing only the Edmonton Oilers dastardly duo of Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. The Great-8’s next chance to move ahead of Hull and alone into fourth will be Thursday night in Detroit against the Red Wings.

Ovechkins next target will be the Czech Republic’s Jaromír Jágr, who sits third all-time with 766 goals. Barring injury and at this current pace, the 36-year-old Washington Capitals captain should get there before season’s end.

Every Team has a Zit

OK, blemish. I knew this day would come sooner than later. We’ve been tracking the unbeatens, but alas, no more. The New York Rangers, outshot 45-18 for the game and relying on the maniacal goaltending of Igor Shesterkin, particularly in the first period, handed the Florida Panthers their first regulation loss of the season 4-3 at Madison Square Garden Monday night.

Trailing 4-0 after the two periods, the Cats furious comeback fell just short. They scored in the first minute of the third period and scored twice in a :46-second span during the final 90-seconds of regulation, and still had :40-seconds to play after cutting the lead to one. After winning the neutral zone draw and again adding the extra attacker, they had two more scoring chances and narrowly missed before time expired.

The Panthers record “fell” to 10-1-1, they still have the most points in the NHL (21), three more than the Carolina Hurricanes and Edmonton Oilers.

NHL Three Stars

Wait, when did Draisaitl pass McDavid for the league lead in points? Well, last week is when the German zoomed past his Canadian cohort. Draisaitl earned NHL first star honours for the week after registering five goals and five assists in three games played. As this NHL.com article notes, he’s the first player to tally 23 points over the first ten games of a season since Mario Lemieux did it in 2003.

Second star honours went to Jack Campbell, netminder for the Toronto Maple Leafs, while Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson nabbed third star for the week ending Sunday.

Speaking of Leafs goalies, their other puck stopper Petr Mrazek went on injured reserve Sunday and is expected to miss the next four weeks with a groin injury. Joseph Woll got called up from the AHL Marlies to serve as back-up. Mrazek had only started two games this season and wasn’t that great in either one of them.

Hockey Now Darn it!

A couple of beauties worth checking out from our national Hockey Now writers. First of all, Calgary Hockey Now’s Steve Mcfarlane is in fine form with this early season look at Vancouver native and Calgary Flames veteran Milan Lucic, off to a hot start.

Meanwhile, what the heck is going on in Denver? Fire the coach?! Colorado Hockey Now’s Terry Frei can’t believe the suggestion to fire Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar over the team’s slow 4-5-and-1 start. Now that’s panicking, as it relates to the defending Presidents Trophy winners and to some the 2022 Stanley Cup favourites.

If you missed a couple of worthy ditties here at VHN, then here’s a couple of reminder links. The somewhat prophetic Vancouver Canucks special teams primer from Saturday night is here, and the five takeaways from the Canucks 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars on Sunday is here.

Enjoy the Hockey Action!!

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