(Life’s busy — it’s not always easy to stay on top of everything happening around the NHL. So in case you missed it, here are some of the best and worst highlights of the week.)
It’s not often you see two five-point performances in the same week, but if you have to choose just one to shine a spotlight on it’s the guy who also scored four goals. Sorry, Patrick Kane.
Patrice Bergeron is that guy this week after he and his linemates tore through the Hurricanes like a … yeah, you get it.
Bergeron was the second player to hit ’em with the four this season after Alexander Ovechkin did it in Washington’s opener, but you have to go back to 2016 for the last time a player scored four times in a five-point outing (Max Pacioretty), and 2014 before that.
Nicest Individual Goal
This was just down right rude by Artemi Panarin — the Sabres have already suffered enough this season. The move on Justin Falk is what makes this so good, but that backhander was ridiculous.
Best Squad Goal
Everything looks better at 3-on-3, especially when you give Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin that much room to operate. Brad Marchand had no chance.
Sticking with the Penguins, Evgeni Malkin was on the receiving end of another nice feed against the Bruins, this time courtesy Sidney Crosby. You can see Crosby spot Malkin well before the puck pops loose in the corner before he threads a perfect feed right between Bergeron and Zdeno Chara, who are pretty good at that whole defense thing.
The Sabres haven’t had a ton of “best of”-worthy moments this season, but this save by Robin Lehner certainly qualifies.
It’s been a tough go this year for good-guy Craig Anderson, and things didn’t get much better this week after he let in this soft wrister from Patrick Sharp before getting chased from the game minutes later.
P.K. Subban is a fantastic player. Electric. But when you have the puck on your stick as much as he does, you’re bound to make some ugly turnovers from time to time. Like this one against the Kings:
Best Shootout Goal
Aleksander Barkov earned this honor with the same move in November, and it’s as good now as it was then. He’s scored on both attempts using the fake between the legs move and is now 3-for-5 in the shootout on the season.
Islanders defenseman Sebastian Aho picked up the first goal and assist of his career, making him the second highest-scoring Sebastian Aho of all time.
It’s nice to see a broken stick play work out for a change. It didn’t work out so well for Nikita Kucherov a few weeks back when he snapped his twig in the shootout, but the hockey gods were with Brendan Gaunce on Friday — presumably to reward Thomas Vanek for that righteous pass.
Most Reckless Play
David Savard probably wasn’t trying to get Vinny Trocheck in the hand here, but man was that a mighty chop.
— hockeyfights (@hockeyfights) January 8, 2018
Ben Hutton knew he was going to have to drop the mitts after this monster hit on Brooks Orpik, and drop them he did. Great hit, though.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) January 10, 2018
The Josh Manson-Sam Bennett scrap was a wild one, but this tilt between Brenden Dillon and Matt Hendricks had a little bit of everything: A spirited comeback, some body shots and a clear winner.
If you allow a goal on the first shot and get yanked less than four minutes into a game against the Coyotes, you’re asking to get flamed.
It’s always easier to blame the goalie instead of the players in front of him, but that rope runs out real fast when you’re a 3.15/.900 goalie after 35 starts on a team that was supposed to contend for the Cup.
Let’s check in on the measured opinions on twitter dot com:
More awesome goaltending by @ctalbot33 Can we please just put him on waivers and get a real fkn goalie?? Talbot IS A BACK UP AT BEST!!!! Absolute garbage
— OilCountry (@SportsTopher) January 13, 2018
Monkey off the Back
Last week’s whipping boy Richard Panik went from the dog house to a desert penthouse, scoring his first goal in 28 games and then getting traded to the Coyotes less than 24 hours later.
There are hotter players in the NHL than Lars Eller, but nobody has been on a more unlikely streak. With a four-game goal streak and counting, Eller doubled his goal total on the season this week from four to eight. It’s the longest streak by a Capital this season, and the longest of Eller’s career.
Paul Maurice could probably be a contender for this every week, but his rant about Winnipeg and frappuccinos in the wake of the Sharks’ comments should go down as one of the best sound bites this season.
A great moment during Paul Maurice's media availability this morning. This was his answer when asked by @WFPJasonBell about the video of San Jose players complaining about #Winnipeg. A fantastic perspective from the coach. pic.twitter.com/Ofxu3yGE7G
— Tyler Esquivel (@Mr_Skeyval) January 9, 2018
Overheard shots are always cool, but this one in particular is a piece of art.