The NHL Evening Skate for Oct. 18

Yahoo Sports

Heading into this evening’s action, here are the day’s top NHL storylines:

Bruins first line is reaching a new level of terrifying
Boston Bruins center <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/players/3383/" data-ylk="slk:Patrice Bergeron">Patrice Bergeron</a> (37) celebrates with right wing <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/players/6391/" data-ylk="slk:David Pastrnak">David Pastrnak</a> (88) after defeating the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/teams/ott" data-ylk="slk:Ottawa Senators">Ottawa Senators</a> at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) celebrates with right wing David Pastrnak (88) after defeating the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Bruins‘ unit of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak combines scoring, playmaking and strength on the puck in such a way that there’s no line in hockey that can shut them down. [More]

Babcock, Sullivan agree: Sidney Crosby remains NHL’s best

As fanbases continue to trade barbs in the fallout since Auston Matthews entered the best-player-in-the-world conversation with Connor McDavid, two of the NHL’s top coaches in Mike Babcock and Mike Sullivan still agree: Sidney Crosby’s reign remains. “To me, it’s not even close.” [More]

Hall of Famer Mike Modano breaks down top players in NHL

After watching McDavid lead the Edmonton Oilers to a come-from-behind 5-4 overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, Hall of Famer Mike Modano took to Twitter and joined the debate surrounding who is the NHL’s best player. [More]

Lamp-lighters

The Spin: What does Connor McDavid’s latest record say about the Oilers?

Yahoo Sports NHL writers Justin Cuthbert and Nick Ashbourne discuss McDavid’s solo exploits, the latest in the William Nylander stalemate, and which hot starts are worth believing in. [Watch]

Q&A: Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews on John Tavares addition, learning to win
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, left, celebrates his goal with John Tavares (91) during the third period of an NHL hockey game. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, left, celebrates his goal with John Tavares (91) during the third period of an NHL hockey game. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

It’s been an historic start to the 2018-19 season for the Matthews, who discussed the addition of John Tavares, learning from playoff failures and his wicked shot that has accounted for 10 goals in Toronto’s first seven games. “I’m a shoot first kind of guy.”  [Full Q&A]

NHL mailbag: Kuznetsov, the real McDavid debate and the next-best top line

Marc asks: “Forget McDavid vs. Matthews. The real debate: Is Connor McDavid better than peak Sidney Crosby? Peak Jagr? Best player since Lemieux?”

The problem with comparing McDavid to, well this just looks like a list of really good Penguins, is that Lemieux and Jagr had each other, and Crosby had Malkin. Connor McDavid has almost nobody, OT game-winner on Tuesday aside… [Full mailbag]

Looking at Johnny Gaudreau’s career, 100 goals in
The 25-year-old has been a deadly scorer since his first game in the NHL.
The 25-year-old has been a deadly scorer since his first game in the NHL.

Johnny Gaudreau now has 100 goals and 197 assists for 297 points over 318 NHL games, so the 25-year-old could hit two other noteworthy milestones in the near future — health permitting. [More]

Game of the night

Pittsburgh Penguins at Toronto Maple Leafs

If Sidney Crosby is not at the top of anyone’s list of the best players in the game, he is only a notch or two below it. When the Penguins visit the Maple Leafs on Thursday night, however, Crosby will still be looking for his first goal of the season. Meanwhile, Toronto’s rising star and quickly becoming one of hockey’s elite players, Auston Matthews, has been scoring at will this season. [Full preview]

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