Panarin lighs it up on Broadway, McDavid leads scorching Oilers

Artemi Panarin, rejuvenated by the arrival of fellow Russian Vladimir Tarasenko, went on a five-point night for the resurgent New York Rangers.  (Getty Images)
Artemi Panarin, rejuvenated by the arrival of fellow Russian Vladimir Tarasenko, walked away for a five-point night to lead the NHL’s best and worst of the week. (Getty Images)

Did you hear that Jakob Chychrun is on his way from Arizona? How about taking Erik Karlsson to Edmonton? It’s a wild west of action in the market across the NHL with the trade deadline just under a month away. Many big names have already moved and left their mark on the ice. It’s all right here in this week’s edition of the NHL’s best and worst.

Artemi Panarin, rejuvenated by the arrival of fellow Russian Vladimir Tarasenko, walked away for a five-point night to lead the NHL’s best and worst of the week.

goal of the week

Kevin Hayes followed up his first career All-Star appearance last week with a nifty goal against the Nashville Predators last Saturday. Hayes has had his bumps on the road this year, but there’s no denying the Boston, Mass. native has been a bright spot for a Flyers team sorely lacking. In this case, Hayes shows the Dangles alone, leaving Juuse Saros twisted into a pretzel for the 17th of the centerman’s season.

Save the week

Despite back-to-back losses, this year’s Sabers team was undoubtedly one of the funniest stories of the NHL season. They’re still looking from the outside in, but that could change very quickly if the teams ahead have multiple games in their hands in the wildcard chase. Beyond the big breakouts of Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been a stabilizing force between the whistles for nearly a decade for a team lacking an answer at the net. His most recent performance against the Calgary Flames certainly wasn’t his best – seven goals in 40 shots wouldn’t look good on any resume, to be fair – but he found that beauty and robbed Dillon Dube at point-blank range.

player of the week

It’s been a great week for Artemi Panarin and the New York Rangers. First, the star winger’s team brought longtime friend and All-Star runningmate Vladimir Tarasenko into a contract with the St. Louis Blues, reuniting the former KHL teammates. Then, in the duo’s first game together, the bread man picked up an assist for his colleague Russia’s first goal as a rangervery to the Delight of Rangers fans. Finally, Panarin exploded on Saturday for a five-point night, including four goals, to cap off what might be the best week of his life.

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dish of the week

Connor McDavid is back and snagging souls, taking Thomas Chabots and stomping on it all over Saturday. The Hart Trophy favorite takes the number one Sens defender for a ride, stops and dances him out of his socks while boxing him, then feeds a streaky Ryan McLeod a disgusting backhander. It’s nothing new for Connor McDavid to do crazy things like that, but it doesn’t make the NHL’s top scorer (he’s almost 20 points clear of second place!) any less sensational.

hit of the week

On the southern side of Alberta’s hockey hubs, the Calgary Flames East Coast road swing got off to a terrific start last Monday against the New York Rangers. When Jacob Trouba isn’t busy sending flying elbows into the skulls of the NHL’s biggest stars, the blueshirts captain tends to show off his strength with some excellent strikes. Against the Flames, Nazem Kadri was his victim of choice as he settled the Flames pivot with a clean, aggressive and downright beautiful shot.

Statistics of the week

The newest member of the New York Islanders has come flying out of the gate with three goals in four games early in his tenure on Long Island. Fans certainly made the transition very comfortable for the former Canucks captain, too, and serenaded him several chants since he stepped on the ice in the UBS Arena.

Most compelling, however, was Horvat’s third game as an islander, in which he quickly turned around and had to face his former side at short notice. Horvat quickly made himself felt Cash against his former team with a big goal, that had bumped the audience. Everything seemed to be going well for Horvat and his new crew, but the man who went the other way on the deal had other ideas. Anthony Beauvillier, who was sent back to Vancouver as an equal-pay throw-in, ended up playing along with the heroes a binding goal to force overtime and eventually help the ‘Nucks seal the win.

It all made for quite immersive viewing, but perhaps the most amazing part of the entire saga was these fantastic stats provided to Arda Ocal by ESPN.

quote of the week

Lou Lamoriello has always viewed some team policies as autocratic and dictatorial, but when you’ve been in the league as long as someone like him, you tend to get by a bit when it comes to what moves you. One of those guidelines is his notoriously tight-lipped stance on contracts, never revealing the terms of a deal when discussing it with the public. That meant when reporters asked about the Bo Horvat expansion if he was willing to share the details, the wily veteran GM humorously responded with this great one-liner.

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Hathaway celly

There’s not much fun to be had after you’ve hung up, but Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway has found a way to poke fun at it after scoring his ninth goal of the season. Check out this one as he is set up by Bruins blueliner Connor Clifton and then plays on the ice from the seat of his pants a little dazed and confused, much to the delight of the ESPN crew. In the end, it turned out to be the Bruins, flat on their wallets and looking confused as they lost that game 2-1, only their second home loss of the season.

Viktor E Ratt takes an L

The Battle of Florida is easily one of the most underrated rivalries in all of the NHL, and while neither team has quite reached the heights they achieved last season, there’s still plenty of bad blood between the Panthers and the Lightning. When the two met last Monday, the Cats dominated on the ice with a 7-1 win, but off the ice it was all Tampa Bay, especially during that bizarre Donnybrook between the Panthers mascot and a Lone Wolf Lightning fan.


As it turns out, it’s not just the fans who have their eyes on Connor Bedard and where his NHL future may lie. In fact, amid a solid rookie campaign with the humble Anaheim Ducks, Mason McTavish, a former World Juniors teammate, appears to have bookmarked the lottery simulator as well. The frizzy-haired phenomenon has taken it upon himself to tag the presumed first overall every time the Ducks lose with odd lyrics, which, as you can imagine, could get a bit pricey if he’s not Canadian SMS as part of his plan.

player of the game

Every team has its tradition of choosing the player of the game. With the maple leavesit’s a wrestling belt, for that Ottawa Senators, it’s spray tan goggles. However, the New Jersey Devils could take the cake for the group’s most creative award and hand out that monstrosity by win.

proud night

Friday night in Columbus was Pride Night for the Blue Jackets, an important night to celebrate and strengthen the LGBTQ+ community despite the recent past events, hockey will always be for everyone. That’s part of what made this small but important gesture from Maple Leafs forwards Mitch Marner and John Tavares all the more important.

perfect shape

One…two…three…this is how you celebrate a gem with 45 saves. Predators keeper Yaroslav Askarov went into full winning season after an epic performance against the Rockford IceHogs, pulling down the net for that hilarious Celly. Askarov’s season has been up and down in parts of the AHL, but if that was any indication, the NHL’s top goalie perspective could be heating up and could be a factor in the not too distant future.

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Don’t mess with the code

Sidney Crosby is far from the tough guy you’d find in the NHL, but that brief moment between him and Trevor Zegras sent quite a message. After Zegras attempted to kick the puck after an offside attempt, the Penguin legend took offense and gave the flashy runner-up a little lesson on what not to do after the whistle. There might be bigger guys who could have confronted Zegras on this one, but I can’t imagine there being a more frightening circumstance for a young NHLer than ticking off the notoriously cool-headed Sid the Kid.

family in town

As the Edmonton Oilers embarked on a partial road swing in eastern Canada, questions for Connor McDavid about returning to his home province were perhaps inevitable. When a reporter checked that the NHL leading scorer would have family and friends present at the team’s game in Ottawa, No. 97 was pretty succinct about the crowd he expected from the McDavid clan.

Throwback snap

When Keith Tkachuk made his last All-Star appearance with the St. Louis Blues in 2009, his two boys, Matthew and Brady, were 12 and 10, respectively. Given the family atmosphere that the NHL All-Star Game brings, it’s no surprise that the pair got their fair share of snaps with some NHL superstars young and old. Some 14 years later, the fraternal All-Star duo took the time to recreate a few of those iconic images as they make their annual All-Star Game journey.

junk of the week

Speaking of Brady Tkachuk, check out this superstar match between the Senators captain and Edmonton Oilers power forward Evander Kane. The duo puts together quite a fierce fight here, especially Kane landing a series of big right hands before Brady counters with his own knuckles.

Trending: Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers, winners of seven of their last ten, are hot and in the race for pole position in the Pacific Division. It should come as no surprise that Connor McDavid has been the show throughout this process as he continues to dazzle in his historic season with a staggering 97 points fitting his jersey in just 53 games. Even more remarkable, however, was the team around him. Since returning from the All-Star hiatus, Edmonton has been second in the league during that stretch with a 3-1-1 and a dominating 58 percent control over expected goals. The Oilers are entering wagon territory and could be Canada’s best hope of lifting the Stanley Cup north of the 49th parallel.

Downtrend: St. Louis Blues

With Vladimir Tarasenko on the way to Broadway, the St. Louis Blues initially appear to be embarking on a long and painful rebuild. With a barren closet, some lousy lottery odds in a big move, and more veterans reportedly on their way out, things could get ugly fast. Meanwhile, on the ice, the Blues are losing 7 of their last 10, a mark matched only by the modest Columbus Blue Jackets, soap opera-filled Vancouver Canucks and actively tanking San Jose Sharks. Someone has to put the blues out of their misery because it’s going to be hard to watch.

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