* Jonathan Toews recorded a natural hat-trick in a high scoring affair in Chicago to help the Blackhawks win 6-5 in regulation. He added an assist to make it a four point night.
* Y’know who also had a four point night? Ol’ Philly Cheese Phil Kessel, who scored two and assisted on two, registering a point on all four of the Leafs goals in their shutout win over Edmonton (James Reimer was in goal). Remarkably, Kessel is only three goals away from matching Doug Gilmour’s goal total as a Leaf.
* The Phoenix Coyotes took down the Los Angeles Kings to help them once again get off to another curiously great start. Mike Smith made 41 stops on 42 shots for a .976 save percentage.
* Kyle Palmieri scored twice in the third period against the Flyers to complete the Ducks comeback. He included this slick rick backhand five-hole goal:
Maybe Alex Steen really is Brett Hull?
Last night the St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets were tied at two when TJ Oshie poked a puck past Tobias Enstrom, and the Jets defenseman was forced to hold him to avoid a breakaway. That gave the Blues a PP with two minutes to play, where a nice fake slap pass to Alex Steen was enough to allow him a clean shot on his backhand, which put the Blues up for good.
Steen now leads the NHL with 11 goals.
Teemu Selanne is near dentures anyway, so whatever
Teemu Selanne left the Ducks/Flyers game after taking an accidental Luke Schenn stick to the face. Watching this, I thought he had a busted jaw, ala Sam Gagner. Turns out he just lost “several teeth.”
No word when he’ll return back to action, apparently his mouth is busted up something fierce.
Jaromir Jagr set a record! (No he didn’t)
Jaromir Jagr scored a breakaway goal last night that looked awfully similar to the Kyle Palmieri goal above (note to players with the puck at the blueline: maybe don’t f*** around with it there as last man back, eh?), and the NHL reported he was officially the League’s all-time leader in game-winning goals with 119.
Turns out some guy named Gordie Howe actually had 121, so he’s not quite there yet. (The NHL’s site only tracks stats after 1967.)
When asked what he was thinking on the breakaway, Jagr said some real old man ish:
“Don’t get injured,” Jagr said to reporters jokingly after the game. “Don’t go too fast because my body is not used to going fast. So I have to slow down a little. But I cannot slow down too much because they will catch me from behind.
You can’t help but look back at the trade that brought Phil Kessel to Toronto and go “Well…okay, maybe that wasn’t so bad on Brian Burke’s part. Wait, maybe it was actually good?” That debate is a long way from settled of course, as the Bruins’ picks became Dougie Hamilton and Tyler Seguin, who are just beginning their careers, but it should remind us that fans tend to overvalue prospects (everybody is going to become the next great player, until they don’t), and getting guaranteed NHL skill for NHL Maybes isn’t such a terrible idea (of course, Burke never thought the first rounder would be the second overall pick anyway). At any rate, whatever you think of that Toronto/Boston trade, Phil Kessel has undeniably shot himself into the crazy-elite stratosphere with his play over the last few years. He’s currently second in NHL scoring with 18 points in 13 contests. Nah bad.
* The Blue Jackets tried to support National Cat Day yesterday. It doesn’t sound like it was a huge hit.
* The Islanders/Sabres deals came with a few caveats we didn’t realize until yesterday. The Sabres are retaining 20% of Vanek’s salary (roughly 1.4 million), and if the Islanders first is a top 10 pick, they reserve the right to defer the pick until 2015. Those stipulations should change the perception of the deal a bit.
* Not sure I’m a huge fan of Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s comments on his recent recognition (being considered for Team Canada). From theScore:
“It’s nice that you finally get recognized. I’ve been playing, personally, I think, great hockey for eight years,” Vlasic told CSNBayArea.com. “It’s nice to get rewarded for the good things you do. Better late than never. I play the same way. Every year I try to get better, and it’s nice to finally get recognized. Now you have no choice but to continue it.”
“I’ve been awesome for eight years, glad y’all finally noticed. Better late than never.” Got it, Kanye.
* 1992s Niederreiter, Coyle and Granlund, in their Top Gun Halloween digs. The movie premiered six years before they were born:
— nino niederreiter (@thelnino25) October 29, 2013
* Dougie Hamilton (baby), Bartkowski (pirate), Smith (Buzz Lightyear):
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 29, 2013
* And finally, check out theScore’s collection of Halloween hockey pumpkins.
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) October 29, 2013