NHL Notebook: Can anybody beat the Panthers?
Welcome to our inaugural edition of NHL Notebook! Let’s review some of the biggest headlines in hockey over the past week.
Panthers’ Stanley Cup odds slashed in midst of historic run
We’re nearly one month into the NHL season, and the Florida Panthers have yet to lose in regulation. At 10-0-1 following their victory over the equally-hot Carolina Hurricanes (9-1-0) on Saturday, the Panthers continue to beat back all challengers, even in the wake of head coach Joel Quenneville’s resignation (more on that later).
The well-traveled Anthony Duclair leads his team in goals (eight), and is tied for the team lead in points (12) with usual suspects Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau. A win over the New York Rangers on Monday night would secure Florida the best 12-game start in NHL history.
Not surprisingly, the Panthers have seen their Stanley Cup odds tumble since the opening puck drop, as they’re now tied for second-choice status with the Vegas Golden Knights at +900. They were listed at +1700 during the offseason.
Only the Colorado Avalanche (+475) are currently a more popular pick to hoist Lord Stanley’s hardware in June.
NHL Championship 2021/2022
Thu, June 16 2022, 10:00 AM
Vegas Golden Knights
Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Islanders
The Blackhawks and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year
A dark cloud continues to hang over the Chicago Blackhawks organization in the wake of their disgraceful cover-up of the Kyle Beach incident being brought to light.
Less than two weeks after the resignations of Blackhawks higher-ups Stan Bowman and Al MacIsaac (and former head coach Quenneville in Florida), head coach Jeremy Colliton got pink-slipped on Saturday. Colliton’s dismissal was for hockey reasons, as the team was 1-9-2 under his direction this season.
Attendance is plummeting at the United Center, and the self-inflicted wound the Blackhawks dealt themselves may be playing a part.
Jack Eichel hits the jackpot
A trade years in the making finally came to pass, as the Buffalo Sabres dealt Jack Eichel to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday for Alex Tuch, a prospect, and two draft picks.
Eichel may not be able to join the Golden Knights on the ice for months, but he can finally seek out the disc replacement surgery that the Sabres refused him, and hopefully get back to being the top-notch player that he’s been for years.
As for the Sabres, they’re continuing to pile up assets that can be used in their rebuild while clearing more cap space. It may take a couple of seasons, but the future is getting a bit brighter in Buffalo.
Connor McDavid is a cheat code
The Rangers were left wondering what happened when Connor McDavid decided to take things into his own hands on Friday night.
Down 5-4 with time dwindling in the third period, the Edmonton Oilers captain sliced through four rival skaters before burying the game-tying goal against Alexandar Georgiev in what could end up being the goal of the year.
Art Ross Trophy 2021/2022
Sat, April 30 2022, 4:30 AM
Aho, Sebastian (1997)
McDavid – the current Art Ross Trophy favorite – ended up with three points on the night, including an assist on the game-winning goal by Leon Draisaitl in overtime.