Welcome back to the NHL Best and Worst. We’ve got everything you need to see from this past week in hockey, from the nastiest goals, to the slickest dishes, to our favorite off-ice shenanigans. Let's jump right into things.
Goal of the week
In terms of raw scoring ability, this goal from Anaheim Ducks forward Mason McTavish might not be the prettiest goal of the week, but everything else about it was spectacular. Late in a tied game against the Pittsburgh Penguins with the Ducks on a 5-on-3, McTavish comes roaring up the ice with mere seconds on the clock before beating Tristain Jarry clean to give the Ducks a lead they would not relinquish.
MCTAVISH. SHORTHANDED. 12 SECONDS LEFT. 😱 pic.twitter.com/UIa31uhhnG
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) October 31, 2023
Save of the week
It’s not often you get a goal of the week and save of the week candidate in the same game, but this week is a special exception after this remarkable stop from John Gibson. Gibson robs Sidney Crosby blind with an astounding no-look paddle save with just seconds remaining in the first. Sorry Pens fans, but sometimes it just isn’t your day.
possibly the save of John Gibson’s career. because every goalie becomes the 2nd coming of jesus christ against the Pens pic.twitter.com/Lo1SJD94vE
— ryan 🛸 (@OTCellyy) October 30, 2023
Player of the week: Quinn Hughes
The Hughes brothers have all been on a tear – though a recent injury could make NHL leading scorer Jack Hughes’ life a little more difficult – but Quinn Hughes has been particularly awesome to start the season. Apologies to The Athletic's Dom Luszczyszyn, but it looks like everybody's favorite tier 3 defenseman is on a mission to put his name back in the Norris conversation, racking up a league-leading eight points in three games this week, and skyrocketing his season total to an astounding 16 points in 11 games.
Worst of the week
This week’s unlucky victim of what we’re starting to think should just be the goalie gaffe of the week comes from Vegas Golden Knights Stanley Cup hero Adin Hill. The B.C. native has come out of the gates flying, maintaining his momentum from his spectacular playoff run, but this one won’t end up on his “For Your Consideration” reel if he makes a run at some hardware.
If you’re a goaltender….
— Drew Livingstone (@ProducerDrew_) October 31, 2023
Hit of the week
Moritz Seider isn’t known for throwing around his body, which is perhaps why he was able to catch Panthers forward Carter Verhaeghe with his head down in the middle of the ice here. The German blueliner crushes Verhaeghe in a fantastic open-ice collision.
Mo Seider lowers the BOOM on Carter Verhaeghe 💪😳 pic.twitter.com/KNK2zbiqWh
— Gino Hard (@GinoHard_) November 2, 2023
Wholesome moment of the week
One of the consequences of the NHL’s outlandish decision to remove specialty jerseys meant that Hockey Fights Cancer night, another important evening on the league’s calendar, was subject to the same restrictions ahead of games. Thankfully, with the fans out in full force, and the players more than happy to do their part, Charlie Coyle brought this supporter quite the thrill in the spirit of the special evening.
— Goon Squad (@carpenterr33) October 30, 2023
Gordie Howe hat tricks are a bit of a dying breed these days, so to see two in one game is something to behold. Even more impressive? How about one of the Coyotes forwards involved, Liam O’Brien, having his father be part of the last pair of teammates to accomplish the feat.
Some history made tonight in Arizona 🔥👀 pic.twitter.com/ejZtq6KlT0
— Gino Hard (@GinoHard_) October 31, 2023
Quote of the week
New Senators owner Michael Andlauer has had quite the past few weeks, from the Shane Pinto saga, to the Evgenii Dadonov ordeal, to dumping his general manager, to even selling a massive stake in his old team, the Montreal Canadiens. So when Andlauer finally made an appearance in front of the Ottawa media to discuss his busy week after Pierre Dorion’s exit, he was fairly succinct in what he was hoping for moving forward.
#Sens owner Michael Andlauer: "I am looking forward to less phone calls from the NHL."
— Joshua Clipperton (@JClipperton_CP) November 1, 2023
Dish of the week
Normally goalie highlights are reserved for the save of the week, but this fantastic stretch pass from Golden Knights ‘tendy Logan Thompson deserves some flowers as well. Check out the vision from the big man, as he threads the needle to set up Jonathan Marchessault on the power play.
Logan Thompson with a fantastic heads-up pass for his first NHL point! 👏 pic.twitter.com/5d14MDNnNG
— NHL (@NHL) November 3, 2023
Protecting what’s important
The hockey world faced unspeakable tragedy last week with the passing of former Pittsburgh Penguin Adam Johnson during a game in England. In its immediate wake, increased calls for player safety around neck guards have grown, and we even saw one player, Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie, add one to the rotation during game action. Good on Oshie for stepping up and thinking of what’s most important.
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) November 3, 2023
While Halloween has come and gone, this video from the Toronto Maple Leafs is definitely worth a watch. Say what you will about his on-ice vibes – Ryan Reaves ranks near or dead last in most statistical categories – but off the ice, this is pretty much exactly what was envisioned with bringing in the enforcer. Now we’ll see if the Maple Leafs can start turning those vibes into actual wins.
Happy Hallo-Reaves 🎃
Love, The Grim Reaver 😏 pic.twitter.com/tZdXBURzeN
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 31, 2023
Matthews vs KSI
Speaking of the Maple Leafs, Auston Matthews made headlines last week as he became the first NHL player to join Logan Paul and KSI as a spokesperson for their sports drink, Prime. Among the promotional material the trio got up to, Matthews makes the British YouTuber-turned-boxer look silly with his electric shot.
You Can Play
The NHL has officially broken another barrier in inclusion with the news of Seattle Kraken assistant athletic trainer Justin Rogers becoming the first openly gay man to work behind an NHL bench. A hearty congratulations to Rogers for living as his authentic self and being part of a historic moment in hockey history.
"Keep being you, keep building your community, and keep showing the love to others the way you have received it from so many before you."
Seattle Kraken assistant athletic trainer Justin Rogers is believed to be the first publicly out gay member of an NHL bench. pic.twitter.com/8xmv4w8yYe
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) November 3, 2023
Despite a tough 6-4 loss at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night, Matthews continues to put the puck in the net at will, picking up his third(!) hat trick of the season just 11 games in. With some fans undoubtedly in attendance not expecting the heroics from No. 34, one creative supporter thought they’d change things up a little bit, tossing a different garment onto the ice.
Some leafs fan threw a bra on the ice lmao pic.twitter.com/p8xvtgCz08
— 🤠 (@OhScottieKnows) November 5, 2023
Milestone of the week
First goals are always nice to see, as Flyers forward Louie Belpedio notched the first of his career after over 300 career AHL games to his name. Not only that, but it seems that teammate and fellow journeyman grinder Garnet Hathaway appreciated the moment as well, giving his linemate some love in a cute moment on the bench.
Garnet Hathaway realizing his teammate Louie Belpedio just scored his first goal is too wholesome pic.twitter.com/NSQDW6IOOz
— Gino Hard (@GinoHard_) November 3, 2023
You’ve heard of the double doink, but how about a triple doink? This shot from Panthers forward Steven Lorentz had eyes of its own as it clanked off the glove of James Reimer, off the crossbar, and into the net in one of the goofiest goals of the early season.
THE TRIPLE DOINK GOES IN 😱
Off the glove, off the crossbar, off the back and then in! pic.twitter.com/iUiVOtQCHm
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) November 3, 2023
The Sabres picked up a much-needed win to wrap up their week in what has been a trying start to the season for a club many had anointed as the next up-and-comer in the Atlantic Division. Before that, however, a frustrating blowout at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers, who suddenly don’t look like one of the worst teams in hockey, had Sabres fans and players exasperated, including Dylan Cozens, who looks plenty displeased here.
Cozens vs. Hathaway didn't go as planned for Cozens. 😅 pic.twitter.com/81bUDcGlll
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 4, 2023
It has been that type of season for Liam Foudy, with the former first-round pick being waived by the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier this year. Now he has the honor of perhaps the most embarrassing penalty shot we’ve seen in some time. Head up kid, at least you didn’t miss the puck entirely.
Liam Foudy is gonna want this one back pic.twitter.com/KnVG3ELeAC
— The Cam & Strick Podcast (@CamandStrick) November 1, 2023
Trending Up: Detroit Red Wings 6-3-1, W1
The Red Wings may not be on a winning streak, but when you hand the Boston Bruins their first regulation loss since March 2023, you deserve some props. It isn’t just that, however, as Detroit looks like it may mean business for the first time since the days of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. The team sits second in the Atlantic Division behind the play of Dylan Larkin and Alex DeBrincat, both of whom are on career-best paces.
It’ll be interesting to see if Hockeytown can keep this up, especially given the strength of the division, but amid slow starts from the Tampa Bay Lighting and Maple Leafs, a seam has indeed opened.
Trending Down: San Jose Sharks 0-9-1, L11
Now I know we said the Sharks were trending down last week, but perhaps we jumped the gun a little bit. We all know the Sharks are bad but how about we put things into perspective with three stats from this week.
First, the Sharks are being outscored as a team by the Hughes brothers. Then, of course, there’s their abysmal ~13.5% share of all goals at 5-on-5 to start the campaign, which, wouldn't you know it, would be the worst of the analytics era by a large margin. Finally, there’s their back-to-back 10 goal-against eruptions at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks and Pittsburgh Penguins. That pair of shellackings made them the first team since 1965 to allow 10 goals in consecutive games.
The Sharks suck. A lot.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) November 3, 2023