We are officially one week into the 2016-2017 NHL season and there is already so much to talk about. Devastating injuries, records, first goals and even the flu were amongst the top stories this past week.
Multiple Point Games
There has already been an abundance of highlight reel footage in the past week, but nothing has topped or been talked about more than Auston Matthews’ first NHL game. During his debut, Matthews scored his first 4 goals of his career. That’s right, 4! Matthews is the first player NHL history to have ever done that. He had such an unbelievable night during his first game as a Toronto Maple Leaf that he even made his mother cry.
After a great run at the World Cup of Hockey, Brad Marchand seems to have started the new season in Boston right where he left off. In the Bruins’ first game of the new season, Marchand had a 5-point-game night. He picked up an assist in his next two games, which have led to currently being in second place for point leaders across the league.
It should come as no surprise that Connor McDavid’s season is off to a great start. Before the season stated, McDavid was named the youngest captain in NHL history. In the Oiler’s first two games, the newly appointed captain scored 2 goals and earned an assist in each game respectively.
Clearly winning at the World Cup of Hockey has carried over into the new season for much of Team Canada. Ryan O’Reilly had a career-four points to help the Buffalo Sabres get their first win of the season. O’Reilly’s two goals and two assists added to the 6-2 final against the Oilers.
Injuries and Illnesses
The Pittsburgh Penguins are still without their star captain Sidney Crosby after he was diagnosed with a concussion 2 days before the regular season began. Crosby, who suffered the concussion during practice on October 7, has been skating most mornings, but his status is still day-to-day.
Jack Eichel also succumbed to a preseason practice injury. The morning before the Buffalo Sabres’ first game of the season, with 10 minutes left of practice, Eichel got his leg tangled up with a defenseman, went down and laid grasped his leg in pain. He was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain and is out indefinitely.
The Sabres are not having a good start to the season. During their home opener on October 13, Evander Kane crashed into the boards hard. He had to be escorted off the ice and was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. Kane was released that night and it was announced that he will be out indefinitely with three cracked ribs.
Fresh off an amazing performance at the World Cup of Hockey, Vezina winner Carey Price has been sidelined again but this time with the flu. Although he is not expected to miss too many games, he was ruled out for the Canadiens home opener on Tuesday. Price missed 70 games last year due to injury making it 333 days since he had played for the Canadiens.
It has been quite the exciting week in the NHL It is hard to believe that it has just begun! We have been blessed so far with some outstanding performances and riveting games. If the first 7 days had already been this rewarding, it’s exciting to think about what the rest of the season could bring.