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I know I call this column, the NHL Weekly Awards, but if you haven’t noticed, we spend quite a bit of time outside the National Hockey League. Minor Leagues, European leagues, and the NCAA have all been featured.
Now, for the first time in OutKick NHL Weekly Awards history, I’m proud to welcome the ACHA — collegiate club hockey — to the ranks.
I’m excited about this and it’s an absolute doozy, so let’s get right to it…
Club Hockey Goal Of The Week: North Carolina Tar Heels’ Patrick O’Shaughnessy
The North Carolina Tar Heels were taking on the Virginia Tech Hokies when forward Patrick O’Shaughnessy decided to score a highlight reel-worthy gem.
Unreal awareness from our guy, Patty to backhand that one between the Hokie netminder’s wickets as he’s taking a spill.
That goal was so impressive the NHL shared it on some of its social media accounts.
As the league should, it was preposterous.
Coincidentally, O’Shaughnessy’s goal happened almost 17 years to the day after another guy whose surname starts with “O” scored a pretty impressive goal that looked strikingly similar.
Great stuff from O’Shaughnessy and his Tar Heels teammates. Let’s hope to see some more club hockey gems in the future.
Least Neighborly Moment: Jake Neighbours
Being a good neighbor means shoveling their sidewalk or baking them cookies when you move in, not trying to cave their face in.
This wasn’t neighborly, but it was Jake Neighbours-ly.
The St. Louis winger dropped the gloves with Ottawa’s Parker Kelly in the second period of Tuesday’s Blues-Senators game.
After squaring up, Neighbours threw a barrage of rights that probably had Kelly regretting his decision to chuck his mitts.
Blues’ 2,000th win in franchise history.
Road Warriors Of The Week: Seattle Kraken
The NHL’s newest team has no clue what that is because its having easily the best season in franchise history.
Not that it would be super hard to beat the inaugural campaign, but the Karaken are having a good season by any franchise’s standard.
Now, the Kraken have written their name in the NHL record book.
That’s right, the first team to sweep a road trip of seven or more games. That’s incredible. Even if road trips of 7+ games aren’t exactly commonplace.
You’d think in at least one of those games the Kraken just wouldn’t be feeling it. Maybe they got in late the night before or something and were sluggish in the first period.
Not the Kraken. Dave Hakstol has those dudes ready to play (why couldn’t he do that in Philadelphia?!?!)
The Kraken should make the postseason for the first time in franchise history this season, and if they’re that good on the road, they may be in for a deep run.
Most Likely To Enrage A Goalie: Elias Pettersson
Vancouver Canucks center Elias Petterson pulled a version of Peter Forsberg’s famed “Stamp Move” in a shootout against the Carolina Hurricanes this week.
He nailed it, and Hurricanes netminder Pyotr Kochetkov was piiiiiiisssssed.
That silly, one-handed move gave the Canucks a 4-3 win over the Metropolitan Division-leading Canes.
That could go down as one of the few bright spots in what has been an otherwise tough year for the Canucks. As of Wednesday, the Canucks sit 12 points outside of the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
The team also has decisions to make about key players like captain Bo Horvat, and whether it’s time to move on from head coach Bruce Boudreau.
At least they can look back on Pettersson’s nifty shootout move and maybe it’ll ease the pain a bit… probably not.
“They’ve Still Got It” Fight Of The Week: Nick Foligno Vs. Wayne Simmonds
Wayne Simmonds and Nick Foligno are both closer to the end of their respective NHL careers than the beginning. But don’t think for a second that these guys still can’t throw punches with the best of them.
Simmonds and Foligno dropped the gloves when the Leafs paid a visit to the NHL-leading Bruins.
It was one long tilt, and about as close to a draw as you’re going to get. Gotta love the sportsmanship from these two as well. They’re two guys who have been around a while at this point and it’s clear there was a lot of respect between them.
Game recognizes game, as they say.
Moment That Worked Way Better In His Head Of The Week: Frederik Andersen
The Hurricanes have been having a phenomenal season and could win the competitive Met.
That said, they’re not immune to mistakes.
Freddie Andersen thought he would corral a puck and then casually paddle it into the neutral zone. He was probably thinking “this will get the job done rather nicely, and perhaps everyone will also say, ‘wow, Freddie that was super cool,’ to boot.”
That is not what happened.
I’m not sure whether that was an act of showboating gone awry or if it was just an honest-to-goodness brain fart. Either way, Andersen will surely be removing that little move from his bag of tricks.
If he doesn’t, I’m sure Rod Brind’Amour will by force.
The Hurricanes beat the Penguins 2-1, but that fleeting act of boneheadedness cost Andersen a shutout.
That’s it for this week’s NHL Weekly Awards. Be sure to send anything award-worthy that catches your eye over to me on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle