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Hopefully, you’ve recovered from the holiday and from the World Cup game that took a few years off all of our lives.
While soccer has a stranglehold on the sports world for the time being, the NHL is still chugging along.
You can also bet that there’s a lot more scoring happening. The Kings and Kraken may have teamed up for more goals in one game than the World Cup has had all tournament so far, but don’t quote me on that.
Lots of great stuff this week, so let’s get right to the latest batch of NHL Weekly Awards…
Best Taunt Of A Team That Traded You Over The Summer: Kirby Dach
A couple of weeks ago, Vegas Golden Knight Jack Eichel gave his former fans in Buffalo a bit of a ribbing. Now Kirby Dach is doing the same.
Dach was drafted by the Blackhawks with the 3rd-overall pick in 2018 but was shipped out of town when the team decided to blow things up and start over.
He was back in Chi-Town for the first time since he was dealt over the summer, and boy did he make an impression.
The two struggling teams fought each other to a shootout. Ultimately, Dach had the game on his stick and snapped one past Hawks netminder Arvid Söderblom.
Cue the “I can’t hear you” celly.
Don’t expect Dach to get a warm reception next time the Habs roll through Chicago.
Best Stache ‘N’ Stare Of The Week: Nick Holden
Ottawa Senators D-man Nick Holden is bringing some serious heat by combining a next-level mustache and stare that looks like it could burn a hole through steel.
Imagine flying down ice and coming face-to-face with this Blue Steel/lip ferret combo.
Good lord. I just coughed up the puck and I’m sitting at my desk.
Holden has grown Movember ‘staches in the past, so I’ll assume that’s what it’s for.
A damn good mustache for a damn good cause.
Most On-Brand Quote Of The Week: John Tortorella
Things have not been going well in Flyers Country over the last few weeks. However, While the team hasn’t been delivering, head coach JohnTororella — who was recently kicked by a horse — has.
Last week, Torts was speaking with TNT’s Paul Bissonnette about adjustments when it comes to coaching young players.
He had a typical Torts doozy of an answer.
“It’s a young, dumb league,” Tortorella said. “There are so many more mistakes made now in our game than back in the day.”
He then explained how he has changed his approach to coaching to help young players mature and improve.
You can notice that if you remember what Tortorella was like 10-15 years ago. He’s still a firey guy but doesn’t seem as in your face as he did when he was scaring the bejeezus out of the Sedin twins in Vancouver.
This isn’t the first time the Flyers bench boss has used the “Young, dumb league” line. He said it four years ago in Columbus.
Torts will right the ship in Philly he’s just going to need a bit of time with this young, injury-plagued team of his.
That’s the truth and not me speaking as a naive Flyers fan…
Most Obscene All-Around Goalie Shelling: Los Angeles Kings and Seattle Kraken
Talk about a tough night to be the guy between the pipes.
The Kings and Kraken lit up each other’s netminders, potting 14 combined goals through just 2 periods.
In case you were curious, the over/under goal total was 6. The under was well off the table by the end of the first period.
The Kings scored a pair in the third stanza to send the game to overtime. However, it was the Kraken who took home the extra point thanks to an Andre Burakovsky powerplay goal in the extra frame.
Martin Jones faced every single one of the Kings’ 35 shots while Jonathan Quick and Cal Peterson tag-teamed 30 from the Kraken.
17 goals on 65 shots… is not great.
Still, the game has earned the distinction as the highest-scoring game of the 21st century.
Biggest “That Dude Definitely Used To Figure Skate” Moment Of The Week: Jeff Skinner
Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner is known for two things: his stellar skating ability and that ungodly 8-year / $72,000,000 deal of his.
In this instance, we will focus on the former.
A lot of hockey fans know that before focusing on hockey Skinner was a competitive figure skater. You can often pick up on it based on the way he uses his edges.
Especially on this goal.
First, he supported the puck carrier so well it would make even the most fundamental-obsessed coach salivate.
Then he used his edges to fling a puck right back at an unsuspecting Brian Elliott. That was one hell of a goal, but unfortunately for the Sabres, it wasn’t enough to help them beat the Lightning, who won the game 5-3.
Backhand Snipe Of The Week: Tomas Tatar
The Devils are red-hot right now, even after their 13-game win streak came to a close against the Leafs last week.
Nonetheless, they continue to buzz.
Tomas Tatar fired off an absolute backhanded beauty in the Devils’ 5-3 win over the Rangers.
What a laser, especially on the backhand.
It was one of the 5 goals that Blue Shirts goalie Igor Shesterkin let in, and h was down in the dumps after the game.
The reigning Vezina winner probably expects more from himself, but stopping that shot from Tatar was damn near impossible.
Tatar let that thing go in a hurry. I’m pretty sure most goalies in the league are letting that one through.
Best Between-Periods Shootout Goal Scored By Someone Too Young To Have A Driver’s License: This Kid
To close out the week, we’ve got one heck of a creative goal from this youngster in Columbus.
Between periods this dude wowed the crowd by telling his right glove to pound sand. Was it a diversion? Was it to get a better grip on the twig?
Who cares! It worked, and it’s a beaut, Clark!
While the glove toss is going to get all the attention, I love the patience. Pulled the first semi-gloveless deke and then just waited out the goalie.
That’s it for now. We’ll be back here next week: same Bat-Time, same Bat-Website. If you catch anything that you think deserves an OutKick NHL Weekly Award, be sure to send it my way on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle.