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I have no clue what was getting into guys this week, but there was some baaaaaad behavior. Lucky for us, a lot of it was worthy of some OutKick NHL Weekly Awards.
I don’t know if it’s just that point in the season where guys are starting to go a bit stir-crazy. The trials and tribulations of an 82-game season are starting to get to them.
We’ve got some monumental freakouts and bad decisions this week, plus a bunch of other fun stuff that I think you’ll dig from around the wonderful world of hockey.
There’s a lot to get to, so let’s start with one of the more out-of-character moments of the week: the typically even-keeled Erik Karlsson losing it.
And by it, I mean his helmet.
Best Bucket Huck Of The Week: Erik Karlsson
Last week, we had Max Domi take a stick to the chops and was irate that there was no call on the play. It was probably a good non-call, and he limited his rage to hurling insults at the officials.
Erik Karlsson dealt with something similar, except he didn’t hurl insults, he launched his lid onto the ice.
The difference between the Karlsson and Domi situations is that Karlsson was absolutely high-sticked. The video and the stream of tell-tale blood spilling out of his mouth like he’s Gene Simmons during a bass solo, are solid evidence. Therefore, in this humble guy who likes hockey’s opinion his rage was justified.
Now, winding up and tossing his CCM lid onto the ice while the tell-tale blood ran out of his mouth like he was Gene Simmons mid-bass solo.
While we’re on the topic of throwing things …
Goalie With Better Accuracy Than Zach Wilson: Kasimir Kaskisuo
Kasimir Kaskisuo has two NHL games under his belt, one with the Toronto Maple Leafs and one with the Nashville Predators. These days, the former Minnesota Golden Gopher plays over in the Swedish Hockey League for Leksands IF.
However, he’s going to get a brief five-game unpaid vacation for drilling an official in the back with a water bottle.
Kaskisuo wasn’t happy about something and decided to wing his water bottle at the ref.
You can’t be doing that kind of thing, but we can admire the throw. Mind you that was with a blocker on and without taking much time to set his feet.
What a dart. from a guy who’s usually trying to stop projectiles, not launching them
Future Fraternity Pledge Of The Week: Kid At An Islanders Game
Say hello to the most sought-after pledge of the Long Island University fall rush class of 2032.
I didn’t pledge a fraternity in college — — so I’m not sure how the whole process works, but if scouts are involved, this kid is on their radar.
He’s got a few more years to work on his form to ensure more of his beverage goes down that gullet and not on that Rick DiPietro jersey. But it’s a damn good start and he’s got plenty of time to work on the fundamentals before he hits the big leagues.
Most Obvious Suspension Of The Week: Tony DeAngelo
Look: We all know that Corey Perry is an elite pest, but you can’t go and spear him in the gonads.
Looking at you, Tony DeAngelo.
You just can’t spear a guy period, and it’s especially frowned upon to deliver that spear south of the Mason-Dixon line.
For his troubles, DeAngelo was dealt a two-game sussy.
He should be happy that’s all it was because the way he came late like a medieval knight with a jousting lance aimed right at Perry’s cup could’ve easily been worth a few more games.
Circus Shot Of The Week: Trevor Zegras
Trevor Zegras is a one-man highlight reel. It’s fitting that he was on the cover of NHL 23 because it seems like that’s where he workshops his moves, many of which don’t seem like they should work in the real world.
This move he pulled on the Seattle Kraken isn’t a new one (shoutout to the real OG Marek Malik) but it was still one of the most flawlessly executed I’ve seen.
I don’t like a between-the-legs shot when it’s done simply for style points. To me, it’s way cooler when it winds up being a smart move to catch a goalie off guard.
That’s what this was.
Philipp Grubauer had to have been expecting a forehand shot right into his chest, or maybe a backhander upstairs. This is where Zegras is unbelievable. As fast as that play unfolded, he thought of another option that would catch Grubauer completely off-guard.
That lightning-quick release came from somewhere Grubauer didn’t see coming and that’s why it wound up in the back of the net.
There’s no doubt it was cool, but the Ducks needed a few more of those if they wanted to win the game. They fell to the Kraken 5-2.
Best Bobby Orr Impression That Didn’t Count: Jared Spurgeon
Minnesota Wild captain Jared Spurgeon had the game on his stick Tuesday night in overtime, and he sealed the deal.
Better yet, he tripped over a sprawling Jacob Markström to go airborne a la Bobby Orr.
It looked like the Wild had potted the first goal of the game to take a 1-0 win over the Calgary Flames.
Wait… what’s that? I’m being told that this one was called back because the Wild entered the zone offside.
This is one of those gray-area calls that you hate to see decide a game. They ruled that Spurgeon didn’t have possession of the puck when he entered the zone backward.
Worse yet (unless you’re a Flames fan, in which case, this is pretty cool) the game went to a shootout which the Flames won.
That’s a tough way to lose a game.
Promotional Giveaway Of The Week: Seattle Kraken Brandon Tanev Bobblehead
This is the best bobblehead promotion since the Flyers gave away Donald Brashear bobblehands figures back in the day.
Every hockey fan knows by this point that Brandon Tanev’s thing is to take some goofy-looking headshots every season. He’s been doing this since his days in Pittsburgh and the tradition has traveled with him to the Emerald City.
Some big-brained promotion person for the Kraken had the kind of epiphany Aaron Rodgers hoped sitting in the dark for four days would give him: Brandon Tanev bobblehead.
If you’re going to Thursday’s Kraken game against the Ottawa Senators you have to make sure you’re one of the first 10,000 fans so you get your hands on one of those puppies.
Best Fan Interaction: Mikko Rantanen
Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen landed in the penalty box late in the second period of a game against the Central Division-leading Dallas Stars.
Dallas was dummying the Avalanche 5-1, and apparently, a fan decided to let it rip and gave Rantanen an earful while he served his time.
Whatever this dude was saying, Rantanen wasn’t having it, he took off his glove and showed his hand where his Stanley Cup ring typically resides.
That’s a hell of a non-verbal chirp, but it’s good that Rantanen is using it in Dallas while he still can. The Stars are five points ahead of them (with the Minnesota Wild between them). They could be a good pick to come out of the West for the second time since 2020.
With that said. does anyone not think that this year’s Stanley Cup champ is coming out of the Eastern Conference? Boston, Carolina, Toronto (kidding, not them), and even the Devils look primed for Cup runs. Plus, you can’t count out the Lightning until they’ve been eliminated.
Should be a fun couple of weeks and months ahead.
Whew, what a bunch of award winners. All deserving, every last one of them. We’ll have a new crop of winners next week, and if you see anything you think deserves an NHL Weekly Award, be sure to send it to me on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle