The jury is still out on Corey Perry being the odds-on winner to nab the Hart Trophy, but if there was an award for the league’s second-half MVP, he would be a natural choice. Many people wondered if there would be a 50-goal scorer in the NHL this season once Sidney Crosby was injured and Steven Stamkos ran out of steam, yet Perry made sure that the 2010-11 season would include at least one.
Perry did so in convincing fashion, too, scoring his fiftieth on a hat trick goal in the second period as the Anaheim Ducks bombarded the San Jose Sharks 6-2 (more on that later tonight).
As Scott Cullen points out, Perry’s ridiculous run includes a whopping 19 goals in his last 14 games. Who knows if hitting the half-century mark in goals will be enough to woo voters to go his way against Henrik Sedin – you cannot really play the linemates game involving the Sedin twins when Perry skates with two elite forwards in Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan – but those kind of numbers definitely seem to jump out to many voters.
Either way, it’s an impressive jump in quality for a guy who already ranked among the league’s better forwards. Perry has progressed from a pest with serious goal scoring ability to a genuine force in the NHL. Watch this video clip to witness his impressive hat trick.
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Get set for the Heritage Classic with hot dog facts and more
The Winnipeg Jets host the Edmonton Oilers at the 2016 Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field this afternoon. You can watch it on NHL Network, Sportsnet, TVA Sports 2 or NHL.tv at 3 p.m. ET.
With that in mind, let’s get prepped with super-important stats about unhealthy food, interesting photos and fun facts.
Want to get an in-depth look at the rivalry between the Jets and the Oilers? NHL.com and Sportsnet both have some great retrospectives.
The CBC notes that there was rain ending in the morning but it’s expected to be cloudy. Overall, sounds like a nice climate for an outdoor hockey game. NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika wonders if the sun’s glare might cause some issues.
The Arizona Coyotes received (mostly) good news on Sunday: Mike Smith‘s injury isn’t believed to be “severe,” even if he’s considered week-to-week, according to reporters including TSN’s Darren Dreger.
While Louis Domingue and Justin Peters isn’t the sort of goalie duo that will make shooters think twice about firing the puck, they’re both at least fairly experienced netminders.
(Considering Smith’s struggles with injuries and inconsistency, it’s not surprising that Arizona invested in a little insurance in Peters.)
Domingue is slated to start in net for the Coyotes against the New York Rangers on Sunday. It’s been a bumpy start for him so far, but Arizona has at least a theoretical advantage in that the Rangers played on Saturday.
As far as when Smith will be back? Well here’s a slight idea.
Dave Tippett does not think Mike Smith will be ready for home game vs. Colorado on Oct. 29, but he is not far from getting back on the ice.
Chances are, plenty of hockey fans – and maybe some members of the Colorado Avalanche – were uttering that question after Saturday night.
Well, we know this about Shane Harper: he scored his first two NHL goals at age 27, helping the Florida Panthers beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2.
You can watch both of Harper’s goals in the recap video:
Harper also drew enough ire from the Avalanche to get into a bit of a skirmish following a hit.
So, who is Shane Harper?
For one thing, he’s from Valencia, California and did not go drafted.
His best junior season came in 2009-10, when he scored 42 goals and 80 points for the Everett Silvertips. He’s become quite the seasoned AHL veteran since then, and while his numbers won’t wow you, he did do enough in 2014-15 to maybe turn a head or two. Harper scored 32 goals and 50 points for the Chicago Wolves that season.
You can tell his teammates were happy for him – gentle ribbing and all – when the media asked about his career milestone: