Tonight’s Edmonton Oilers-Detroit Red Wings game helped the hockey world find one force hotter than Sam Gagner right now: the Red Wings in Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit beat the Oilers (or some might say, the Edmonton Gagners) 4-2 for its 18th consecutive home win. It’s pretty tough not to gravitate toward Gagner’s contribution, however, as he scored both Oilers goals, including this breakaway beauty:
It’s still a small sample size, but Gagner’s doing his best to show that his sensational eight-point night was the start of something special rather than a fluke. He now has 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in a jaw-dropping five-game span.
If Gagner regresses, at least he can look back and say that he made the most of his hot streak.
Record-breaking Red Wings
Speaking of lofty runs, the Red Wings already broke their own franchise record for consecutive home wins, but now the NHL’s all-time record of 20 is within their reach. (The Boston Bruins [1929-30] and 1976 Philadelphia Flyers share that record, according to The Associated Press.) In case you’re wondering, here are Detroit’s next three home games:
vs. Anaheim Ducks (Friday, Feb. 10)
vs. Philadelphia Flyers (Sunday, Feb. 12)
vs. Dallas Stars (Tuesday, Feb. 14)
In fact, the Red Wings’ next five games are at Joe Louis Arena and nine of their next 11 are at home overall. That might be the kind of run that makes history and helps them build a sizable lead in the Central Division in the process.
Watch full highlights of the Oilers-Red Wings game below.
It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.
Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.
Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.
The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension
The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.
It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.
Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.