Gabriel Landeskog is in hot water with the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety (again) after cross-checking Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk in the head on Saturday.
The NHL announced Sunday that the Colorado Avalanche captain, who is no stranger to the league’s disciplinary committee, would have a hearing scheduled for Monday.
The incident, which can be seen below, shows Tkachuk fighting for a loose puck at the side of Colorado’s net in the first period of 3-2 Fames win on Saturday. Landeskog does well, initially, to get Tkachuk away from the puck, but then fires off two cross-checks, the second landing flush on the side of Tkachuk’s face.
Landeskog was issued a two-minute stint in the sin bin for cross-checking on the play. Tkachuk remained in the game and assisted on the ensuing power-play goal by Dougie Hamilton.
When you talk about the best lines in the NHL, don’t sleep on the trio Johnny Gaudreau is leading for the Calgary Flames.
With his 10th goal of the season coming early in a Flames – Washington Capitals game that is ongoing, Gaudreau collected his 30th point of 2017-18. As of this writing, only two other players have hit that mark so far: Steven Stamkos (35 points) and Nikita Kucherov (33), the headliners of a Tampa Bay Lightning trio that’s grabbing a lot of, well, headlines.
Here’s the goal Gaudreau scored against the Caps, keeping in mind that he has plenty of time to add to his lofty totals:
This Gaudreau guy is pretty good at hockey. Holtby doesn't let many players beat him on clean looks like that.
To an extent, it feels like Gaudreau’s fantastic work has been sneaking under the radar, at least compared to the likes of Stamkos – Kucherov. Then again, maybe some of it has to do with the fact that his hot streak is at least somewhat concentrated in the last few weeks?
Johnny Gaudreau in the past 10 games: 8 goals, 10 assists. He good.
Gaudreau, no doubt, is the catalyst. His playmaking ability is often spellbinding, and he’s well beyond questions about being a flash in the pan at this point in his career. The 24-year-old came into tonight’s game with 233 points in 251 career regular-season games; he’s scored more than the likes of Joe Pavelski and Evgeni Malkin since becoming a full-time player in 2014-15, according to Hockey Reference. (He ranks 12th overall during that span.)
There remains a debate about how much Sean Monahan can accomplish without Gaudreau, yet the counterpoint would be to wonder if it’s really that wise to mess with such a good thing. Such an argument is especially tough to make on the heels of his first career hat trick:
While Gaudreau has eight goals and 10 assists for a whopping 18 points (and possibly counting) during a 10-game point streak, Monahan collected his 21st point of this season on the primary assist. He added a helper to that hat trick the other night, so even if he’s stopped for the rest of Monday, Monahan has five points in two games. He also generated a six-game point streak (three goals, five assists) from Oct. 27 – Nov. 9.
When people haven’t been discussing Monahan’s dependence upon Gaudreau, they’ve wondered who might be the right winger for that dynamic duo.
The big 25-year-old currently has 12 points in 18 games, but he’s really been revving up his production as of late. The Flyers snapped his five-game goal streak on Nov. 18, yet he extended his point streak to six contests with an assist (5G, 3A).
Logically, Ferland makes some sense for Gaudreau – Monahan. Neither of those forwards bring a lot of beef to the table, and Ferland has also shown some signs that he possesses the ability to finish the chances they can set up. As fun as it is to watch Jaromir Jagr with those two, Ferland might end up being the best fit for them since Jiri Hudler’s better Flames days.
(Ferland didn’t get an assist on Gaudreau’s goal, so he’ll need to generate some offense as this game goes along to keep his impressive streak going.)
Stamkos, Kucherov, and Vladislav Namestnikov probably carry the championship belts as the best scoring line in hockey, at least right now. One of the delightful things about this relatively high-scoring start to the season is that there are plenty of contenders for that imaginary title, and Gaudreau’s group shouldn’t be shortchanged in such debates.
Update: Monahan added a goal of his own (the eventual game-winner, with a primary assist by Gaudreau) as the Flames ran away with this one by a score of 4-1. Matthew Tkachuk made his presence felt as well with two assists.
About the only bummer was that Ferland’s point streak ended.
So, Gaudreau finishes the night with 31 points on the season, including 19 during this 10-game streak. Monahan now has 22 points (with six in the last two contests).
With the score even at one early in the third period, Teravainen took over, netting his first career hat trick au natural as the Hurricanes beat the Dallas Stars 5-1. He ended up with four points on the night after recording an assist on Carolina’s opening goal.
Highlight of the Night: Slick second goal of the night for Flames forward Mark Jankowski:
• Jordan Staal was busy with assists on four of Carolina’s five goals.
• Sebastian Aho scored his first goal of the year and added two helpers.
• Carolina has picked up points in their last five games.
• Alex Radulov extended his point streak to eight games with a second period power play goal.
• A wild seven-goal third period ended with the Calgary Flames topping the St. Louis Blues 7-4. Jankowski had himself a night with two goals and an assist.
The Wild pair were the main cogs in Minnesota’s 3-0 shutout of the Montreal Canadiens. Dubnyk did his job between the pipes stopping all 41 shots he faced for his 25th career shutout. Zucker, meanwhile, netted all three goals for his first career hat trick. Zucker has now scored the Wild’s last five goals.
• Jaromir Jagr scored his first goal with the Calgary Flames and Johnny Gaudreau chipped in three points during a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.
• Carter Hutton made 27 saves in regulation and overtime and stopped both Arizona shootout attempts during a 3-2 St. Louis Blues victory. Alex Pietrangelo scored his seventh goal of the season. The Blues have won 12 straight over the Coyotes.
• The Coyotes have not won in regulation in 18 games this season. Per the NHL, they’re one loss shy of tying the 1999 Calgary Flames’ dubious record.
• Chicago has not beaten the Flyers in the regular season in Philly in 14 meetings, dating back to Nov. 9, 1996.
• Jakob Silfverberg scored twice 35 seconds apart early in the third period to power the Anaheim Ducks past the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. Rickard Rakell handed out three assists.
• Nikita Kucherov, Alex Killorn, Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos scored in a span of 2:02 in the first period to power their way to a 5-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings. Kucherov and Stamkos combined for five points, with Kucherov potting his league-leading 16th goal of the season.
When the Calgary Flames drafted Sam Bennett fourth overall in 2014, they expected him to develop into an impact player. Unfortunately for Bennett, the 2017-18 season hasn’t gone that way (at all).
Through 15 games, Bennett is still looking for his point of the season. Over his first three years, it’s concerning to see that his numbers have been trending down instead of up. In 2015-16 (his first full season), the 21-year-old accumulated 18 goals and 36 points in 77 games. The following season, those numbers dropped to 13 goals and 26 points.
“I’m not used to starting a season like this. It’s never happened before,” Bennett said, per the Calgary Sun. “Obviously, as much as you try to tell yourself, ‘Don’t worry about it,’ it’s still going to be there. So I’ll take one however I can get it.”
Finding Bennett a position has also been difficult for Calgary, as he’s struggled to play center at the NHL level. His struggles all over the ice haven’t gone unnoticed by people around the league. When things aren’t going well for a young forward with upside, that’s usually when other GMs try to pounce.