With the sniper galloping to a league-leading 21 points, it’s likely that Phil Kessel trade remorse was at an all-time low in Toronto heading into Saturday’s game against Boston. The needle probably moved back a few notches in the negative direction after Tyler Seguin scored a hat trick as the Bruins beat the Maple Leafs 7-0, though.
As Stanley Cup of Chowder points out, the hat trick takes on greater narrative meaning because Seguin grew up near Toronto and ostensibly could have been theirs if they didn’t make that oft-criticized deal.
In many peoples’ minds, the Bruins already won that deal the moment GM Peter Chiarelli realized he had the second pick in 2010 (while wearing a Maple Leafs-themed tie, no less).* It doesn’t matter much to them that Kessel still has seven more points on the season and his team remains nine points ahead in the standings.
The rest of us will wait for at least the next few years to play out before it is truly known who “won,” so nights like these are interesting battles in that figurative war.
* – Naturally, Kessel and Seguin weren’t the only players involved in that trade, but it’s more fun/cruel to boil it down to fates of those two players, isn’t it?
Matt Duchene reflects on first hat trick: ‘Most fun I’ve had’
“It’s too bad we lost,” Duchene said. “[But] it was hands down the most fun I’ve ever had playing a hockey game in my life.”
In the span of one game, Duchene slammed the door shut on those who worried about a mini-slump in which he was briefly demoted to the fourth line. Those four points were impressive enough – seriously, watch that third goal and let your jaw hit the floor – but he was an electric force all night.
In addition to the plays that showed up on the box score, he also earned Colorado a power play on what was just short of a penalty shot opportunity and had at least two other chances that could have been goals. The dynamic scorer used his world-class speed and creativity to carve up anyone the Stars sent his way.
Duchene came into Dallas with six points and finished with 10. Perhaps it was just a hot night or maybe playing left wing will continue to open up room for him to work his one-on-all magic, but if Duchene keeps having this much fun, opposing teams are going to be quite miserable.
Video: Stamkos’ hat trick leads Lightning over Hawks
The Lightning used a 2nd period hat trick from super-sniper Steven Stamkos to catapult Tampa Bay to a 5-4, come-from-behind, overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. It only took Stamkos 15 seconds for Stamkos to get the 2nd period started off on the right foot for the Lightning—it was only a taste of things to come as he was on his way towards his fourth career hat trick.
Sooner or later, teams are going to realize the 2008 #1 overall draft pick really likes that one-timer from the left wing circle. Here are all three goals for your viewing pleasure.