–Wild captain Mikko Koivu wrote an excellent piece about his journey to North America. When he came over from Finland, Koivu said he was expecting to play for the Wild right away, but because of the 2005 lockout, he was assigned to AHL Houston, which he wasn’t exactly thrilled about it at first. Over time, he got to appreciate what the minors had to offer. “I was scared about going to Houston, to be honest. I didn’t really think Texas was a hockey market. I had no idea what to expect. Looking back, the coaching staff there really shaped my career. Todd McLellan was in charge at the time. His influence on me, not only as a player, but also as a person, has been invaluable.” (The Players’ Tribune)
–The New England Patriots have been one of the elite teams in the NFL for the better part of two decades. On Sunday, they won their fifth championship in the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era. Football and hockey may be two completely different sports, but writer Sean McIndoe believes there are lessons that NHL teams can pull from New England’s success. (The Hockey News)
–When you think of the Edmonton Oilers, the first thing that usually comes to mind is Connor McDavid. But as TSN’s Travis Yost points out, you should also associate them with the word “resilient” because of their ability to overcome deficits. Edmonton have a goal differential of +21 when they’re trailing in a game. That’s the best in the NHL. (TSN)
–The New York Islanders just keep on rolling under interim head coach Doug Weight. On Thursday, they took down the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 3-1, and they closed the gap between themselves and a Wild Card spot to just two points. You can watch the highlights from last night’s game by clicking the video at the top of the page.
–Sportsnet’s Andrew Berkshire analyzed the play of every Canadian team’s first line. After his evaluation, he came to the conclusion that the trio of Connor McDavid, Patrick Maroon and Leon Draisaitl is the top one in the country. What makes them so good? Well for starters, McDavid, but it goes beyond that. Their shot quality is spot on, they always have the puck, they rarely turn it over and each member of the line is capable of scoring goals. (Sportsnet)
–On January 2, 1918, the Montreal Canadiens were supposed to take on the Montreal Wanderers at Westmount Arena. The game never ended up taking place because of a huge fire that occurred just a few hours before puck-drop. Both teams lost their uniforms and stick in the blaze. That fire quickly led to the demise of the Wanderers franchise. (Sports Illustrated).
–To say that things haven’t been going well for Dallas would be an understatement. Their coach, Lindy Ruff, is clearly on the hot seat, and that definitely didn’t change after Thursday’s loss to Ottawa. Not only did the Stars lose the game, but to make matters worse, Jiri Hudler scored an incredibly embarrassing goal into his own net. Yikes!