The Buzzer: NHL All-Star selections run rampant on Wednesday

1 Comment

Three stars

1. Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks

Each player’s four-point night would have looked a lot prettier if the Sharks didn’t try their best to throw away a 4-1 lead their captain helped created.

Pavelski had a goal — his 24th — to open the game’s scoring, and then notched his 11th, 12th and 13th assists of the season. The last one, which set up Lukas Radil‘s fifth of the year, proved to be the most important is the goal wound up being the game winner.

Burns had the same stat line as Pavelski, producing a point on each of the Sharks’ first four goals. Burns had seven goals and 44 points in 42 games.

Both were named NHL All-Stars on Wednesday.

2. Miro Heiskanen, Dallas Stars

Fresh off his All-Star nod, the Finnish rookie notched two goals, including the game-winner in a 5-4 win against the New Jersey Devils.

The win meant Dallas, who have gone through a lot in the past week, moved into third place in the mighty Central Division. Tyler Seguin, whose play was compared to horse excrement recently, scored twice as well.

Jamie Benn, who also had his name dragged through the horse dung, scored the tying goal in the first period before he got drilled in the second and had to leave the game with an upper-body injury.

3. Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks

Speaking of All-Star nods, Pettersson celebrated his with a hat trick, including the game-winner in overtime as the Canucks beat the Ottawa Senators 5-4.

Pettersson, the rookie phenom, now has 22 goals on the season and 42 points in just 37 games and five goals in his past four games. He’s on pace for 45 goals. He’s 20.

He’s obviously very good at hockey and can almost assuredly be given the Calder Trophy right now. I mean, there’s no competition here.

Other notable performances:

  • Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers: Often, like on Wednesday, McJesus can do it all himself. He scored twice, including the game-winner, and assisted on Edmonton’s other goal in a 3-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes. McDavid now has five straight multi-point games.  The Oilers came into the game riding an awful six-game losing streak, so they needed McDavid in the worst way. They got him, and the win subsequently followed. McDavid is the Pacific Division captain at the ASG.
  • Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames: Keeping with the one goal, three assists, four-point theme, Johnny Hockey had himself a night for the Flames, who earned a 5-3 win after going down 2-0 in the game. He’s got back-to-back four-point games now and is on pace for 118 points. Gaudreau, of course, is going to the ASG.

Highlights of the night

Good lord, it’s so damn effortless:


First-career hat trick:




Penguins 7, Rangers 2

Flames 5, Red Wings 3

Canucks 4, Senators 3 (OT)

Stars 5, Devils 4

Sharks 5, Avalanche 4

Oilers 3, Coyotes 1

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Trocheck hasn’t missed a beat for Panthers

Leave a comment

Vincent Trocheck wasn’t even supposed to be playing for the Florida Panthers this soon, let alone seemingly jumping right back to full-strength, as if his ankle was never fractured.

Heading into Friday, the Panthers were on a seven-game losing streak, facing a weekend that sure looked like it would set the stage for one or two additional losses.

Instead, the Panthers now have back-to-back wins, and they’ve done so against two legitimate NHL contenders.

On Friday, the Panthers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1. Trocheck assisted on Mike Matheson‘s game-winning goal, posted highly impressive possession stats, three shots on goal, and seven (!) hits.

That would have already been a highly impressive effort for a player coming off a pretty traumatic injury, but Trocheck was arguably even better during Saturday’s 4-2 win against the Nashville Predators.

While his fancy stats were a little choppier, Trocheck showed up on the scoreboard even more, generating a goal and an assist. He looked awfully spry on that goal, by the way:

That breakaway score ended up being the game-winner, actually.

After generating three points in his two games back, Trocheck now has 17 points in 20 games this season.

Now, the Panthers points as a team? They’re now at 46 points in 47 games played, leaving them at least 12 points behind the Penguins (who have 58 points, and could add more against the Golden Knights during a Saturday game that’s in progress). To put things mildly, the odds are stacked high against the Panthers for a credible push toward a berth in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Then again, the odds were also against Trocheck returning as soon as mid-January, and he’s instead making a big impact for Florida.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Ref pushing Blues’ Barbashev gives us some comic relief


In these trying times, sometimes you just need to see a zany mishap where a hockey player loses a skate blade, and hilarity ensues.

OK, that might be highly specific, but such bits of bad luck usually do provide some real comedy. Even by those standards, this was some good stuff, as Blues forward Ivan Barbashev got a boost from an on-ice official, and it was quite a boost down the ice.

You can watch that moment in the video above this post’s headline, and likely have a nice chuckle.

The Blues ended up beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Saturday, so Barbashev & Co. can share a bigger laugh after the game.


Speaking of comic relief and needing a push, enjoy the Zamboni from Saturday’s Oilers game:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Bruins’ Rask helped off ice after huge collision


Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask needed help off of the ice – and took quite a while to leave the ice – after a frightening collision with New York Rangers forward Filip Chytil.

Moments after this post went up on Saturday, the Bruins provided an unsettling – if, sadly, not surprising – update that Rask suffered a concussion and will not return to the game.

You can see the collision (and get an idea of how long it took Rask to leave the ice) in the video above this post’s headline.

This is the Bruins’ final game before the All-Star break, and they won’t play again until they host the Winnipeg Jets in Boston on Jan. 29, so at least there isn’t much pressure for Rask to rush back to action too soon.

Rask began the game tied with Tiny Thompson at 252 wins, the most in Bruins’ franchise history.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Erik Karlsson misses Sharks game on Saturday

Leave a comment

Considering how much Erik Karlsson has been heating up along with the San Jose Sharks lately, it would have been fun to see him skate against the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team that once tried to acquire him.

That’s not happening on Saturday, as Karlsson was a late scratch for the game.

The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz reports that Karlsson was “limping noticeably” and favoring his left side following the Sharks’ 6-3 loss to the Coyotes on Wednesday. Kurz also reports that Karlsson hasn’t participated in practice or pregame skates for about a week.

Paul Gackle of the Mercury News points out that Karlsson was held out for most of the third period of Tuesday’s 5-2 win against the Penguins for “precautionary reasons,” yet Sharks coach Peter DeBoer indicated that the 28-year-old was expected to play on Saturday. Instead, Karlsson must have determined that he wasn’t good to go after skating a bit during warm-ups.

Saturday’s game against the Lightning marks the second of a four-game road trip. The Sharks are set to play against the Panthers in Florida on Monday (Jan. 21) and the Capitals in Washington on Tuesday (Jan. 22), then they’ll be off for the All-Star break.

Karlsson was one of the Sharks’ three selections to the 2019 NHL All-Star Game, but we’ll see if what seems like a lower-body injury ends up sidelining him from the event. Either way, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Swede miss at least one of the Sharks’ remaining two games before the break, considering that it’s a back-to-back set.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic is also out with an injury, so the Sharks are limping – can Sharks limp? – a bit into that run of off time.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.