Three Stars: Wednesday in the NHL
1. Andrew Copp, Winnipeg Jets
Heading into Wednesday, Andrew Copp had yet to generate a hat trick in the NHL. He did one better as the Jets beat the Canucks.
Yes, that’s right, Andrew Copp scored four goals on Wednesday.
In an interesting, twist, Copp reached his hat-trick-goal on an empty net, but then batted in his fourth goal of the night on a rebound against a goalie. It’s almost as if Copp anticipated someone saying “Yeah, but you scored that third goal with an empty-netter.”
If you were wondering if he was riding a hot hand, the answer is: inexorably, yes. Andrew Copp scored his four goals on four shots on goal. This puts Copp at 10 goals on the season. In doing so, Copp tied his 2019-20 season goals total (10) and is one point shy (25 vs. 26) of equaling his points from last season. At 10 goals and 25 points, Copp isn’t far off career-highs for goals (11) or points (28).
This also continues a hot streak for Copp. With a goal and an assist in his previous two games, Copp is now on a three-game point streak (5G, 1A).
2. Filip Gustavsson, Ottawa Senators
It would be convenient for the Flames — particularly their embattled front office — if they could blame all of their issues on Filip Gustavsson. Even those who are naive (or carry water) for the Flames must admit that their issues extend beyond the spoilin’ “sicko” Senators.
After all, Darryl Sutter replaced Geoff Ward as Flames coach before Filip Gustavsson was on the radar of just about any Calgary fans.
All of that out of the way, Filip Gustavsson might be the main catalyst for the Flames going into at least a sell mode during the trade deadline. Failing to generate a single point over two games against the Senators is just lethal for the Flames’ fledgling playoff hopes.
While it’s easy to poke holes at the larger Flames’ problems, it’s foolish to totally overlook Gustavsson’s efforts.
After making 35 out of 36 saves to earn his first NHL win vs. the Flames on Monday, Gustavsson stole another one for the Senators on Wednesday. This time, the 55th pick of the 2016 NHL Draft stopped 28 out of 29 shots to beat Calgary once again. Two wins, two goals allowed in total. Impressive stuff.
This is a small sample size, but maybe there’s a chance that the Senators have a goalie they can develop for the future?
3. Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
Truly, it isn’t easy to choose between Hellebuyck (38 saves, one goal allowed) and Martin Jones (42 saves, two goals allowed).
It’s probably worth noting, though, that Hellebuyck was very close to recording a shutout. Nils Hoglander spoiled Hellebuyck’s shutout bid with less than 90 seconds remaining in regulation, which was kind of rude. But combine that near-shutout with the Canucks’ status as slightly more viable than the Kings (Jones’ opponent), and it feels fair to give Hellebuyck the slight nod.
Highlights from NHL on Wednesday: Sabres streak, four for Copp
Enjoy the full highlights from the Penguins extending the Sabres’ losing streak to 15 games. (OK, Buffalo fans won’t enjoy them. Sorry.)
The NHL shared all four of Andrew Copp’s goals on their Youtube page:
Stat of the Night: Buffalo Sabres’ losing streak now at 15 games
You can read more about the Penguins pushing the Sabres’ losing/winless streak to a historic 15 games by clicking here. The short version is that, by losing 15 in a row, the Sabres are suffering through the worst losing streak of the NHL’s shootout era.
LONGEST SINGLE-SEASON LOSING STREAKS
SHOOTOUT ERA (SINCE 2005-06)
BUFFALO SABRES – 15 GAMES – ACTIVE (2020-21)
BUFFALO SABRES – 14 GAMES – 2014-15
NEW YORK ISLANDERS – 14 GAMES – 2010-11
CAROLINA HURRICANES – 14 GAMES – 2009-10
Wednesday’s NHL scores