3 Stars for Wednesday in the NHL
1. Jordan Binnington, St. Louis Blues
Heading into Wednesday’s NHL action, the Blues were mired in a seven-game losing streak. You can’t really do much Sabres-inspired “winless vs. losing streak” stammering, either, as the Blues only recorded a single standings point during that stretch.
Binnington has been in the Blues’ net during many of these blunders, and really hasn’t looked so hot since signing that big, bold extension.
While one game can’t turn around the Blues’ (or Binnington’s) season, his best work did come when St. Louis was left for dead. Perhaps that explains a bit of swaggery talk after Binnington stopped 50 out of 51 shots to help the Blues beat the Golden Knights.
— Bally Sports Midwest (@BallySportsMW) April 8, 2021
Not a bad rebound from the Golden Knights beating the Blues 6-1, eh?
2. Kevin Fiala, Minnesota Wild
Speaking of streaks (winning, losing, points, pointless), the Avalanche finally lost in regulation thanks to the Wild. In Colorado’s case, they carried a 15-game point streak into Wednesday’s NHL action.
For a Wild team that saw some momentum end when they hit a burgundy-painted wall in the Avalanche earlier this season, this had to be sweet.
But it was Kevin Fiala who enjoyed a bear of a game. For the first time in his impressive NHL career, Kevin Fiala collected a hat trick. He also set a career-high with four points, as Fiala added an assist to that hat trick.
With that hat trick + assist, Kevin Fiala extended his own point streak to seven games in a big way. During that span, Fiala has generated five goals and six assists for 11 points. Last season, Fiala really broke through as the months went along, and it might be happening again.
3. Leon Draisaitl/Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
Here’s a sign that there were some big star performances for Wednesday in the NHL: it’s not clear where Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid should rank after scoring four points apiece.
Truly, you could argue in a number of ways.
Putting aside the apples and oranges of four points vs. 50 out of 51 saves, it’s even tricky to go with skaters.
On one hand, Draisaitl and McDavid factored into all four of the Oilers goals. Draisaitl matched Fiala’s hat trick + assist performance, and it wasn’t in as zany a game as Wild – Avs. Both McDavid and Draisaitl provided examples for why they’re so unstoppable.
But Fiala gets the slight edge because Draisaitl got to his hat trick with a buzzer-beating empty-netter. Besides, as great as Fiala is, he might not have the same frequency of appearances in the three stars, so why not give him that recognition for Wednesday in the NHL?
Blockbuster trade: Islanders land Kyle Palmieri
Highlights from Wednesday in the NHL:
Watch Kevin Fiala generate that hat trick as part of his four-point barrage for the Wild vs. the Avs:
Then enjoy that hat trick + assist from Draisaitl, while McDavid collected three assists and a goal:
Wednesday’s NHL scores