Hello ladies and gents, I am finally back after a nice three-week break. Well, not really a break, there was just two weeks of preseason so I couldn’t do anything with that because there were no stats that were kept. So, where do I start? Hockey is finally back and I hope you die hard hockey fans, like me, are jumping out of your seats because I am! The best sport ever is finally getting back in the swing of things and I couldn’t be happier!
The 2016-2017 NHL season officially got under way on Wednesday, October 12 which now means I will have a new article out every Sunday about the best player in the week! (Now even though this “SHS” article is going to only cover five days of hockey I will still do it.) On the 12th, there were 4 games taking place over the span of the night. Toronto vs Ottawa, St. Louis vs Chicago, Calgary vs Edmonton, and Los Angeles vs San Jose. ALL games were rivalry games so in my opinion, the NHL did a great job on the first night.
Just like my last article, this week was extremely difficult to pick a player that stood out the most just because there were three players who had a fantastic first couple of games. Edmonton center Connor McDavid has been on FIRE collecting 6 points in his first two games (3G, 3A) while winning both games against Calgary as well, Boston winger Brad Marchand (who took home honorable mention in my last article) had a dominating season opener recording FIVE points (2G, 3A) in a 6-3 come from behind win against Columbus. He finished with one more assist in a 4-1 loss to Toronto. Last but not least, Toronto Maple Leaf center Auston Matthews making his NHL debut went off against Ottawa registering four points (all of them being goals) and becoming the third youngest player to have four goals in a game. He failed to register a point in his second game against Boston. His hat trick was the quickest for a player making his NHL debut since 1943-44. And he became the fifth player overall to score a hat-trick in his first game. So as you can see I had a hard time picking who won (down below you can Matthews’ four-goal night:
I decided to go with Oilers’ Connor McDavid as this weeks’ “Sick Hands Sunday” winner! The reason why I picked McDavid is simple in my opinion. The way he played in the Oilers season opener was awesome. He helped them to 7-4 win vs a depleted Calgary team. McDavid scored his team’s fourth goal overall thanks to a friendly bounce by the side of the net. McDavid corraled the rebound standing to Flames goalie Brian Elliott‘s left and slid the puck through the sprawled-out pad and into the net. He would then score again just about two minutes later on a penalty shot to increase the Oilers lead to 5-3. McDavid was hooked on a breakaway by Flames defender Dennis Wideman and was awarded a penalty shot. McDavid made Elliot look like he was in squirts again and deaked him out of his skates. He slowed down at the hash marks, quickly made four or five stick handles, made Elliott go the wrong way, and roofed the puck over Elliott’s blocker. Rodgers Place went crazy for their newly appointed captain scoring his second of the night. You can see his amazing penalty shot down below.
The Oilers would then go right back to work against the same Flames team just two days later for the Flames home opener. McDavid went on to have another three-point night (1G, 2A) in another 5-3 win to move to 2-0 overall in just two games! McDavid picked right up where he left off scoring at 7:45 of the first period to tie the game up at one goal a piece. Oilers winger and linemate Jordan Eberle fed a beauty of a pass to Connor McDavid at center ice that sent him in all alone on a breakaway. Flames goalie Brian Elliott wanted to redeem himself after McDavid made him look like a fool two days ago. Well, Connor wasn’t having any of it, he made a quick little move to the backhand and roofed it over Elliott’s glove for a great goal. McDavid would then grab the next two assists on the next two Oilers goals for another solid night. Here is the link to McDavid’s game tieing goal: (https://www.nhl.com/video/mcdavid-scores-on-a-breakaway/c-45312403)
Once again, Brad Marchand will take home the Honorable Mention for the second time in a row. Even though his five-point night was insane, McDavid two-game performance stomped Brad’s first game by far: Brad played great in his first game and his highlights are down below for you to check out!
So as you can tell, McDavid had a stellar first two games and actually has a game tonight at home against the Buffalo Sabres. So if McDavid follows his first two games, he is certain to have another great night! I will see you guys next Sunday for another recap of the best player of the week!