Viktor Arvidsson. Perry Nelson / USA Today Sports Images

Viktor Arvidsson. Perry Nelson / USA Today Sports Images


The day began early as Chicago took part in their yearly outdoor game. This time the Blackhawks faced the Bruins in an original six matchup that featured some jersey that were on point.


It was near perfect weather conditions for this one. Which is not always the case for these games. I’m guessing there will be a contingency plan for the 2020 edition that will take place in Dallas.


Branden Perlini opened the scoring, quickly followed by David Pastrnak's 24th tally. He finished it off with his best rendition of the Kuznetsov-bird celly.




Pastrnak had been on a "bit of a cold streak" heading into the New Year’s Day game. He had gone three-straight without a goal and just single point over that span. His goal and assist today brings him to 50 points in 40 games. That's back on pace for a triple-digit campaign.


The 22-year-old is as elite an asset as you can find outside of the Connor McDavid-bin.


Patrice Bergeron also added a goal and an assist as the Bruins won the match 4-2. That’s seven points in five games for the 33-year-old since returning from five weeks off. His 1.38 points-per-game are sixth best in the league. He’s on pace to shatter most of his offensive career-highs.


I’ll resume my campaign to get him Hart trophy votes.



Jack Campbell returned from injury and received the start on Tuesday night against Vegas. He was very much ready to go. The Kings' netminder turned away 46 shots – several of the high-danger variety. It wasn’t enough though, as Brandon Pirri scored the game-winner and assisted on the empty-net insurance marker.


Pirri has six goals and nine points in the seven games he’s skated in this season. Not bad production for 13:30 a night and second power-play deployment. The 27-year-old has been tagged as an AAAA-player (someone too good for the AHL but missing a key ingredient to being a full-time NHLer), but I have time for a guy who can score as he can.


Pirri skated alongside Alex Tuch and Paul Stastny on Tuesday and those have been his primary linemates during this run. The 30 percent conversion rate will most certainly regress, but he’s long been a player capable of clicking on a high percentage of his chances.


He’s certainly worthy of a stream at this point.



Marc-Andre Fleury had one of the easiest shutouts of his career, as he turned aside a measly 17 shots. The Flower has three straight wins while posting a 0.975 save percentage.



Juuse Saros got in on the shutout train on Tuesday as well. The Preds’ backup netminder stopped 32 as Nashville blanked the Flyers 4-0. The 23-year-old has been playing much better of late after a few poor outings.


Nashville will want to get him regular appearances to keep Pekka Rinne’s workload down to prepare for a playoff run. He’s a nice streamer in daily setups.



Viktor Arvidsson potted two goals in this one. That gives him 11 goals and 17 points in 17 games on the season. His strong performance has been easy to miss due to the lost time, but he’s just another example of the fourth-year-breakout and gaudy offensive totals this year. Don't sleep on Viktor. 



In World Junior action, the Quarterfinals are now set. Victoria will host the USA vs Czech match as well as the Sweden-Switzerland tilt. Vancouver will host Russia vs Slovakia and Canada vs Finland.


That loss to the Russians on New Year’s Eve has made the Canadians path to gold much more difficult. That said, Finland hasn’t looked overly dangerous throughout. I’ve been at each of their games, and the ineffectiveness of the veteran forwards has been a big storyline. Rasmus Kupari (Kings’ 1st rounder), Aleksi Heponiemi (Panther’s 2nd rounder), and Eeli Tolvanen (Preds’ 1st rounder) have been outplayed by 17-year-olds, Kaapo Kakko and 2020 eligible, Anton Lundell.


Not exactly a recipe for success at a 19-year-old tournament.




As we say goodbye to 2018, here’s a look back at the top performers from a host of categories from the calendar year.



  1. Alex Ovechkin 54
  2. Patrik Laine 50
  3. Connor McDavid 48
  4. Nathan MacKinnon 47
  5. David Pastrnak 43
  6. Cam Atkinson 42
  7. John Tavares 41
  8. Evgeni Malkin 40
  9. Eric Staal 40
  10. Brayden Point 39



  1. Mikko Rantanen 79
  2. Blake Wheeler 78
  3. Nikita Kucherov 76
  4. Connor McDavid 73
  5. Brent Burns 70
  6. Sidney Crosby 69
  7. Mathew Barzal 66
  8. Claude Giroux 65
  9. Johnny Gaudreau 64
  10. Mitch Marner 63



  1. Connor McDavid 121
  2. Mikko Rantanen 113
  3. Nathan MacKinnon 110
  4. Nikita Kucherov 109
  5. Evgeni Malkin 102
  6. Sidney Crosby 102
  7. Claude Giroux 99
  8. Johnny Gaudreau 96
  9. Phil Kessel 96
  10. Blake Wheeler 96


Shots on Goal

  1. Nathan MacKinnon 345
  2. Brent Burns 328
  3. Tyler Seguin 327
  4. Alex Ovechkin 327
  5. Patrick Kane 306
  6. Brendan Gallagher 297
  7. Jonathan Marchessault 297
  8. David Pastrnak 297
  9. Connor McDavid 291
  10. Evander Kane 291



  1. Nikita Kucherov 4.2
  2. Mikko Rantanen 4.1
  3. Nathan MacKinnon 4.1
  4. Connor McDavid 4.0
  5. Evgeni Malkin 4.0
  6. Patrice Bergeron 4.0
  7. Phil Kessel 3.9
  8. Taylor Hall 3.9
  9. Auston Matthews 3.9
  10. Sidney Crosby 3.8



  1. Marc-Andre Fleury 44
  2. Connor Hellebuyck 40
  3. Frederik Andersen 38
  4. Pekka Rinne 38
  5. Sergei Bobrovsky 36
  6. Devan Dubnyk 35
  7. Andrei Vasilevskiy 34
  8. John Gibson 33
  9. Keith Kinkaid 33
  10. Martin Jones 33




Happy New Year, everyone! @Hockey_Robinson