WHAT DA PUCK: WEEKLY RECAP

2022-12-05 · 4 min read · NHL/Hockey
Leafs Mitch Marner, Texas Stars left wing Jason Robertson and Coach Lindy Ruff

Claus Andersen/Getty Images | Bill Wippert/NHLI | Mollie Kendall

Welcome back for this week’s What da Puck, and what a week of Hockey it has been.
1. There are a couple of really impressive point streaks going on in the NHL right now. Firstly Mitch Marner set the Maple Leafs record with his 19th consecutive game registering at least one point this week. We already had a quick article about this, but let's dive into it a bit. The Ontario native has scored 10 goals and 27 points during his red-hot stretch, although it is worth noting both Daryl Sittler (17 goals, 33 points) and Eddie Olczyk (11 goals, 28 points) outscored him during their respective 18 game point streaks. The two-time All-Star still has a long way to go if he hopes to catch Wayne Gretzky for the NHL record, which stands at a outrageous 51 games. During that ridiculous run, the “Great One” registered 61 goals and 153 points. Marner is now tied for the third longest point streak across the league since 2013-14, tied with Taylor Hall, who went for a 19 game streak in 2017-18. Chicago’s Patrick Kane holds the record in that regard at a stunning 26 games.
Marner almost didn't make it to the record, as the game before Mitchy inexplicably looked to pass the puck with history on his stick and an empty net staring him down. The winger then fired another shot wide of the empty cage in Wednesday's waning moments, narrowly missing another chance at glory as the crowd groaned. Marner got another chance though to put his name in the history books for the team he cheered for growing up, this time he made no mistake getting his eight goal of the year, in the games dying moments to keep his streak alive. The other current player streak that's caught my eye is Dallas Stars winger Jason Roberston who is riding a 17 game point streak into Sunday's matchup with the Minnesota Wild. Roberston extended his point streak to an NHL career-high 17 games and scored a hat trick in a 5-0 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.
The Stars winger has 20 goals and 12 assists in the streak, which is three games shy of the Stars/Minnesota North Stars record held by Brian Bellows (85-86). Adding to the awe Roberston became the first 20-goal scorer in the NHL this season when his wraparound went in off the stick of Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen to give the Stars a 1-0 lead, he didn't stop there scoring two more to take him to an NHL leading 22 so far on the year, currently one more than Conner McDavid.
(Update - Roberston picked up am assist in the second period against the Wild Sunday, then a goal in the third; extending his point streak to 18 games and goal lead to 23).
2. Speaking of the Dallas Stars they signed Finnish forward Roope Hintz to a massive deal this week, an eight-year, $67.6 million contract. The pact has an average annual value of $8.45 million. The 26-year-old forward, is in the final season of a three-year, $9.45 million contract; he would have become a restricted free agent after the season. Hintz has gotten off to a good start this year registering 11 goals and 30 points in 24 games. Hintz sits second among Stars forwards in ice time per game (17:01), behind the aforementioned Roberston, while playing key roles on both the powerplay and penalty kill.
The Finnish forward was originally selected in the second round (No. 49) of the 2015 NHL Draft, Hintz has 194 points (88 goals, 106 assists) in 261 regular-season games for Dallas. He also has 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) in 44 Stanley Cup Playoff games, including getting 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in 25 games when the Stars advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in 2020, where they lost in six games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Hintz's contract locks up another key part of the Stars' core. This seems to have completed a process started last year on 17 July 2021, when key defenceman and fellow Finn Miro Heiskanen who is also 23, signed an eight-year, $67.6 million contract with the Stars. Prior to the season, Robertson, 23, (four years, $31 million) and goalie Jake Oettinger, 23 (three years, $12 million) each signed a contract as an RFA. I hope these guys like each other and Dallas, as it looks like they will be together for a good while.
3. Washington Capitals legend Alexander Ovechkin pencilled himself into another spot in the record books this week, becoming the NHL all time leader in goals scored on the road. Ovie scored twice in a 5-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks this past Tuesday, bringing him to 403 road goals for his stellar career. The record for road goals was 402 by none other than Wayne Gretzky himself. Ovechkin was all smiles after the game saying “It's always nice when you beat The Great One. It doesn't matter what kind of milestone it is. It's history”. The left winger moved into third all time in NHL goals last season, passing legend Jaromir Jagr's mark of 766. He continues to move in on Gordie Howe's second place mark of 801; Ovie currently sits at 793 goals scored.
The Great Eight already set a record recently at the expense of Howe, scoring his 787th goal with the same team; breaking Howe’s mark of 786 with the Detroit Red Wings. Ovechkin continues to move in on Gretzky's once thought impossible to break all time goal scoring mark of 894 goals. It really was not long ago that the Great Ones record was considered untouchable, now more and more it appears the Great Eight could get there, maybe even passing him into the 900’s. Ovie despite being 37 has shown no signs of slowing down. Just last season, Ovechkin recorded the ninth 50-goal season of his career, and his 90 points were the most he had since the 2009-10 season. This has continued this season as Ovechkin is producing at nearly a point-per-game pace, with 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points in 26 games. This puts him on pace to finish with over 40 goals this season, which would easily put him over 800 for his career and within striking distance of Gretzky in the next couple seasons. While I'm sure he very much wants to set the old time goals mark, the mere fact he is passing Gretzky, Howe and Jagr in multiple record books speaks volumes about how special his career has been already.
Quick Wristers
  • Sadly long time Penguins defenseman Kris Letang suffered a stroke this past week and is out indefinitely. The 35-year-old defenseman is not experiencing any lasting effects of the stroke, but will have tests over the next week. The condition is not believed to be career threatening. Letang previously was out more than two months after having a stroke at some point before a game in early 2014. Tests revealed he was born with a very small hole in the wall of his heart, which typically closes on its own in most people. The three-time Stanley Cup champion (2009, 2016, 2017) returned April 9 that season and had four points (one goal, three assists) in the final three games before he had six (two goals, four assists) in 13 games during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Since his first stroke, Letang has played 543 regular-season games and 69 playoff games. Wishing the best for the tough as nails Letang
  • Steven Stamkos became the first ever Tampa Bay Lighting player to put up 1000 points for the team. The 32-year-old forward is the 95th player in NHL history to reach the milestone, and the 48th to do so with one team. He is also the ninth active player to get 1,000 points. Stamkos, who is riding a ten game point streak during which he has six goals and 16 points, leads the Lightning in goals (13) and is second in points (29) in 24 games this season.
  • Last weekend legendary coach Lindy Ruff became the fifth coach in NHL history to win 800 games, when his New Jersey Devils defeated the Washington Capitals 5-1 at Prudential Center. The others to reach the milestone are Scotty Bowman (1,244), Joel Quenneville (969), Barry Trotz (914) and Ken Hitchcock (849). The one time Jack Adams winner (who seems likely to garner serious consideration for another this year) has a 802-634-78-142 record in 1,656 games
Highlight of the week
People seemed to enjoy the multiple clips last week, so we thought why not go again please enjoy these record-breaking highlights.
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By: Chase Howard

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