Hockey October 17, 2018


The NHL announced today that the NHL has set an NHL record for setting NHL records to start an NHL season. And they’re all wonderful great records because everything is so wonderful and great in the NHL.

Concussion lawsuit? Hey, look, Kyle Palmieri just became the first player in NHL history to score his team’s first goal in four consecutive games to start the season. Attendance issues? Well, nobody is coming to the games in Ottawa, but Max Lajoie’s 4-3-7 totals is the best first six games of any defenseman in Senators’ history. Choke slam to a Calder Trophy candidate? Look, Connor McDavid just became the first player to factor in on his team’s first nine goals of the season.

In the league’s defense, it is not referring to these stats as records. Instead, it says things like, “Connor McDavid makes history…” Or “Kyle Palmieri of the @NJDevils is the third player to score a power-play goal in each of his team’s first four games in a season since the NHL officially began tracking the statistic in 1933-34.” Good Lord.

Clearly, there has been a new hire at the NHL and this person either (a) has too much time on his/her hands, or (b) has a mandate to come up with scads of this phony-baloney stuff. So the NHL has become the Everybody Gets A Record League.

It seems we can’t go a day without somebody setting some sort of “record”. In fact, each of the 31 teams in the NHL has established a high-water mark of some sort this season, some of which might just be fabricated.

ANAHEIM: If Ryan Getzlaf gets into the lineup tonight against the Islanders, it will mark only the fourth time in history he and Ryan Kesler have been in the Ducks lineup at the same time. They recently went out for lunch to get reacquainted.

ARIZONA: The Coyotes are 1-4-0, have been shut out three times and scored just three non-shootout goals in their first five games. That makes 12 of the past 15 years the hockey world has said, “Here we go again,” which is a new record.

BOSTON: Brad Marchand established the longest stretch from the start of he season without licking an opponent. Giving Lars Eller a licking in a “fight” that should have gotten him suspended does not count.

BUFFALO: With a 3-3-0 record to start the season, the Sabres marked the first time in eight years they haven’t been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs in the first two weeks of the season.

CALGARY: Defenseman Travis Hamonic landed on the injured list with a facial fracture that stemmed from a fight with Erik Gudbranson of the Vancouver Canucks, which stemmed from a Gudbranson hit on Calgary rookie Dillon Dube for which he was penalized. That fight came less than five minutes into the game, setting the record for quickest dubious decision from the start of a season ever.

CAROLINA: Sebastian Aho recorded a point in each of the Hurricanes’ first seven games, giving him the record for the best start to a season among NHL players named Sebastian Aho.

CHICAGO: The Blackhawks have gotten off to a 3-0-2 record, leading to a record-number of analytics proponents to wonder what their purpose is in life.

COLORADO: Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen became the first teammates in franchise history to record points in six-plus to start a season since Joe Sakic and Mats Sundin in 1993-94. We didn’t make this up. Really, guys?

COLUMBUS: Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella set a personal best by going five games to start a season without telling anyone to go forth and multiply.

DALLAS: Defenseman John Klingberg scored at least a point in the Stars first five games to tie a franchise record. Which prompted him to ask his agent, “Can you recall exactly why I signed a seven-year deal that pays me only $4.25 million a season a few years ago?”

DETROIT: The Red Wings got off to an 0-4-2 record, the worst-ever start for a Red Wings team that didn’t have Nick Libett on it.

EDMONTON: With points on the Oilers first nine goals and a four-point performance in Edmonton’s 5-4 overtime win over Winnipeg Tuesday night, Connor McDavid set a record for shutting up the fan base in The Center of the Hockey Universe™.

FLORIDA: With no wins in their first four games, the Panthers set the franchise mark for fewest games to underachiever status to start the season.

LOS ANGELES: The Kings established a record for the slowest breakout of all-time Monday night against Toronto. However, they expect to be cycling the puck in the Leafs zone without getting a scoring chance well into next week.

MINNESOTA: Six games into the season and the Wild are already the most ‘meh’ team in NHL history.

MONTREAL: Tomas Plekanec became just the fourth player in franchise history to score a point in his 1,000th career game. And since Alexei Kovalev also did it, the second to do it while wearing a turtleneck.

NASHVILLE: The Predators are tied for their second-best start (5-1-0) in team history. That’s it. Hey, they can’t all be golden.

NEW JERSEY: Forget about all those goals, Kyle Palmieri has the best beard in NHL history.

NY ISLANDERS: The Islanders drew only 8,790 for their 4-0 win over San Jose, their lowest single-game attendance number since they moved to Brooklyn. That’s a record, right?

NY RANGERS: The Rangers have failed to sell out each of their first four home games this season. That’s cray-cray.

OTTAWA: With Chris Tierney, Dylan DeMelo and Mikkel Boedker outscoring Erik Karlsson and Mike Hoffman 18-5, the Senators have set the modern-day mark for confusing the hell out of everyone.

PHILADELPHIA: Goalie Brian Elliott set the record for complaining about the new goaltending equipment and as his 4.04 GAA and .874 save percentage attest, it has made him much more difficult to hit.

PITTSBURGH: With Sidney Crosby tied for 132nd in NHL scoring, he actually had a video session with coach Mike Sullivan. There’s a record in there somewhere.

ST. LOUIS: Jaden Schwartz took a puck in the foot and missed two games, giving him the record for most unlucky player ever, previously held by Joe Btfsplk.

SAN JOSE: The Sharks lead the league at plus-126 in shot attempts 5-on-5 after six games for an average of plus-21 per game. They’re currently 2-3-1, and have 10 players, including Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson. If that’s not some kind of record after six games, it is now.

TAMPA BAY: The Lightning’s top three scorers are Tyler Johnson, Brayden Point and Yanni Gourde, giving the Lightning the shortest top-three scorers in history (averaging 5-foot-9) after the first four games of the season.

TORONTO: Coach Mike Babcock used the word “opportunity” 17 times in his post-game comments Monday night, which puts him at 214 times over the first seven games, shattering his record from last season.

VANCOUVER: After being choke-slammed to the ice in his fifth game of the season, Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson set the record for a rookie learning that some old-time hockey observers are delusional for suggesting it happened because he didn’t hit the weight room hard enough.

VEGAS: With four defeats in their first seven games, the Golden Knights established a franchise-high for losses in the month of October.

WASHINGTON: The Capitals have scored at least five goals and allowed at least six in three of their first five games, becoming the first team to play with a literal Stanley Cup hangover.

WINNIPEG: “He causes the pull, the gravitational pull.” Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Connor McDavid after watching McDavid singlehandedly beat his team Tuesday night. Best Connor McDavid quote ever.



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