If you’re looking for HOT WORLD CUP OF HOCKEY TAKES, you’re going to the wrong place (I mean, aside from a hearty LOL at Justin Abdelkader making the U.S. roster while Phil Kessel waits on the sideline).
If you want a big lead because there aren’t that many games for Wednesday, well … let me note that there are a ridiculous 12 games to leaf through on Thursday night. (I’m already doing whatever the columnist version of carbo loading is to prepare.)
If you want a short review of bacon beef jerky, you’re in luck: it’s surprisingly good.
Anyway, let’s enjoy three recaps while I feel obliged to mention that my wife is ridiculously good at FanDuel.
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CAPITALS 3, MAPLE LEAFS 2
-- Brooks Laich looks pretty weird in a Maple Leafs jersey, but let's be honest: it's not like he was wearing a Capitals jersey that often lately, or doing a whole lot when he was wearing one.
-- Nikita Soshnikov made quite the impression on Wednesday.
In just his second NHL game, he scored a goal, piled up six PIM, two SOG and six hits.
The 22-year-old scored 28 games in 50 AHL games this season, his first in North America. He was undrafted, so he's already made a quick climb into semi-relevance.
(Not that I'd grab him by any stretch.)
-- Alex Ovechkin collected his 41st goal of the season.
It's interesting to watch the pattern of his career, as his tallies tend to stay the same while his assists continue to slip.
Ovechkin has those 41 goals and 18 assists. He was limited to 28 helpers in each of the past two seasons and has been below 30 assists since 2011-12.
Not complaining, just sort of passing along what I thought was reasonably interesting info.
-- Another game, another power-play GWG for Matt Niskanen. He's managed half of his four goals this season in back-to-back nights.
BLACKHAWKS 5, RED WINGS 2
-- Artemi Panarin has a legitimate shot at debuting in the NHL with a 30-goal season.
He scored two goals on Wednesday, bumping his season total to 24. As usual, Patrick Kane was prominently involved, collecting a goal and two tallies of his own.
-- Kane now has 88 points, tying the career-mark he set in 2009-10, only he hit that point in 2015-16 in just 65 games. If he can avoid injury, a 100-point season seems perfectly realistic.
-- Andrew Ladd scored a goal, generated three SOG, one hit and one blocked shots.
-- Brent Seabrook scored a goal and two assists, all three of those points happening through the first two periods of this game.
-- Brad Richards has two goals in his past three games. Not sure I'd get too excited about him finishing strong considering his generally quiet first season in Detroit: 21 points in 50 games.
DUCKS 3, CANADIENS 2 (SO)
-- This marks a ninth consecutive win for the Anaheim Ducks.
With this win, Anaheim has the same total of points (78) as the Pacific-leading Kings in the same number of games (62 apiece). Los Angeles owns more wins and more ROW, so that's a pretty significant tiebreaker edge.
Even so, it looks like it could be a really interesting race to watch.
-- Wow, Alex Galchenyuk is really heating up.
He scored two goals on Wednesday, so now he has five tallies in a hot four-game run. Galchenyuk is a goal from tying last season's career-best 20 goals and seven points from matching the peak 46 points he managed in 2014-15.
-- David Perron remains a fixture in the Ducks' offense. His assist on Corey Perry's 27th goal of the season gives Perron 17 points in 19 games with Anaheim. He only had 16 points in 43 games with Pittsburgh before being traded.
-- Jamie McGinn didn't waste time making an early impression of his own as a new Duck, scoring a goal in his debut with the team. He managed four SOG, three hits and two blocked shots.