NHL Watch out: Lake Tahoe outdoor games take center stage

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Kane and the kids

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings
Monday, 7:30 p.m. ET; ESPN +, FS-D, NBCSCH +, NHL.TV
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN

Patrick kane continues to be one of the most entertaining and productive players in the NHL at 32 years old. The Blackhawks forward has 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) in 16 games this season, tied for third in the NHL.

His 1.38 points per game rate is the highest in his 14-season NHL career, ahead of the 1.36 average he recorded in 2018-19, when he scored a career-high of 110 points (44 goals, 66 assists) in 81 games, and 1.29 on average in 2015-16, when he won the Art Ross Trophy as the scoring champion with 106 points (46 goals, 60 assists) in 82 games.

But Chicago also has rookies to watch: goalie Kevin lankinen and forward Pie Suter and Philipp kourachev.

Can either of them win the Calder Trophy for NHL Rookie of the Year, like Kane did in 2007-08?

Crosby’s 1000th NHL Game

New York Islanders at the Pittsburgh Penguins
Thursday, 7 p.m. ET; NHLN, ATTSN-PT, MSG +, NHL.TV
Saturday, 7 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, MSG +, NHL.TV

Penguin Center Sidney crosby is scheduled to play his 1,000th NHL game on Saturday. This is an important step for anyone. But for Crosby, it’s another opportunity to take on some of the greatest players in NHL history.

Crosby has 1275 points (467 goals, 808 assists) in 997 games.

Only 25 players have scored at least 466 goals in their first 1,000 games, a list of legends that starts with Wayne Gretzky (749) and ends with Dale Hawerchuk (470). Crosby would be the 26th.

Eight players scored at least 1,270 points in their first 1,000 games: Gretzky (2,265), Marcel Dionne (1,374), Phil Esposito (1,333), Steve Yzerman (1,323), Bryan Trottier (1,291) , Jaromir Jagr (1,283), Jari Kurri (1,279) and Guy Lafleur (1,275). Crosby would be the ninth.

Four players collected at least 800 assists in their first 1,000 games: Gretzky (1,516), Paul Coffey (910), Adam Oates (860), Trottier (817). Crosby would be the fifth.

Stanley Cup Final rematch

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Dallas Stars
Thursday, 8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, SUN, NHL.TV
Saturday, 8 p.m. ET; FS-SW, SOLEIL, LNH. TV

The Lightning defeated the Stars in six games in the Stanley Cup Final last season. Now we get a rematch.

Wait. Make eight revenges as division rivals.

Dallas and Tampa Bay will play eight times – four times in a row – in the Discover Central Division. The Stars are usually in the center, the Lightning in the Atlantic, but the NHL has realigned temporarily this season due to restrictions on the Canada-U.S. Border and the need to cut back on travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. .

The teams that met in the final haven’t been in the same division the following season since 1980-81, when the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers were in the Patrick Division after the Islanders defeated the Flyers in six games in the 1980 final.

But at the time, the NHL had 21 teams, not 31; the regular season was 80 games, not 56 shortened games in the event of a pandemic; and they played each other four times, not eight.

Battle of Alberta back to back

Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers
Friday, 9 p.m. ET; ESPN +, SN1, SNE, SNO, SNW, TVAS, NHL.TV
Saturday, 10 p.m. ET; NHLN, CBC, SN, NHL.TV

The Battle of Alberta did not disappoint on February 6. In the teams’ opener this season, the Flames defeated the Oilers 6-4 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in a home and away game that was frantic to the end.

Oilers forwards Connor mcdavid and Leon Draisaitl are the top two scorers in the NHL, McDavid with 28 points (nine goals, 19 assists), Draisaitl with 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists). That night McDavid had a goal and an assist, Draisaitl an assist. Each played the last 5:45 of the game, which included a power play, a time out and a goalie out. Still, the Flames held on.

Now they play two nights in a row, in Calgary on Friday and in Edmonton on Saturday.

Outdoor NHL in Lake Tahoe

Colorado Avalanche vs. Vegas Golden Knights
Bridgestone NHL Outdoors Saturday, 3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, SN1, VAT
Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Honda NHL Outdoors Sunday, 2 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, SN1, VAT

The NHL has hosted 30 away games since 2003, but none like these two.

Outdoor games are always show-focused, and usually the show focuses on unusually large crowds for hockey games. Just over a year ago, the Nashville Stars and Predators drew 85,630 spectators, the second largest crowd in NHL history, to Cotton Bowl Stadium for the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

This time around, the show won’t be crowd-centric because there won’t be any. With limited or completely eliminated participation in the NHL amid the pandemic, the League is taking the game back to its most romantic roots. The rink will be on the golf course of the Edgewood Tahoe Resort on the south shore of Lake Tahoe in Stateline, Nevada.

The spectacle will be the scenery – the mountains, the trees, the lake – as players play as close as possible to pond hockey while playing a real NHL game.

Statistics of the week

26 – The number of NHL teams that will have played in an away game after the Golden Knights take to the ice in Lake Tahoe. The Flyers have played away four times (1-2-1), the Bruins three times (2-1-0) and the Avalanche twice (0-2-0).


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