THE BOX SEATS
Edition Three, (The Week of October 23rd-29th, 2023)
Hello, and welcome to “The Box Seats”, a column designed to keep Pro Hockey fans informed, educated and entertained with the news and notes from around the National Hockey League. Here, we will highlight the top NHL players to keep an eye on, team trends and NHL High Points to bet on during the week, games to watch on National Television in the United States and Canada, and other fun things like the Jersey of the Week and NHL Trivia. So kick back, and read along every week during the National Hockey League season.
We are heading into the final week of October in the National Hockey League, and while it’s still early in the season, teams like the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche look primed and poised to have monstrous years in their respective divisions, while some teams that drew a lot of hype and attention this offseason haven’t quite panned out as planned just yet. And then you have young clubs like Arizona, Chicago and Philadelphia, who are still rebuilding, but have been starting the year off playing exciting, competitive hockey.
On Tuesday, the National Hockey League will have for just the third time in history a night where all 32 teams will take the ice in the same evening.
Games will start 15 minutes apart from one another from 6:00pm ET with the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Washington Capitals until the 11:00pm ET start for the Philadelphia Flyers versus the Vegas Golden Knights.
ESPN will have whip-around coverage a la NFL RedZone with their new “Frozen Frenzy” program that will air on ESPN+ and ESPN2 during the evening, along with a tripleheader of full games on the main ESPN network. Let’s take a look at a couple of players to keep an eye on this week.
PLAYERS TO WATCH THIS WEEK
The third overall pick in this Summer’s NHL Entry Draft and more NHL High Points; the young kid from the University of Michigan scored his first career goal this past Saturday in the Blue Jackets’ 5-4 overtime victory over the Minnesota Wild. Fantilli had four official shots on goal and hit the goalposts three different times in the second period of the contest before scoring in the third.
The 19-year old Ontario native has been limited in his shifts during his first five games, but I would expect his ice time to increase this week, with games on deck against Anaheim, Montreal and the New York Islanders. He’s currently lined as the fourth largest favorite to win the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year, behind Connor Bedard, Luke Hughes and Logan Cooley.
|Connor Bedard||Chicago Blackhawks||-170|
|Logan Cooley||Arizona Coyotes||+750|
|Luke Hughes||New Jersey Devils||+1100|
|Adam Fantilli||Columbus Blue Jackets||+1500|
The Minnesota Wild are having another tough start to the season this year, losing three of their first five games, but one of the new veteran additions had a good week on the scoresheet thanks to a boost up to the second forward line in Patrick Maroon. The “Big Rig” as teammates lovingly call him, has three assists so far, with two of them coming in the Wild’s 5-4 loss in overtime to Columbus on Saturday night.
Maroon is known for his physical game and hard forechecking, but the three-time Stanley Cup winner has been known to score some clutch goals in his career and if Minnesota wants to avoid early disaster, Pat and his linemates will have to spark this club as they prepare for battle against the Edmonton Oilers at home before embarking on an East Coast road trip against the Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals and the New Jersey Devils.
Team Trends To Watch For
- – The Chicago Blackhawks, despite having below average defenders and goalies, have cashed five Unders in their first six games to start the season.
- – The Vegas Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche and Boston Bruins all have hit NHL high points and Franchise start milestones as they each head into the new week without a loss in regulation or overtime.
- – The Detroit Red Wings have the hottest offense, with 30 goals scored in their six games. Their 5-1-0 record is the club’s best start since the 2011-2012 season.
NATIONAL TELEVISION SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK
Montreal at Buffalo – 7:00p ET on NHL Network
Cole Caufield and the Canadiens head down to Western New York to tussle with Tage Thompson and the struggling Sabres in a standalone contest on Monday night.
Toronto at Washington – 6:00p ET on ESPN/ESPN+
This is the start of the “Frozen Frenzy” coverage and the first of 16 games starting 15 minutes apart for the evening. Alex Ovechkin and the Caps host a Maple Leafs club led by superstar Auston Matthews.
Boston at Chicago – 8:30p ET on ESPN/ESPN+
Connor Bedard gets his second look at the Bruins, this time at home in Chicago, where the Blackhawks upset Boston by a score of 3-1 last March as a +350 underdog.
Philadelphia at Vegas – 11:00p ET on ESPN/ESPN+
Get cozy with this late night battle between the undefeated Vegas Golden Knights and the spunky Philadelphia Flyers to wrap up the “Frozen Frenzy” marathon.
Washington at New Jersey – 7:30p ET on TNT/MAX
Two Metropolitan Division foes clash in Newark as the Devils host a struggling Washington team, with both clubs on the second leg of back-to-back games.
Minnesota at Philadelphia – 7:30p ET on ESPN+/Hulu
Expect an intense, physical game between these two squad. Flyers enforcers Nicolas Deslauriers and Nick Seeler face-off against their old club, Minnesota, at home.
Chicago at Vegas – 6:00p ET on NHL Network
These two clubs hook up for the second time in less than a week as the Golden Knights welcome the Hawks to town for Nevada Day, a big holiday tradition in the Silver State.
Toronto at Nashville – 8:30p ET on NHL Network
The Maple Leafs head to Music City to battle Jusse Saros and the Predators, who have won eight of their last eleven meetings against Nashville including a season sweep last year.
Frozen Fashion: The Hockey Jersey of The Week
Each Week, we will select one NHL team jersey to highlight the design and the history of that specific sweater. This week, we take a look at a modern logo with vintage colors dear to this state and their fanbase.
Minnesota Wild “Spirit of ’78” Retro Alternate Jerseys
Before the Minnesota Wild came into the National Hockey League in the year 2000, the state had their beloved Minnesota North Stars from 1967, during the “Modern Six” expansion, until 1993, when mismanagement and poor ownership decisions forced the club to Dallas, Texas, where the “North” would be dropped and the club still exists to this day.
Their iconic bright Green and Yellow uniforms were very popular during their time and Wild fans were excited to see revised versions of their Bear & Trees logo with the throwback color scheme in both renditions of the Adidas “Reverse Retro” set of uniforms in both 2020 and 2022. Now the club, who wore the set last Saturday night, will don this jersey 14 more times this NHL season, and rumors have been flying around the Twin Cities that these could eventually be the club’s new colors at some point in the future.
National Hockey League Trivia Question
Last Week: How Many Division Titles have the Boston Bruins won in their 100 National Hockey League seasons?
Answer: The Boston Bruins have won 27 Division Titles in 100 seasons. Seven of those titles came from before 1942, when the National Hockey League had more than six teams and briefly had divisional play. The rest of their titles come after 1970 when divisional play was reinstituted after recent expansion in the league. Their most recent division title was last season in 2022-23.
Name the Only Player in Hockey History to win a Memorial Cup, a Calder Cup, a Turner Cup and a Stanley Cup?
Hint: They currently work as a General Manager of a team in the American Hockey League.
Come Back Next Week to find out The Answer!
Check out all the updated National Hockey League, NHL Odds, NHL standings, schedules, lineups, futures odds, NHL picks and parlays, team stats, recent news and betting tips, right here at Point Spreads.
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