THE BOX SEATS
Edition Four, week of October 31st – November 5th, 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 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 into a new month of National Hockey League action with the calendar switching over to November. We saw the last three undefeated teams in the league all take their first losses of the season last week with the Boston Bruins losing to the Anaheim Ducks in overtime on Thursday, and Vegas losing less than 24 hours later to Chicago in a game that also went past regulation.
Colorado suffered back-to-back road losses at Pittsburgh on Thursday and then a 4-0 shutout by goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday for their two first setbacks of the season. With many teams still looking to find their footing on the year, Let’s take a look at a couple of players to keep an eye on for this weekly highlights in NHL.
PLAYERS TO WATCH THIS WEEK
The third-year centerman from Whitby, Ontario has been elevated to the top unit on the Power-Play by Winnipeg acting coach Scott Arniel, who is on head coaching duties while Rick Bowness takes a leave of absence to tend to his wife, who suffered a stroke over a week ago. Perfetti, who was selected tenth overall in the 2020 Entry Draft, only has eleven goals in his 77 games played, but hopefully, with this new boost in his role on the PP unit, we could see Perfetti chip in some offense this week as the Jets battle the Vegas Golden Knights and Arizona Coyotes this week on the road.
This was supposed to be another rebuilding season for the “Broad Street Bullies” in Orange and Black, but don’t say that to head coach John Tortorella and crew, as they are off to a 4-3-1 start on the season and part of the reason for that hot start has been due to the offensive explosion from center Travis Konecny. The 26-year-old London, Ontario native has eight goals and three assists in eight games this season. After setting career-high marks in goals with 31 and tying a career-best mark in points with 61 last season, Konecny is well on pace to break both records this year as he logs big minutes for the club. Philly starts the week taking on Carolina and ends the week against Los Angeles, with a home-and-home series against the Buffalo Sabres wedged between.
Team Trends To Watch For
- The New Jersey Devils are a perfect 8-0 to the Over in games this season as of October 30th
- The Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes both have identical 7-2 records to the First Period Over after nine games of action. Dallas has gone Under the total in the first period in six of their first seven games.
- The Detroit Red Wings‘ hot run on offense continues, with 36 goals scored in their nine games, to lead the league in total goals.
- The San Jose Sharks went through the entire month of October without a victory at 0-8-1 to start the season. This is the worst start in the 32-year history of the franchise. Even in their inaugural season of 1991-92 as an expansion team, the Sharks got their first win three games into the campaign. That team would later lose 13 straight games after the victory and ended the year with only 17 wins.
NATIONAL TELEVISION SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK:
Los Angeles vs Toronto – 8:00p ET on ESPN
It’s a Halloween Night battle as the Los Angeles Kings look to terrorize the Maple Leafs on the road in a showdown of top-tier clubs.
Buffalo vs Philadelphia – 7:00p ET on TNT/MAX
This is the start of a home-and-home series as Tage Thompson looks to get the Sabres’ offense rolling against Travis Konecny and the Flyers in Philly.
St. Louis vs Colorado – 9:30p ET on TNT/MAX
Bitter Central Division rivals square off to wrap up the Wednesday doubleheader as the Avs look to continue their strong play against a struggling Blues club.
Philadelphia vs Buffalo – 7:00p ET on NHL Network
The Flyers and Sabres hook up for the second time in three days, this time out in Wing Country on a short Friday night slate.
Nashville vs Edmonton – 3:00p ET on NHL Network
These two clubs clash in a Saturday matinee in the Great White North as Leon Draisaitl and the Oilers take on Jusse Saros and the Predators.
Buffalo vs Toronto – 8:30p ET on NHL Network
The Maple Leafs and Sabres renew their long-storied QEW rivalry (that’s the Queen Elizabeth Highway, which separates the two clubs by less than 100 miles) on Saturday night as Buffalo makes their third National TV appearance in the United States this week.
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 1990s classic jersey that rose to infamy thanks to a world-known Hip-Hop legend.
Back in 1993, fresh off of the franchise winning back-to-back Stanley Cups, the Pittsburgh Penguins unveiled a new set of uniforms, retiring the “Skating Penguin” crest that had become synonymous with fans when seeing weekly highlights in NHL of Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr, and replacing them with a new penguin logo for the home jerseys and a more retro-styled black road jersey with “PITTSBURGH” spelled out diagonally from top left corner to bottom right at the waist, in yellow lettering.
These remained the road jerseys for the club for most of the mid-to-late 90’s and in January of 1994, when rapper Snoop Dogg, a noted hockey fan, filmed a music video for his hit song, “Gin and Juice”, he donned this jersey throughout most of the track. (along with a Springfield Indians jersey from the AHL)
National Hockey League Trivia Question
Last Week: Name the Only Player in Hockey History to win a Memorial Cup, a Calder Cup, a Turner Cup, and a Stanley Cup?
Answer: Wendell Young, a goaltender who played junior hockey for the Kitchener Rangers in the early 1980s, where he won a Memorial Cup in 1982, before embarking on an 18-year pro career where he won the AHL’s Calder Cup in 1988 with the Hershey Bears, two Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992 with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and two Turner Cups in the IHL with the Chicago Wolves, the team he now currently works for as a General Manager.
What is the current record for the Longest Shootout (most rounds) in National Hockey League history?
Hint: This took place during the 2014-15 regular season.
Come Back Next Week to find out The Answer!