Friday , October 22 2021

5 things we learned in the NHL: Canadiens' lead by example


Brendan Gallagher is calmly taking his game to another level, another Toronto Maple Leafs player reaches double digits, and Connor McDavid joins another exclusive group with another striking moment.

Here are five things we learned in the NHL on Saturday.

Gallagher discreetly leading by example

Although he may not be the team's official captain, the Montreal Canadiens winger, Brendan Gallagher, still leads by example with his tenacious toss on the ice.

Even though he scored the 31 best goals of his career and 23 assists in 2017-18, this happened after he scored just 10 goals last season. So it may have been difficult for fans to imagine Gallagher replicating last year's success. However, the Canadiens striker is not only replicating what he did last season but is actually on pace to beat the best of his career.

After clinching two assists in Montreal's 4 to 3 win over Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday, Gallagher now has 15 goals and eight assists in 37 games this season. In addition to its total strengths, Gallagher's ownership statistics were excellent. The two-and-a-half meter high had the second-best percentage of the Corsi-for's resistance (60.9%) and the Fenwick-for's percentage (59.0%) among Canadiens skaters entering Saturday's competition, according to the Hockey-Reference.

Maple Leafs becomes the first team to have six players with 10 or more goals

With Patrick Marleau's first goal against the New York Rangers on Saturday, the Toronto Maple Leafs became the first NHL team to have six players scoring at least 10 goals this season – a testament to Toronto's scoring depth.

Marleau joined teammates John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Kasperi Kapanen and defender Rielly as skaters with 10 or so goals this season.

It was also the 21st consecutive season that Marleau reached the double-digit total in goals, making him only the fourth player in NHL history to achieve that feat.

In addition, Leafs center Nazem Kadri, who was not ashamed to be under the skin of Rangers on Saturday, is one point behind joining this group with nine goals.

McDavid joins another exclusive group

With an assist on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' first goal against Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night, Connor McDavid joined a group of four other NHL big names who scored at least 100 goals and 200 assists before their 22nd birthday.

McDavid went on to add assistant No. 201 to his resume in the second half, Alex Chiasson's goal, and number 202 in Leon Draisaitl's goal in the third. Imagine how many records McDavid would be breaking if he had not limited himself to just 45 games in his debut season after suffering a shoulder injury.

It seems that every time the 21-year-old – who turns 22 in January – steps on the ice, he's setting another record or breaking another frame.

Five teams playing the regular season game No. 4,000 this week

Starting Saturday, five different NHL franchises will play their 4,000 game in the regular season next week.

Three of those franchises – the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Dallas Stars and the Los Angeles Kings – reached the important milestone on Saturday, all with wins.

The Philadelphia Flyers will try to join these teams to win the feat when they beat Rangers in their regular season 4,000 game on Sunday while the St. Louis Blues will have to wait until Christmas when they face the Buffalo Sabers on December 27 to achieve the feat.

Pirri making reckon with golden knights

When Max Pacioretty crashed earlier this week with a mysterious injury, the Vegas Golden Knights decided to call up Wing Brandon Pirri of Chicago's AHL WLL, where the nine-year-old was scoring, posting 17 goals and 24 assists in only 28 matches.

And the 27-year-old man picked up exactly where he left off. Playing in a line alongside Paul Stastny and Reilly Smith, Pirri has three goals in his first two games – including two in the team's loss to the Canadiens on Saturday.

It will be a difficult decision for Gerard Gallant to eliminate him when Pacioretty – which should not go out too long – return.

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