Last week was an eventful one in the NHL. The only hard thing for me to do was to chose which five topics I wanted to cover. I tried my best to touch on a variety of things. Perhaps the two most important stories were Patrick Kane scoring his 400th career goal and the drama surrounding Artemi Panarin.
1. Patrick Kane Scores 400th NHL Goal
On Sunday night, Patrick Kane scored his 400th career goal against the Detroit Red Wings. It’s just the latest milestone in Kane’s illustrious career in Chicago. Kane is the 100th player in NHL history to score 400. Not only did he reach the milestone, but he also did it in style.
Kane is now seven goals short of passing Steve Larmer for third place in Blackhawks history. Only Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita have scored more. Seeing as Kane is only 32-years-old, it’s not inconceivable to think he could end up as the Blackhawks’ all-time goals leader.
Congrats to Kane on his achievement, despite it coming against the Red Wings.
2. Panarin Takes Leave from Rangers
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 22, 2021
Last week, the Rangers announced that superstar Artemi Panarin would be taking a leave of absence from the team to handle personal issues. Panarin was accused of assaulting an 18-year-old woman in Latvia in 2011.
There is much mystery surrounding the allegations. Some speculate that Paranrin is being targeted by President Vladimir Putin and his confidants, of which Panarin has spoken out against in the past.
I mention this story because it’s important. I do not feel comfortable providing an opinion as few details have been shared and there’s a lot at stake for many people. You can find more information on it here.
3. Foligno Beats the Snot Out of Knyzhov
Over the summer, I wrote about the Wild re-signing Marcus Foligno. I wrote that Foligno brought a level of physicality to the table that the Wild needed. Last week against the Sharks, it was on full display.
This is a knockout. I’ve seen my fair share of hockey fights, but I can’t remember a fight where one player landed multiple clean punches much less consecutive clean punches. Nikolai Knyzhov had no idea what he was getting himself into fighting Foligno. Foligno even said this after the game.
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) February 23, 2021
Props to Foligno for not going overboard on Knyzhov. These guys fight to police the game, they’re not out for blood. Foligno proved that here.
4. Julian Fired by Montreal
#Habs have fired coach Claude Julien. Dominique Ducharme takes over on interim basis.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 24, 2021
Montreal has fired head coach Claude Julien. He was replaced by Dominique Ducharme. Julien lasted just over four seasons with the Habs. He will finish with a 129-123-35 record, missing the playoffs in two out of four full seasons, never advancing past the first round.
Julien, of course, was very successful during his stint in Boston, where he won the 2011 Stanley Cup. He was fired during the 2016-17 season. The Habs were never relevant during Julien’s tenure in Montreal, all but wasting Carey Price’s prime.
No doubt, there’s talent in Montreal. This is a crucial move for Montreal. If they’re not able to turn it around, a rebuild could be on the horizon.
5. Oshie’s Super Goal
The best goal of the NHL season may have been scored last week. It was courtesy of T.J. Oshi of the Washington Capitals. Take a look.
Before I say anything, poor Michael Matheson. Oshie absolutely undressed him. A defender getting undressed like this is similar to a defender getting dunked on in the NBA. You’re the goat of a highlight and people don’t forget that. You don’t see players cut through the teeth of a defense like this anymore unless it’s Connor McDavid.
This goal is incredible. I know this for a fact as I’ve tried this move in NHL ’18 100 times only to get cross-checked in the face every single time. Matheson was no better than a traffic cone out there and Oshie took advantage.■