The New Jersey Devils received the day off on Thursday despite the feeling that they took two-thirds of the day off on Wednesday. Regardless, the Hughes brothers draw attention no matter what these days. However, nothing could overshadow the news coming out of Ottawa on Thursday. Plus, Florida isn’t the Stanley Cup threat they were thus far, San Jose is winless and spiraling further, and Vegas keeps on rolling.
Let’s dive into today’s daily.
New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Hockey Now: A hot start for Jack Hughes has sparked debate. There’s little to no doubt that Connor McDavid is the best player in the NHL. However, Hughes’ recent success is propelling him to a similar status. It beckons the question, is the Devils forward the best current U.S.-born player in the league?
Wednesday night’s effort from the Devils was embarrassing. A 20-minute effort in the middle frame gave Devils fans a glimmer of hope. However, it was an opportunity squandered in the first and third periods. Despite the 6-4 loss to the Washington Capitals, Luke Hughes had himself a positive standout game. Via 𝕏 (formerly Twitter), JFresh put together a video montage of his most notable plays from Wednesday.
Luke Hughes (NJ43) played a career-high 24 minutes in last night's 6-4 loss to WSH, finishing with an assist, 9 shot attempts, and a 78% xGF% at 5v5.
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) October 26, 2023
‘Round The Rink
Sportsnet: The Senators and Shane Pinto appeared to be at a stalemate in a contract dispute. However, on Thursday we learned that Ottawa was dealing with a much more severe situation behind closed doors. Pinto has been suspended for 41 games for violating the NHL gambling rules.
National Hockey Now
Florida Hockey Now: The Panthers have gotten off to an inconsistent start to the season. Part of their issue following their deep playoff run over the summer is that the special teams units aren’t clicking. If Florida wants to return to their playoff form, the special teams will need improvements.
San Jose Sharks
San Jose Hockey Now: Things have gone from bad to worse in San Jose. As of Thursday, they’ve lost six straight games to start the 2023-24 season. It’s not exactly a surprise as the Sharks are in the midst of a rebuild whether they want to admit it or not. San Jose did receive a glimmer of hope, however. Alexander Barabonov initially believed to be out for “a while” has been downgraded to “week-to-week” with a broken finger.
Vegas Golden Knights
Vegas Hockey Now: There’s absolutely nothing boring about the Golden Knights. The reigning Stanley Cup Champions have picked up right where they left off. They’re winning high-event hockey games to start the season, neglecting the dreaded “Stanley Cup hangover.”
Montreal Hockey Now: The Canadiens and Columbus Blue Jackets put on a Thursday night thriller. 60 minutes wasn’t enough for the back-and-forth affair and the two teams required overtime. In the Canadiens’ 4-3 victory, Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield shined.