The daily “NHL Talk” column is your go-to for quotes from the top storylines in the NHL. Listen to THW contributors talk hockey every weekday on The Hockey Writers Podcast, available on iHeartRadio and wherever you listen to podcasts.
In this edition of NHL Talk, these are the top storylines with quotes from players, coaches, managers, and more:
Canadiens’ St. Louis Earns First Win as New Head Coach
The Montreal Canadiens recorded its first win under new head coach Martin St. Louis in a 3-2 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. The Canadiens didn’t earn the victory without battling adversity though, as it was scored on with 1:19 remaining in the third period, putting it down, 2-1. Montreal battled back under the guidance of St. Louis as Cole Caufield responded with a game-tying goal with 10 seconds remaining in the final frame, before scoring again at 2:22 of overtime.
“I’m really happy for the guys, they deserved to win,” St. Louis said. “Losses are heavy. And it’s not just the win, it’s the way we did it because we played a really good game, and we got scored on with [1:19] left (in the third period) and our backs were to the wall.”
Sabres’ Anderson Plays First Game Against Former Team
Buffalo Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson suited up for his first start against his former team, the Ottawa Senators, in a 3-1 loss on Thursday. The 40-year-old NHL veteran played 10 seasons with the Senators, from 2010 to 2020. He stopped 25 of 27 shots for a .926 save percentage (SV%) in an emotional night that reminded him of his days in Ottawa.
“Spent a good eight, nine years with most of those guys, the staff members over there,” Anderson said. “It was just good to see them, smile at them. They think it’s great that I’m still 40 and still playing, and I think it’s great that they still laugh at me. … It’s just fun when you’re playing people you know, and it makes that rivalry just a little bit more energetic and it keeps the moment light. You realize that this is a game, it’s supposed to be fun, and that’s part of it.”
Blue Jackets’ Laine Scores Hat Trick Amid Eight-Game Point Streak
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine is on fire, scoring 16 points (10 goals, six assists) on an eight-game point streak. On Thursday, he tallied his ninth career hat trick in a 7-4 win at the Chicago Blackhawks. His latest hot-streak is helping the Blue Jackets contend for a playoff berth, sitting nine points back of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
“It’s been a good streak so far,” Laine said. “Obviously great that we’re able to win games as a team. If I didn’t have this streak going on and I’d be struggling and the team’s winning, that’s all that really matters. At the same time, it’s nice to help out the guys and get some big points.”
Blackhawks’ Kane Moves into Tie for Second in All-Time Franchise Assists
Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane made history on Thursday, recording his 719th career assist to tie Denis Savard for second in all-time assists in Blackhawks franchise history, only behind Stan Mikita (926). The marker came on Chicago’s final goal of the night, with Kane earning the primary assist on Alex DeBrincat’s goal at 8:58 of the third period. The 33-year-old, who won three Stanley Cup championships with the Blackhawks (2010, 2013, and 2015), continues to build his legacy in Chicago.
“Obviously I played a lot of games and a lot of years here, but special player, special human being,” Kane said of Savard. “It’s pretty cool when you reach some of these milestones and you realize the names you’re in company with. It’s pretty special.”
Tom Pepper is an NHL columnist at The Hockey Writers. He lives in Toronto and is a diehard fan of the St. Louis Blues.