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:
Golden Knights’ Eichel Prepares for Team Debut on Wednesday
Vegas Golden Knights forward Jack Eichel will make his team debut on Wednesday when the Golden Knights host the Colorado Avalanche. The 25-year-old was traded from the Buffalo Sabres to Vegas on Nov. 4, 2021, and had artificial disk replacement surgery on his neck on Nov. 12, 2021. He has not played since March 7, 2021.
“I understand it’s been 11 months, I didn’t have any preseason games and having to jump in there against the best team in the League right now,” Eichel said on Monday. “But at the end of the day, it’s hockey. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. So I’ll just try to find my game, get as comfortable as I can as quickly as possible and I think I’ll be all right.”
Penguins’ Crosby Scores 500th NHL Goal
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby reached a major milestone on Tuesday, tallying his 500th NHL goal in a 5-4 overtime win against the Philadelphia Flyers. He joins Mario Lemieux as one of just two players in Penguins franchise history to accomplish the feat. The only other active player in the NHL with at least 500 career goals is Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin.
“It’s hard to put into words,” Crosby said. “I think just being able to be part of some great teams over the years, play with some great players. It’s a cool number. You look at the guys who have scored 500 goals, I think it’s just a privilege to be part of that company.”
Sabres’ Olofsson Ends 30-Game Goal Drought
Sabres forward Victor Olofsson put an end to his 30-game goal drought with a pair of goals in a 6-3 win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday. He tallied the game-winning goal at 17:05 of the third period, and added an empty-netter with 26 seconds remaining in the game. The 26-year-old’s two goals are his first since Oct. 31, 2021.
“It’s kind of a relief, I would say,” Olofsson said. “It’s been the toughest stretch of my career, for sure. I haven’t scored in a long time, so it definitely felt good.”
Capitals’ Ovechkin Tallies 30th Goal of Season
Capitals forward Ovechkin scored his 30th goal of the season in a 4-1 win at the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. The 36-year-old hit the 30-goal-mark with a power-play goal at 4:33 of the third period, which he then followed up with another goal at 18:37. He is just two goals back of the NHL goal-scoring lead this season with 31 goals in 49 games.
“If we play like that, we move the puck quick, we control the puck, it doesn’t matter, me or somebody else is going to score,” said Ovechkin. “I just try to do my job.”
Flames’ Toffoli Scores Goal in Team Debut
Calgary Flames forward Tyler Toffoli made a great first impression on his new team in a 6-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. The 29-year-old was traded from the Montreal Canadiens to the Flames on Monday, in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, a fifth-round pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, forward Tyler Pitlick and unsigned drafted player Emil Heineman. His goal in his Calgary debut came at 11:04 of the third period, the final goal in the game to seal the Flames’ seventh consecutive win.
“Obviously coming to a really good team playing really good hockey right now, I was excited,” Toffoli said. “Playing good hockey and playing with the lead and doing all the little things that makes the team successful, and it was just another one of those nights.”
Tom Pepper is an NHL columnist at The Hockey Writers. He lives in Toronto and is a diehard fan of the St. Louis Blues.