Seven weeks of the NHL season have flown by and this week we recap three highlights from the week, one of which being a rather sensitive and rather serious topic. Stay tuned as we keep you updated on all the important news.
Toronto Maple Leafs Dominate the Month of February
After a year of inconsistency and arguably being the laughing stock of the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs are finally living up to their potential and dominating within the North Division. Within the month of February, the Leafs went 10-1-1, with an injured roster nonetheless.
Leafs fans expressed great concern for the fate of their standing in the division after hearing that Andersen, Thornton, Matthews, and other notable players would be out for a number of games. Despite this, the Leafs have since prevailed.
They currently sit first in the North Division, 8 points ahead of the second place team (the Edmonton Oilers). They’re also first in the entire league, the Florida Panthers trailing by 6 points.
Auston Matthews leads the team with 18 goals and 13 assists, trailed by Mitch Marner, who sits at 10 goals and 23 assists. It’s no secret that the Leafs have incredible depth throughout their whole roster, and this is finally beginning to shine through as they sit at a 17-4-2 record.
They’re arguably off to their best start in generations and could be seen as the Stanley Cup favorites. Will they continue to dominate through the end of the season and make a deep playoff run, or will they uphold tradition and have a first round exit?
NHL Celebrates Women’s History Month
While the NHL has notably struggled to promote diversity in effective ways and make their league more inclusive, they continue to take strides in the right direction in hopes of changing the culture surrounding the league.
March is Women’s History Month, where we commemorate the crucial role women play in society. On March 8th, the NHL will host an all female production of NHL Now, featuring Jamie Hersch, Lauren Gardner, Jackie Redmond, and Kendall Coyne Schofield.
The show is said to cover stories of various different women involved in the sports field/industry and feature many women to tell their stories.
While this is a step in the right direction, it’s important to continue to progress and not only allow this to be something that occurs once a year. It’s crucial to showcase women in the sports, whether that’s allowing them to commentate on games, allowing them on various panels for shows, or covering more women sports.
Women deserve to have the same credibility and respect as men in the sports field, so be sure to tune in on March 8th, listen to the stories of these incredible women, and express your interested for women in the sports field.
Panarin Takes Leave of Absence from the New York Rangers
The news of Artemi Panarin being forced to take a leave of absence from the New York Rangers comes as a shock to many, as he’s had rather serious accusations placed upon him from Russia.
Recently, an unreliable third party accused Artemi Panarin of assaulting an 18 year old woman back in 2011 in Latvia. It’s been said that this party has “political and personal axes to grind” with the young Rangers winger. This has effected Panarin’s mental state quite substantially, forcing him to take a leave of absence from the Rangers.
Because this accusation came so suddenly and seems suspicious, many have begun to speculate the real reason behind this claim being made. The rumor going around is that Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, started this in order to ruin Panarin for speaking out against him and showing support for Alexi Navalny.
Far fetched? Perhaps. But at the end of the day, Panarin is clearly in psychological distress as this is taking a toll on his playing ability. It’s definitely a scary situation as it appears his personal safety is at risk, and he has family back in Russia.
We will continue to update on this situation as any new news breaks, but for now everything is up in the air. We’re all thinking of Panarin and hoping this is not as serious as it seems. Wishing all the best to him and his family.
As always, another exciting week of hockey in the books. Join us here next week as we’ll recap how the women’s panel for NHL Now went down and hopefully provide some sort of update on the Panarin situation in New York.