NHL Weekly: Kucherov booed at All-Star Game, hockey at the Olympics to have new dynamic

Kucherov took a lax approach to the All-Star Game
Kucherov took a lax approach to the All-Star GameProfimedia
We had another full week of NHL hockey but this time it was a specific one, as the events in the popular overseas competition were disrupted by the prestigious All-Star Game. Even so, we take a look at who picked up points, which goalie shined and what was trending on social media. Of course, Flashscore News expert and long-time overseas player Ladislav Smid gave us his views on the week's play.

Most Productive Player

No need to stretch the first three sections so much this time, as only six games were played before the exhibition All-Star Game. During those games, three players managed to collect three points, with Ottawa captain Brady Tkachuk putting up the best overall numbers. Two of his 12 shots ended in a goal, and he set up another goal with the Senators winning both times. Tkachuk also broke the 20-goal mark for the fifth time in his career. He's currently on pace for 38 this season.

Goaltender of the Week

Joonas Korpisalo went to the Ottawa goal on Monday only at the start of the second period when Nashville led 3-0. The Finn then earned a call-up for the next game against Detroit, which the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference won 3-2. Korpisalo had 40 shot attempts in both games and maintained a 1.14 goals-against average. The team is currently 14 points out of the last playoff spot.

Highlight of the week

The prestige of the All-Star Game hasn't been the same in recent years as it was when Mario Lemieux, Teemu Selanne or Nicklas Lidstrom were playing in the league. There are probably several reasons for this, the constantly changing system of the game, the excuses of many players...

Still, approaching it as lax and jaded as scoring leader Nikita Kucherov showed during the skills competitions should not be done.

The Tampa Bay leader skated between the obstacles, literally passed the puck into the net and heard the boos of the Toronto crowd. "I know you may not want to be there, but at the same time you don't want to be suspended by the league for not participating, but you're a player with a $76million contract, so it would be nice to at least pretend you give a damn," popular hockey youtuber Steve Glynn commented on the situation on social network X.

Stat of the week

At the start of the season, the Los Angeles Kings won 11 straight road games to set a new NHL record. But the California team soon ran out of steam, as no team in the league had won that many games since December 28th (just three out of a possible 17), and experienced coach Todd McLellan was benched. He led the team for the fifth season and was replaced by Jim Hiller on an interim basis.

LA Kings' current form
LA Kings' current formFlashscore

From social media

Legendary Swedish goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who last played NHL hockey in 2020, has donned the New York Rangers gear and jersey once again. He jumped into the veterans' game against the rival Islanders. And he soon discovered that some hockey traditions just don't change. When he was the first to step on the ice, former forward and renowned jokester Steve Kasper stopped the rest of the team and let the Swede take his rookie lap.

Photo of the week

Famed singer and Toronto native Justin Bieber couldn't miss the hockey exhibition in his home country. He also appeared on the bench for Auston Matthews' ultimately victorious team and showed how much he still loves hockey.

Bieber on the bench, Auston Matthews and Vincent Trocheck watching on
Bieber on the bench, Auston Matthews and Vincent Trocheck watching onProfimedia

Ladislav Smid's view

"NHL players are coming back to the Olympics, and that's just great. I saw the response during the All-Star Game where they announced it and everyone welcomed it. I criticised the tournament without the biggest stars many years ago, the best athletes in the world just belong in the Olympics, and I'm not just talking about hockey. It will immediately have a different feel and dynamic, not least because hockey is probably the most popular sport there. It's definitely a good thing that the NHL, IIHF and IOC have finally come to an agreement.

"Playing for the Stanley Cup is obviously something unique, but there are always several different nationalities in the booth. When playing for medals on the international stage the players look at it differently again. I have been lucky enough to experience NHL players at the Olympics, it was in 2014 in Sochi and I will never forget it. 

"Being on the ice with a lion on my chest, fighting for my country with my parents in the stands, it was a great experience. Also because my dad - unlike me - has an Olympic medal. I wish all hockey players would try it."


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