Rookie Tomas Hertl put an early stamp on his first NHL season with an incredible night against the Rangers, while Jussi Jokinen got revenge on his old Carolina teammates. Cory Schneider wasn’t so lucky against Vancouver, though.
Miss any of last night’s action? Check out our morning recap to get the news.
Essential Water Cooler
Tomas Hertl has laid down the gauntlet. The San Jose rookie put in a virtuoso performance against the Rangers last night, strafing New York for four goals as the Sharks dominated 9-2. Having played against men in the Czech League for two full seasons, the stocky 19-year-old has come over as nearly a fully developed product and it will be hard for any rookie to match his output from last night. With the opportunities he’s getting in San Jose and his ability to finish them, is Hertl the early fave for the Calder now? Hit us up in the comments.
Hertl’s final goal in the Sharks’ romp over New York was simply gorgeous. He probably doesn’t try the move in a 1-1 game, but who cares when the result is so nice.
Men of the Night
Jussi Jokinen, Pittsburgh: Lost amidst the Hertl love was Jokinen’s hat trick against his old Carolina club in a 5-2 triumph. The Penguins pivot was putting them in with flair, too.
John Tavares, New York Islanders: The new captain of the Isles was definitely steering the ship against Phoenix, as J.T. put up two goals for New York in an easy 6-1 win.
Semyon Varlamov, Colorado: Lifting his save percentage to an NHL-best .967, Varlamov repelled the Maple Leafs as Colorado handed Toronto its first loss of the season in a 2-1 road win. The Russian netminder had to be sharp early when the teams came out playing river hockey and he ended the night with 27 saves.
Jason Garrison, Vancouver: The offensively blessed defenseman notched the winner in overtime for the Canucks, who bested the Devils 3-2. Garrison will surely collect any money put on the board in the dressing room as the Canucks faced former teammate Cory Schneider in net for the first time since the shocking draft day trade.
Better Luck Next Time
Phoenix center Antoine Vermette inadvertently opened the floodgates for the Islanders when he closed his hand on the puck off a faceoff, giving New York a 5-on-3 advantage. The Isles would capitalize to make the game 2-0 and they never looked back. Vermette only won 40 percent of his draws on the night, which didn’t help either. Elsewhere, Marc Staal was a minus-4 for the Rangers.