NHL Weekly Roundup (10/4–10/8)

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One half week later and just like that we’re officially rolling on this young 2017–2018 NHL Season…

By: Michael Chiumento, Dave Wallace; Find us on Twitter @davewallace94@chiumento_mike

All season long, Dave and I will be dropping our weekly recap on Mondays for the week that was, and also picking winners in five of the national games for the week ahead. You can expect a recap of our three stars, goalie of the week, rookie of the week, as well as one big surprise. Let’s jump right in on the already slumping defending champion Penguins, the upstart Blackhawks and Maple Leafs, and America’s new favorite underdog: the Vegas Golden Knights. — MC

First Stars

Wayne Simmonds — Maybe it’s a bad look for the Flyers fan to put his team at the top but there is no denying the impact that Simmonds had this week. A hat trick in the season opener and an OT GWG against the ducks lands him in my top spot. (Let it be known that Mike chose Ovi before I even had a chance) — Dave Wallace

Alex Ovechkin — So much for Ovi being past his prime. After a Summer in which the media berated the narrative that the Capitals were done and should trade their longtime captain, Ovechkin came out and put up a video game-like SEVEN goals in his first two games. It doesn’t get much better than this. — Mike Chiumento

Second Stars

Connor McDavid — This one is extra sweet because I know Mike wanted McDavid all the way. The reigning Art Ross, Ted Lindsay, and Hart winner came out of the gates HOT with a hat trick (and only goals) in Edmonton’s season opener. — DW

James Neal — The aggressive winger made his presence felt for the Golden Knights in putting up their first two goals in franchise history in a game 1 victory against Dallas and by following it up with an overtime winner in Arizona on Saturday. If this team is able to sustain any kind of success this year, Neal will probably need to continue his torrid start. — MC

Third Stars:

Nate Schmidt — Schmidt had the first assist in Golden Knights history on a game tying goal in the third period of the Vegas franchise opener. Schmidt then opened up his goal scoring campaign with a GTG in the third period of game two followed by an assist on the game winner in OT. — DW

Brandon Saad — Much has been made of Chicago’s offseason restructure on the fly and bringing Saad back was seen as a move to get back to the old Blackhawk ways. Not too bad of a start for the 24 year-old as the winger put up 4 goals and 1 assist in the opening two nights, including a hat trick against Pittsburgh in the home opener. — MC

Goalie of the Week

Jonathan Quick — Much to my dismay, Quick (2–0) looked great in his season opener with a shutout win over the Flyers. He followed it up with a one goal win two nights later to leave him with a 0.5 GAA and a .983 Sv%. Let’s slow it down a bit, Jon. — DW

Marc-André Fleury — Sensing a theme here? Vegas’ shocking start to the season had many heroes, none of whom were potentially bigger than the veteran netminder in Fleury, who stopped 72 of the 74 (.972 Sv%) shots he faced en route to the 2–0 start. — MC

Rookie of the Week

Jakub Vrana — Well… whenever you put someone with Ovi (or anyone who scores 7 goals in two games), you’re bound to end up with some points. 4 points and a plus 4 through two games is impressive for the 21 year old who was taken 13th overall in the 2014 NHL draft. — DW

Will Butcher — The 22 year old rookie, who picked the Devils over the Summer as a college free agent, made his debut on Saturday to the tune of three assists in a 4–1 win over Colorado. With NJ’s biggest question mark being its blue line, some strong play from the former Hobey Baker Award winner could go a long way in helping the Devils overachieve this year. — MC

Surprise of the Week

The Penguins (1–1–1) salvaged their week with a shutout win over the Preds (again, yikes) but my, oh my, did they get clobbered by the Blackhawks. Matt Murray better hope the first two games of the season were outliers and not the shutout. — DW

So much for an expansion team not competing! Despite fielding a shaky lineup on paper, the upstart Vegas Golden Knights started their history with two emotional come-from-behind upset victories over the Stars and Coyotes on the road. They looked shaky at times but weathered many storms behind great goalie play, a decent blue line, and James Neal’s heroics. With week 2 matches at home against Arizona, Detroit, and Boston, it’s not unreasonable to think that this team could be sitting around the 4–1 mark after their first two weeks in the league. — MC

National Game Picks

Chicago Blackhawks (Mike) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (Dave) (10/9)

Arizona Coyotes (Dave) @ Vegas Golden Knights (Mike) (10/10)

Pittsburgh Penguins (Dave) @ Washington Capitals (Mike) (10/11)

New York Rangers @ Columbus Blue Jackets (Dave, Mike) (10/13)

Toronto Maple Leafs (Mike) @ Montreal Canadiens (Dave) (10/14)

Our Records

Dave: 0–0

Mike: 0–0

Follow us on Twitter @RookieMistakeCo

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