Puck Drop: Who Is the NHL’s Best Player?

Apologies to anyone who had the first overall pick in their fantasy hockey pool and didn’t take Connor McDavid; Sidney Crosby thinks you made a mistake.

This season, the “best in the game” debate has mostly revolved around McDavid and Toronto’s Auston Matthews. The 21-year-old Matthews currently leads the NHL in both goals and overall points (10 and 16 respectively) and looks to have settled into his role as one of the top producers in the league. However, according to Crosby, McDavid’s stellar play puts him in a class of his own.

“I think McDavid has set himself apart just based on the awards and the accolades he’s gotten and the consistency he’s had,” Sidney Crosby told NHL.com last week. “I think it’s fair to say it’s an easy pick just because of that.

“Matthews has emerged this year and it really looks like he’s taken even another step. I think there’s a lot of guys in the conversation. But it’s hard to argue [against McDavid]. He’s been really consistent. He’s won scoring titles, MVPs. So yeah, that’s an easy one to pick.”

Love him or hate him, Crosby’s opinion on the matter holds as much weight as anyone’s. Sid the Kid’s resume boasts three Stanley Cup wins, two Art Ross Trophies, back-to-back Conn Smythe Trophies (for his play during the postseason), and two Hart Trophies.

Injury Report

Blackhawks fans were excited to see Corey Crawford taking his rightful place between the pipes against the Blue Jackets on Saturday. Chicago’s netminder has spent the last 10 months struggling to recover from a concussion that wouldn’t quit; this marked Crawford’s first appearance in an NHL game since December 23, 2017.

Preds’ goaltender Pekka Rinne was placed on Injured Reserve over the weekend. It’s unclear what the nature of the injury is or when it was sustained, but Rinne will be out indefinitely for the foreseeable future.

The Bruins are finding themselves needing to replace a couple of injured defensemen. Charlie McAvoy was sent back to Boston prior to the team’s Saturday game against Vancouver after he reported to team officials that he wasn’t feeling well. In addition, Kevan Miller could be out for an extended period after taking a puck to the hand in Thursday’s game against Edmonton. The timeline for a broken bone is typically 4 to 6 weeks, so Bruce Cassidy may have to reassess his strategy when it comes to manning the Bruins’ blue line.

Play of the Period

Nothing was going to stop Anthony Duclair from getting that puck into the net. Please enjoy the first ever #PuckDropPlayOfThePeriod.

Image credit: Boston Herald

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