Two Streaks Collide

Welcome to the Pregame Skate, a Five Minute Major Upgrade to Your Inbox

🛣Four women from the PWHPA wore visors for the first time when they participated in the ECHL All-Star Classic last night in Wichita, Kansas.

The NHL’s Bye Week: Does it make sense and will it continue to be a part of the league’s scheduling? Keep reading

🛑Two five game winning streaks collided on Tuesday—more on the Blackhawks and Panthers below…

Q’s Big Night

What’s Happening: Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville took his red hot team on the road to the United Center in Chicago Tuesday. Q’s return to the city where he hoisted three Stanley Cups was a successful one, as the Panthers skated to a 4-3 win, extending their winning streak to six games.

Tell Me More: Frank Vatrano’s second career hat trick helped lead the way. He gathered all three goals in a span of 13:09 during the second period—his third proved to be the game-winner.

Aleksander Barkov (shown above) has been huge for the Panthers during the streak. The Finnish-born forward is on a six game point streak where he’s registered three goals and six assists.

The Bigger Picture: Boston still has a comfortable lead in the Atlantic Division, but Florida’s two teams, the Lightning and Panthers, are heading into the All-Star break on a high note. Both teams are 8-2 in their last ten.

Florida will host the 2021 NHL All-Star Game. Keep reading

Welcome to the Pregame…Wrestle

Now to the Blackhawks, who fell to the Panthers two nights after Patrick Kane joined the 1,000 point club.

Welcome to the Pregame…Wrestle: Ahead of Tuesday’s matchup with the Panthers, Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews fought during morning skate. Toews called the fight a “friendly wrestle,” but it clearly wasn’t the best way to go into the last game before the All-Star break.

The Bigger Picture: Despite the loss, the Blackhawks recent surge could make them buyers instead of sellers at the NHL trade deadline next month. Attractive candidates include Chris Kreider and Ilya Kovalchuk, who has eight points in eight games since joining the Canadiens.

Dig Deeper: John Dietz, Daily Herald

One Game to Watch: The NHL All-Star Game

(@2020nhlallstargame)

When: January 25th @ 8 p.m. EST

Watch: NBC

More Details: The round robin 3-on-3 tournament will start with a matchup between the Metropolitan Division and the Atlantic Division. A game between the Pacific Division and the Central Division will follow, and the winners of each contest will then face off for the title.

One Interesting Side Note: Former Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant was selected to lead the Pacific Division prior to the shocking decision to fire him. Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet will take his place.

More Links from the Rink

  • Police are investigating the Flyers mascot Gritty following an incident at a fan event in November.

  • According to an annual player poll conducted by The Athletic, Connor McDavid is the best player in the NHL.

  • Backup goaltenders are increasingly relevant in today’s NHL.