Another week of NHL hockey is in the books, and there was a frenzy of action to go along with some noteworthy headlines. Luckily, we have you covered at CBS Sports with the weekly NHL Rewind.
The Edmonton Oilers continued their early-season woes with a loss to the lowly San Jose Sharks, and that prompted the organization to make a big change. Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft was fired and replaced by Kris Knoblauch, who already has a rapport with Connor McDavid that goes back to his time with the Eerie Otters.
On the more positive end of the spectrum, Connor Bedard just keeps flourishing at the NHL level. This past week, Bedard seems to have perfected forechecking in about a week, and he can now steal the puck off an opponent's stick in a way that is reminiscent of one Pavel Datsyuk. That's not great news for the rest of the league.
Let's get right into the best highlights and biggest storylines from the week that was in the NHL.
Goal of the week: Connor Bedard picks the Panther's pocket
As if Connor Bedard wasn't already going to be a superstar, he just keeps adding new tricks to his bag every day. This past week, Bedard showed he can force turnovers on the forecheck and create his own scoring chances.
On Sunday afternoon, in the Chicago Blackhawks' game against the Florida Panthers, Bedard attacked a flat-footed Kevin Stenlund in the Florida zone. The rookie lifted Stenlund's stick to disrupt the clearing attempt, kicked the puck to his stick, and flipped a shot over the shoulder of Sergei Bobrovsky from a bad angle.
Bedard now has two goals in back-to-back games, and at least two of those goals were a direct result of him getting in on the forecheck and forcing a turnover. If I may offer a shameless plug, Blackhawks coach Luke Richardsonon the forecheck to maximize his offensive ability.
It seems like Bedard has taken that advice to heart and applied it to his game seamlessly. That's bad news for the rest of the league.
Robbery of the week: Adin Hill makes a skate (blade) save
Skate saves aren't that uncommon for NHL goalies, but it's not often that you see a goalie make a stop with the razor's edge of his skate blade. Vegas Golden Knights netminder Adin Hill needed every millimeter of his skate on Friday night against the Sharks.
In the second period of the Golden Knights' 5-0 win over San Jose Mikael Granlund found Luke Kunin wide open on the back door. Kunin one-timed the shot, but he didn't quite get enough air underneath it. Hill went from post-to-post and kicked the puck aside with the very tip of his skate blade.
Hill has been excellent for Vegas so far this season, and that save was just another example of his brilliance. He went on to make a total of 20 saves in the shutout victory, his second of the year.
For the Sharks, it was simply them coming back down to Earth. They flew too close to the Sun with two consecutive wins and had to cool off eventually.
Oilers make coaching change amid slow start
Amidst a disastrous start to the 2023-24 season, the Oilers fired coach Jay Woodcroft on Sunday, just 13 games into the year. They replaced him with Kris Knoblauch, the head coach of the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack and Connor McDavid's former coach in juniors.
After entering the season with Stanley Cup expectations, Edmonton is off to a 3-9-1 start, which puts them 31st in the NHL. To make matters worse, the Oilers suffered a loss to the league-worst Sharks on Thursday night. That may have been the last straw for a team that needs to find some answers quickly.
Taking the place of Woodcroft will be Knoblauch, who already has some experience with McDavid. Knoblauch coached the OHL's Eerie Otters from 2012 to 2017, and McDavid was on the roster for three of those seasons. In his four full seasons with Eerie, Knoblauch led the team to a 204-58-7-3 record and an OHL championship in 2016-17.
From there, Knoblauch became an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers before taking over the Wolf Pack in the summer of 2019. Now, Knoblauch will be tasked with turning around the Oilers, who still have Stanley Cup aspirations, but that burden doesn't fall exclusively on his shoulders.
For Edmonton to get back in the playoff picture, general manager Ken Holland has to find a solution for the team's goaltending issues, whether internally or on the trade market.
Just as everyone expected, the St. Louis Blues went into Colorado on Saturday night and delivered a whooping to the Avalanche. The Blues whalloped the Avs, 8-2, and Brayden Schenn and Pavel Buchnevich got into a hat trick-off.
Brayden Schenn opened the scoring with a tip-in just over a minute into the game, and he got his second of the game later in the period after Brandon Saad did some good work to get Schenn the puck with an empty net in front of him.
It looked like Schenn would win the race to the hat trick easily, but Pavel Buchnevich came on strong later. Buchnevich's first goal came shorthanded after Oskar Sundqvist found him with a beautiful feed on a 2-on-1. Buchnevich tied Schenn with two goals early in the third period when Robert Thomas found him all alone on the back door for a power play tally.
Despite the push from Buchnevich, Schenn got to the hat trick first with a power play goal in the third. Again, it was Thomas setting him up for the score.
Buchnevich did eventually get his hat trick with just over four minutes left in the game when, you guessed it, Thomas sprung him on a shorthanded breakaway. Buchnevich's third tally marked the third time in Blues history that two teammates recorded hat tricks in the same game.
Fortunately for Blues fans and unfortunately for local hat shops in St. Louis, this double hat trick came on the road. If this game had been played at the Enterprise Center, there might not have been a cap left on any head in the building by the time the final horn sounded.
Lafreniere, Rangers rally for shootout win over Blue Jackets
The New York Rangers found themselves trailing 3-2 entering the third period, but were able to put together quite the comeback to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in a shootout on Sunday.
In the final seconds of regulation, Rangers winger Artemi Panarin threw a shot on net that Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins was able to turn aside. Merzlikins was unable to corral the rebound, though, allowing Rangers forward Chris Kreider to secure the puck and dish off a sensational pass to teammate Alexis Lafreniere.
Lafreniere then snapped the puck past Merzlikins to tie the game with just 11.0 seconds left in the third period.
Lafreniere had a ridiculous goal to tie the game, but he wasn't done just yet. In the third round of the shootout, Lafreniere skated in and was able to roof a backhander over the glove of Merzlikins.
That proved to be the only goal in the shootout as Rangers netminfer Jonathan Quick stopped all three shots he faced.
It marked just the fifth time in team history the Rangers won a game after scoring the game-tying goal in the final 11 seconds. Lafreniere also continued his strong play as he's scored three goals over his last two games.
Appointment viewing this week
Coyotes at Stars | Tuesday, Nov. 14: The Stars have been one of the top teams so far this season after advancing to the Western Conference Final in 2022-23. They'll be taking on a Coyotes team that has made great strides early in the 2023-24 campaign. We'll find out if they're for real when they take on a loaded Stars team.
Ducks at Avalanche | Wednesday, Nov. 15: The Ducks have been one of the biggest surprises over the first month of the season. However, they'll get a chance to see if they're for real when they take on one of the West's top teams in the Avalanche. Meanwhile, the Avalanche have dropped five of their last seven, so they'll be looking to make a statement as well.
Devils at Penguins | Thursday, Nov. 16: It had been a lackluster start for a Penguins team that made a big splash in the offseason by acquiring Erik Karlsson. The Penguins are now one of the league's more consistent teams in recent weeks and could use a marquee win like this. On the other hand, the Devils are still without star center Jack Hughes, which makes any game a little more difficult.
Maple Leafs at Red Wings | Friday, Nov. 18: The Maple Leafs and Red Wings find themselves in the middle of the pack in the Atlantic. This will be a tough test for the Red Wings to see if they're really ready to make a push toward being a playoff team this season.
Kraken at Canucks | Saturday, Nov. 19: These are two teams at opposite ends of the spectrum. The Canucks have been on fire to start the year with Elias Pettersson playing some of the best hockey of his young career. Meanwhile, the Kraken find themselves under .500 and have really struggled out of the gate.