Some thoughts as we approach the second hump day of 2017:
*The Flyers have really hit the skids since ripping off 10 straight wins. A bad loss to the hapless Sabres on Tuesday night, marking nine losses in 11 games for Philly. The Flyers still hold down the eighth spot in the East, but the Hurricanes and Maple Leafs are gaining in the Wildcard race. Carolina is three points back with two games in hand; Toronto four back with four games in hand.
*Great tribute to David Backes in St. Louis on Tuesday, his return to the city for the first time since signing with the Boston Bruins over the offseason.
*Three assist night for David Pastrnak, who has gone quiet all of a sudden after a blazing start to the season. He had just two points in 10 games going into Tuesday. He still hasn’t scored a goal since December 14th.
*Carolina is an intriguing team, gives off the vibe of being the team hiding in the bushes in the Wildcard race in the East. The Hurricanes haven’t had any time of pronounced hot streak akin to division rivals Columbus and Philadelphia (longest winning streak has been five games) and have been good, but not world-beaters over the past month (10-5-2 in 17 games going back to December 4th). But there’s talent on that team, especially on the back end.
*Anthony Cirelli had an assist in his Erie debut while Taylor Raddysh (goal, three assists), Alex DeBrincat (two goals), and Dylan Strome (goal, two assists) continued to do their thing as the Otters beat Kitchener, 6-3. The Erie/London race in the OHL Midwest will be a fun one to watch.
*Some highlights from the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game: Western Michigan recruit Paul Washe scored twice for the West in the 4-0 win over the East. Northeastern commit Cayden Primeau (11 saves) and Denver commit Dayton Rasmussen (14 saves) combined for the shutout. Quinnipiac commit Keith Petruzzelli stopped all 21 shots he faced for the East.
*The Flyers are now 2-6-3 in 11 games since its 10-game winning streak.
*The Blue Jackets have lost three of four since the conclusion of its 16-game winning streak.
*David Pastrnak hasn’t scored in 11 games, and has just one tally in his last 14 after beginning the year with 18 goals in 23 games.
*Anthony Mantha had his nine-game scoring streak snapped in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime loss to Chicago.
*Marian Hossa recorded his 599th career assist on Tuesday night, which ranks seventh among active players. Daniel Sedin is one apple ahead in sixth, at 600.
*Brian Campbell is one point shy of 500.
*Mikkel Boedker recorded his fourth career hat trick on Tuesday night. He’s accomplished the feat against just two different teams; twice against Ottawa, twice against Edmonton.
*Blue Jackets prospect Kole Sherwood matched a Flint Firebirds-record five goals in a 11-2 win over Saginaw on Tuesday.
*Add Max Pacioretty to the list of all-star snubs.
*Matt Larkin of The Hockey News looks into the comparison of Alex Ovechkin and Maurice Richard, whom Ovi tied on the all-time goal scoring list on Monday night.
*Elliotte Friedman with his weekly 30 Thoughts column.
*Jeff Marek puts out his latest Top 31 NHL Draft prospect rankings. To no surprise, Nolan Patrick remains the top dog. However, Timothy Liljegren remains ahead of Nico Hischier.
*The latest edition of the Pulp Hockey Show podcast, in which Ray Ferraro and Steve Matthes talk World Juniors post-mortem as well as the happenings in the NHL.