2023 NHL conference run down

January 04, 2023
There was no holiday break in the NHL, as stars (looking at you, Washington Capital Alex Ovechkin) rang in the new year with some fireworks. Let’s welcome in 2023 by checking on where the nation’s teams stand.
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SOURCE: JULIAN AVRAM/ICON SPORTSWIRE VIA GETTY IMAGES
SOURCE: JULIAN AVRAM/ICON SPORTSWIRE VIA GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: There was no holiday break in the NHL, as stars (looking at you, Washington Capital Alex Ovechkin) rang in the new year with some fireworks. Let’s welcome in 2023 by checking on where the nation’s teams stand.

Eastern Conference: The Toronto Maple Leafs couldn’t start the year on the right skate, losing 6–5 in a shootout to the mediocre St. Louis Blues last night, but Auston Matthews did become the fastest Leaf to score 500 career points, thanks to a second period assist and a goal of his own.

  • There may still be 10 points separating the Buds from their Atlantic Division nemesis, the Boston Bruins, but to quote Matthews’ good pal Justin Bieber, never say never.
  • Elsewhere, both the Ottawa Senators and Montréal Canadiens have less than 40 points on the season, and the Habs are dusting the Atlantic Division floor. Très mal.

Western Conference: Left winger Kyle Connor and the Winnipeg Jets are flying high after last night’s 3–2 win over the flickering Calgary Flames. Not only did Connor extend his point streak to 11 games, but the Central Division’s second-place squad is even closer to overtaking the Dallas Stars in the standings.

  • Meanwhile, despite boasting the league’s point and goal-scoring leader in center Connor McDavid, not much separates the Edmonton Oilers from the Vancouver Canucks in the bottom half of the Pacific Division standings. Maybe some fresh talent will change their luck?
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