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February 2019
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‘NHL’ Articles

Pro Hockey

NHL Winter Classic matchup: Bruins and Blackhawks





SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Dec. 30, 2018) – A look at the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® “By the Numbers.”

2 – The 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at the University of Notre Dame will be the second NHL Winter Classic played on a college campus (2014, Toronto at Detroit, Michigan Stadium, University of Michigan).

2 – Number worn by Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith, the only player on the Blackhawks roster to have recorded a point in each of Chicago’s previous three Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® games (1-2-3, 3 GP).

4 – The 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will signify the fourth Original Six matchup in an Winter Classic. Detroit defeated Chicago 6-4 in 2009, Toronto defeated Detroit 3-2 in a shootout in 2014 and in 2016 Montreal defeated Boston 5-1.

5 The Bruins (1-1-0) and Blackhawks (0-3-0) combined for five prior appearances in the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®. Boston defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 (OT) at Fenway Park in 2010 and dropped a 5-1 decision to the Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in 2016. Chicago is in search of its first NHL Winter Classic victory following losses to the Detroit Red Wings (6-4) at Wrigley Field in 2009, the Washington Capitals (3-2) at Nationals Park in 2015 and the St. Louis Blues (4-1) at Busch Stadium in 2017.


6 – The NHL returns to Indiana for its sixth regular-season game in the state and first since 1992. The Chicago Blackhawks have played in all five previous matchups, including a 3-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Jan. 21, 1954 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum in Indianapolis.


7 – Number of Heisman Trophy winners the University of Notre Dame football program has produced.


8 – Number of Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks alumni showcased on individual shamrocks surrounding the NHL regulation rink as part of the field décor at Notre Dame Stadium. Former Bruins and Blackhawks legends Ray BourqueJohnny BucykTony EspositoBobby HullStan MikitaBobby OrrDenis Savard and Eddie Shore will be featured as part of a special tribute to the Bruins and Blackhawks’ Original Six legacies.


11 The 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will mark the 11th NHL Winter Classic® and continues the tradition the League established in 2008 of hosting a regular-season outdoor game at the onset of the new year. Since 2008, the NHL Winter Classic® has been played in Buffalo (2008), Chicago (2009), Boston (2010), Pittsburgh (2011), Philadelphia (2012), Ann Arbor, Mich. (2014), Washington, D.C. (2015), Foxborough, Mass. (2016), St. Louis (2017) and New York, N.Y. (2018).


11 – Consensus National Titles won by the University of Notre Dame’s football program (1924, 1929, 1930, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1966, 1973, 1977, 1988).

12 – Number of stairs down from the Notre Dame locker room to the iconic “Play Like a Champion Today™” sign, the same route the Blackhawkswill be taking to the field at Notre Dame Stadium on New Year’s Day.


15 – Number worn by Boston Bruins alumnus Dave Poulin during his hockey career at the University of Notre Dame. As a Hobey Baker Award finalist in the 1981-82 season, Poulin helped lead the Fighting Irish to a 23-15-2 record, a Great Lakes Invitational championship and a fourth-place finish in the CCHA. Following the conclusion of his 13-year NHL career, Poulin would return to his alma matter in 1995 and assume the position of head coach for the next 10 seasons according to University of Notre Dame Hockey.


15 – No. 1 hits Grammy Award-winning band Weezer has had to date. Weezer will be the on-field entertainment during the first intermission of the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, while Judah & the Lion will play during the second intermission. In addition, The Jacks will perform while both the Blackhawks and the Bruins take the ice for warmups.


18 – Number of hours the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Park™ will run from Saturday Dec. 29 through Monday Dec. 31 at Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park in Chicago. The 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Park™ will include autograph sessions featuring former Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins greats, hockey interactives, giveaways, food, live music and a special appearance by the oldest and most revered trophy in sports – the Stanley Cup®.


19 Average low temperature, in degrees Fahrenheit, for South Bend, Ind. on Jan. 1,

according to


26 The 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will mark the 26th NHL® regular-season outdoor game contested. Of the previous 25 games that have been played, 14 of those have been hosted within football stadiums, 10 have been inside baseball stadiums and one inside a soccer stadium.


32 – Average high temperature, in degrees Fahrenheit, for South Bend, Ind. on Jan. 1,

according to


35 – Average temperature at puck drop, in degrees Fahrenheit, for the previous 10 Winter Classic

games (2008 — 31.1°, 2009 — 31.9°, 2010 — 39.6°, 2011 — 51.7°, 2012 — 41°, 2014 — 13°, 2015 — 37°,

2016 — 41°, 2017 — 46°, 2018 — 21°).


53 – Length, in feet, of the world’s largest mobile rink refrigeration unit, specially built for outdoor

games conducted by the NHL.


84 – Number of Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey players drafted to the NHL, including four Stanley Cup Champions; Bill Nyrop (1976, 1977, 1978 with Montreal), Don Jackson (1984, 1985 with Edmonton), Ian Cole (2016, 2017 with Pittsburgh) and Bryan Rust (2016, 2017 with Pittsburgh) according to University of Notre Dame Hockey.


88 Number worn by Chicago Blackhawks forward, Patrick Kane, who leads the club in scoring with

50 points (22-28-50 in 40 GP) through games played on Dec. 29.


88 Number worn by Boston Bruins forward, David Pastrnak, who leads the club in scoring with

48 points (23-25-48 in 39 GP) through games played on Dec. 29.


101 As part of the countdown to the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® Mike Craig, NHL Senior Manager of Facility Operations, hosted an Ice Making 101 field trip for students from Chicago’s Funston Elementary School as part of the NHL & NHLPA’s Future Goals program, an Industry Growth Fund initiative. The students saw the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) concepts they are learning in the classroom come to life during the Dec. 19 field trip at Notre Dame Stadium.


129 On New Year’s Day, Section 129 (as well as section 19) of Notre Dame Stadium will feature a signature dish — House Fried Pub Chips, with jalapeno cheese, barbecue pulled pork, pickled onions, scallions, barbecue sauce, all served in an Irish Gold Painted Hockey Helmet.


243 Number of ice pans under the rink at Notre Dame Stadium, each measuring 30” x 340” in size.


300 Ton capacity of refrigeration trailer that will keep the ice cool at Notre Dame Stadium.


350 – Gallons of paint used to make the ice at Notre Dame Stadium white.


588 – The Bruins and Blackhawks have faced off in 588 regular-season games since the 1970-71 season, with the Bruins holding a 615-567 edge in points over the Blackhawks (BOS 266-239-83—615; CHI 243-264-81—567). In addition, the Bruins and Blackhawks have met seven times in the Stanley Cup® Playoffs, with Boston winning five of those series. Most recently, the two clubs met in the 2013 Stanley Cup® Final, where Chicago defeated Boston in six games, a series that was decided when Dave Bolland tallied the game-winning goal at 19:01 in the third period of Game 6 (the latest Stanley Cup® game-winner scored in regulation).


708 – Number of players and coaches who have participated in the NHL’s 25 regular-season outdoor games to date.


1,123 – Number of players who have won the Stanley Cup® since the NHL assumed full control of the

trophy in 1927. The Stanley Cup® will be on display at the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Park™ in Chicago’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, Dec. 29-31 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.


1882 – Year the golden dome atop the University of Notre Dame’s Main Building was added. The dome was most recently regilded in 2005, using only a fistful of gold leaf to cover the entire structure according to the University of Notre Dame.


1930 – Year that Notre Dame Stadium, home of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, officially opened its doors.


1968 – The year Notre Dame’s hockey program was officially recognized as a Division I intercollegiate sport, after five years as a club team.


2011 – The Compton Family Ice Arena officially opened its doors on Oct. 21, 2011 in front of 5,022 fans, one of the largest crowds ever for a Notre Dame hockey game. An Anders Lee (NY Islanders) hat-trick led the Fighting Irish to a 5-2 victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


3,000 – Gallons of coolant used to freeze the rink at Notre Dame Stadium.


14,934 – Career receiving yards registered in the by Notre Dame Football alum Tim Brown during his 17-year career in the NFL. Brown, the first ever Wide Receiver to win the Heisman Trophy, will be among a number of other Notre Dame Football greats honored at the Jan. 1 pre-game ceremonies including: Rocket IsmailBrian SmithJeff Faine and Darius Fleming.


20,000 Gallons of water needed to create a two-inch ice surface at Notre Dame Stadium for the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®.


100,000 – Dollars donated by the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation and NHL Foundation to the Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC). Following the on-ice check presentation, youth hockey players from RCLC will be skating on the auxiliary rink.


1,313,613 Total attendance for the NHL’s 25 regular-season outdoor games, an average of 52,544 per game.


35,000,000 – Number of albums sold worldwide by Grammy Award winning band Weezer, who will headline the entertainment for the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®.


A limited number of tickets are available to the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® via, the official ticketing partner of the NHL®. Fans can purchase tickets safely and securely on Ticketmaster and the NHL Ticket Exchange.


Limited parking is still available ( Due to anticipated traffic delays and security screening, fans attending the game are reminded to carpool and arrive early.


NHL 2018 Year in Review






A total of 7,748 goals were scored across 1,282 regular-season NHL games during the 2018 calendar year (including 86 shootout-deciding goals), for an average of 6.04 per game. The 7,748 goals in 2018 were the most-ever scored in one calendar year in NHL history, shattering the previous mark of 7,410 set in 2006.

Connor McDavid (48-73—121 in 81 GP) led the League in points this year, edging Mikko Rantanen (34-79—113 in 83 GP) – two of seven players to reach the 100-point mark (also Nathan MacKinnonNikita Kucherov, Evgeni MalkinClaude Giroux and Sidney Crosby). The past 12 months marked the first calendar year to feature seven or more players each with at least 100 regular-season points since 1996, when eight skaters reached the plateau (Mario LemieuxJaromir JagrJoe SakicWayne GretzkySergei FedorovPetr NedvedTeemu Selanne and Peter Forsberg).

* Twenty-four double-digit point streaks took place entirely in the 2018 calendar year (10 to close 2017-18 and 14 to start 2018-19). The last calendar year with more such runs was 1993 (37).

Alex Ovechkin (54-37—91 in 80 GP) paced the NHL with 54 regular-season goals in 2018, four more than Patrik Laine (50-19—69 in 81 GP). Ovechkin also led the League in regular-season goals in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2015; only Maurice Richard (7x) and Phil Esposito (6x) have accomplished the feat in as many calendar years.

* Ovechkin (33 years, 106 days as of Jan. 1, 2019) became the fourth player in NHL history to lead the League in regular-season goals during a calendar year at age 33 or older. The only other players to do so: Nels Stewart in 1937 (35 years, 3 days), Richard in 1954 (33 years, 150 days) and longtime Capitals forward Peter Bondra in 2001 (33 years, 328 days).
^Ages as of Jan. 1, 1938Jan. 1, 1955 and Jan. 1, 2002, respectively

* Regular season and postseason combined, Kucherov led the League with 126 points (40-86—126 in 101 GP), while Ovechkin paced the NHL with 69 goals (69-49—118 in 104 GP) – including 15 in the playoffs to help the Capitals capture their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

* The 2018 calendar year featured five instances of a rookie recording five points in a regular-season game, achieved by three different skaters:Mathew Barzal (2-3—5 on Jan. 13, 0-5—5 on Feb. 9), Elias Pettersson (2-3—5 on Nov. 2, 1-4—5 on Dec. 9) and Ryan Pulock (1-4—5 on Jan. 20). Only three calendar years in NHL history have featured six instances of a rookie recording five or more points in a regular-season game: 1918,1981 and 1982.

* Pettersson (19-20—39 in 36 GP) is the only rookie to lead his team in points, while 11 players age 23 or younger are their team’s leading scorer in 2018-19. Sixteen of the League’s top 30 point-getters this season are age 25 or younger.

Marc-Andre Fleury led all goaltenders with 44 regular-season wins since Jan. 1 (44-22-7 in 73 GP), marking the third calendar year in which he has recorded 40 or more victories (also 46 in 2009 and 45 in 2013). The wins leader in 2017 was Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, who had 49 (49-13-2 in 66 GP).

Brent Burns paced NHL defensemen with 82 regular-season points in 2018 (12-70—82 in 87 GP), while Matt Dumba led all blueliners with 19 goals (19-32—51 in 75 GP).

* The Lightning led the League in wins (57), points (119) and goals for (313) in regular-season games in 2018. Tampa Bay (31-7-2, 64 points) occupies first place in the NHL standings this season, 10 points ahead of Toronto (26-11-2, 54 points).

* There were 557 comeback wins, 216 third-period comeback wins, 143 multi-goal comeback wins and 21 three-goal comeback wins during the regular season in the 2018 calendar year.

* The 2018 calendar year began with the Golden Knights in the midst of win and point streaks that extended to eight and 13 games (12-0-1), respectively – the longest such runs by an NHL team in its inaugural season. The final month of 2018 saw the NHL welcome a 32nd franchise to the League when it granted an expansion franchise to Seattle, which will begin play in 2021-22.


NHL’s newest “Three Stars of the Week” Chicago’s Kane, Isles Barzal, Devils Blackwood





NEW YORK (Dec. 31, 2018) – Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane, New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal and New Jersey Devilsgoaltender Mackenzie Blackwood have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Dec. 30.



Kane shared the League lead in goals (5) and points (6) in two outings, scoring a pair of game-winners to power the Blackhawks (15-20-6, 36 points) to consecutive victories in advance of the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Kane registered his fifth career hat trick – and 20th goal of the season – in a 5-2 triumph over the Minnesota Wild Dec. 27. In doing so, he became the 14th player in NHL history to record 20-plus goals in each of his first 12 seasons as well as the third player in Blackhawks history to reach the milestone in 12 straight campaigns at any point in his career. Kane then posted 2-1—3, including his seventh career overtime goal, in a 3-2 victory against the Colorado Avalanche Dec. 29. That extended his point streak to seven games (7-6—13), highlighted by a trio of three-point performances (also Dec. 20 at DAL: 2-1—3). The 30-year-old Buffalo native has collected 22-28—50 in 40 contests this season, ranking in the top 10 in the NHL in shots on goal (3rd; 159), game-winning goals (t-5th; 5), points (7th; 50) and goals (t-10th; 22).



Barzal also notched an NHL-best five goals and six points in two games (5-1—6) to lift the Islanders (20-13-4, 44 points) to their third straight win overall and sixth victory in their past seven contests. He tallied 2-1—3, including the tiebreaking and insurance goals, in a 6-3 comeback win over the Ottawa Senators Dec. 28. Barzal then registered his second career hat trick (also Dec. 23, 2017 vs. WPG) in a 4-0 triumph against the Toronto Maple Leafs Dec. 29. At 21 years, 217 days, he became the third-youngest player in Islanders history to record a natural hat trick as well as the eighth different player in franchise history to achieve the feat in less than eight minutes. The Coquitlam, B.C., native and reigning Calder Memorial Trophy winner paces New York with 10‑25—35 in 37 outings this season and 32-88—120 in 119 games since the start of 2017-18.



Blackwood stopped 77 of the 79 shots he faced (1.00 GAA, .975 SV%) to earn his first two NHL wins and first career shutout in guiding the Devils(14-16-7, 35 points) to a perfect week. Blackwood, who made his League debut Dec. 18, picked up his first NHL victory with 40 saves in a 5-2 triumph over the Boston Bruins Dec. 27. He then turned aside all 37 attempts against in a 2‑0 win against the Carolina Hurricanes Dec. 29. At 22 years, 20 days, Blackwood became the third-youngest goaltender in Devils franchise history to post his first NHL shutout. The Thunder Bay, Ont., native and 2015-16 OHL Goaltender of the Year has appeared in five total NHL games, compiling a 2-1-0 record with a 1.59 goals-against average, .956 save percentage and one shutout.



NHL fines Montreal’s Danault for dangerous tripping




NEW YORK (Dec. 29, 2018) – Montreal Canadiens forward Phillip Danault has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for a dangerous trip against Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad during NHL Game No. 580 in Florida on Friday, Dec. 28, the

Phillip Danault (courtesy Montreal Canadiens)

National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced this past weekend.


The incident occurred at 17:32 of the third period. Danault was assessed a minor penalty for roughing.


The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.


NHL suspends Bruins center David Backes for illegal head check




David Backes 2017 photo By Meowwcat - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https


NEW YORK (Dec. 28, 2018) – Boston Bruins forward David Backes has been suspended for three games, without pay, for an illegal check to the head of New Jersey Devils forward Blake Coleman during NHL Game No. 567 in Boston on Thursday, Dec. 27, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.


The incident occurred at 17:57 of the third period. Backes was assessed a minor penalty for illegal check to the head.


Backes is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, will forfeit $219,512.19. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.


For a full explanation of the decision, complete with video, please click on the following link:



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