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Lace 'em up. Time for the Morning Skate.
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ANOTHER NIGHT, ANOTHER GREAT ROOKIE PERFORMANCE
This season has been full of them, huh? Wednesday belonged to Chicago Blackhawks youngster Artemi Panarin, The Blackhawks sit alone atop the Central Division thanks to Panarin's first career hat trick against the New York Rangers.
Remember how we were talking about Shayne Gostisbehere sneaking into the Calder Trophy race on Wednesday? Well, he might slip in, but Panarin just solidified his grip on the win. He leads all rookies with 57 points -- the next closest, Jack Eichel, has only 39.
And one last interesting note: Panarin joined Anthony Duclair, Frank Vatrano, Sam Reinhart, Max Domi, Sam Bennett and Nikolaj Ehlers as NHL rookies with a hat trick this year. That's seven rookies! Treasure this rookie class, friends. It's been a great ride.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT:
- The Rangers should be concerned about their penalty killing after the loss to Chicago. Letting opponents go 3-for-4 on the man advantage is not advisable.
- Meanwhile, the Canadiens lost again. I'm not sure what else to say about that.
- Oh wait, I know!
- Jarome Iginla probably should've had a hat trick if it weren't for those
meddling kidsreferees. But Colorado will take the much-needed win.
- Funny how a coaching change can spark a team. The Wild are now 2-0 without the specter of Mike Yeo glowering over them.
- And the Calgary Flames keep sputtering their way to a lottery pick.
- Figured this deserved its own section. Late on Wednesday, the NHL announced Dennis Wideman's 20-game suspension will be upheld. You can read Gary Bettman's full ruling here. It's full of excellently worded ways to dismiss the fact Wideman probably had a concussion.
- Friendly reminder: You can keep track of every important rumor here.
- Rumors are swirling that Mikkel Boedker is a trade target for the Penguins.
- Of course, Boedker could also go to the Stars. It's almost like he's the biggest name left available at the deadline.
- Ryan McDonagh is back for the Rangers. Does that mean Keith Yandle is on his way out?
- Jonathan Drouin doesn't HAVE to be traded. Even after all of this drama.
- The Wild won even though they scored an own goal with their face.
- The OHL's Flint Firebirds "re-fired" their coaching staff. Yes. You read that right.
- St. Patrick's Day is almost upon us, and so are these GREEN PLAID Bruins jerseys.