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NHL scores 2016: Patrik Laine stole Auston Matthews’ thunder as a rivalry begins in Canada

The No. 2 overall pick had his moment and jump started a rivalry in the process.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Winnipeg Jets Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

There’s something oddly poetic about Patrik Laine netting a hat trick overtime game-winner for the Jets just moments after Auston Matthews was denied a goal at the other end of the ice. No offense to the Maple Leafs at all here, really, but movies couldn’t have scripted this better.

When I first sat down to write this halfway through the game in Winnipeg, my original draft was going to urge you all to be patient on the Matthews/Laine rivalry. Not every young-star first meeting would have the same impact Connor McDavid vs. Jack Eichel had. Yet, it’s hard to deny now that the tone has been set and the pieces are in place for the future.

The Maple Leafs scored four goals again, though Matthews was only part of one of them. Toronto also squandered a lead once again in the late stages of a game, which opened the door for Laine to grab his first career hat trick in the fashion he did.

There’s been so much said about Matthews vs. previous No. 1 Connor McDavid that people often forget Laine was taken just after the Maple Leafs prospect in this past draft. Almost the entirety of the NHL has Nov. 1 circled on their calendars for when the Oilers and Maple Leafs finally play their first game of the season. Matthews and McDavid will most likely be the more high-profile rivalry in the years to come, but with a showing like Wednesday night there’s no denying the pull of a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown.

It’s time to make room in your hearts for a Matthews and Laine rivalry, folks, because Game 1 was hopefully just a taste of what these two players can bring out in one another.


Red Wings 2, Rangers 1
Jets 5, Maple Leafs 4 (OT)

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Three things we learned

1. Jimmy Howard is still good

A big reason why the Red Wings bested the Rangers on Wednesday was Jimmy Howard’s intense sequence of saves.

It easily could have been 4-0 by the end of that. Instead, the game remained 1-0 and the Red Wings got the final two goals of the evening to best the Rangers.

2. The Maple Leafs may have a problem

Not to take anything away from Laine’s incredible evening, but there could be cause for concern for Toronto. Twice in three games, the Maple Leafs have lost a 4-1 lead from a combination of bad penalties, terrible defensive positioning, and questionable netminding. The Maple Leafs can only rely on Matthews and the other young kids to do so much, and it’s shown as Toronto has gone 1-0-2 through the first week of the season. With such a small sample size, it could be nothing. Still, it’s something to keep an eye on as the weeks start to roll by.

3. You can get knocked down by a net and still draw a penalty

Who knew?

Impact Moment

As if it’d be anything but Laine’s hat trick. We would never disappoint you guys.

Stat of the Night

Not really a stat of the night, but with all the rookie talk this past week it’s absolutely noteworthy.