1. Tobias Rieder
This one's a no-brainer. Although the Arizona Coyotes emerged from the week with two disheartening losses to the Calgary Flames in hand, Tobi Rieder set the tone for a 5-2 win in Edmonton on Monday night with back-to-back shorthanded goals during the second frame. Rieder has wasted no time in making his presence known since being called up from Portland earlier this season.
A shaky start has earned Oliver Ekman-Larsson a justified amount of scrutiny. He responded this week with a pair of goals, one on the man advantage during the squad's victory over the Oilers. The Swedish phenom also led the Coyotes in ice time in each of the past three games.
3. Growing youth buzz amid team struggles
Fans have been questioning whether or not this roster is playoff-worthy since the preseason. Ownership, management and coaching, however, were at first reluctant to rush young talent to the NHL in the face of doubt and criticism, but have since given a handful of developing players a shot. If things continue as they have been, it won't be long before more new faces end up in the Coyotes locker room.
4. Howe on the mend
After rumors of a second stroke were dismissed, former NHL great Gordie Howe is set to be released from the hospital today after suffering from dehydration and fatigue. The man was, and apparently always will be, a fighter.
5. Laich gets fancy
Watch Brooks Laich go between-the-legs and bury one past Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller.
The Los Angeles Kings violated the terms of defenseman Slava Voynov's suspension by letting him practice yesterday, and were in turn fined $100,000 by the NHL. Voynov was suspended after being charged with felony domestic violence in November.
2. Yotes matchup with the Flames
The Coyotes had the pleasure of the facing the soaring Calgary Flames twice in four days, and each time suffered a loss in regulation. Arizona looked more energetic in the second bout, but still fell short by a total of three goals. The Flames are playing inspired hockey, the Coyotes are not.
3. Blame game in the desert
Jaime Eisner's Monday Musings post this week detailed the effort among fans to determine the culprit for the Arizona Coyotes' lackluster first quarter of the 2014-15 campaign. The discussion will certainly continue until wins become a more regular occurrence, or the team decides to commit to a real personnel renovation effort.
4. Kessel gets (unwillingly) airborne
Stars defenseman Antoine Roussel gives Phil Kessel wings, even if only for a moment:
5. NHL loses a legend
Canadiens great John Beliveau passed away yesterday at the age of 83. Beliveau spent 18 years in Montreal, scored 507 goals, won two Hart trophies and one Art Ross trophy. As MVP of the 1965 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he won the inaugural Conn Smythe trophy.