1. Max Domi
In addition to leaving the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship with a gold medal, this Coyotes prospect scored a goal and two assists in the championship game against Russia and earned "Best Forward" honors for the entire tournament. This performance highlights how dominant Domi has been so far this year as he continues to progress toward the NHL.
2. Barroway era begins
The deal for hedge fund manager Andrew Barroway to become majority owner of the Arizona Coyotes had its share of hurdles, but as of New Year's Eve, the franchise has a new and excited businessman at the helm. Barroway has reiterated that he has no plans to flip the team and hopes to reach high levels of success with the Coyotes where they currently are.
3. Christian Dvorak
After recently receiving OHL Player of the Week honors, this London Knight and Coyotes prospect was named Player of the Month in the Ontario Hockey League for December. Dvorak recorded an impressive 26 points in 10 games (10 goals and 16 assists), including two hat tricks, while leading the Knights to an 8-1-0-1 record for the month.
4. Rinne's acrobatics
5. Varlamov's brick wall in Chicago
The Avalanche beat the Blackhawks 2-0 at the United Center behind a stellar 54-save shutout performance by goaltender Semyon Varlamov. The goose egg isn't exactly surprising considering Varlamov's career against the Blackhawks: last season, the Avalanche were outshot in each of their games against Chicago but still managed victories due to solid goaltending.
1. Home winning streak fizzles
After some semi-serious speculation that the Yotes might never again win a game at Gila River Arena, the team went on a refreshing four-game home winning streak. The tear ended abruptly last night as the Coyotes were routed 6-0 by the St. Louis Blues in their own building. David Backes had a decent game, scoring four goals.
2. Goaltenders cooling off
Each time a Coyotes goaltender starts to give fans reason for optimism, they go and give up six goals in a blowout loss. Devan Dubnyk had strung together a convincing series of starts before getting decimated by the Dallas Stars last week, and Mike Smith recorded a confidence boosting win over the Blue Jackets before the debacle last night, although the play in front of him was the real culprit.
Interest rates are high, the ruble's value is low and the price of oil continues to fall; surely Russia can look to hockey for some respite during this time of national woe? Wrong. Russia lost the gold medal game to Max Domi and Canada by a score of 5-4 on Monday night in Toronto.
4. Randy Carlyle
After producing inconsistent results behind the Toronto Maple Leafs' bench, Randy Carlyle was fired from his head coaching position. In the analytics era, Carlyle's Maple Leafs team was one of the worst, allowing the second most shot attempts and creating the third fewest themselves.
Need a place to advertise? Try Henrik Zetterberg: