The first week of NHL hockey flew by, and there was so much action it was tough to keep track of it all. Luckily, CBS Sports will have you covered with our weekly NHL Rewind, hitting all the best highlights and biggest stories you might have missed.
This past week, Auston Matthews was hotter than the surface of the Sun. He came out of the gates firing and rarely missed, becoming the fifth player in NHL history to start the season with back-to-back hat tricks.
Elsewhere, The Connor Bedard Show was in full effect. Not only was he brilliant in his first NHL game, but he also recorded his first career goal during the following contest. Not a bad week for the rookie.
See all that and more in our first NHL Rewind of the 2023-24 season. There is plenty to catch up on, and this is only the beginning.
Robbery of the week: Binner Binner Chicken Dinner
Jordan Binnington is trying to rebound after a tough 2022-23 season, and he got off to a good start against the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. Early in the second period, the St. Louis Blues netminder stopped a shot through traffic, but he unwittingly kicked the rebound right out to future Hall of Famer Joe Pavelski.
Pavelski has more than 400 goals in his career, and it looked like he was about to add to that total, but Binnington stretched out and robbed him with the leather.
— NHL (@NHL) October 13, 2023
That would have been good enough to win Robbery of the Week on its own, but Binnington was putting on a show in Dallas. In overtime, Binnginton went from post to post and took away a game-winning goal from Jason Robertson. Once again, it was the glove hand that did the work.
Jordan Binnington is putting on a show in OT 🧱🍿 pic.twitter.com/RhkuhU5iqL
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) October 13, 2023
Unfortunately for Binnington, he didn’t get the result he deserved as the Blues lost in a shootout. However, if Binnington keeps playing like that, St. Louis might be able to overcome some its deficiencies on the blue line.
Goal of the week: Goal Caufield ignites Montreal
Expectations are high for Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield this season, and he is already doing his best to exceed them. In Saturday night’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks, Caufield gave the hometown crowd plenty to cheer about.
Less than four minutes into the second period, Caufield got the puck with speed in the offensive zone. He pulled the puck around Kevin Korchinski and drove to the net before flipping a backhand shot on goaltender Petr Mrazek.
Mrazek made the initial save, but the rebound popped into the air, and Caufield stuck with the play and batted it home.
Goal Caufield doing Goal Caufield things 🔥 pic.twitter.com/2MYo4iRMcJ
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) October 15, 2023
The Canadiens are still rebuilding, and this may not be the best season from a wins and losses perspective, but fans will continue to have fun if Caufield can keep dazzling the crowd like that.
Auston Matthews tallies back-to-back hat tricks
The good people of Toronto will have to increase their hat budgets this month. Through the first two games of the Maple Leafs‘ season, Auston Matthews has forced them to toss their lids on the ice twice.
In Toronto’s season-opener against the Montreal Canadiens, Matthews started his incendiary streak by tallying his 300th goal in his 482nd game, making him the 10th fastest player to reach that milestone in NHL history.
TONE 300 🔥 pic.twitter.com/s1M63b9PRZ
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 12, 2023
That achievement was almost overshadowed by a brutal season-opening loss when the Canadiens took a 5-3 lead over the Maple Leafs in the third period. That’s when Auston Matthews dashed into the phone booth, threw on his cape, and saved the day for the Leafs.
Matthews got Toronto within one with under five minutes left in regulation, and then with 67 ticks remaining, Matthews came through in the clutch. He got the puck down low, evaded a poke check from Montreal goalie Jake Allen, and scored to complete the hat trick and tie the game.
MATTY HATTY!! 🧢
MATTY HATTY!! 🧢
MATTY HATTY!! 🧢 pic.twitter.com/GddeaeypNr
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 12, 2023
That was already good enough to qualify for this week’s Rewind, but Matthews wasn’t done there. In the Maple Leafs’ second game of the season, against the Minnesota Wild, he caused a cascade of hats again.
Matthews finished this one with a terrific power move around the net. He got the puck below the goal line, used his body to shield the puck from the defender, and muscled a wraparound shot through the legs of Filip Gustavsson.
— ESPN (@espn) October 15, 2023
Matthews is the first player to start the season with back-to-back hat tricks since Alex Ovechkin in 2017-18, and just the fifth player to do it in NHL history. The other three players — Cy Denneny, Joe Malone and Reg Noble — all did it 100 years before Ovechkin in 1917-18.
Bedard gets on the board in his second NHL game
Connor Bedard, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, made his debut in the Chicago Blackhawks’ 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins last Tuesday. He recorded his first point with an assist, but he didn’t find the back of the net despite his 11 shot attempts.
Bedard made fans wait another whole 24 hours before lighting the lamp against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night. Bedard started the play with a slick drop pass to Ryan Donato, which kicked off a give-and-go.
Skating down the right wing, Bedard threw a bad-angle shot on Linus Ullmark, picked up his own rebound, and scored on a wraparound in the blink of an eye.
CONNOR BEDARD WITH HIS FIRST NHL GOAL 🥳🚨 pic.twitter.com/pQeHIDx7WO
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) October 11, 2023
That was the only goal Chicago got in that game, a 3-1 loss, but Bedard has already shown superstar potential at the NHL level. He will make the Blackhawks one of the more entertaining teams this year.
Brady Tkachuk on fire out of the gate
The Ottawa Senators have a chance to take a big step during the 2023-24 season if they can make a playoff push. Star winger Brady Tkachuk is definitely getting the team started on the right foot.
Tkachuk registered a pair of goals in Sunday’s 5-2 win against the Lightning, but his second goal has been one of his most impressive thus far. The 24-year-old received the puck just over center ice from defenseman Jake Sanderson, bullied his way to the front of the net, and put the puck right through Lightning goaltender Matt Tomkins‘ five-hole.
Tkachuk is an electric player that can pour in a goal at a moment’s notice. He’s certainly proving that through the first week of the 2023-24 campaign.
Malkin’s playmaking ability on full display
When the Pittsburgh Penguins began play last week, it marked the 18th consecutive season in which Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang were playing together. It also broke a North American sports record for teammates playing together as the Penguins trip topped the New York Yankees group of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada.
Keeping Malkin around has clearly proved to be the right move as the Penguins star has gotten off to a stellar start in 2023-24. Entering Tuesday, Malkin is currently tied with Auston Matthews, Elias Pettersson and teammate Jake Guentzel with six points (two goals and four assists)
Malkin has registered all six of those points over the Penguins’ last two games. The veteran winger racked up a goal and three assists in a 4-0 win over the Washington Capitals on Friday, then followed it up with a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win against the Calgary Flames on Saturday.
Most importantly, Malkin is showcasing his ability as a playmaker, and he notably did so when he put a pass right on the tape of the stick of teammate Reilly Smith for a goal against the Flames.
After squandering a 2-0 lead against the Blackhawks in the season opener, Malkin has rebounded in a big way, and he is dominating whenever he steps foot onto the ice.
Appointment viewing this week
Stars at Golden Knights | Tuesday, Oct. 16: This is the first meeting between these two teams since the Golden Knights defeated the Stars in last season’s Western Conference Final. Vegas and Dallas both came into the 2023-24 season with eyes on the Stanley Cup, so this will be a heavyweight battle.
Maple Leafs at Panthers | Thursday, Oct.18: Speaking of playoff rematches, the Panthers made quick work of the Leafs in the second round last postseason. This Atlantic Division showdown has the potential to become a track meet, so don’t get up off your couch while this one is on TV.
Hurricanes at Avalanche | Saturday, Oct. 21: This is just two of the very best teams in the NHL going head-to-head. Colorado has massive firepower at the top of its lineup, but no team has as much depth on the blue line as Carolina. This should be a tremendous hockey game.
Bruins at Kings | Saturday, Oct. 21: There probably won’t be any scoring records broken in this matchup, but quality defensive hockey can be entertaining too. The Kings have the edge at center, but they may not have the wingers to match Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. This clash is an early benchmark for both squads.