Now with 139 games of NHL experience under his belt — and still a teenager — the Finn is living up to (and perhaps already exceeding) expectations.
Laine has been a goal-scoring machine recently. He’s scored at least two goals in his last three games for a total of seven. In his last nine games, he has only failed to score once. And his 38 tallies this year is already two more than what he had in 73 games last season.
Remember at the beginning of the season when he was struggling with confidence issues?
It was Laine’s 12th multi-goal game of his career and he became just the second player in Jets/Thrashers history to string together three consecutive games with at least a pair of goals. (Ilya Kovalchuk was the first.) Laine is also one of 20 players since 1960 to average at least one goal in every other game of his career.
Smaller sample size than some of the others on that list, but still impressive.
As an extra tidbit of information, Laine became the first teenager to score a visiting team hat trick at Madison Square Garden since Ted Kennedy in 1944.
Hat trick of hat tricks
Goal lights around the league were going off like crazy on Tuesday night.
Not only did Laine contribute a trio of goals, but Brad Marchand scored his third goal of the game in overtime as the Boston Bruins downed the Detroit Red Wings 6-5, and Florida’s Nick Bjugstad completed the NHL hat trick hat trick with his three goals in the Panthers’ 5-4 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Laine’s hat trick was the fourth of his short career, Marchand’s was the third and it was Bjugstad’s first.
Marchand’s OT winner was the 11th of his career, the most in Bruins history.
Hall did what you think he did
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Taylor Hall just extended his point streak.
Yup, he did it again.
Whether you sit in the camp of he has a personal point streak of 26 games or he’s on a 19-game streak (that injury of his really fuddled things up), Hall has recorded a point in each of the last 26 games he’s played in, becoming just the eighth different player in NHL history to do so.
The guy certainly has Hart (wink, wink).
He has 38 points since the streak began on Jan. 2, 18 of which are goals.
Gourde on cusp of leading Lightning rookies
Rookie Yanni Gourde scored two goals and added an assist on Tuesday night. He was just shy of becoming another player to net a hat trick on Tuesday night.
It’s a shame he didn’t, because if he did he would have held the Lightning rookie scoring record.
Gourde scored his 23rd and 24th goals of his inaugural campaign, tying him with Tyler Johnson for most goals by a Lightning rookie.
Not bad for an undrafted 26-year-old.
Staal joins Wild royalty
The Minnesota Wild haven’t been particularly blessed with prolific scorers since they joined the NHL in 2000-01.
Eric Staal, at the age of 33 and in his 14th campaign, scored his 35th goal of the season becoming just the second Wild player to reach that mark. The other is Marian Gaborik who did it twice, 38 goals in 2005-06 and 42 in 2007-08.
Staal has been enjoying a career revitalization since he joined the Wild as a free agent in 2016.
He scored 28 goals in 82 games during his first season with the team — his most since 2010-11 — and now has 36 through 67 games. He’s on pace for 42 — the second most in his career (he had 45 in 2005-06, his sophomore year).