8 things we learned in the NHL: Jingle bell Brock

Ahead of their game against the Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens' players arrive to the arena in Christmas themed suits.

We’re going to need a break after that wild night of hockey.

With 15 games on the schedule, everyone except the Calgary Flames got into the action on the night before the night before Christmas.

With this being the holiday season, and with some many games to go through, here is an extra special things we learned column.

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I’ll have a blue Christmas in Pittsburgh

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champions are not where they wanted to be heading into the Christmas break and Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Ducks was just another lump of coal in their stocking.

Pittsburgh has now lost five of their last seven, are 5-6-0 in December and are only one point ahead of the Flyers for last in the Metro Division. So it’s definitely not the most wonderful time of the year for them.

General manager Jim Rutherford is never one to watch ideally by when his teams struggle and it looks like the Penguins are listening on all trade fronts.

“One name that I do hear out there that is being bantered about is Kris Letang,” Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reported during the Headlines segment Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada.

If fans don’t want that to happen, they’d better hope the team starts winning.

Jingle bell Brock

Brock Boeser scored his 20th goal of the season Saturday, becoming the fastest Canucks rookie to reach the milestone ever.

Boeser shattered Pavel Bure’s 20 goals in 49 games that had been the previous franchise record and becomes only the second Canucks rookie to get 20 in less than 50 games.

Boeser has been on a tear lately, with goals in seven of his last nine games.

He now has a seven-goal lead on Arizona’s Clayton Keller for most by a rookie this season and he’s also only one behind the Islanders’ Mathew Barzal (more on him below) for most points by a rookie with 34.

The last Canucks rookie to score 20 in a season was Daniel Sedin, who scored exactly 20 in 75 games during the 2000-01 season. Boeser has already hit the mark and he’s only played 34.

Rockin’ around the Barzal three

One of the nicest surprises so far this season has been the play Mathew Barzal has been off to this season.

But he took that to another level Saturday with his first career hat trick against the Winnipeg Jets.

Barzal now has 12 goals on the season and leads all rookies with 35 points.

The Islanders used to rely on John Tavares to provide all of their offence but with Barzal, Josh Bailey and Anders Lee, the team has been gifted with plenty of firepower this season.

Austy the Snowman

The Maple Leafs got an early Christmas present when Auston Matthews returned to the lineup after missing six games with a concussion.

And he looked like his old self, scoring the game-winning goal and adding an assist in a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers.

Despite his injuries this season, Matthews still leads the Leafs with 28 points and is only two behind James van Riemsdyk for the most goals with 14.

Matthews now gets to travel home to Arizona for the Christmas break and the start of a road trip. The Maple Leafs’ next game is against the Coyotes on Thursday.

We three kings of Boston’s top line

The Boston Bruins have been one of the hottest teams in December and they have one of the hottest lines in hockey leading the way.

Their top unit of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak combined for another seven points in the Bruins’ 3-1 win over the Red Wings Saturday.

For the season, the trio has combined for 40 goals and 89 points.

The Bruins 8-2-1 record in December has seen them climb up into the top three in the Atlantic Division and to within two points of the Maple Leafs for second place.

The strong play of their top line has been a big reason why.

Silver bells, Golden Knights

The Vegas Golden Knights have lots to celebrate this holiday season, and they head into the Christmas break after a perfect performance against the Washington Capitals.

Their 3-0 win gave Marc-Andre Fleury his first shutout not with the Penguins, and 45th in his career. It also puts them into a tie with the L.A. Kings for first in the entire Western Conference with 48 points.

The win comes after the Knights took down the East’s best team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, earlier in the week and extends their latest win streak to four.

In fact, the team hasn’t lost in regulation since Dec. 1 and their current point streak, 8-0-1, is tied for the longest stretch without a regulation loss of any expansion team, ever.

Deck the Hall

Taylor Hall added to his goal total with a beautiful breakaway goal against the Blackhawks.

The Devils have been one of the surprise teams in the East and Hall, who also picked up an assist Saturday, has been a big part of their turnaround only a few months after picking first in the draft.

Hall leads the team with 34 points and is tied with Brian Gibbons for the team lead in goals with 12.

By beating the Blackhawks 4-1, and with Washington losing to Vegas, the Devils sit alone atop the Metro Division with 48 points — second to only Tampa Bay in the entire conference.

Candy Kane Milestone

Patrick Kane picked up his 300th career goal on Saturday and it sure was sweet.

Kane is the fifth player to score 300 in Blackhawks’ history, joining Bobby Hull (604), Stan Mikita (541), Steve Larmer (406) and Denis Savard (377). For his career he also has 487 assists and 787 points.

Kane went first overall in the 2007 draft and he’s the first player taken that year to score 300. Jamie Benn (233), Max Pacioretty (217) and Wayne Simmonds (213) are the only others to reach 200.

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