NHL Best and Worst: Sidney Crosby continues to fend off Father Time

Sidney Crosby had himself a huge week, the Minnesota Wild had a bad time in Sweden, and the Winter Classic jerseys were leaked by ... the Utah Jazz?

Welcome back to the NHL Best and Worst. Here's the good, bad, ugly and hilarious from another great week of puck — let’s dive right in.

Goal of the week

With the Ottawa Senators in Sweden this week for the NHL’s Global Series alongside the Toronto Maple Leafs, Minnesota Wild and Detroit Red Wings, it was the German, Tim Stutzle, who ultimately stole the show. This gorgeous goal, batted out of mid-air with mere ticks left on the clock, shows off the superstar’s incredible skills, as he beats Reimer to seal the Sens' win and help them ultimately secure four big points across the pond.

Save of the week

This season has been remarkably challenging for the San Jose Sharks, who are finally starting to show some life after looking like a contender for the worst NHL team of all time last month. A big part of why the squad hasn’t looked totally decrepit the last handful of games has been their goaltending, particularly Mackenzie Blackwood.

Despite a sub-.900 save % on the season, Blackwood has been one of the few reasons the Sharks aren’t as bad as they could possibly be, including a break-even mark by goals saved above average and some remarkably athletic saves like this one on Panthers forward Evan Rodriguez.

Player of the week: Sidney Crosby

Father Time was never going to be any match for Sid the Kid, who is scoring at a remarkable rate given he’s somehow already 36 years old and in the back half of his career. With a hat trick on Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets and another pair against the Carolina Hurricanes, Crosby is doing it all, with seven points in four games and 22 in 17 on the season.

Hit of the week

The Trouba Train is back on the tracks, which means you’d better get out of the way before you get run over. The league’s biggest hitter was back at it this week with this bone crusher on New Jersey Devils forward Tomas Nosek, as the Hudson River rivals renewed acquaintances in a big way on Saturday night.

Dish of the week

We’ve got some goaltender love this week for our dish of the week, as Senators netminder Anton Forsberg goes the distance on home soil to his fellow countryman Erik Brannstrom. Not to be outdone, however, a special props to Brannstrom for absolutely wiring this laser beam past Filip Gustavsson, who sees no part of this bomb.

Worst of the week

This is a tough one for Arizona Coyotes netminder Karel Vejmelka, who goes out to play the puck and proceeds to get embarrassed by no fault of his own by Winnipeg Jets forward Vladislav Namestnikov. They say the goaltender oughta tend the goal, but they don’t often ask the netminder to defend pucks deflecting off your own forward's skates.

The celebs are at it again

We’ve got a double dose of the celebrities getting in on some NHL action this week. First, it’s everybody's favorite lyric-altering tight end Travis Kelce and his brother Jason giving hockey some love on their popular New Heights podcast.

Plus, of all the places you might expect the Jonas Brothers to be on an otherwise uneventful Wednesday night, Rogers Place in Edmonton to watch Connor McDavid and the Oilers is probably the last spot we'd guess.

Nylander’s big week

We already gave William Nylander his flowers last week, but with his Maple Leafs in Sweden, it was just about written in the stars that the forever-nonchalant Swede would be the star of the show. Starting his week with some hilarious social content for the Maple Leafs (watch until the end) and ending it with an overtime winner, life has got to be pretty sweet for the 27-year-old forward, who is setting himself up for a nice payday.

Missed a (big) assignment

Alex Ovechkin is not the machine he once was, but it's worth acknowledging he’s a mere 67 goals behind Wayne Gretzky for most all time. As such, it feels like it should go without saying that the Columbus Blue Jackets did not play this one properly, leaving The Great Eight so wide open in front he could have filed his taxes.

Wholesome moment of the week

Despite concerns the reception would be mixed, Bo Horvat’s return to Vancouver tugged at all the right heartstrings on Wednesday, as the former Vancouver Canucks captain visited Rogers Arena for the first time in blue and orange. Horvat got emotional pretty quickly, and by the time his video tribute came around, the waterworks were out in full force. The London, Ontario native even cashed in against his former club, but the Canucks ultimately got the last laugh thanks to a beauty Quinn Hughes OT winner.

Quote of the week

Sheldon Keefe isn’t quite the quote machine some other coaches from around the NHL are, but he did have a hilarious quip after center David Kampf was forced to miss practice earlier this week following a hit from Dakota Joshua.

John Hancock

Goalies have always been a little bit quirky, but that certainly doesn’t mean they don’t have big hearts. Take this cute moment from this past week involving Sergei Bobrovsky, who got the night off against the Sharks Tuesday, but was by no means checked out. The Russian netminder makes this kid’s week, signing the young fan’s sign.

Help from my friends

NHL players losing their skate blades remains hilarious, and the latest instance is no exception. As Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher has his blade pop out, he takes a predictable stumble, then requires a chaperone in the form of Tanner Pearson to help him off the ice.

Oh no, Canada

One of these days, Americans will learn the Canadian national anthem. That day won't be today, however, as the latest gaffe in a long history of embarrassing goofs comes from just down the QEW in Buffalo. Check out this anthem singer freestyling it, a particularly embarrassing development given that the Buffalo Sabres sing "Oh Canada" before every single home game.

Power-play clinic

Sometimes, it’s best to let the clips do the talking. Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov, once again off to a remarkable start to his season with a dazzling 27 points in 17 games, gives quite the lesson in How To Run A Powerplay 101.

The Utah Jazz???

The NHL isn’t normally all that leaky with its jersey unveilings, but of all the places to have the Seattle Kraken and Vegas Golden Knights' Winter Classic digs prematurely released, the bottom of the list would have to be the Utah Jazz’s social media account and a promo for All Elite Wrestling.

Trending Up: Washington Capitals, 8-1-1, W4

Reports of the Washington Capitals' demise have been greatly exaggerated, apparently, as the aging squad is finding ways to win games despite a lack of scoring. Forever a run-and-gun squad, new head coach Spencer Carbery has tightened the ship dramatically on both fronts.

With just 39 goals so far this season, Washington ranks 31st in goal-scoring, however, their 40 goals against ranks a sparkling 3rd league-wide. How long a squad forever built on scoring at will can sustain this remains to be seen, but this is certainly one heck of a fascinating group.

Trending Down: Minnesota Wild, 2-5-3, L5

To say the Wild’s trip to Sweden could have gone better would be quite an understatement. Losing to both the Senators and Maple Leafs, albeit in the shootout and overtime, respectively, the Wild have now dropped five straight, and have won just two of their last ten games — just one of which was in regulation.

Things are getting dire in the State of Hockey, as head coach Dean Evason’s name has begun to percolate on the hot-seat front, while the team’s exceptional goaltending duo from last season of Gustavsson and Marc-Andre Fleury have been anything but this year, rocking a horrific combined .876 save %, ranked 30th in the NHL.