Another weekend of NHL action is in the books. A couple of legends hit milestones on the ice, and a star put on a show in his home country. However, one team took center stage with a tone deaf personnel decision.
Let's review the best highlights and the biggest storylines from the weekend that was in the NHL.
Goal of the weekend: Brad Marchand buckles Ilya Samsonov
In Saturday's game between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs, Marchand earned a penalty shot, and he took full advantage of it. Marchand hit Samsonov with a filthy fake shot, and the Toronto goaltender took the bait -- hard.
The goalie completely broke down, and when Marchand went to his backhand, all Samsonov could do was flail backwards.
Unfortunately for the Maple Leafs and Samsonov, this penalty shot was a bit of a double whammy. Not only will Samsonov be on the receiving end of a highlight packages, but he also suffered a knee injury on the play, head coach Sheldon Keefe announced after the game.
Robbery of the weekend: Kevin Shattenkirk channels his inner John Gibson
We love goalies here. We have absolutely nothing against them. However, when a skater comes up with a big save while wearing a fraction of the protection, we cannot ignore it. That's what Ducks defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk did on Sunday against the Florida Panthers.
Some slick passing by the Panthers got Gibson down and out of position, and Sam Bennett thought he had a layup. That's when Shattenkirk came sliding into the picture and made an incredible stop using both his stick and his glove to keep the puck out of the net.
That will go down as a blocked shot on the stat sheet, but all blocked shots are not created equal. That was as good a save as you'll ever see.
Alex Ovechkin breaks a Gordie Howe record
With each game he plays, Ovechkin keeps climbing the NHL's record books. In Saturday night's game against the Arizona Coyotes, Ovechkin scored the 787th goal of his career and broke Gordie Howe's record for most goals with a single franchise.
Fittingly enough, Ovechkin's record-breaker came in signature fashion, with an absolute missile of a slapshot from the left circle on the power play. The fact that Ovechkin passed Mr. Hockey in that gorgeous Reverse Retro jersey makes it that much better.
Now, it shouldn't be long before Ovechkin passes Howe on the NHL's all-time goals list. He needs just 15 more to do that, and then he will be in sole possession of second behind Wayne Gretzky.
Boston Bruins botch Mitchell Miller situation
Not content with the Bruins' hot start to the 2022-23 season, president Cam Neely and general manager Don Sweeney wanted to make a splash. But in doing so, they executed an astounding display of poor decision-making.
On Nov. 4, the Bruins announced they had signed defenseman Mitchell Miller to an entry-level contract. Miller was originally drafted by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2022 NHL Draft, but the team rescinded the pick after it came out that Miller had been convicted of bullying in juvenile court. In 2016, Miller was charged with assault after bullying a black student with a learning disability. The victim, Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, said that Miller called him the "n-word" repeatedly, physically abused him and tricked him into eating candy that had been wiped in the urinal.
Isaiah's mother, Joni Meyer-Crothers, claims that Miller reached out to apologize to her son on Snapchat roughly one week before the signing. She doesn't think Miller's apology was all that sincere.
"When Mitchell Snapchatted my son a week and a half ago, he apologized and said 'It has nothing to do with hockey.' Well, it has everything to do with hockey," Joni Meyer-Crothers told NBC Boston.
When news broke that the team had signed Miller, there was immediate backlash. The Bruins' front office also put the players in the awkward position of having to answer for management's decisions, even if they weren't fully on board with them. Captain Patrice Bergeron made it clear that he had doubts about whether Miller would be a good fit for the culture that the team has built:
"I was asked by Don (Sweeney), close to a week ago now, about my opinion. As you just said, I had my concerns. I shared my opinion. I think, in a way, I was not agreeing with it. To be honest with you, I think the culture that we built here goes against that type of behavior. I think we're a team that has built something about character and character people. What he did is obviously unacceptable, and we don't stand by that. For myself, in this locker room, we're all about inclusion, diversity, and respect. Those are keywords and core values that we have.
"We expect guys who wear this jersey to be high-character people with integrity and respect. That's how they should be acting. My understanding is that he's gonna put in the work in development programs and community programs to better himself. It's up to him to do that. That's it. My standpoint is that it's a hockey operations decision. We can control what we can control. Hopefully, there's some growth and some change. If it's the same 14-year-old walking into this locker room, he wouldn't be accepted and wanted and welcomed in this locker room, to be honest with you."
To make matters worse, the team claimed to have done its "due diligence" about signing Miller, but it hadn't even reached out to Meyer-Crothers' family or checked to see if he would be eligible to play in the NHL. According to commissioner Gary Bettman, the Bruins were allowed to sign Miller, but he had not gotten cleared to play in the NHL yet.
Late Sunday night, Neely announced that the Bruins had parted ways with Miller, ending a brief but embarrassing saga that should never have started in the first place.
Mikko Rantanen displays Finnishing ability in home country
On Friday, the Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets played the first of two Global Series games in Tampere, Finland. That gave Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen the chance to play in his native country, and he looked right at home.
In Friday's game, Rantanen notched a hat trick in a 6-3 win and sent Nokia Arena into a frenzy. He even added an assist on a goal by Cale Makar and was named the game's first star. By the end of the game, the fans were serenading Rantanen by chanting his name.
On Saturday, the Avalanche completed their two-game sweep of the Blue Jackets and Rantanen added an assist in that victory to cap off a five-point weekend. It was a great weekend for the Finnish forward, and it's one that neither he nor the fans will forget.
Claude Giroux scores 300th career goal against his old team
It really wasn't possible for a more perfect stage to be set for Claude Giroux to score his 300th career goal. Just 2:44 into Saturday's game against his former team, Giroux scored his 300th career goal off a tremendous feed from teammate Tim Stutzle.
With the goal, Giroux has now registered a goal against every team in the NHL. Despite the early tally, the Philadelphia Flyers were able to rally and defeat Giroux and the Ottawa Senators 2-1. Following the contest, Giroux revealed that he wasn't happy about the loss "but I'll wake up tomorrow and it is what it is."
"We're in a little hole, but I've been in bigger holes before and come out of it, so right now I'm very frustrated, but not worried about it," Giroux said.
The Senators are currently on a five-game losing streak with their next chances to snap it being on Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks.
Appointment viewing this week
Flames at Devils | Tuesday, Nov. 8: These two teams went to overtime in Calgary on Saturday night, and the Devils were able to come away with a dramatic win. New Jersey is one of the hottest teams in the league right now, and Calgary has the opportunity to score a big win after hitting a bit of a slump.
Golden Knights at Maple Leafs | Tuesday, Nov. 8: The Maple Leafs were getting lambasted after a mediocre start to the season, but wins over the Bruins and Hurricanes on back-to-back days seem to have quelled those concerns momentarily. Toronto has the chance to build even more momentum with Vegas coming to town.
Penguins at Capitals | Wednesday, Nov. 9: Neither of these teams is playing its best hockey right now, but I will never take Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin for granted. They are still two of the best in the game today.
Flames at Bruins | Thursday, Nov. 10: These two teams are going in very opposite directions. The Bruins have won seven of their last eight games and are off to one of their best starts in franchise history. Meanwhile, the Flames have dropped four consecutive games after a hot start.
Oilers at Panthers | Saturday, Nov. 12: Connor McDavid has registered points in six consecutive games, but the Oilers have dropped back-to-back games to the Devils and Stars. The Oilers will look to get back on track against a Panthers team that hasn't won consecutive games since the opening week of the season.