Three Majors and a Minor
Welcome to another episode of Three Majors and a Minor. Graphic: Amanda Aylmer/Vendetta Sports Media

Welcome to another edition of Three Majors and a Minor. This week we look at Auston Matthews, Anton Khudobin, and the ESPN deal. We also come closer to home (for me) with a look at the Fresno Monsters. Let’s get the puck rolling.

MATTHEWS IN HART RUNNING?

It’s only the North Division. There’s no goaltending. Wait until he plays someone decent. All the above comments could be deemed true, but you still can’t help but admire what Auston Matthews is doing with the Toronto Maple Leafs during this unusual season. His overtime goal against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night was his 21st of the season and opened the gap to six points at the top of the North Division for the Toronto hockey team.

The 2016 number one overall draft pick leads the league in goals and is top five in points and points per game. With that said it’s no surprise that Matthews name has been circled in the early season Hart Trophy talk. It will be interesting to see how the divisional separation and also the form of teammate Mitchell Marner will affect voting.

KHUDOBIN RAN BY BLACKHAWKS

Remember when Anton Khudobin was hailed as a phenomenon because of his playoff performances!?! Seems so long ago. The goaltender has a .907SV% and a 2.65 GAA so far this season and was ran out of the game by the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.

Khudobin lasted 40 minutes, faced only eight shots and let in four goals for a .500SV%. The Dallas Stars lost 4-2 but his replacement Jake Oettinger performed much better saving eight of eight shots as the Stars tried to scratch their way back into the game. With Ben Bishop out injured the Stars could do with Khudobin returning to the .917SV% playoff form he hit as they made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.

WILL KELLERMAN DO A U-TURN WITH ESPN DEAL?

The NHL signed a seven year broadcasting deal with ESPN this week that will see the league broadcasted on ESPN, ABC, ESPN+ and Hulu. The deal will likely see ESPN+ replace NHLTV as the streaming home for what is about to become 32 NHL teams while the Disney owned station could also follow the NFL’s lead and broadcast a game aimed purely towards kids on the Disney Channel. On the negative side we will now likely have to listen Max Kellerman, who earlier this year was called out for saying  “nobody cares about hockey”, tell us how he’s had a change of heart. Anything that brings more eyes to the product is a good thing, especially as the NHL look to further distance themselves from the goon era and focus on the skills of Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Nathan MacKinnon.

MONSTERS OFF TO NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

And finally, the Fresno Monsters are going to the National Championships in their inaugural USPHL season with a 30-10-2 record. The California junior hockey team won the Pacific Division under the tutelage of head coach Cody Key who himself made history at the beginning of the season by becoming the youngest head coach in franchise history at the age of 23 years old. The Championship will kick off on Thursday in Chesapeake, VA.

A LITTLE EXTRA

While not hockey related the biggest story of the week was Matt Rowan showing he’s a racist piece of shit, before blaming it on type 1 diabetes. I’ve literally heard it all now. Please get these pieces of crap out of the sports industry for good. Thank you for reading Three Majors and a Minor.