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Short Shifts

A lot has happened in just one quarter of this NHL season

Pranks, oddities and emotional moments, this early season has had it all already @NHLdotcom

NHL players and coaches have packed a lot of great moments into the first quarter of the season.

From funny pranks to emotional moments to downright oddities, there has been enough great stuff to fill up a full season, and we aren't even at the 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic yet.

But we had to narrow it down, so here are the best of the best, our Top 10 Short Shifts stories of the 2017-18 season, so far:


1. Reaves vs. Kessel

It's easy to love Phil Kessel, as Evgeni Malkin clearly does. It's even easier to prank him. Just ask teammate Ryan Reaves.

Reaves, who was acquired by the Penguins this offseason, has developed a unique rapport with Kessel. Reaves scared the daylights out of Kessel right around Halloween by wearing a clown mask and hiding in Kessel's hotel room. And that would be enough, if that's where it ended.

A few days later, well after schooling Kessel in basketball, Reaves showed up to a postgame interview in a shirt that featured Kessel as the cover model for Michael Jackson's famous "Thriller" album.

We're not even at the All-Star Game yet, so we can imagine that Reaves has plenty more in store for his buddy.


2. Jagr crashes Traveling Jagrs interview

So, you guys need a Calgary Flames Jagr? How about the actual Jaromir Jagr?

The Traveling Jagrs have endeared themselves to hockey fans, and their idol alike, and that was evident when the future Hall of Fame forward crashed a live television interview with the group.

Jagr came through with a brand new autographed jersey and perhaps a suggestion for a new member if this whole hockey playing thing doesn't work out for him.


3. Tears of joy for DeBrusk's dad

Louie DeBrusk played 11 seasons in the NHL, so you know he is tough.

But even tough guys can get overwhelmed with emotion. For DeBrusk, it was when his son, Jake DeBrusk scored his first goal during his NHL debut for the Boston Bruins.

Can't say we blame him either. Cry away, big guy.

4. Boyle cries after first Devils goal

You couldn't blame Brian Boyle for getting emotional after scoring his first goal in a New Jersey Devils uniform. It was also his first game back from being treated for chronic myeloid leukemia.

Boyle crashed the net hard and scored a type of goal he has many times before, but the celebration was a little different. He couldn't control the tears and said so himself. "I've never cried after a goal before," he said.

Video: EDM@NJD: Boyle pots first goal since cancer diagnosis

5. Subban and Boninos team up for prank

Good pranks can be solo jobs, but Nick Bonino and his wife, Lauren, teamed up for the best Halloween prank.

They dressed up as autograph seekers, intentionally annoying many Nashville Predators players for autographs on Broadway. Defensemen Ryan Ellis and Matt Irwin got the extra-special effort from the Boninos.

Thankfully, P.K. Subban captured all the action on video.


6. Welcome back, Edzo!

Sometimes life is bigger than the game, and the classy St. Louis Blues fans realized that when the Chicago Blackhawks came to town Oct. 18.

Eddie Olczyk, who has been fighting colon cancer since being diagnosed in August, was in the NBC Sports broadcast booth for the Wednesday Night Rivalry game, and the Blues fans celebrated his return with a standing ovation.  

Olczyk's appearance on national TV came about a week after he joined teammate and longtime Blackhawks announcer Pat Foley in the booth at United Center during Chicago's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Video: Olczyk returns to the booth during battle with cancer

7. Rock-Paper-Scissors rivalry continues

The Mark Scheifele vs. Tyler Seguin Rock-Paper-Scissors duel is becoming the stuff of legend, but had also become sort of one-sided with Scheifele winning the first two times.

But Seguin got in the win column, albeit in questionable fashion, before the Dallas Stars vs. Winnipeg Jets game Nov. 6. We're hoping this series is a best-of-forever.


8. Bow wow!

All dogs are good, but great dogs can drop the puck at an NHL game. 

Charlie, a Labrador retriever from the charity America's VetDogs, which provides highly trained dogs to aid military veterans in everyday life, dropped the puck before the New York Islanders game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Barclays Center on Nov. 16.

Someone get Charlie a treat!

9. Flames travel back in time

Hey, if you are going to travel by train, you might as well dress the part.

The Calgary Flames certainly did, donning their best old school suits and hats for a trip from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. They even skipped out on the iPads and cell phones and broke out the playing cards.

10. A bicycle built for two Sabres

It's just more fun to come to work with one of your friends, but Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart didn't carpool.

They bike-pooled.

The Buffalo Sabres forwards arrived for the first day of training camp on a tandem bicycle and shared the whole incredible moment on Instagram.

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