Between the Pipes – NHL Recap Week 15
No more oil in the well – Ah the Edmonton Oilers when you think of the Oilers you probably think Gretzky, Messier, Kurri, Lowe, Fuhr, Coffey. The list goes on and on or you might think of the five championships they won in the 80’s with those players. Lately though it’s been mostly doom and gloom, having not made the playoffs the past three years and they don’t look to be breaking that streak this year. But give them credit for making the 05-06 Stanley Cup Finals.
Despite the awful starts the Hurricanes and Maple leafs had the Oilers have almost caught up to them or more accurately slid down to them. When Dwayne Roloson, 40, left in the off season the Oilers hoped to upgrade their position. So they signed Nikolai Khabibulin, 37 slightly younger, who had just led the Blackhawks to the western conference finals. Unfortunately that didn’t really workout as planned. Khabibulin has for the most part been disappointing and made a couple of gaffes in the beginning of the season that cost the Oilers some games. He also has been on the injured list since the middle of November. Personally I think it’s for the best, they really need to find their goalie of the future and not just rotate old guys. Unfortunately he is signed for another three seasons after this season. Right now the Oilers are going with Jeff Deslauriers. He hasn’t performed all that well, though he has only started in 32 games in his NHL career thus far. Personally they should be playing Devan Dubnyk they drafted him 14th overall in 2004, time to give him his shot. While he hasn’t exactly lit it up in the AHL, everyone deserves a chance.
Offensively other than the reemergence of Dustin Penner not much has gone right for the Oilers. Alex Hemsky was playing well, again, but he is gone for the season with his torn shoulder. Nobody else strikes fear into opponents. I think they really should go after somebody via free agency or a trade. IIya Kovalchuk is a possibility via one of those options. Whether he would want to play in Edmonton is a different story. It’s defiantly worth a shot though and it would give Edmonton the kind of pure scorer they have lacked. It’s also time to start bringing up the young guys to see what they have. Charles Linglet has played well for the Springfield Falcons, he should be brought up and given a good luck.
Needless to say what they are doing now is not working. It’s time for a shake-up and to get the youth movement going.
No time this week.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Rick Rypien vs. Brandon Prust
Your Rick Rypien fight of the week, these two went at it again a period later, this fight was better though.
David Koci vs. Brian McGrattan
8th fight between these two, great punches by both.
Paul Bissonnette vs. Darcy Hordichuk
This fight would have been better if the camera guy didn’t miss half of it. Nice final punch by Hordichuk.
Chris Neil vs. Eric Boulton
Eric Boulton had the edge in this one.
Dave Steckel vs. Zenon Konopka
Nice tussle, Konopka connected with some nice punches.
Goat of the Week
Stephane Auger – Referee
For his pre-game chat and questionable calls against Alex Burrows in the Vancouver Canucks game against the Nashville Predators. The video has the 2nd more atrocious call.
Things I like
1. The Philadelphia Flyers have finally responded to their new coach and have started to turn their season around. They always had the talent it’s just a matter of piecing it together. Except for the game against Ottawa Michael Leighton has played well during the winning streak. Mike Richards and Chris Pronger both have 5 game point streaks currently.
2. Despite the fact that the Sabres have Ryan Miller I’m still surprised they have been in 1st place in their division for so long. Buffalo is the only division leader without a points scorer in the top 25.
3. Watch out for the Islanders NHL. 7-2-1 in their last 10 and winners of four of their past five, the Islanders seem to be coming together. This includes a total dismantling of the Red Wings last night 6-0. Former 1st overall pick of the draft Rick DiPietro has also made his return to the island.
Things I don’t
1. The controversy surrounding Alex Burrows and Ref Auger. Just some bad calls in general, I think I could see if he called holding the stick but diving it certainly was not. Either way it was incidental and the interference call was just horrible. I would have called diving on Joel Ward. I also don’t care for the NHL’s failure to punish Auger at all, yet they fine Burrows for shame NHL. This kind of stuff ruins the integrity of the game.
2. Evgeni Malkin hasn’t scored a goal in nine games dating back to his hat trick against Ottawa. He has only 5 goals in 19 games in December and January. The Penguins also still have the 2nd worst powerplay.
3. The Chicago Blackhawks who seemingly were manhandling the wild 5-1 after two periods, only to give up four goals on seven shots in the 3rd period forcing the game into overtime. The Blackhawks then ended up losing in the 8th round of the shootout, 6-5. You have to play the whole 60 minutes Chicago.
Stat Line of the Week
01/08/10 Buffalo 3 vs. Toronto 2
Tyler Myers rookie campaign has been a successful one thus far in Buffalo. He scored two goals and added an assist, all on the powerplay, having a hand in all the Sabres goals. Myers is 5th in the league in rookie scoring. A feat made all the more impressive because he is a defenseman. He also leads all rookies in assists.
Did You Know?
That Curtis Joseph is the only goalie in the top 10, for wins all-time, that has never won a Stanley Cup. His best finish in the postseason was the Eastern Conference finals with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
2,500 – Dollar amount for the fine on Alex Burrows for talking out about the referring of Stephane Auger.
0 – Games suspended or amount fined for the pre game talk and questionable calls by Stephane Auger.
454 – Wins by recently retired Curtis Joseph, 4th on the all-time list.
94 – Goals allowed by the New Jersey Devils the only team not to reach 100 yet.
45 – Saves by Henrik Lundqvist out of 45 shots, yet he still lost in the shootout.
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
January 07, 2000 Joe Sakic became the Colorado franchise all-time leader in games, when he appeared in his 814th career game with the team, a 4-1 win over the visiting Montreal Canadiens. Sakic replaced Michel Goulet, and picked up two assists in the game.
January 07, 1989 Vancouver’s Tony Tanti scored his club-record 10th hat trick and set a new team record for fastest 3 goals (6:46), as the Canucks defeated Pittsburgh 7-5. Tanti also added an assist
January 08, 1988 Flames’ rookie Brett Hull scored twice and added two assists as Calgary beat the Islanders 7-4, to extend their home undefeated streak against New York to 8 games (6-0-2).
January 09, 1993 New York’s Mike Gartner became the first player in NHL history to get 25 goals in each of his first 14 seasons, when he scored twice for the Rangers in a 4-3 loss at Philadelphia.
January 10, 1992 Washington Capitals set a team record with three shorthanded goals (including two in :18) during a 7-4 win over the Kings, at Landover, Maryland. Kevin Hatcher led the scoring with two goals and two assists.
January 11, 1941 Dave “Sweeney” Schriner had a goal and three assists, and Turk Broda recorded his 23rd career shutout as the Maple Leafs beat the NY Americans, 9-0 in Toronto. It was the Leafs’ second consecutive penalty-free game — a first in NHL history.
January 12, 1994 Winnipeg’s Teemu Selanne scored his 100th NHL goal in a 3-2 win over the visiting Buffalo Sabres. The milestone came in Selanne’s 130th career game, the second-fastest 100 goals in NHL history. (Bossy scored his first 100 goals in 129 games).
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
2. San Jose
26. Los Angeles
Anaheim Ducks Watch
The Ducks have finally gotten healthy and have a four game winning steak going because of it, their longest of the season so far. Anaheim’s second win in the streak was against the St. Louis Blues, a team near them in the standings. Rookie Matt Beleskey scored his second goal in as many games to help propel Anaheim to victory 4-2. The Ducks were actually down 2-1 in the 3rd but rattled off 3 goals. Beleskey’s was the game winner and the Ducks also scored an empty netter to seal the deal.
Next up was the Predators another team the Ducks are trying to catch up to in the Standings. This game saw the return of Teemu Selanne, from a broken hand, who scored the games first goal. Ryan Getzlaf also scored his first goal since coming back from his injury. The Ducks took their 3 goal lead into the 3rd period and saw their lead cut to 1, but they were able to hang on for the win, 3-2.
Next up were the Blackhawks coming off their stunning defeat against the Wild 6-5. Despite being out shot 43 to 11 the Ducks somehow managed to eek out a victory 3-1. Hiller was phenomenal on the road helping to steal the victory for the Ducks. Perry, Koivu and Selanne (empty net) added the goals for the Ducks. The Ducks have about a month before the Olympic break to make up a lot of ground in the standings.
Author: Alex Mueller
Alex Mueller graduated from Temple University with a minor in journalism over a decade ago. He’s been writing about NHL hockey, on and off, since the Fall of 2009. He’s written for Pucking Awesome, the Checking Line and now Hockey Recaps. He played goalie at San Diego Ice Arena. His first novel, Bobby Sterling vs Truth, is available on Amazon now.