The Blue Jackets have a 10 game point streak and some say they might make the playoffs, the answer to that is of course no. They’ve never finish above 3rd in their division in their existence but there latest progress is very encouraging. I wouldn’t have picked them to finish anywhere but the bottom few spot sin the conference, which hey is almost where they are now. Conceivably they can of course make it but we all remember the Ducks from last year. They got red hot in the second half of the season but unfortunately they dug themselves into too deep of a hole and they also stumbled down the stretch. Similarly that’s what will happen here. They key for them is to keep their momentum going. The other thing that concerns me is that the team doesn’t have a lot of young drafted talent which is the cornerstone of any successful team. It’s mostly a rag tag bunch of veteran castoffs from other teams kind of like what Florida had last year and look at that team now, yikes. The key for management is to draft well and call up some of their prospects now so they can be apart of winning, for once.

Things I like

1. You can call the Pittsburgh Penguins the comeback kids lately. After trailing the Bruins 0-2 in the 3rd, Pittsburgh rebounded with 3 goals in the 3rd (see Goat of the Week below) to win the game 3-2. Then a few nights later they came back from trailing 0-1 to the Maple Leafs in the 3rd to, you guessed it, notch 3 goals in that period for the comeback win. They are undefeated in March so far (9-0) which is a great way to be down the stretch.

2. We had a few unique shoot out attempts this past week. Kaspars Daugavins of Ottawa missed on a spinorama attempt where he stickhandled from the blade of his stick. Mason Raymond of Vancouver scored on his spinorama attempt much to the chagrin of the Blue Jackets. Frankly I think it was a good goal and as long as his momentum and the puck doesn’t completely stop I think it should count. I’d like to see more creative shots almost like the skills competition but not quite that far.

3. Francois Beauchemin is quietly having himself a Norris Trophy winning season with 16 points, a +17 and 60 blocked shots. Do you think anyone will notice? No probably not. Also keep in mind he was brought back to help nurture Cam Fowler and Luca Sbisa which he has been successful at doing. On the plus side we won’t have Nicklas Lidstrom being nominated when he doesn’t deserve it just because he’s Nicklas Lidstrom. But one thing is for sure and that is Kris Letang will be nominated, which he deserves.

Things I don’t

1. In this day in age it’s unlikely to have two of the top players in the NHL on one team due to free agency and the number of teams in the league. The Penguins are lucky to have both Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby on their team. Lately, however, they seem to be taking turns getting injured each season. Last year it was Crosby this year it’s Malkin before that . On the positive side the season one gets injured the other one wins the Hart Trophy, or comes to close to it. Not bad but here’s hoping for a full healthy season from both of them next year. I do realize they don’t play together that often but it would be great to see them healthy in their primes together for a few seasons.

2. The Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals had some big statement games this week against division opponents in front of them, neither made the statement they wanted too. The Flyers laid an egg on a nationally televised game against the Devils, in a 5-2 loss, in which their own goalie (Ilya Bryzgalov) said they had to win or their playoff hopes are basically done. The Capitals also laid an egg similarly against the Hurricanes losing 4-0. Both ended up winning their next game against the same opponents but both by only one goal each. The message was clear though, neither of these teams will make the playoffs this season.

Fights of the Week

Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.

Chris Neil vs Robyn Regehr

A fight with some great punches in it.

Chris Thorburn vs Colton Orr

Good long fight but Orr clearly bests Thorburn here.

Andrew Shaw vs Matt Calvert

A decent back and forth scrap between these two.

Goat of the Week

Dennis Seidenberg – Boston Bruins

After giving up two goals in the 3rd, and having only a little over two minutes to go in the game, on the road to make the game now tied; your best bet would probably be to make it to overtime and at least leave with a point. The best way to do this would be by playing conservatively, unless you are Seidenberg in which case you make a bad cross ice pass to a teammate who is covered well despite having two people somewhat open up the boards on your side.

Stat Line of the Week

03/14/13 St. Louis 3 vs. Chicago 0

Skater

TOI

SA

GA

SV

SV%

PIM

J. Allen

60:00

28

0

28

100

0

The Blues were looking for a spark, any kind, after starting this season off slow and getting goaltending nowhere near their 1st place finish last year. Jake Allen was called up and has gone 8-1 including the shutout seen above. It will be interesting to see how the Blues handle the goaltending situation in the offseason. For now they just want to make the playoffs again.

Numbers, Numbers

6 – Games in which Patrick Kane did not score a point so far this season
3 – Teams with only one home loss in regulation (Anaheim, San Jose, Ottawa)
3 – The difference of road wins (8) vs home wins (5) for the Islanders the only team with that large of a difference in favor of the road
2 – The number of duos at the top of the NHL in points. First is Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz and next is Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis
0 – Goals still for Alex Goligoski and Drew Doughty the only defensemen in the top 50 in scoring (51 actually, that’s were Doughty is) without a goal

This Week in Hockey History

Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.

March 11, 1890 Hall of Fame defenseman Sprague Cleghorn born in Montreal, Quebec. Cleghorn played in the NHL 1918-19 through 1927-28 with Ottawa, Toronto, the Montreal Canadiens and Boston.

March 12, 1972 Goaltender Gerry Cheevers extended his NHL-record unbeaten streak to 28 straight games (21-0-7), in the Bruins’ 4-4 tie against Pittsburgh, at Boston Garden. John Bucyk led the scoring with three assists.

March 13, 1993 The Flyers-Kings game in Philadelphia was called off after one period, when winds caused by the “Blizzard of ’93” shattered a window in the Spectrum’s outer lobby. The score was tied 1-1; the game was replayed on April 1st.

March 14, 1980 Montreal’s Guy Lafleur scored twice to become the 4th player in team history to record 400 goals. The milestone came in a 4-3 Canadiens win against the Jets, at Winnipeg. Lafleur became, at age 28, the youngest 400 scorer in NHL history

March 15, 1990 Chicago right wing Steve Larmer passed Andy Hebenton for fourth place on NHL’s career ironman list, when he played in his 632nd straight game. Blackhawks won that night 6-3 over the Quebec Nordiques.

March 16, 1952 Detroit’s Terry Sawchuk set a team record with his 12th shutout of the season (and the 24th of his career), a 4-0 win at Chicago. Sawchuk’s 12th shutout broke the Wings’ season record of 11, set by Hap Holmes in 1927-28.

March 17, 1988 Brian Sutter became the second player in franchise history to score 300 goals as a member of the Blues. The milestone came as St. Louis tied 2-2 with the visiting Minnesota North Stars.

Rankings

The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.

Top 5
1. Anaheim
2. Pittsburgh
3. Chicago
4. Montreal
5. Columbus

Bottom 5
30. Florida
29. Tampa Bay
28. Nashville
27. New Jersey
26. Colorado

Alex Mueller

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.

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The Blue Jackets have a 10 game point streak and some say they might make the playoffs, the answer to that is of course no. They've never finish above 3rd in their division in their existence but there latest progress is very encouraging. I wouldn't have picked them to...