The Tampa Bay Lightning have managed to, surprisingly, climb atop the Eastern Conference standings. Other than the 2010-11 season the Lightning haven’t exactly scared anybody recently. Ben Bishop has played well so far and should be the long term answer for the Lightning as they are very high on him. Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis keep doing their thing but they are getting more help this season. Veterans like Valtteri Filppula and Teddy Purcell are contributing and newcomers like Alex Killorn. They key is whether their defense can sustain all season. Matt Carle is playing better than in his first season in a lighting uniform last year. Newcomer Radko Gudas is playing really well and leading the team in blocked shots by a lot. Time will tell if this team can rekindle the magic and playoff run of 2010-11.

Things I like

1. Ryan Getzlaf did something on Friday night that I thought he had already done in his 500+ NHL games. That was score a hat trick. Hard to believe he had never done it before. Even stranger is that he did it all in the 1st period against the Sabres with an assist also added in the first. He’s also tied for the league lead in game winners with teammate Corey Perry with 4. The Ducks are also rolling right along and are now 1st in the Pacific.

2. Kudos to the Edmonton Oilers for trying to do something to improve their goaltending. Signing Ilya Bryzgalov wasn’t what I would do if I was their GM but he can’t be any worse than what they have now. Philadelphia is a hard place to play so he might be able to revive his career in Edmonton. Starting in the minors will help to rebuild his confidence. This probably counts them officially out of the Ryan Miller sweepstakes.

3. Nobody is tighter than the Central division. Only 10 points separate top to bottom and the last place team has 18 points. It should be a dogfight against the Avalanche and Blackahwks for the crown and the Blues and Wild figure to nab playoff berths and be in the mix for the title as well. I actually thought that might be the weakest division but that’s definitely not be the case so far.

Things I don’t

1. The Sharks have lost 5 in a row, however that sounds worse than it is. While they did lose to such NHL stalwarts like the Sabres, note sarcasm, 4 out of the 5 games were lost in overtime or the shootout so they did pick up points. The Sharks were dominated in the first two periods against the Canucks, especially the second, but they did bounce back a little in the third. It’s hardly time to hit the panic button.

2. Speaking of skids the Panthers have now lost 8 in a row. On the plus side two of them were in overtime or the shootout. Things go so bad they fired their coach and a few assistants. I don’t really think that’s the problem though. The problem is the players aren’t very good. First of the Panthers are the 2nd oldest team in the league which is never good and they didn’t miss being in 1st by much. Their goaltending is suspect at best. I don’t even think they know who the starter is. I guess Tim Thomas has pulled away with it but he’s probably going to retire in a year or two so he doesn’t really solve anything for you long term. Most of their players are castoffs from other teams. They were able to squeeze enough out of them a few seasons ago to win a division title but that magic has since worn off. Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau are the only young players contributing. They also play in a much tougher division now. Time to get a better GM. That would help.

Ryan Miller Watch

Ryan Miller had a tough outing against the Ducks giving up 6 goals in two periods. But it doesn’t lessen his value or the intrigue of where he will end up. Nothing new on the trade rumor front.

Fights of the Week

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

Brian McGrattan vs Patrick Bordeleau

If you like watching haymakers get thrown then this is the fight for you.

Deryk Engelland vs Ryan Reaves

This was a good back and forth fight. It took a while to get going though.

Luke Gazdic vs Jay Rosehill

Short and messy with a facewash.

Goat of the Week

Kyle Quincey – Detroit Red Wings

This was more of a good steal by Richard Panik but Kyle Quincey did have an opportunity to clear up the boards and he didn’t take it. Red Wings lost in overtime.

Stat Line of the Week

11/06/13 Nashville 6 vs. Colorado 4

Skater

TOI

G

A

+/-

SOG

PIM

Hits

C. Wilson

14:51

2

2

1

3

0

0

Colin Wilson… who’s that you say? I never heard of him either but he played a big part in the second loss of the season for the Avalanche. Colin figured into 4 of the 6 goals for the Predators and scored the game winner. Not bad for someone who had only 5 points entering this game. The most points he’s ever scored in his career was 35 and now he’s a quarter of the way there.

Numbers, Numbers

0 – Wins for the Sabres at home
0 – Losses at home for the Ducks
0 – Losses on the road for the Avalanche
5 – Ducks in the top 7 in +/-
1701 – Points for Jaromir Jagr

This Week in Hockey History

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

November 04, 1987 Playing in his 645th career game, Wayne Gretzky scored the 42nd hat trick of his NHL career, and added two assists, to give him 1,000 career NHL assists. The milestone came in a 7-2 Oilers win over the New York Rangers in Edmonton.

November 05, 1992 Ottawa’s Jamie Baker extended his team-record goal scoring streak to four straight games in the Senators’ 8-4 loss at Calgary.

November 06, 1986 Philadelphia Flyers set a club record for fastest two shorthanded goals (:32) in a 5-5 tie at New Jersey. Scoring the goals were Murray Craven and Mark Howe, in the first period.

November 07, 1963 Terry Sawchuk recorded his 93rd career shutout as the Red Wings beat the Rangers 1-0 at the Olympia in Detroit.

November 08, 1998 Chris Chelios became Chicago’s all-time leader in career penalty minutes, when his two minors (in a 3-2 loss to Edmonton) gave him 1,444 PIM’s with the Blackhawks, two more than Keith Magnuson (who retired with 1,442 PIM).

November 09, 1974 Maple Leafs’ Ron Ellis scored twice to become the 5th player in franchise history to score 250 goals. The milestone came when Toronto lost 7-5 to the North Stars, at Minnesota.

November 10, 1979 Bill Barber scored twice to become the third player in franchise history to score 250 goals as a member of the Flyers. The milestone goal (along with an assist) came as Philadelphia won 5-2 over the Islanders at New York.

Rankings

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

Top 5
1. Colorado
2. Anaheim
3. Tampa Bay
4. Phoenix
5. Chicago

Bottom 5
30. Florida
29. Buffalo
28. Columbus
27. Edmonton
26. Calgary

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.

Alex MuellerWeekly RecapsAleksander Barkov,Anaheim Ducks,Ben Bishop,Brian McGrattan,Colin Wilson,Corey Perry,Deryk Engelland,Detroit Red Wings,Edmonton Oilers,Florida Panthers,Ilya Bryzgalov,Jaromir Jagr,Jay Rosehill,kyle quincey,Luke Gazdic,Martin St. Louis,Matt Carle,New York Rangers,Patrick Bordeleau,Philadelphia Flyers,Radko Gudas,Recap,Ryan Getzlaf,Ryan Miller,Ryan Reaves,San Jose Sharks,Steven Stamkos,Tampa Bay Lightning,Terry Sawchuk,Tim Thomas,Wayne Gretzky
The Tampa Bay Lightning have managed to, surprisingly, climb atop the Eastern Conference standings. Other than the 2010-11 season the Lightning haven't exactly scared anybody recently. Ben Bishop has played well so far and should be the long term answer for the Lightning as they are very high on...