At the start of the season it seemed easier to make the playoffs out West because there are two fewer teams in the conference. However, based on how this season is unfolding it will actually be harder to make them in the West. Based on current point totals the Vancouver Canucks have 28 points but are in 9th place in the West and wouldn’t make the cut. In the East they would be tied for 6th and just one point back of 3rd place, as three teams currently have 29 points. It seems likely that one fairly strong team won’t make it in out West and a few flawed teams from the Metropolitan Division will make it in. The 5th place team in the Atlantic (Canadiens) currently has more points than the 2nd place team in the Metropolitan (Capitals). The NHL is lucky that the 6th place team in the Atlantic has less points that the 3rd place team in the Metropolitan. It will be interesting to see how the next 2/3 of the season play out. Although a few teams in the Metropolitan are starting to get hot, I think it will end similarly to how it is now. We shall see.

Things I like

1. There the Edmonton Oilers were playing to a sellout crowd against a bad Florida Panthers team up 3-0 in the 3rd but everyone was still there, oohing an ahhing like it was a playoff game. They even stayed after the empty net goal. If this was in the United States half the rink would have left by now. It’s a true testament to the great Canadian hockey fans.

2. Well after I trashed the Philadelphia Flyers a few weeks ago they decided to go on a winning streak. They have won 6 of 7 with their only loss in the shootout. Granted they haven’t exactly played the toughest teams in that span. With the likes of the Oilers, Sabres and Islanders. But a win is a win and they did beat the Penguins and the Senators in two games by a combined 10-2 score. Steve Mason continues to play well and picked up his lone shutout so far during the streak. Matt Read’s been hot too with four goals in his last two games.

3. At age 41 Jarmir Jagr is still producing at a high level and racking up more NHL milestones. He tied former teammate Mario Lemieux with his 690th career goal. He also tied the record for career game winning goals with some guy named Gordie Howe with 121. He’s almost producing at a point a game pace this season. If he didn’t leave the NHL for three seasons in Russia he would be even further along in the record books. But the most interesting part of all of this is; why did he chose to come back to the Devils? It’s no secret he prefers Eastern Conference teams but the Devils weren’t expected to make the playoffs. While he could have come back for personal milestones the most logical thing would be to win another Stanley Cup. Last year with the Bruins was the first time he has been to a Stanley Cup Final in 21 years. You figured he want to do that again but only he knows the answer to that.

Things I don’t

1. It’s still early but you just get the feeling that Alex Ovechkin will never win a Stanley Cup, at least while on the Capitals. The Capitals have lost 4 straight now and most of them weren’t the close. They lost to the Blues 4-1, they laid an egg on national TV against the Penguins losing 4-0, then against Montreal they found themselves down 3-0 in the 1st period but managed to cut it 3-2 to lose somewhat respectfully. The loss against Maple Leafs probably should have been a win if not for James Reimer’s 49 saves but a loss is a loss. It’s reminiscent of the 50 or so shots they would put on Halak in the playoffs only to lose those games as well. Some things just never change.

2. The Winnipeg Jets have lost four in a row and find themselves at the bottom of the Central Division. A shame for a group of fans that have been through so much. It seems likely they will miss the playoffs again. Also troubling is Evander Kane will seemingly never become a superstar. Now in his 5th season, he has only scored 30 goals once and is not on pace to do so this season. On the plus side he is blocking more shots than usual.

Ryan Miller Watch

The latest rumor is that Miller might get traded to the Blues which sounds really stupid to me from the Blues perspective. The Blues have two of the better goalies in the league with Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott and shouldn’t make the trade at all considering how good the team has played this season. It’s not like Miller has that much playoff experience which would be the only reason the Blue should do it. He only went to the Conference Finals twice and that was seven years ago now. The Sabres would get a pick or prospect plus a decent goalie in return (probably Halak) so it would be a great trade for them. To recap, great for the Sabres and Miller if it happened but a bad idea for the Blues.

Fights of the Week

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

Jared Boll vs Luke Gazdic

Not a bad fight as both men try and keep their balance.

Colin Greening vs Luke Schenn

Somewhat short but good.

Brenden Dillon vs Ryan Reaves

A slow and methodical fight.

Goat of the Week

Ben Lovejoy – Anaheim Ducks

Technically speaking the Ducks are still unbeaten at home as the only team to beat them there is themselves. The Devils won the game in overtime when Ben Lovejoy passes the puck off of Corey Perry’s leg. Probably not the best decision or angle to pass at but I know it’s a split decision. On the plus side the Ducks still haven’t lost in regulation at home.

Stat Line of the Week

11/22/13 Pittsburgh 4 vs. New York Islanders 3









C. Kunitz








Chris Kunitz scored the first two goals of the game on the powerplay and then assisted on the last goal of the game, the game winner by Sidney Crosby. It was a big win by the Penguins who had lost to the Islanders by a goal in the previous game they played. The Islanders Penguins games have been pretty close and entertaining since their playoff meeting last season.

Numbers, Numbers

1 – Regulation loss at home for the Coyotes courtesy of the Ducks
0 – Regulation losses at home for the Ducks
1 – Natural hat trick for Max Pacioretty scoring more goals in 1 game than he had previously for the season
5 – Goals for Pacioretty in his last 3 games
250 – Career goals for Sidney Crosby

This Week in Hockey History

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

November 18, 1972 Al McDonough scored his second career hat trick (in one period!) and added an assist to lead the Penguins to a 6-1 win over the Atlanta Flames at the Civic Arena. It was the Penguins’ first game against the Flames.

November 19, 1987 Calgary’s Joe Nieuwendyk became the first rookie in Flames’ history to score four goals, in a 9-1 win over the visiting Quebec Nordiques. It was Nieuwendyk’s second career hat trick.

November 20, 1988 Steve Yzerman scored the game winner with :47 remaining in overtime to give the Red Wings a 5-4 win over the Bruins at Boston. It was the Wings’ seventh straight win, their longest streak since 1965.

November 21, 1992 Veteran defenseman Doug Wilson played in his 1,000th NHL game, when the Sharks faced off against his former team, the Blackhawks. San Jose lost the game, 2-1 to Chicago.

November 22, 1970 Goaltender Tony Esposito got his 20th career shutout in the Black Hawks’ 9-0 win over the Oakland Seals at Chicago Stadium. Bobby Hull scored his 25th career hat trick, and Bryan Campbell had a goal and three assists.

November 23, 1952 Goaltender Al Rollins recorded his 13th career shutout to lead the Black Hawks to a 3-0 win over the Red Wings at Chicago Stadium.

November 24, 1990 NY Islanders’ Al Arbour became the second man in NHL history to coach 1,300 career games (including playoffs), in a 2-2 tie against the NY Rangers. Dick Irvin was #1, with 1,437 games coached for Chicago, Toronto, and Montreal.


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

Top 5
1. St. Louis
2. Minnesota
3. Boston
4. Chicago
5. Philadelphia

Bottom 5
30. NY Islanders
29. Buffalo
28. Florida
27. Columbus
26. Detroit

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 currently plays goalie in ice hockey at San Diego Ice Arena. MuellerWeekly RecapsAlex Ovechkin,Ben Lovejoy,Brenden Dillon,Chris Kunitz,Colin Greening,Edmonton Oilers,Evander Kane,James Reimer,Jared Boll,Jaromir Jagr,Jaroslav Halak,Luke Gazdic,Luke Schenn,Matt Read,Max Pacioretty,New Jersey Devils,Philadelphia Flyers,Ryan Miller,Ryan Reaves,Sidney Crosby,Steve Mason,Winnipeg Jets
At the start of the season it seemed easier to make the playoffs out West because there are two fewer teams in the conference. However, based on how this season is unfolding it will actually be harder to make them in the West. Based on current point totals the...