Recently we’ve had a lot of longer shootouts. Nine rounds, eleven rounds and sometimes it seems like almost every game ends in a shootout, which means parity is getting better. Personally I like the long shootouts as I find them very suspenseful. But I do admit it would be better if they never needed to get to that point to settle a hockey game in the first place. I’m in a favor of a 10 minute 4 on 4 period first but I do understand that a second 5 minute 4 on 4 might not lead to a goal. The owners had been kicking around the idea of a 5 minute 3 on 3 period instead, tacked on to the 5 minute 4 on 4. I wish they would go ahead and give it a try already. If it doesn’t work they can always scrap it the next season. In a recent Kings game against the Ducks, both teams had penalties in overtime which led to a few 3 on 3 situations. Although no goal was scored, it certainly led to a lot more open ice. Pull the trigger already NHL.

Things I Like

1. Montreal is red hot. Having won five in a row and no regulation losses in the past ten games. They sit atop the Atlantic division and they beat their rivals and closest competition the Bruins during the streak. Most of their wins during the streak have been by only one goal but a win is a win. Carey Price is having probably his best season ever (1.95 GAA, .938 SV%). Of course after seven years in the league one would hope he would peak at some point. P.K Subban, Tomas Plekanec and Mr. Streaky himself Max Pacioretty are leading the way for the Canadiens. Still I worry about them come playoff time. I still don’t see anyone being that go to go in the playoffs. Nobody is really close to averaging a point a game and if Pacioretty is cold they may lose again in the 1st round.

2. Anaheim has been phenomenal at home but not that great on the road. They did however just complete a four game road trip playing the top four teams in the west and made out with six of the possible eight points on the trip. Even better they had no losses in regulation. This shows they can play somewhat decent on the road and they can more than hold their own with the best in the West. Frederik Andersen has played exceptionally way as the new backup to Jonas Hiller. Posting better numbers than Hiller and the injured Viktor Fasth. I’m still waiting for Teemu Selanne to get it going though. His final season sure isn’t going well. He has no points in his last 15 games. Just a terrible streak for a future hall of famer and one of the classiest guys in the league.

3. Tyler Seguin scores a natural hat trick against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night for his 2nd hat trick of the season. Although he was in a five game pointless slump, Seguin is on pace for almost 90 points which would beat his previous high by a lot. He’s shooting percentage has also improved. He is currently shooting at .185% beating his previous high of .120% a couple of seasons ago. The natives in Boston aren’t happy, I can assure you.

Things I Don’t

1. What Shawn Thornton did to Brooks Orpik is about as low as it gets. Pulling at a player from behind and then, worse, pummeling he while he’s down and defenseless is unacceptable. I didn’t see where Orpik got knocked out. It didn’t look like his head hit the ice unless, it was the one of the punches Thornton threw to make him need to be stretchered out. Either way you won’t be seeing Thornton for awhile.

2. Friday night was the first time I’ve ever seen Antti Raanta play and let’s just say I’m really surprised he’s 2-0-1 in his three starts. He looked like he didn’t belong in NHL game, from the way he handled the puck, his angles to a horrible shootout performance. The Blackhawks had better hope that Corey Crawford doesn’t get injured anytime soon, otherwise it won’t be pretty.

3. On the one hand I’m happy for Henrik Lundqvist and his contract. I think he’s a stand up guy and he’s mostly earned his contract. On the other hand he seems to be regressing a little bit and a seven year contract is fairly long. Their logic probably is that it will end when he is 38 and he can retire a Ranger. But what makes this all the more interesting is the somewhat emergence of Cam Talbot. Although he had no NHL experience until this season, he is five years younger and is so far posting better numbers. I don’t know why they couldn’t have waited a little bit longer to see how this season would play out.

Ryan Miller Watch

Apparently the Sabres, specifically coach Ted Nolan, want to keep Ryan Miller. This is a stark contrast from the last few months and from reality, really. Miller will be 34 by the time the season starts next year. There is no logical reason why a team that is rebuilding should keep a goalie that has never won a Stanley Cup, and would like to win one, on their team.

Fights of the Week

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

Antoine Roussel vs Andrew Shaw

This fight was so intense the shirt over their heads or the ref couldn’t stop them.

Jay Rosehill vs Mike Rupp

Really short but really good

Patrick Bordeleau vs Luke Gazdic

If you like one sided fights this one’s for you.

Rich Clune vs Tom Wilson

A noble effort by Clune who gave up 6 inches to Wilson

Goat of the Week

Karri Ramo – Calgary Flames

Karri Ramo makes a soft pass behind his own net which was intercepted by John Mitchell who passed it to Maxime Talbot which led to an easy empty net Avalanche goal. It was a crucial mistake in a one goal game. Unfortunately NHL.com video has been whack for a few days and I can’t get the clip. What gives NHL?

Stat Line of the Week

 12/05/13 Edmonton 8 vs. Colorado 2

Skater

TOI

G

A

+/-

SOG

PIM

Hits

T. Hall

20:12

3

1

1

7

2

1

You were just shellacked by the Oilers is not something that has been uttered for about two decades. But the Oilers having been playing better, as of late, and on this night they flexed their depth and scoring prowess. Taylor Hall led the way figuring into half of the Oilers goals. This is what Edmonton envisioned with all those number 1 picks on offense in a row.

Numbers, Numbers

0 – Losses for Jean-Sebastien Giguere to go along with his 7 wins thus far
-40 – Goal differential for the Sabres, yikes
98 – Blocked shots for Andrew MacDonald tops in the NHL, way above his average
140 – Hits by Matt Martin tops in the NHL, right around his average

This Week in Hockey History

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

December 2, 1972 Montreal rookie Steve Shutt scored the first goal of his NHL career and added an assist, in the Canadiens 4-4 tie against the visiting Atlanta Flames.

December 3, 1927 Montreal Maroons’ goaltender Clint Benedict recorded his 150th NHL career victory in a 2-1 victry at Toronto.

December 4, 1988 Edmonton’s Jimmy Carson became just the third player in NHL history to score six career hat tricks before age 21, when he scored three times (and added an assist) in a 10-6 Oilers’ win over the visiting New York Rangers.

December 5, 1931 Canadiens’ George Hainsworth recorded his 63rd career shutout (to tie Alex Connell for the all-time NHL lead) as Montreal won 4-0 over the visiting Detroit Falcons.

December 6, 1927 Toronto goalie John Roach and Alex Connell dueled to a 0-0 scoreless tie, in a game played at Ottawa. It was the 37th career shutout for Connell and the 10th for Roach.

December 7, 1968 John Bucyk became the first player to score 250 goals as a member of the Boston Bruins. The milestone came in 4-1 win against the visiting Detroit Red Wings. Bucyk also picked up two assists in the game.

December 8, 1984 Scotty Bowman led the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-1 win at Boston to give him 690 career victories, tying the all time coaching mark held by Dick Irvin.

Rankings

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

Top 5
1. Montreal
2. Boston
3. Pittsburgh
4. San Jose
5. Los Angeles

Bottom 5
30. NY Islanders
29. Buffalo
28. Ottawa
27. Phoenix
26. Nashville

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.

http://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/shawn-thornton-1024x723.jpghttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/shawn-thornton-150x150.jpgAlex MuellerWeekly RecapsAnaheim Ducks,Andrew Shaw,Antoine Roussel,Antti Raanta,Brooks Orpik,Cam Talbot,Carey Price,Edmonton Oilers,Frederik Andersen,Henrik Lundqvist,Jay Rosehill,Karri Ramo,Luke Gazdic,Mike Rupp,Montreal Canadiens,Patrick Bordeleau,Rich Clune,Shawn Thornton,Taylor Hall,Tom Wilson,Tyler Seguin
Recently we've had a lot of longer shootouts. Nine rounds, eleven rounds and sometimes it seems like almost every game ends in a shootout, which means parity is getting better. Personally I like the long shootouts as I find them very suspenseful. But I do admit it would be...