Well last week I said that Antti Raanta was shall we say not that good. But he still kept winning anyway. Of course when your team is scoring 5,6,7 goals a game, it’s not that hard to win. But against Toronto he gave up 5 goals in 2 periods and was pulled, although three of the five were powerplay goals. But he rebounded, made some nice saves and help beat one of the hottest teams in Los Angeles, so maybe that game against the Ducks was just an anomaly. Jason LaBarbera was just acquired from the Oilers which is interesting, to say the least. Nothing like renting an average at best goalie for a little bit. This makes you wonder how badly hurt Corey Crawford and Nikolai Khabibulin are. Both were supposed to be progressing along and likely to play somewhat soon. At any rate, despite their patchwork goaltending the Blackhawks are in 1st place in their division and chugging right along defending their Stanley Cup.

Things I Like

1. Alex Ovechkin has 28 goals in 31 games and is in pursuit of 50 goals in 50 games. It’s doubtful he will get it but you never know. He single handily led the Capitals over the Lightning by scoring four goals including the game tying goal. While he’s on pace for his highest goal total since the 2009-10 season, he also has a minus for only the 3rd time in his career. At least the Capitals are 2nd in their division.
2. Speaking of goal scoring, Alexander Steen and Corey Perry won’t let Ovechkin take the goal scoring crown without a fight. I’m surprised that Steen is keeping up this level of production. Corey Perry has played the most games and is in 3rd place but he could get red hot down the stretch like when he won the hart trophy a couple of seasons ago. It’s still way early though.
3. The two hottest teams out West are the Vancouver Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings, not withstanding the Kings lost on Sunday to the Blackhawks. Los Angeles seemingly has a goalie pipeline other teams aren’t aware of. From Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier to Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones. Jones (5-0, 0.99 GAA. .967 SV%) is excelling even more than Scrivens had, which is impressive considering how good Scrivens was. Scrivens was benched due to bad habits. During their six game winning streak, the Kings had scored at least three goals in each game including the 6-0 clobbering of the Canadiens that was over after the 2nd period. Vancouver has a seven game winning streak going. They have scored at least three goals in six of the seven games and just recently walloped Boston 6-2. Roberto Luongo has gotten his confidence back and is playing better in an Olympic year. Despite their streaks, neither is winning their division and Vancouver is only 4th now.

Things I Don’t

1. Toronto has gone from 1st place to 5th place in their division in only about a month. Most of the teams they lost to were top teams but that doesn’t bold well for the playoffs. But as mentioned above they bounced back trouncing the Blackhawks, which is a good sign. Mason Raymond had been really cold as of late but chipped in with four assists against the Blackhawks.
2. Florida’s special teams are just as bad as they are. Last in powerplay at 10.8% and 3rd from the bottom in penalty killing at 74%. On the plus side they have won three in a row, even though two were in the shootout, and five out of their last six. Tim Thomas has played a lot better in his last three games as he gets more comfortable on the Panthers. 2013 1st round pick Aleksander Barkov is mightily struggling, with only 2 points in his last 10 games.

Ryan Miller Watch

Nothing new on this front. The trading deadline is about three months away so it might be awhile longer. The only new rumors are that Miller will end up as the starting goalie on the US team. This is really only because of the injury to Jonathan Quick but Miller was sensational in the last Olympics so why not. If he does great again in the Olympics it would only boost his trade value.

Fights of the Week

Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Milan Lucic vs Luke Gazdic
Really decent fight. Not quite a fight of the season candidate though.

Chris Stewart vs Dalton Prout
This was a decent back and forth and long fight.

Brian McGrattan vs Dylan McIlrath
Not a bad fight between a couple of heavyweights.

Goat of the Week

I’m not doing this section again until NHL.com fixes their video player. It’s too frustrating to do without it working. How does a billion dollar company let something be broken for so long?

Stat Line of the Week

12/10/13 Washington 6 vs. Tampa Bay 5









A. Ovechkin








Although Ovechkin’s performance was mentioned above, it bears repeating down here because he put in the best performance of the week. Two of his four goals were on the powerplay. His game tying goal was a thing of beauty. Speaking of goals that rocked this week, check out Corey Perry’s goal against the Islanders as he was pulled down. But back to Ovechkin, he ironically didn’t score in the shootout and he also finished with a 0 for a +/-. But still it was quite a performance by him.

Numbers, Numbers

0 – Wins in the shootout for Detroit in six tries
2 – Games out of the past 19 in which Evgeni Malkin did not have a point
3 – Shutouts for Ben Scrivens, tied for 1st, who is now currently benched, go figure
.232 – Shooting percentage for David Backes just .001 below leader Steven Stamkos, who is of course injured
16 – Game current point streak for Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks

This Week in Hockey History

Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
December 9, 1948 New York Rangers obtained defenseman Allan Stanley from Providence of the AHL, in exchange for Ed Kullman, Elwyn Morris, cash (a reported $70,000) and future considerations.
December 10, 1979 Don Edwards became the second goaltender to record 10 shutouts in a Buffalo uniform as the Sabres beat Detroit 4-0 at the Aud, for their 8th consecutive victory.
December 11, 1973 Bill Goldsworthy scored his 6th career hat trick (in one period) and added an assist to lead the Minnesota North Stars to a 6-3 win over Los Angeles. The North Stars extended their undefeated streak against the Kings to 21 straight games (17-0-4).
December 12, 1997 Paul Kariya scored two goals and added two assists in his first game of the season and Dmitri Mironov had a team-record five assists in the Mighty Ducks’ 6-4 win over the Capitals, at the Arrowhead Pond.
December 13, 1980 Wayne Cashman became just the fourth player in Boston Bruins history to score 700 career points, when he picked up an assist in a 2-1 loss to the visiting Vancouver Canucks.
December 14, 1929 Toronto’s Harold “Baldy” Cotton scored two goals in overtime as the Leafs won 7-6 over the visiting New York Rangers, who had become the first team in NHL history to travel by air (via a charter flight) to face an opponent.
December 15, 2000 Defenseman Ken Daneyko appeared in his 1,100th NHL game, all with New Jersey in the Devils 2-1 win against the visiting Montreal Canadiens. Daneyko became the 81st player in history to reach the 1,100 GP mark.


The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
Top 5
1. Vancouver
2. Los Angeles
3. Boston
4. Anaheim
5. Chicago
Bottom 5
30. NY Islanders
29. Buffalo
28. NY Rangers
27. New Jersey
26. Toronto

Alex MuellerWeekly RecapsAleksander Barkov,Alex Ovechkin,Alexander Steen,Anaheim Ducks,Antti Raanta,Ben Scrivens,Boston Bruins,Brian McGrattan,Chicago Blackhawks,Chris Stewart,Corey Crawford,Corey Perry,Dalton Prout,David Backes,Dylan McIlrath,Evgeni Malkin,Florida Panthers,Jason LaBarbera,Jonathan Bernier,Jonathan Quick,Los Angeles Kings,Luke Gazdic,Martin Jones,Mason Raymond,Milan Lucic,Montreal Canadiens,New York Rangers,Nikolai Khabibulin,Paul Kariya,Recap,Roberto Luongo,Ryan Getzlaf,Ryan Miller,Stanley Cup,Steven Stamkos,Tim Thomas,Toronto Maple Leafs,Vancouver Canucks,Washington Capitals
Well last week I said that Antti Raanta was shall we say not that good. But he still kept winning anyway. Of course when your team is scoring 5,6,7 goals a game, it's not that hard to win. But against Toronto he gave up 5 goals in 2 periods...