Alex Ovechkin just went over 400 goals this past week and was the 6th fastest player to do so in NHL history. Having played in 635 NHL games, his goal scoring pace is 0.631. played in 1487 games with 894 goals for a goal scoring pace of 0.601. So yes Ovechkin is scoring at a higher pace than Gretzky. Of course Gretzky’s stats include his less than glorious years of 94′-95′ to 98′-99′ which undoubtedly Ovechkin will have at the twilight of his career. I’d also like to state that I really wish Gretzky has scored 1000 goals, 2000 assists and 3000 points instead he’s just a little bit short in each. But to put Gretzky’s accomplishment into perspective, if Ovechkin plays 10 more seasons he will be 38 the same age of Gretzky in his final season. He would need to average 45 goals a season to have a chance to beat Gretzky’s record. Now 45 is not something Ovechkin would have a problem scoring in a full season but keep in mind he won’t be playing at this level in his mid 30′s. I suppose it’s possible he could but that would indeed be something if he did. Either way we are witnessing a once in a generation player. Yes Sidney Crosby, and even Evgeni Malkin, can be included in that category as well.

Things I Like

1. of the Los Angeles Kings is now 8-0 in his first eight starts, only the 2nd time that has ever happened in NHL history. His stats look video game like and he’s also tied for the league lead in shutouts despite playing in about a third last games. He happens to be tied for the league lead with the King he replaced, Ben Scrivens. The interesting part of this is if he keeps playing this well, how can you possibly bench him (or worse send him back to the minors) when Jonathan Quick comes back? If Quick came back last week you would but if Jones keeps playing at this pace, you would really be crazy to do so. The horror of having three solid goalies.

2. The are on a roll but does it really matter or mean anything? The Penguins play in the worst division in the NHL. How bad is it you say? It’s so bad the 2nd place team, the Washington Capitals, is 15th overall in the NHL. It’s the only division without two teams in the overall Top 10. If you take a look at who they have beaten during their current streak, only the have at least 45 points. If you take a look at their last loss it was against the 1st place Bruins, who they also lost to in November. They did beat the Ducks in November and the Sharks in December, however so they deserve credit for that. Still this looks mightily similar to this past postseason. Beat up on the crappy teams in the Eastern Conference and lose to the good team(s).

3. It looks like has found a little bit of a groove as of late. After 16 games without a point, Teemu has points in three straight games. Here’s hoping he can keep it going. I’d hate to see his final season end so badly. He’s one of the all-time greats on and off the ice. Hard to imagine though at 43 and at 41 they are both still out there getting it done. Not too often you will see two future hall of famers in their 40′s playing like they are.

Things I Don’t

1. I hate to keep piling it on the Sabres and Islanders but it’s so easy to do. Although the Sabres have the worst point total (21) and worst goal differential (-40), the Islanders have seemingly decided they want to be the worst team in the league. They have only 2 regulation wins in their last 18 games and they now have the 3rd worst goal differential at -36. They also hit a new low by taking a 3-1 lead at home into the 3rd period against the Ducks only to watch them score 4 goals in the period to lose 5-3. I honestly thought they could build off of their playoff appearance last season. Boy was I wrong.

2. It’s no secret the have been a huge disappointment so far and in likelihood this will be Barry Trotz’s last season behind the bench. Of course the Predators never really had much offensive firepower, they used their top draft pick this season on a defenseman and then recently lost starting goalie Pekka Rinne to injury. This all adds up to what did you expect exactly in a deep Western Conference? Speaking of that top pick, Seth Jones has struggled mightily. His playing time has been reduced, although I don’t really think that will help him at all. If he isn’t going to play substantial minutes in the NHL, then send him to the minors where he can dominate and build up his confidence. Personally, I think Jones will be a top player one day. But his struggle aren’t that surprising given that he struggled against top players at the junior level.

Watch

Nothing new on the front. At least he’s playing well despite being on the worst team in the NHL. More than likely he will end up in the Western Conference but probably not till March. Still this section isn’t going anywhere. He’s mostly a lock to go to Sochi though.

Fights of the Week

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

vs Zach Sill

This was the 2nd fight in the game for Troy Bodie. The smaller Zach Sill more than held his own and got in a nice one at the end.

vs Matt Martin

Great sparring fight.

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? Still broken, way to go NHL.

Stat Line of the Week

12/19/13 Philadelphia 5 vs. Columbus 4

Skater

TOI

G

A

+/-

SOG

PIM

Hits

C. Giroux

20:46

2

2

3

2

0

1

A no brainer this week, Claude Giroux hasn’t had the easiest time being the captain on the Flyers. But on this night he did all the right things. Down 3-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 3rd, things didn’t look good. Giroux assisted on the 1sta and 3rd goals of the 3rd and scored the game tying and game winning goals. That’s something every team wants their captain to do.

Numbers, Numbers

0 – Regulation home losses for the Anaheim Ducks
2 – Career hat tricks for Ryan Getzlaf, both in this season
8 – th all time in Goals for Jaromir Jagr who just passed Steve Yzerman
1 – Registered hit this season for Jagr
694 – Career goals for Jaromir Jagr
679 – Career goals for Teemu Selanne
401 – Career goals for Alex Ovechkin
892 – Career goals for Wayne Gretzky

This Week in Hockey History

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

December 16, 1951 ended their team-record 12 game road winless streak (0-8-4) with a 4-2 win at Boston.

December 17, 1982 Hartford goaltender Mike Veisor made 33 saves to record a 2-0 shutout against the Jets, at Winnipeg. It was the Whalers’ first NHL road shutout and the fifth (and final) of Veisor’s NHL career.

December 18, 1926 Goaltender George Hainsworth recorded the third shutout of his rookie season as the Canadiens won 2-0 over the St. Pats, at Toronto.

December 19, 1974 Boston’s Phil Esposito collected three goals and four assists for seven points (a team record) in an 11-3 Bruins’ win over the N.Y. Rangers. It was the 23rd hat trick of Esposito’s NHL career.

December 20, 1959 Chicago Black Hawks scored seven goals in the second period and won 7-4 against the Maple Leafs, at Chicago Stadium. Bobby Hull led the scoring with his second career hat trick and an assist.

December 21, 1977 L.A.’s Butch Goring was given two minutes for slashing late in the first period, his only penalty of the entire season (80 games). Goring came back to get two assists in the Kings’ 8-1 win over the Minnesota North Stars at the Forum.

December 22, 1990 Pittsburgh’s Paul Coffey became the second defenseman in NHL history to score 1,000 career points. He got #1,000 on an assist during a 4-3 win over the Islanders in New York.

Rankings

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

Top 5
1. Anaheim
2. Pittsburgh
3. Vancouver
4. Los Angeles
5. Washington

Bottom 5
30. NY Islanders
29. Edmonton
28. Nashville
27. NY Rangers
26. Detroit

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