Last week we discussed Team USA so let’s do a quick glance at Team Canada. The most glaring issue with their roster is Mike Smith somehow making the team. It’s a head scratcher how he made it over Brian Elliot and Corey Crawford, among others. But he will probably never play so I guess it doesn’t really matter. Team USA has Jimmy Howard and now Team Canada has Mike Smith. Their defense looks scary solid, no issues with it. Their offense also looks solid, although I’m surprised that Matt Duchene, Chris Kunitz and Rick Nash made the team. Logan Couture, before injury, Claude Giroux, Martin St. Louis and Joe Thornton can all make a good case. The only real stalwart on defense is Patrice Bergeron. Which means Canada is going for, “We are going to score lots of goals and shove it down your throat.” Which is the exact opposite of what Team USA is going for when they left off Bobby “All he does is score goals” Ryan. In the end Canada should win Gold again. Sorry Americans, I just don’t see it happening. Personally, I’d love to see how Russia will do at home. Usually the teams of the host country get a big boost at the Olympics but sometimes it can just lead to more pressure. Considering how Team Russia imploded during the last Olympics, there is a strong possibility it could happen all over again.

Things I Like

1. The Islanders are hot having won eight of their last ten. Despite this winning streak they are still last in the worst division in the NHL, which is hard to fathom. Unless of course you remember they had just previously lost 13 of 14 games. Kyle Okposo and John Tavares, see Stat Line of the Week below, are hot now and scoring key goals and Thomas Vanek is also hot as of late. This Islanders team the rest of the way should resemble what we thought we were going to get from them at the beginning of the season. Unfortunately it seems like they dug themselves too big of a whole to get out of and make the playoffs. Although in the Eastern Conference never say never.

2. The St. Louis Blues had won seven in a row before losing to the Canucks. More impressive is that in the last four wins they had scored at least five goals in each win. The Blues are more known as a defensive and hard hitting team but their new found offensive prowess will come in handy in the playoffs. Vladimir Tarasenko, who will be on Team Russia, and Vladimir Sobotka each had seven points to lead the Blues during those four wins. Brian Elliott has played well lately while Jaroslav Halak has been up and down. But all in all the Blues are now only three points back of the Blackhawks for 1st in the division but they have played in four fewer games.

Things I Don’t

1. The Bruins headed out West to play three of the top teams in the NHL. They lost against the Ducks and Kings but rebounded against the Sharks to hand them only their 2nd home regulation loss. Brad Marchand would probably rather forget the trip though. He took a stupid penalty against the Ducks where he kicked away Daniel Winneck’s stick on the ice while he was trying to pick it up. This led to a powerplay goal for the Ducks. Against the Kings, Marchand high-sticked Jarret Stoll right in front of the ref to draw another penalty but luckily that did not end up as powerplay goal. Those are the kinds of stupid plays you can’t do against good teams on the road.

2. The Toronto Maple Leafs have taken their second tumble down the standings so far that they wouldn’t even make the playoffs if they started today. Luckily they aren’t that far back. But it’s a bit of a concern how they lost. Beatings of 7-1 to the Rangers and 6-1 to the Hurricanes, two teams also jockeying for the last playoff spots shows lack of effort. I really don’t think Randy Carlyle is the right coach for the Maple Leafs. Undisciplined and slow starts were hallmarks of Carlyle’s days of a coach in Anaheim. Ironically, the Maple Leafs got off to a fast start and then slowly tumbled. But they need a coach they will bring focus and discipline. I think eventually they will have a new coach but probably not until next season, unless they fail to make the playoffs this year. See the Goat of the Week below fo the kind of week it’s been for the Maple Leafs.

3. Goals have been hard to come by as of late for the Calgary Flames. Minus the 4-3 win over the Avalanche, the Flames have scored one goal in four of their last five games. Hard to win when you don’t score. Ironically, the Flames goalies don’t have any shutouts themselves. The goals aren’t really going to be flowing anytime soon. On the plus side they moved Sean Mohahan to the second line but that really hasn’t paid off. He’s the only recent draft pick on the current roster, which is also a problem. Expect the Oilers to leapfrog the Flames in the standings soon.

Ryan Miller Watch

Miller and Jonathan Quick are expected to battle for the top spot on Team USA. Quick has played well since coming back from injury so it’s not a sure thing that Miller will get the top spot. In his day job news, apparently Miller thinks Florida is a good spot. Okay then, going from the Sabres to the Panthers is like going from leaping off a 20 foot building to a 19 foot building. I would hope Miller would rethink that, unless he’s just really tired of the snow.

Fights of the Week

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

Colton Orr vs John Erskine

A couple of big boys go at it 5 seconds after another fight in this game.

B.J. Crombeen vs Chris Thorburn

This fight lasted a minute and they spent half of it shedding their equipment

Colin Greening vs Eric Nystrom

Most of the punches didn’t land but it was still entertaining

Goat of the Week

Jonathan Bernier – Toronto Maple Leafs

Bernier decided to play the puck as it came down only to decide not to because of where the puck ended up, if he played it he’d get a penalty, but now he was totally out of place and Michael Grabner netted the easy goal. It turned out to be pretty big as the Maple Leafs only lost by one, subtracting the empty net goal. It’s like I always say, goalies belong in the crease.

Stat Line of the Week

01/06/14 NY Islanders 7 vs. Dallas 3









J. Tavares








The Islanders were down 0-2 to the Stars after one period of play but then they and Tavares snapped. Tavares assisted on the 1st Islanders goal, scored the 2nd, then assisted on the 5th and scored the last two goals for a hat trick. Tavares just had his 7 game point streak snapped against Colorado.

Numbers, Numbers

0 – Regulation home losses for the Anaheim Ducks for a record of 19-0-2
109 – Game winning goals for Teemu Selanne who is now tied for 4th with Brendan Shanahan and one goal behind Brett Hull
1724 – Points for Jaromir Jagr, one better than former teammate Mario Lemieux
25 – Points for Mathieu Perreault of the Ducks in 40 games, just five shy of his career point total of 30 reached in 64 games
1 – Overtime/shootout win for the Nashville Predators, the only team without at least three wins

This Week in Hockey History

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

January 06, 1981 Rookie Jorgen Pettersson scored twice and added three assists, and Blake Dunlop scored a goal and four assists to lead the Blues to a 6-3 win over the Quebec Nordiques in St. Louis.

January 07, 1933 Detroit Red Wings beat the Maple Leafs 6-1 in the first CBC hockey broadcast carried coast-to-coast from Maple Leaf Gardens.s

January 08, 1980 Rookie goaltender Pat Riggin recorded his first NHL career shutout as the Atlanta Flames won 2-0 over the visiting Winnipeg Jets. Riggin became the second NHL goalie whose father (Dennis) also recorded one-or-more NHL shutouts.

January 09, 1986 Goaltender Darren Jensen turned aside all 24 shots he faced in recording his first NHL shutout as the Flyers defeated the Capitals at the Spectrum, 4-0. The shutout was the 100th in the Flyers’ history.

January 10, 1987 Buffalo’s Wilf Paiement scored his 350th career NHL goal as the Sabres won 8-5 at Los Angeles.

January 11, 1986 Islanders’ John Tonelli scored his 200th career NHL goal as New York won 8-2 over the visiting Detroit Red Wings.

January 12, 1994 Wayne Gretzky scored twice to become the 7th player in team history to record 200 goals as a member of the Kings. The milestone, along with two assists came as Los Angeles won 6-4 against the visiting Hartford Whalers.


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

Top 5
1. Anaheim
2. St. Louis
3. Pittsburgh
4. NY Rangers
5. Columbus

Bottom 5
30. Winnipeg
29. Calgary
28. Dallas
27. Toronto
26. Phoenix

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 RecapsAnaheim Ducks,B.J. Crombeen,Boston Bruins,Brad Marchand,Calgary Flames,Chris Thorburn,Colin Greening,Colton Orr,Eric Nystrom,Jaroslav Halak,John Erskine,John Tavares,Jonathan Bernier,Kyle Okposo,Los Angeles Kings,Mike Smith,New York Islanders,Ryan Miller,Sean Mohahan,St Louis Blues,thomas vanek,Toronto Maple Leafs,Vladimir Sobotka,Vladimir Tarasenko
Last week we discussed Team USA so let's do a quick glance at Team Canada. The most glaring issue with their roster is Mike Smith somehow making the team. It's a head scratcher how he made it over Brian Elliot and Corey Crawford, among others. But he will probably...