NHL Recap Week 15 – Lack of coverage for the Ducks and their letdown in Chicago, Flames Canucks line brawl, NHL needs replay, Scrivens to the Oilers and more
One thing that really bugs me about hockey is the lack of mainstream coverage by the media. It’s always an afterthought by the big media companies like ESPN and Sports Illustrated. The other thing that bugs me is that when they do cover it, it’s very unbalanced. Last year Sports Illustrated wrote about the Chicago Blackhawks record opening and how they “saved” hockey. I didn’t know hockey needed saving. At any rate, The Anaheim Ducks had a similar streak going, granted it wasn’t to open the season, and the same exact record as the Blackhawks had last year at this point and not even a blurb in Sports Illustrated. Just ridiculous. I’m sure their reasoning is that Anaheim is a “small” market or just not that popular of a team. But Anaheim is part of the Greater Los Angeles area which last time I checked, was quite large. Plus record breaking history is history. It deserves to be covered. Worse, this is during a Winter Olympics year where hockey is pretty much the predominate sport in the Olympics. All in all I’m not surprised but I can certainly be disappointed. It’s like the age old question, Which came first? The chicken or the egg? The NHL may not be that popular but if you don’t cover it, it will be hard for it to gain more traction to become popular. One of the reasons the NFL is so popular is because the coverage is literally non-stop and so exhaustive. I’d like to see that for all four major sports.
Things I Like
1. I absolutely love the Edmonton Oilers trading for Ben Scrivens. While the trade for Ilya Bryzgalov had good intentions, the Oilers didn’t need a past their prime goalie. They need a younger goalie that can grow with the youth core they already have. Scrivens fits that well. Unfortunately, his debut didn’t go as planned as he let in four goals against the Wild. But the goals weren’t really his fault, just chalk it up to bad Oiler defense as usual. Besides hopefully calling up the recent young defenseman they drafted, the Oilers need to get a veteran defenseman to pair with them when they do.
2. Jaromir Jagr keeps moving up the all-time NHL charts and is almost scoring a point per game at age 41. He moved into sole position of 7th all time in points and goals scored. If he didn’t go to the KHL for a few seasons he would probably be at least 4th all time in scoring. While he didn’t produce the points in the NHL the points should still count, as he did score them. It’s similar to Bobby Hull’s points in the WHA not counting towards his totals. He still scored them regardless of what league it was in. So ether count them or make a new standing of total points produced in all combined professional leagues. Then you’d really see who the best was/is.
3. Do you like fights? Do you like line brawls? Do you like fights to start games for no reason at all? If so you might like the beginning of the Calgary Flames vs. Vancouver Canucks. Below are the penalties for just the penalties given in the first two seconds of the game. Both teams opted to start their 4th lines and jawing ensued immediately thereafter. I’m not entirely sure what John Tortorella was so hot about given that you don’t generally start games with your 4th line so obviously he knew this would happen given that he gets to put out his line last. If the Flames opted to start their 4th line you don’t need to do the same. There was a lot of blood on the ice after the line brawl. Both teams ended up being shorthanded four players a piece for the rest of the game. The brawl caused several players to log over 30 minutes of ice time.
0:02 Calgary Ladislav Smid (Fighting – 5 min) drawn by Kevin Bieksa
0:02 Vancouver Kevin Bieksa (Fighting – 5 min) drawn by Ladislav Smid
0:02 Calgary Brian McGrattan (Fighting – 5 min) drawn by Tom Sestito
0:02 Vancouver Tom Sestito (Fighting – 5 min) drawn by Brian McGrattan
0:02 Calgary Blair Jones (Fighting – 5 min) drawn by Dale Weise
0:02 Vancouver Dale Weise (Fighting – 5 min) drawn by Blair Jones
0:02 Calgary Chris Butler (Fighting – 5 min) drawn by Jason Garrison
0:02 Vancouver Jason Garrison (Fighting – 5 min) drawn by Chris Butler
0:02 Vancouver Kellan Lain (Fighting – 5 min) drawn by Kevin Westgarth
0:02 Calgary Kevin Westgarth (Roughing – 2 min) drawn by Kellan Lain served by Joe Colborne
0:02 Calgary Kevin Westgarth (Fighting – 5 min) drawn by Kellan Lain
0:02 Calgary Kevin Westgarth (Game Misconduct – 10 min) drawn by Kellan Lain
0:02 Vancouver Kellan Lain (Game Misconduct – 10 min) drawn by Kevin Westgarth
0:02 Calgary Chris Butler (Game Misconduct – 10 min) drawn by Jason Garrison
0:02 Calgary Blair Jones (Game Misconduct – 10 min) drawn by Dale Weise
0:02 Calgary Brian McGrattan (Misconduct – 10 min) drawn by Tom Sestito
0:02 Calgary Ladislav Smid (Game Misconduct – 10 min) drawn by Kevin Bieksa
0:02 Vancouver Dale Weise (Game Misconduct – 10 min) drawn by Blair Jones
0:02 Vancouver Tom Sestito (Misconduct – 10 min) drawn by Brian McGrattan
0:02 Vancouver Kevin Bieksa (Game Misconduct – 10 min) drawn by Ladislav Smid
0:02 Vancouver Jason Garrison (Game Misconduct – 10 min) drawn by Chris Butler
Things I Don’t
1. The Anaheim Ducks played the Vancouver Canucks in a tune-up before their big matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks. What a lopsided 9-1 beating it turned out to be. I almost felt sorry for the Canucks. Corey Perry was credited with two goals that were courtesy of the Canucks scoring on themselves. That’s how bad a night it was for them. It was so bad the Ducks played their 4th line on the powerplay in the 3rd period. Later when Teemu Selanne scored on the powerplay he looked regrettable doing so. Towards the end the Canucks resorted to cheap fights which gave the Ducks a seven minute 5 on 3 in the final seven minutes of the game. Yes, that actually happened. It was the Ducks’ 18th victory in 19 games which set them up for…
2. The Ducks vs the Blackhawks a highly anticipated that game that just wasn’t very good. The Ducks were terrible in the first two periods the Blackhawks weren’t much better but they did score two goals. In the 3rd period is when both teams woke up. The Blackhawks made it 3-0 but then the Ducks progressively played better and then they scored two goals late in the third. You had a feeling if the game went on longer, the Ducks would have pulled even. But alas they ran out of time and the Blackhawks scored an empty netter. This was the first loss to the Blackhawks in two seasons for the Ducks. Not to shabby if you ask me.
3. In the Detroit Red Wings vs Los Angeles Kings game the Kings were looking to close out the game with a 2-1 lead. But Detroit scored the game tying goal in the final seconds… or did they? It was ruled a good goal despite the fact that it went high out of play and bounced in unknowingly. The refs huddled but decided it was till good and didn’t view the replay because it’s not reviewable. Every touchdown in the NFL is now reviewed and every goal in the NHL should also be reviewed. There aren’t that many goals scored nowadays, plus most don’t need to be reviewed, that making it a new rule wouldn’t make games longer but would assure the correct call was made. Coaches should also get a one challenge per game which could be used to challenge any call on the ice. Detroit ended up winning in the shutout.
Ryan Miller Watch
This section was started in to monitor Ryan Miller’s trade rumors but now it’s become more of, Who will start in goal for Team USA? Both Quick and Miller had really strong past weeks. Nothing has been determined yet and probably won’t until the first game. I know Quick was groomed for this and he deserves it. However, Miller lead them to a Silver, has been playing really well and won’t be on the team in four years because of his age. I think he should get the top position.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Ryan Jones vs Brenden Dillon
This was a great bout until Dillon became the headless horseman.
Mike Brown vs Aaron Volpatti
This was really great for the 14 seconds it lasted.
Cody McLeod vs Eric Nystrom
Fists of fury in this one, a great fight.
Eric Boulton vs Jay Rosehill
Windmill punches in this one, also a great fight.
Goats of the Week
Jared Cowen and Craig Anderson – Ottawa Senators
It was a tough game for the Ottawa Senators against the Montreal Canadiens. They went down 0-3 in the 1st period to crawl back to 3-2 by the end of the 1st. They then scored two more to take the lead, only to have Montreal tie it and then win it in overtime. Below are the game tying and winning goals.
For the game tying goal, Craig Anderson makes a great breakaway save only to have Jared Cowen kick in the rebound by mistake.
For the game winning goal, Craig Anderson, after the initial save, accidentally kicks in the lose puck behind him with his pad into the net.
Stat Line of the Week
01/18/14 San Jose 5 vs. Tampa Bay 4
M. St. Louis
It’s not often you score 4 goals in a game and have your team lead 4-2 and lose but that’s just want happened in Tampa Bay. Martin St. Louis scored a hat trick in the 1st period and added a goal in the 2nd before Joe Pavelski had a hat trick of his own in the 2nd period. Surprisingly nobody scored in the 3rd.
0 – Regulation home losses for the Anaheim Ducks for a record of 20-0-2
204 – Total penalty minutes given in the Flames vs Canucks game
450 – Career wins for Phoenix Coyotes coach Dave Tippet
26 – +/- for Matt Niskanen who leads the NHL in that category. The 1st time he’s been in the twenties since 2008
5 – Shutouts for Tuukka Rask who leads the NHL
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
January 13, 2003 Dany Heatley scored his first career hat trick in the Thrashers 7-4 win at Philadelphia. Thrashers won the game despite being outshot 42-22.
January 14, 1950 After losing his first two starts Detroit rookie Terry Sawchuk picked up the first victory of his NHL career, when the Red wings beat the visiting New York Rangers 4-2.
January 15, 1991 Paul Coffey scored a goal to become the Penguins all-time scoring leader among defensemen, with his 344th point, passing Ron Stackhouse, in Pittsburgh’s 5-4 loss to the Flyers at Philadelphia.
January 16, 1971 Penguins ended a team-record 18 game road winless streak (0-11-7), with a 4-3 win in Vancouver.
January 17, 2003 Marc Crawford became the winningest coach in Vancouver Canucks history, when he led the team to a 4-2 win at Chicago. Crawford’s 143rd victory with Vancouver moved him one ahead of Harry Neale.
January 18, 1941 Dit Clapper became the first player in Boston Bruins history to score 200 goals. The milestone came in a 1-0 win over the Maple Leafs at Toronto. Frank Brimsek recorded his 18th career shutout.
January 19, 1952 Goaltender Terry Sawchuk recorded his second straight shutout to lead the Red Wings to a 4-0 win over the Canadiens at Montreal. It was the 21st career shutout for Sawchuk.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
2. St. Louis
4. NY Rangers
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.