Depth, depth, depth. Scoring depth is something every team in the NHL strives for. The Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and Anaheim Ducks are all well known for their depth. But only one team listed above has at least eight players with at least ten goals. The Bruins are one of three teams that have, so far, accomplished it this season. The Winnipeg Jets and Tampa Bay Lightning are the other two. Normally such balance would translate well in the standings. For the Bruins and Lightning they are the top two teams in their division. However, for the Jets they find themselves tied for last in their division. So what’s wrong with the Jets? For starters, they are dead last in the league in face off percentage and their powerplay percentage is also towards the bottom. Their number one goaltender, Ondrej Pavelec, has only one shutout and a .900 SV%. The Jets like Pavelec a lot but this is now his fifth full season and he doesn’t look like he will ever become a top goalie in the league. On the positive side, they have now won eight of their last ten and are only four points out of the final playoff spot. With Vancouver struggling mightily and Minnesota never playing consistently, it’s possible they could sneak into the last spot. Expect to see more of backup Al Montoya for that to happen.

Things I Like

1. The Calgary Flames are currently surging. They have five in a row now with wins over the Sharks and Blackhawks. Of course there’s no way they will make the playoffs but there is hope that this momentum will spill over into next season. Former 1st round pick Mikael Backlund has eight points in his last four games and already has his highest point total for a season. Goalie Karri Ramo has played better of late but he doesn’t seem to be the long term answer. Jon Gillies will more than likely be that long term answer in net but he’s still a couple of seasons away. Ramo has only next season under contract. It’s likely he will play that out and then Gillies might be the starter in 2015-16. Top pick Sean Monahan has been playing better and has four points in his last fie games. Don’t expect playoffs next season but another couple of years staying the course and they could actually make it and not lose in the 1st round.

2. Unbeknownst to many, Joel Ward is having a career year. The most points Ward has ever had in a season is 35. He currently has 29 with over 25 games to go. He picked up two important goals and an assist in a wild game against the Red Wings yesterday. He has a knack for being at the right place at the right time and he should continue to pay a key role down the stretch and in the playoffs.

Things I Don’t

1. The Vancouver Canucks have three (Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler) of the top six forwards in total ice time. Not a category you want to be leading, especially with that many forwards. It’s likely the Canucks will get in as the 7th or 8th seed in the West. But going against a top seeded team with three of your best forwards burnt out from playing that much is a sure recipe for an early exit.

2. After their record undefeated home streak the Anaheim Ducks have now lost three of five at home. Probably not time to hit the panic button yet but they are starting to show cracks as the top team in the NHL. Worse, they have the hot Blue Jackets and the 2nd best team in the Blackhawks coming to town. How they play in those two games will determine if they have bigger issues or not.

3. Wins have been hard to come by for the Los Angeles Kings lately. But more importantly, so have goals. In their last five games the Kings have scored a whopping two goals. Luckily they did one of those games but they lost the other four. The Kings have the 2nd lowest goal total in the Western Conference. Only the Flames have scored less and not by much. The Kings had this problem a few years ago and then went on to win the Stanley Cup. It’s highly unlikely the same thing will happen again this season. The King have the talent to score goals they’re just lacking confidence. If Jeff Carter and Dustin Brown, especially Brown, can have strong Olympic runs, I except the Kings to produce better after the Olympic break.

Ryan Miller Watch

This week team USA coach Dan Bylsma said he wasn’t ready to name who his starting goalie would be. He also wasn’t opposed to starting multiple goalies during the tournament. My bet is still on Miller. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if he alternated between the two of them, which would be odd and wouldn’t do much for either confidence.

Fights of the Week

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

Zenon Konopka vs Cody McLeod

This was the best fight of the week as these two just kept going at it.

Tom Wilson vs Nick Foligno

This fight had a few things going for it and wasn’t too bad.

Clayton Stoner vs Cody McLeod

If you enjoy bear hugs of doom and dancing then have I got a fight for you.

Goat of the Week

Radko Gudas – Tampa Bay Lightning

Radko circles back in his own end as he’s getting harassed by Tyler Bozak and tries to pass it to his defensive partner despite the fact that he clearly doesn’t have the room to do so. Bozak ends up the recipient of the pass and assists on the game winning goal with five minutes left in the game.

Stat Line of the Week

01/29/14 Edmonton 3 vs. San Jose 0

Skater

TOI

SA

GA

SV

SV%

SO

W

B. Scrivens

60:00

59

0

59

1.000

0

1

Ben Scrivens was brought to Edmonton to make games like this happen, although I’m sure they wish he wouldn’t need to make that many saves all the time. Scrivens stopped all 59 shots he faced against a relentless Sharks team. He set an NHL record for saves in a shutout in the process. Unfortunately the Oilers weren’t able to carry over the momentum as they lost 4-0 against the Bruins in their next game.

Numbers, Numbers

501 – NHL points for Zdeno Chara
-5 – +/- for Alex Ovechkin on Thursday night against the Blue Jackets
29:39 – Ice time logged by Ryan Suter, tops in the league and more than a minute and a half above number two Brian Campbell
22 – Goals by the Sabres in the 1st period, one of only two teams to not score at least 30 goals in the 1st
26 – Goals scored by the Hurricanes, the other team without at least 30 in the 1st

This Week in Hockey History

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

January 27, 1994 Chicago’s Michel Goulet picked up his 600th career assist as the Blackhawks lost 4-3 to the Red Wings.

January 28, 1989 The NHL set a single day attendance record with 164,223 fans for 10 games, including 8 sellouts and 20,002 fans at Calgary against Chicago. Of the 10 games, five were one-goal decisions (including two in overtime), and three ended in ties.

January 29, 1970 Phil Esposito scored twice and added two assists, and Bobby Orr had a goal and three assists as the Bruins won 6-5 over the Minnesota North Stars, at Boston Garden.

January 30, 1999 Patrick Roy recorded his 45th career shutout as Colorado won 5-0 against the visiting San Jose Sharks.

January 31, 1939 Davey Kerr became the first goaltender to get 100 wins as a member of the NY Rangers, in a 3-2 victory over visiting Chicago Black Hawks.

February 01, 1965 NY Rangers’ right winger Rod Gilbert (who had been having severe back problems) underwent a spinal fusion operation. He missed the remainder of the 1964-65 season, but came back and played 11 more seasons in the NHL.

February 02, 1991 Luc Robitaille became the L.A. Kings’ all-time career leader in goals scored by a left winger when he scored his 223rd goal to pass Charlie Simmer, in a 9-1 Kings’ win over Vancouver.

Rankings

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

Top 5
1. Toronto
2. Colorado
3. Winnipeg
4. NY Rangers
5. Calgary

Bottom 5
30. Los Angeles
29. Vancouver
28. NY Islanders
27. Washington
26. Buffalo

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/2014/02/zdeno-chara-1024x729.jpghttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/zdeno-chara-150x150.jpgAlex MuellerWeekly RecapsAlex Ovechkin,Anaheim Ducks,Ben Scrivens,Bobby Orr,Boston Bruins,Calgary Flames,Chicago Blackhawks,Clayton Stoner,Cody McLeod,Daniel Sedin,Dustin Brown,Henrik Sedin,Jeff Carter,Joel Ward,Karri Ramo,Los Angeles Kings,Mikael Backlund,Nick Foligno,Ondrej Pavelec,Patrick Roy,Radko Gudas,Recap,Ryan Kesler,Ryan Miller,Ryan Suter,San Jose Sharks,Sean Monahan,Stanley Cup,Tampa Bay Lightning,Tom Wilson,Tyler Bozak,Vancouver Canucks,Winnipeg Jets,Zdeno Chara,Zenon Konopka
Depth, depth, depth. Scoring depth is something every team in the NHL strives for. The Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and Anaheim Ducks are all well known for their depth. But only one team listed above has at least eight players with at least ten goals. The Bruins are one...