The San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks played a wild game as they only can. Any time any of the teams from California get to together it’s always interesting and close. This game was no exception. Heading into the third it set up for a suspenseful and meaningful 3rd period tied at two. The Ducks top line was threatening with about five minutes to go when the puck ended up in the air taking weird bounces, including one on top of the net. Shortly afterward it ended up in the back of the net. Good goal, right? Not so fast. The ref had blown the play dead, presumably because it was on top of the net. But the puck never actually stopped on top of the net as it always kept moving. This illustrates my point from last week, where all pucks that go into the net need to be reviewed. Whether the ref blew the whistle or not shouldn’t matter. With the game moving at full speed, refs are bound to make mistakes including whistles blown to early. In most cases it’s because they lose sight of the puck. It’s possible this ref lost sight of the puck in this case and assumed it was on top of the net. The Duck should have ad the lead and there’s no guarantee the Sharks would have scored their 3rd goal as the whole game would have been different from that point on. If the Ducks lose the division by two points, we can all look back at his game.

Things I Like

1. The Boston Bruins keep rolling all the way to the top of the NHL standings with their 12th win in a row. As they continue to peak at the right time. Backup goalie Chad Johnson has played well this season and continued to make strong saves in route to a shutout win over the Avalanche. The Avalanche also pulled their goalie with four minutes to go in the game, continuing with Patrick Roy’s edgy style. The Bruins have nine players with double digits in goals with three other players one or two goals away from joining them. Truly a scary and deep club nobody will want to face in the playoffs.

2. Speaking of the Avalanche, Patrick Roy returned to Montreal for the first time as a head coach. He was warmly welcomed and the local press treated it as a huge deal. Although it was a great and close game the Avalanche lost and are now on a three game skid. They should be able to right the ship against the Predators but one wonders if this young team peaked way too early. They are currently fighting for home ice in the 1st round against the Blackhawks. What’s more troubling is the struggles of their goaltending lately. Roy even brought up relative unknowns for a game here and there and they aren’t faring much better. One would imagine Semyon Varlamov as their number one goalie in the playoffs but he hasn’t seen playoff action in four seasons. It should be interesting in goal the next few weeks for the Avalanche. And no Patrick Roy is not coming out of retirement.

3. Thomas Vanek is now on his third team in one season. I can’t imagine that’s easy. On his new team, the Montreal Canadiens, Vanek had only produced one assist in five games. He did however score his first goal as a Canadien as part of a hat trick against the Avalanche. He followed that up with another goal against the Blue Jackets. It’ll probably take him a few more weeks to get adjusted but he should be ready come playoff time.

Things I Don’t

1. The Edmonton Oilers figure to contend for a playoff spot this season but goalie and defensive problems tempered those expectations. Still, this season was about the young players continuing to gain experience and chemistry together. The Oilers upgraded their goaltending significantly an things were looking bright. Especially after a 5-1 thrashing of the Nashville Predators. But losses to the lowly Sabres and an 8-1 blowout loss to an arch rival, the Calgary Flames, leaves many questions. With the Sharks and Ducks coming to town, wins do not seem very likely. If they end the season on a major skid it seems unlikely that coach Dallas Eakins will be back next season. However, Dallas was just hired and the Oilers haven’t keep any coach around longer than two seasons the past five years, which might be part of the problem. If they take a top defenseman with the 1st round pick that can immediately play, I think a lot will go right next season for the Oilers.

2. At one point the Ottawa Senators looked like they might nab the final playoff spot. Now there is virtually no chance of that. The Senators have now lost six in a row with noly two points in those six games. Most of them were close losses but some were not, like 8-4 to the New York Rangers. So what’s wrong? Well Erik Karlsson leads the team in scoring, never a good thing when a defenseman leads your team in that department. Depsite leading the team in goals, Bobby Ryan has struggled and is on pace for his first non 30 goal full season. Craig Anderson has also struggled at times and hasn’t performed as well as last season. Daniel Alfredsson is also gone. For the Senators to get better they need to draft better and bring on good players through trades or free agency. Neither of those things have happened. It’s just the same old, same old.

Fights of the Week

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

Milan Lucic vs Ryane Clowe

A decent fight between two guys also known for other things besides fighting.

Sheldon Brookbank vs Zac Rinaldo

A short and interesting fight.

Zenon Konopka vs Luke Gazdic

More of a wrestling match than a fight but Gazdic wins with the punches.

Goats of the Week

Lars Eller and Jarred Tinordi – Ottawa Senators

Eller and Tinordi both had their pockets picked by the Blue Jackets, although Eller’s wasn’t as bad as it was a 4 on 1. Tiordi’s was awful as he was passing to his defensive partner despite the fact there wasn’t a clean lane to do so. Ryan Johansen makes him pay with a pretty game winning goal.

Stat Line of the Week

03/20/14 San Jose 3 vs. Anaheim 2

Skater

TOI

G

A

+/-

SOG

PIM

Hits

J. Thornton

19:02

1

2

2

1

2

2

Joe Thornton has a tendency to not show up in important games but he did so against the Ducks. Despite the problems in the game illustrated above. Thornton had a hand in all of the Sharks goals including the game tying one off of a Ducks’ wide shot that led to a breakaway. For the most part the Ducks top line did what they wanted to but Thornton delivered offensively and help the Sharks win the game. That’s all that really matters.

Numbers, Numbers

11 – Bruins with points against the Devils
29 – Shots for the Sharks against 2 for the Panthers in the 3rd period, a game the Sharks lost
50 – Career shutouts for Henrik Lundqvist, a Rangers franchise record
172 – Career wins for Jonathan Quick, a Kings franchise record
600 – Career points for Ryan Getzlaf of the Ducks

This Week in Hockey History

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

March 17, 1992 Joe Mullen scored his 400th NHL goal, and added two assists to lead the Penguins to a 6-5 win over Edmonton. Mullen became the first U.S. born player to score 400 NHL goals and the 39th NHL player to do so.

March 18, 2000 Florida’s Pavel Bure set a team record with his 4th hat trick of the year (and another record with his 6th as a Panther) and added an assist in a 4-2 win at Long Island. Bure became the first player to score 50 goals in the 1999-00 season.

March 19, 2003 Paul Kariya scored his 25th goal of the season for the 7th time in his career and added two assists in the Mighty Ducks 4-3 win against the Blackhawks at Chicago. The goal was also the 300th of his NHL career.

March 20, 1955 Detroit’s Terry Sawchuk became the first goaltender in NHL history to get 40 (or more) wins three times in his career, when he picked up his 40th victory of the season in a 6-0 shutout over the visiting Montreal Canadiens.

March 21, 1929 Boston beat Montreal 1-0 for the second time in a row, in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals, in Boston. Rookie Tiny Thompson made 32 saves for his second straight shutout, and Cooney Weiland scored the winner for the second straight time.

March 22, 2000 Al MacInnis became just the fifth defenseman in NHL history to record 1,100 career points, and the Blues tied a franchise record with their 47th victory of the year, with a 2-1 win against the Hurricanes, at North Carolina.

March 23, 1994 Pavel Bure set a new Canucks’ record by scoring a goal in his eighth straight game, a 6-3 win at Los Angeles. Bure broke the old team mark of seven, set by Tony Tanti in 1982-83.

Rankings

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

Top 5
1. Boston
2. Philadelphia
3. San Jose
4. St. Louis
5. Los Angeles

Bottom 5
30. Buffalo
29. Ottawa
28. Winnipeg
27. Florida
26. Minnesota

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/2014/03/semyon-varlamov-1024x690.jpghttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/semyon-varlamov-150x150.jpgAlex MuellerWeekly RecapsAnaheim Ducks,Bobby Ryan,Boston Bruins,Colorado Avalanche,Craig Anderson,daniel alfredsson,Edmonton Oilers,Erik Karlsson,Jarred Tinordi,Joe Thornton,Lars Eller,Luke Gazdic,Milan Lucic,Montreal Canadiens,Ottawa Senators,Patrick Roy,Ryane Clowe,San Jose Sharks,Semyon Varlamov,Sheldon Brookbank,thomas vanek,Zac Rinaldo,Zenon Konopka
The San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks played a wild game as they only can. Any time any of the teams from California get to together it's always interesting and close. This game was no exception. Heading into the third it set up for a suspenseful and meaningful 3rd...