The NHL and NBC just had their third iteration, I believe, of the their Thanksgiving Showdown on Black Friday and it featured the Philadelphia Flyers vs the New York Rangers. And all I can think to say is… SERIOUSLY? AGAIN! As stated last week when NBCSN broadcasted the Rangers vs Flyers for their Wednesday Night Rivalries, can we show some other teams? There are 30 teams in the NHL. The worst part about this is neither team is that good. And the NHL/NBC knew the Flyers weren’t that good last year, and nothing really changed to make anyone think they would be good this year, but they still decided to schedule them frequently anyway. The Chicago Blackhawks seem to play the Anaheim Ducks every year on Black Friday and that would be a better match-up to show. Granted, you don’t want the same teams every year but they seem to do that anyway.

The NHL and NBC can play the will those teams draw ratings card but if you never expose the rest of the country to other teams then those team will continue to grab the ratings. It was widely acknowledged that the Chicago Blackhawks vs Los Angeles Kings Western Conference Finals last season was one of the best series ever. Those teams should be prominently featured. The Kings especially should since they are the Stanley Cup champions after all. They usually show the Blackhawks a lot on TV but so far it seems like it’s less than usual. When the NFL makes the nationally televised schedule they usually show the top teams from last season the most and then try and show every team at least once. The NHL could learn a lot from this instead of just showing the same teams over and over again.

Things I like

1. Calvin Pickard has been a breath of fresh air for the Avalanche. The Avalanche have been searching for a goalie replacement since Patrick Roy left. Craig Anderson wasn’t bad but they moved on from him after one down season. Semyon Varlamov was supposed to be the guy but I just don’t see it. He’s currently injured, which is why Pickard is getting his shot. Pickard had played in two games earlier in the season to little fanfare. He started as the backup to Reto Berra and then came in two games in a row after Berra gave up three goals and pitched a shutout, as the Avalanche rallied backed in both games for wins. His first start, besides October 18th, came against the Blackhawks and, although they lost, Pickard was the main reason the game was close. Varlamov is close to coming back but the Avalanche will keep rolling with Pickard for now. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

2. Tyler Seguin is a goal scoring machine. He leads the NHL with 18 goals, currently, and he’s on pace for 64 goals. He would probably garner serious Hart Trophy support if not for one small problem, the Stars aren’t very good. Of course this isn’t really his fault as the reason they aren’t very good is because the top line is the only line that can really score. Seguin only plays on one line so he can’t really help the other lines. There’s plenty of time for the Stars to turn it around but it seems unlikely in a tight Western Conference. I thought they would get the 8th spot for sure but not anymore. Seguin will keep lighting the lamp though.

Things I don’t

1. The Anaheim Ducks are having the injury bug going around in the form of the mumps. The mumps have taken out their top goal scorer Corey Perry and one of their top defenseman in Francois Beauchemin. It’s also taken out Clayton Stoner. But now Tanner Glass of the Rangers also has it which means more will follow. The NHL has sent all teams notices and precautions but that’s all they can do. It’s not that serious and can only be spread through the sharing of things like saliva. Cover your mouth when you sneeze and don’t share your food. That’s my advice.

2. Hard to imagine but the Edmonton Oilers have now lost nine in a row, although three of those were in the overtime/shootout. On the positive side, seven of the nine loses were only by a goal. Which means they’re in all the games and playing competitively. Although at some point they will need to take the next step and find a way to win some of those games. And even though his stats sure don’t show it, Ben Scrivens has played well, minus the Blackhawks game. Another lost season for the Oilers but if they get another top pick, and actually use it on a defenseman, it will be worth it.

3. The San Jose Sharks are in for another season that only they can do. After starting out well the Sharks now find themselves in 5th place in their division and would be out of the playoffs if they started today. They haven’t really played bad but they aren’t playing up to their level either. Their biggest problem is they only have three regulation home wins which is by tied for the worst in the league. Columbus also has three. A far cry from when playing at the Shark Tank used to be an advantage. The Sharks need to get more from Tomas Hertl. But all the Sharks came up big in a crucial home win against the Ducks on Saturday Night.

Fights of the Week

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

Steve Pinizzotto vs Steve Ott

A great back and forth fight.

Brandon Prust vs Chris Stewart

Another great fight that was really long and featured a lot of twirling at the beginning.

Goat of the Week

Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens

This isn’t really Price’s fault as he didn’t technically do anything wrong. However, this very examples brings up the question, Why are you leaving the net in the first place? Even if he stopped the puck behind the net then what? It’s a pretty even race so it’s not like you are really helping your team or have a sure outlet pass. It’s just best to stay in net. This plus a goal of the year type of goal by Tyler Ennis doomed the Canadiens.

Stat Line of the Week

11/26/14 Pittsburgh 4 vs. Toronto 3









B. Comeau








Blake Comeau netted a hat trick, including the game winner, in overtime to lift the Penguins over the Maple Leafs. Comeau had only scored over 20 goals just once in his long career. But he should easily match that this year as he seems to be getting comfortable with the Penguins.

Numbers, Numbers

1000 – Career points for Martin St. Louis
0 – Shutouts for Sergei Bobrovsky, the only starting goalie without a shutout yet
0 – Wins by the Oilers against a Western Conference team
4 – NHL teams averaging 3 goals or more a game, which is pretty much how it has been the past few seasons
29 – Minutes a game played by Ryan Suter and Drew Doughty, tops in the NHL
21 – Minutes a game played by Claude Giroux in 63rd place overall for time on ice, the highest non-defenseman

This Week in Hockey History

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

November 24, 1984 Edmonton’s Wayne Gretzky scored twice and added three assists, and Jari Kurri had a goal and three assists in the Oilers’ 7-6 win against the visiting St. Louis Blues.

November 25, 2002 Detroit’s Luc Robitaille became the 22nd player in NHL history to score 1,300 career points, when he scored a goal for the Red Wings in a 5-4 loss to the visiting Edmonton Oilers.

November 26, 1944 Montreal’s Maurice Richard scored his 5th career hat trick as the Canadiens won 4-1 against the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs.

November 27, 1974 Montreal Canadiens began an NHL-record 23 game road undefeated streak (14-0-9), with a 3-2 win at Pittsburgh.

November 28, 1982 Darryl Sittler scored his 19th career hat trick (and his first with Philadelphia) and added an assist as the Flyers tied the Canucks 5-5, at Vancouver.

November 29, 1981 Montreal’s Mario Tremblay scored a goal and added four assists, Doug Risebrough got his second career hat trick and Pierre Mondou had a goal and three assists in the Canadiens 6-3 win against Hartford, at the Forum.

November 30, 1996 Ed Belfour became the third goaltender in franchise history to record 200 victories as a member of the Blackhawks. The milestone came in a 5-3 win over the Kings, at Los Angeles. Tony Amonte led the scoring with his third career hat trick.


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

Top 5
1. NY Islanders
2. Nashville
3. Vancouver
4. Chicago
5. Detroit

Bottom 5
30. Edmonton
29. Columbus
28. San Jose
27. New Jersey
26. Arizona

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 Recaps
The NHL and NBC just had their third iteration, I believe, of the their Thanksgiving Showdown on Black Friday and it featured the Philadelphia Flyers vs the New York Rangers. And all I can think to say is... SERIOUSLY? AGAIN! As stated last week when NBCSN broadcasted the Rangers...