Any sport always wants to see more scoring and the NHL is no exception. They generally say goal scoring is down but lately most of the games I see are 6-4 or 4-3 contests or one teams scores 6, 7 or 8 goals. I was intrigued so I looked up what the average goals per game this season and I was quite surprised. According to Hockey-Reference the NHL goals a game average is only 2.75. This is slightly above the previous 4 seasons but not as high as I would have thought.

There’s obviously a lot of lower scoring games to balance out the higher scoring games. I’ll check back at the end of the season to see what the final number will end up being. I’m going to guess around 2.80. Ironically, we aren’t on pace to have any player break the 100 point mark. Only four players have 50 or more points and only a handful have a shot at 100. In a full season, we’ve always had at least one player get to 100 or over in the past decade so somebody will probably get hot and crack the barrier.

Source: http://www.hockey-reference.com/leagues/stats.html

Things I like

1. The Boston Bruins have finally gotten their act together and appear to be headed back to the playoffs. The Bruins are not only winning but beating quality opponents like the Rangers, Penguins and Lightning. The best part of the Bruins Lightning game on Tuesday was Zdeno Chara knocking down Cedric Paquette. It looked like Chara was swatting fliers. Even better though, was Paquette coming back at the end of the game, for some stupid reason, and getting, basically, the same result. It’s admirable to stick up for yourself Paquette but Chara is not the guy to do that with. Don’t poke the bear, as they say. During the Bruins winning streak, this year’s 1st round pick David Pastrnak notched back to back two goal games for five goals in nine games. The Bruins are hoping he’ll bring some needed offense. He’s no Tyler Seguin but he’ll do.

2. Before losing to the Canadiens on Saturday Night, the Islanders had some impressive wins recently. They shutout their crosstown rival Rangers 3-0 and then came the big one against the Penguins for the division lead. Down 2-3, the Islanders dominated the Penguins in the third period out-shooting them 16 to 5 and reeling off 4 unanswered goals (one empty net). Kyle Okposo recorded his first career hat trick with four goals. Marc-Andre Fleury had played well in the beginning of the game but was shaky in the third and allowed too many juicy rebounds. The Islanders have taken 3 of 4 so far this season with one remaining in Pittsburgh. They have to like their chances against the Penguins if they meet them in the playoffs.

3. Before having his arm broken by Dan Carcillo for a few games, Mathieu Perreault was having a career year, after having a career year the previous season with the Anaheim Ducks. He was roughly on pace for almost 30 goals and scored four against the Florida Panthers. Perreault will likely be out for a few games. But Perreault is just one of the reasons the Winnipeg Jets should make the playoffs for the first time since their rebirth.

Things I don’t

1. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for the Sabres they find a way to lose to the Minnesota Wild team 7-0. Keep in mind this is the same Wild team that had lost six a row previously and gave up 7 themselves to the Penguins the game before. The Sabres have lost ten in a row. But what’s even more depressing is, even after losing ten in a row, they still don’t have the first pick of the draft. That “honor” belongs to the Edmonton Oilers. But it’s getting closer.

2. Ryan Suter signed a big fat contract to bolt the Predators for the Wild. For the money, not the best investment for the Wild. Besides last season, Suter hasn’t played all that well. This season he has one whopping goal, a -8 plus/minus (with a -21 in his past 20 games) and a shooting percentage of .012. He also received a two game suspension for elbowing Steve Downie in the face. It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as Suter is on pace to tie his career high in points. But, overall, not what the Wild were hoping for.

Fights of the Week

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

Mathew Dumba vs Nicolas Deslauriers

Deslauriers gets the better of the fight in the beginning but Dumba comes back to even it out.

Tim Sestito vs Matt Beleskey

Decent back and forth fight that was too short.

Goat of the Week

Matt Niskanen – Washington Capitals

Niskanen didn’t have the greatest third period, as he helped the Predators score the last two goals in the game. Trying to pass across the ice, even though there wasn’t a lane to do so, resulted in James Neal stealing the puck and netting the game winner.

Stat Line of the Week

1/14/15 Montreal 3 vs Columbus 2

Skater

TOI

G

A

+/-

SOG

PIM

Hits

M. Pacioretty

22:10

2

0

0

7

2

3

The Canadiens found themselves down 0-2 to the Blue Jackets halfway through the 3rd period. Then the Canadiens took advantage of three power-plays in a row from the Blue Jackets to score three power-play goals, two by Max Pacioretty. It was a big comeback road win for the Habs.

Numbers, Numbers

25 – Shot differential between the Ducks (40) and Devils (15)
68 – Seconds to score three goals for the Devils against the Kings
2 – Goals in sixteen seconds for the Stars against the Capitals
7 – Shootout goals for Jakob Silfverberg, tops in the NHL
1 – Goal scored by the Maple Leafs in their last four games
-76 – Goal differential for the Buffalo Sabres, yikes

This Week in Hockey History

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

January 12, 1986 Chicago’s Denis Savard scored just four seconds into the final period to tie an NHL record for fastest goal from the start of a period. Blackhawks won 4-2 over the Hartford Whalers.

January 13, 1926 Babe Ruth dropped the puck for a ceremonial face off in New York, but when the game started the Montreal Canadiens beat the New York Americans 2-1, before a crowd of over 10,000 fans.

January 14, 1999 Detroit’s Chris Osgood became the third goaltender in franchise history to record 150 wins as a member of the Red Wings. The milestone came in a 2-1 overtime win over the visiting Nashville Predators.

January 15, 1981 Calgary’s rookie goalie Reggie Lemelin recorded his second career shutout, and Kent Nilsson scored his second career hat trick and added three assists as the Flames won 10-0 over the visiting Detroit Red Wings.

January 16, 1971 Don Marshall scored the 250th goal of his NHL career, in a 4-3 Sabres’ victory over the North Stars. It was the Sabres’ first win in team history at Minnesota.

January 17, 1987 Edmonton’s Jari Kurri scored two goals and five assists to give him 700 career NHL points, as the Oilers beat the Maple Leafs 7-4, for their eighth straight road win, tying an NHL record.

January 18, 1967 For the first time in NHL history the All-Star game was held at mid-season. The Stanley Cup Champion Montreal Canadiens beat the All Stars 3-0 at the Forum. John Ferguson scored twice for the Canadiens.

Rankings

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

Top 5
1. Nashville
2. Tampa Bay
3. NY Islanders
4. Boston
5. Detroit

Bottom 5
30. Buffalo
29. Toronto
28. Edmonton
27. Minnesota
26. Philadelphia

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 RecapsAnaheim Ducks,Boston Bruins,Buffalo Sabres,Chris Osgood,Detroit Red Wings,Edmonton Oilers,Florida Panthers,Jakob Silfverberg,Kyle Okposo,Marc-Andre Fleury,Matt Beleskey,Max Pacioretty,Minnesota Wild,Montreal Canadiens,Nashville Predators,Nicolas Deslauriers,Recap,Ryan Suter,Stanley Cup,Steve Downie,Tyler Seguin,Washington Capitals,Winnipeg Jets,Zdeno Chara
Any sport always wants to see more scoring and the NHL is no exception. They generally say goal scoring is down but lately most of the games I see are 6-4 or 4-3 contests or one teams scores 6, 7 or 8 goals. I was intrigued so I looked...