Around the rinks: The Florida goaltending situation was funny to watch as it unfolded. In case you missed it starting goaltender Roberto Luongo was injured and then backup Al Montoya also became injured. He gutted it out for a bit while the Panthers tried to find somebody to go in net. They dressed their goalie coach and a forward but apparently neither was allowed to go in. GM Dale Tallon was found by the bench talking to the coach trying to figure out what to do. Roberto Luongo came back in street clothes to talk to the trainer and then ended up going back in the game. A fun time was had by all. The Maple Leafs ended up winning the game 3-2. Because even the Leafs can’t lose a game against two injured goalies…. But things of course got worse for the Leafs as they were blown out 6-1 by the Blues and Nazem Kadri was set home the next day for missing a team meeting…. Ovechkin netted his 44th goal…. Buffalo, Edmonton and Arizona are all doing their best to get the most lottery balls for the draft…. The Central division should be the only division to send five teams to the playoffs, which was also the case last season…. The same four teams from the Atlantic will get in again this season, only in a different order.

Things I like

1. A couple of weeks ago I would have never though the Ottawa Senators could get into the playoff picture. But here we are after the Senators become one of the hottest teams going 9-1-1 in their last 11. Goalie Andrew Hammond still doesn’t have a regulation loss. Bobby Ryan has become somewhat hot, with 10 points in his last 10 games. The West coast road trip sweep was also impressive. They also just got back goalie Craig Anderson, although with Hammond who needs him? They are still five points back of the Bruins, but they do have a game in hand. The game against the Bruins on Tuesday will be huge.

2. Despite not showing up against the Penguins, the Ducks have shown me that their might be some hope come playoff time after all. They cam back in spectacular finish to beat their nemesis the Red Wings. They beat the Kings, Stars and Coyotes by a good margin and they beat the team with the best record in the east, the Canadiens. It also seems likely that they will get the top spot in the west and will also avoid playing the Kings in the 1st round. It seems likely, if the Kings get in, it would be as the 3rd seed in the pacific division and not as a wild card.

3. In a low scoring year for individual performances, it looks like John Tavares should nab his first scoring title. Should being the operative word, with all the other players right below him. But it would be fitting that the first time he would win the title would be the first time the Islanders could win the division since 1988. Yes, it’s been 27 years since the Islanders last won a division crown. Tavares also broke his career high in goals and should best his previous point total high as well. Tavares has 14 points in his last 10 games.

Things I don’t

1. The Nashville Predators are slumping at the worst time and it doesn’t bode well for the playoff chances. In first place in the division for most of the season, the Predators six game losing streak and slide is reminiscent of the Blues slide last year. The Blues ended up being knocked out of the 1st round by the Blackhawks. History could repeat itself as, ironically, the Blues could slide into first and the Predators would end up facing the Blackhawks in the 1st round and will probably lose. It doesn’t help that they are a young inexperienced team either. Which is also what the Blues were. Hmm, yup a 1st round lost to the Blackhawks seems about right. Next up is a brutal West coast trip but luckily they start the trip against the Coyotes.

2. Despite being in the thick of a playoff race the Florida Panthers have no fans in the stands. The Panthers draw the least over least amount of fans at just over 10,000 a game. They also have the lowest capacity percentage at only 63%, which is quite bad. Miami isn’t really known as a good sports town unless you win championships. Although the Heat are still drawing, despite possibly missing the playoffs this season. Go figure.

Fights of the Week

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

Marcus Foligno vs Braydon Coburn

A weird fight with a helmet dangling between them the whole time but it still had some decent haymakers.

Jannik Hansen vs Brenden Dillon

Slim pickens this week so this makes the cut. A somewhat decent scrap after the melee.

Goat of the Week

Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli – Los Angeles Kings

The Kings dominated the Penguins for most of the game but couldn’t by a goal. The game went into overtime were the Kings had a hard time clearing their zone. Carter passes the puck in the front, probably not his wisest option, were Toffoli has a hard time doing anything with it and gives it right to the Penguins. Cost the Kings a point they really needed.

Stat Line of the Week

3/08/15 Edmonton 4 vs Carolina 7

Skater

TOI

G

A

+/-

SOG

Bks

Hits

E. Lindholm

15:53

3

2

3

3

1

1

Well the game sure didn’t matter but Lindolhm, a former 5th overall pick, had one of the best performances of the week. His first hat trick to go along with two assists helped down the defensively challenged Oilers. The Hurricanes hope that Lindholm can continue to develop into a top player.

Numbers, Numbers

1.1 – Seconds left in the game before Anders Lee tied the game and forced overtime for the Islanders against the Stars.
17 – Players with at least 60 points
1 – Player with at least 70 points
44 – Saves by Semyon Varlamov in a shutout win against the Blue Jackets
14 – Overtime losses for the Florida anthers, one of the reasons they are just outside the playoff picture

This Week in Hockey History

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

March 2, 2004 Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis became the first player to win the NHL Player of the Month in two consecutive months since Wayne Gretzky, (with the Edmonton Oilers in December and January of the 1986-87 season).

March 3, 1981 Mike Bossy scored his 100th point of the season, when he picked up a goal in an Islanders’ 8-8 tie against the visiting Oilers. Bossy scored four goals and an assist in the game. It was the 17th hat trick of his NHL career.

March 4, 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Ron Francis, Grant Jennings and Ulf Samuelsson from the Hartford Whalers in trade for John Cullen, Jeff Parker and Zarley Zalapski.

March 5, 1972 Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Ron Francis, Grant Jennings and Ulf Samuelsson from the Hartford Whalers in trade for John Cullen, Jeff Parker and Zarley Zalapski.

March 6, 1983 Denis Savard scored twice and added an assist, to give him 100 points on the season (for the second straight year) when he led the Black Hawks to a 5-4 win against the Montreal Canadiens, in Chicago.

March 7, 1989 Minnesota North Stars traded Dino Ciccarelli (their all-time leading scorer) and Bob Rouse to Washington in exchange for Mike Gartner and Larry Murphy.

March 8, 1988 Detroit coach Jacques Demers registered his 200th career NHL victory, as the Red Wings won 2-0 over the visiting Boston Bruins.

Rankings

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

Top 5
1. Ottawa
2. Minnesota
3. NY Rangers
4. Anaheim
5. Los Angeles

Bottom 5
30. Arizona
29. Edmonton
28. Nashville
27. Buffalo
26. Toronto

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/2015/03/luongo-in-street-clothes-1024x578.jpghttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/luongo-in-street-clothes-150x150.jpgAlex MuellerWeekly Recaps
Around the rinks: The Florida goaltending situation was funny to watch as it unfolded. In case you missed it starting goaltender Roberto Luongo was injured and then backup Al Montoya also became injured. He gutted it out for a bit while the Panthers tried to find somebody to go...