The big news in the NHL is that 3 on 3 overtime action will be coming in some form soon. The questions are when and how. The AHL goes it with 4 minutes of 4 on 4 and then 3 minutes of 3 on 3. I’d really like to know how they come up with those times. It’s a real probability that will be the formula in the NHL. Personally, I’d like to have 5 minutes of 4 on 4 and then 5 minutes of 3 on 3. But got forbid they play three extra minutes in a regular season game.

Gary Bettman insists that fans love the shootout. I’m a fan and I don’t. I don’t hate it but it’s kind of lame in comparison to an actual game. It’s also a really cheap way to determine important games down the stretch. The extended overtimes have helped decrease shootouts in the AHL so here’s hoping we see 3 on 3 next season.

Things I like

1. To say the last few games the Boston Bruins have played against other teams fighting for a playoff spot or better positioning are anything but boring would be an understatement. The Bruins played the Ottawa Senators a week after beating them in a wild and crazy game. The Senators scored just 19 seconds into the game, there were four ties and two referees got injured. Yes that’s right. The first ref got sandwiched and fell to the ice and left the game. The second was dinged in the leg by a slapshot. The game was paused so he could recover. If he would have had to have left, the game would have been officiated by just the linesman. The game featured the goat of the week below from the Bruins who were at times sloppy. If the Bruins don’t make the playoffs, they have no one to blame but themselves.

2. Two months ago if you would have told me that Metropolitan race would be for spots 2, 3 and 4 and not 1 I would never have believed you. But here we are, with the New York Rangers all but locking up the 1st seed, how did that happen?, the Islanders, Penguins and Capitals are all within four points of each other. The Islanders and Penguins are struggling right now so it’s possible the Capitals could get the 2nd seed. The Penguins next four games are the easiest and the Islanders are the hardest. I’m not sure the Islanders can recover if they end up being a wild card.

Things I don’t

1. On a powerplay, down by three goals, the Flames decided to pull their goalie for a two man advantage. I like that a lot and I’m surprised more teams don’t do that. The problem was, the Flames didn’t generate a single shot. That’s right not a single shot on goal with a two man advantage. In fact they never even set up inside the zone. So after the powerplay is over Flames Coach Bob Hartley decides to keep the goalie pulled which led to an empty net goal. While I get that losing by four when you’re already losing by three makes no difference, if your team was unable to keep the puck in the Blues zone for more than five seconds with a two man advantage, what makes you think you could do so on a one man advantage?

2. Stop me if you heard this before, the Los Angeles Kings are struggling to score goals. They won the Stanley Cup twice with that problem but somehow that doesn’t seem to be the case this year. The ironic thing is, both times they picked up a big goal scorer, Jeff Carter and Marian Gaborik, to help them score goals down the stretch; which they both did. Now as full time Kings, neither can seem to score. Hard to imagine that with those two and Anze Kopitar you can’t really score. It’s unlikely anyone on the team will get to 30 goals this season. I did watch some of the powerplays against the Canucks and man, do they just need to shoot the puck. I notice that when powerplays have a lot of skill on the ice, the Penguins also have this problem, they just keep passing the puck around instead of just shooting it. The Kings are on the outside looking in and it appears their magic run maybe over.

3. If I was a Pittsburgh Penguins fan I would be worried. The Penguins had lost four in a row until the beat the lowly Coyotes and if they wouldn’t have gotten that gift goal from Mike Smith to tie the game, who knows what might have happened. They blew a four goal lead against a bad team, the Oilers. Evgeni Malkin is injured, Sidney Crosby has been injured and they might be a wild card team. All things considered, it’s not looking good right now. They might need Marc-Andre Fleury to carry them through the playoffs, which is not the best winning formula.

Fights of the Week

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

Jakub Voracek vs Dan Hamhuis

Rock em Sock em robots, as the announcer said.

Brendan Gallagher vs Vladislav Namestnikov

Short and sweet.

Petteri Lindbohm vs Drew Miller

A couple of good punches that connect before the linesman break it up early. Boo!

Goat of the Week

All the Bruins on the ice for this goal – Boston Bruins

On a powerplay, the Bruins go into their zone for the Senators dump in, Rask doesn’t really play it all that well with the Bruins defenseman, who are pressured by just one Senator. The rest of the Bruins don’t really react to what might happen, as the trailing Senator moves three times faster than they do, and then Rask overplays the shot, which leads to a short handed Senators goal. Not a good play that ended up costing the Bruins the game.

Stat Line of the Week

3/21/15 Edmonton 5 vs Philadelphia 4

Skater

TOI

G

A

+/-

SOG

Bks

Hits

R. Nugent-Hopkins

20:47

2

1

3

2

0

2

Well it was a meaningless game but it featured two of the hottest scorers in the NHL right now. Both Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have ten points a piece in their last five games. In this game, Nugent-Hopkins had two goals and an assist including the overtime game winner.

Numbers, Numbers

21 – Shots on goal for the Florida Panthers in the 3rd period against the Canadiens
25 – Shots on goal for the Montreal Canadiens for the whole game against the Florida Panthers
40 – Wins for Carey Price, 1st in the NHL
0 – Regulation losses for Andrew Hammond who is now 13-0-1
2 – Players producing over a point a game, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin

This Week in Hockey History

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

March 16, 1944 Montreal Canadiens defeated Chicago 3-2 to give them 79 points on the season, breaking the NHL record of 77 set by Boston in 1930.

March 17, 1938 New York Americans’ veteran Nels Stewart became the first player in NHL history to score 300 career goals, during a 5-3 loss to the Rangers.

March 18, 1978 Darryl Sittler became the 6th player in franchise history to score 250 goals as a member of the Maple Leafs. The milestone came in a 3-2 Toronto loss to the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.

March 19, 1952 Goaltender Gerry McNeil recorded his fifth shutout of the season (and the 12th of his career) in the Canadiens’ 3-0 win over the Maple Leafs at Toronto.

March 20, 1918 Toronto became the first NHL team to compete in the Stanley Cup Finals, when they beat Vancouver of the PCHA 5-3, in Toronto. Reg Noble scored two goals and an assist in the first period to lead the way.

March 21, 1996 Rick Tocchet scored his 14th career hat trick as the Bruins extended their home winning streak against Ottawa to 11 straight games with a 3-1 win over the Senators. Adam Oates had three assists in the game to give him 900 career NHL points.

March 22, 2003 Mighty Ducks set a franchise record with their 37th victory of the season, when Niclas Havelid scored the winner at 1:33 of overtime in a 3-2 win over the Sharks at San Jose. Paul Kariya chipped in with three assists.

Rankings

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

Top 5
1. Ottawa
2. Chicago
3. Anaheim
4. Tampa Bay
5. NY Rangers

Bottom 5
30. Arizona
29. Toronto
28. Buffalo
27. Edmonton
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/2015/03/injured-ref-1024x574.jpghttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/injured-ref-150x150.jpgAlex MuellerWeekly Recaps
The big news in the NHL is that 3 on 3 overtime action will be coming in some form soon. The questions are when and how. The AHL goes it with 4 minutes of 4 on 4 and then 3 minutes of 3 on 3. I'd really like to...