The cream of the crop this season so far are the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Dallas Stars. The Rangers have reeled off nine straight wins and are 9-0-1 in their last ten despite not having the most talented lineup. Another testament to Alain Vigneault’s coaching prowess. The Rangers have five players with points in double figures, with a handful not far behind.

The Canadiens will always be competitive as long as Carey Price is playing at his best. However, this season they have actually found scoring and more importantly scoring depth. The Canadiens boost double the Rangers double digit scorers with 10. Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher and Dale Weise all have 7 or 8 goals. If they can keep this up, they would be my favorite in the Eastern Conference to make the Stanley Cup. But the above quartet doesn’t have the best track record of showing up in the playoffs.

For the Dallas Stars, the duo of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are propelling them far. Throw in John Klingberg, Patrick Sharp and Jason Spezza and you have points from the blueline and playoff savvy veterans respectively. Their biggest weakness is goaltending. Antti Niemi has seemingly regressed each season since his Stanley Cup win. Kari Lehtonen has played slightly better but I wouldn’t want to hitch my Stanley Cup bandwagon to him. Both are over contract for two more years but with over 10 million tied up between them, you’d want a better piece of mind when it comes to your goalies.

Things I like

1. Max Domi, the 12th overall pick in the 2013 draft and son of Tie Domi, is having a nice rookie season for himself. He has 15 points in 16 games. Domi had two goals in the Coyotes big win over the Ducks. He has registered at least a point in all but six games so far. He’s also in the top twenty in shooting percentage at .216. Not bad for a rookie and he should remain in Calder Trophy contention throughout the season.

2. Don’t know the name Leon Draisaitl? You probably aren’t alone but get used to hearing it. The 3rd overall pick in 2014, sandwiched between all those 1st overall picks, has been on a tear recently. Draisaitl has 13 points in eight games with points in all but two games and multi-point games in five. He’ll see increased playing time while Connor McDavid is out.

3. How about Reto Berra? With Semyon Varlamov struggling, to put it mildly, and now on injured reserved, Reto Berra is taking over the number one spot for the Avalanche. And boy is he running with it. He has 2 shutouts, a .953 SV% and a 1.50 GAA. Berra is a little bit on the older side, 28, with only one stint with the Flames where he really had significant playing time and the chance to be the number one goalie. He might finally get his opportunity now.

Things I don’t

1. In a game against the Red Wings, Braden Holtby was seen scooping out the puck from his own net yet the goal was reviewed and upheld as no goal. You can see here, courtesy of KyleWiim, for yourself https://twitter.com/KyleWIIM/status/664243754090569728/photo/1. I don’t have a problem with needing indisputable evidence but sometimes you just need to follow the logic train. You can clearly see that Holtby stuck his whole glove into the net, behind the goal line mind you, and then you can clearly see the puck being launched out of the net. There’s only one logical conclusion to come to based on this evidence and it is not “no goal”.

2. I feel bad for the Carolina Hurricanes. I can’t remember the last time they were sniffing the playoffs. They don’t really have an up and coming prospects. Jordan Staal has been a disappointment ever since he came there a few season ago. Eric Staal can’t play forever. Top pick in this year’s draft, Noah Hanifin, isn’t really setting the world on fire so far. Last years top pick Haydn Fleury isn’t playing for them currently. I’m not really sure if the franchise even has a plan. But don’t expect the franchise to become relevant anytime in the near future

Fights of the Week

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

Michael Latta vs Ryan White

Interesting fight. White has the advantage to start but then gets his head caught inside his jersey. After he gets it out, Latta has the upper hand.

Luke Gazdic vs Patrick Maroon

A lot of punches thrown. Not a lot of them landed but it was still a long and fun to watch fight.

Goat of the Week

Ryan Getzlaf – Anaheim Ducks

Getzlaf leaves a no look drop pass to the… Coyotes who take it the other way for the overtime winner. There’s a point the Ducks aren’t getting back. I think that play pretty much sums up the Ducks’ season in a nutshell.

Stat Line of the Week

11/10/15 Vancouver 5 vs. Columbus 3

Skater

TOI

G

A

+/-

SOG

Takeaways

J. Hansen

14:48

1

3

5

1

1

The Sedin twins were auditioning a new linemate on the top line and journeyman Jannik Hansen gave it a whirl. In turned out to be a pretty good fit. Hansen had a career high four points and was on the ice for all five Canuck goals. Although he had only 1 point in his next two games, its still worth highlighting the best game of his eight year career.

Numbers, Numbers

2 – Goals in 13 seconds for Nathan MacKinnon against the Canadiens
301 – Career goals for Corey Perry
.605 – Face-off percentage for Jonathan Toews, a career high and tops in the NHL with at least 200 face-offs
12 – Game point streak for Patrick Kane
7 – Goals by the Predators in their shutout win against the Jets and also against the Senators two games earlier

Rankings

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

Top 5
1. NY Rangers
2. Dallas
3. New Jersey
4. Los Angeles
5. Columbus

Bottom 5
30. Winnipeg
29. Edmonton
28. Tampa Bay
27. Philadelphia
26. Carolina

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.

NHL 2015-16 Recap Week 5 – Canadiens, Rangers, Stars early favorites, Max Domi and Leon Draisaitl impress, Hurricanes going nowhere fasthttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/canadiens-1024x577.jpghttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/canadiens-150x150.jpgAlex MuellerWeekly RecapsAlain Vigneault,Anaheim Ducks,Antti Niemi,Braden Holtby,Carey Price,Carolina Hurricanes,Connor McDavid,Corey Perry,Dale Weise,Dallas Stars,Eric Staal,Jamie Benn,Jason Spezza,Jonathan Toews,Jordan Staal,Kari Lehtonen,Leon Draisaitl,Luke Gazdic,Max Pacioretty,Montreal Canadiens,Nathan MacKinnon,New York Rangers,Patrick Kane,Patrick Maroon,Patrick Sharp,Recap,Ryan Getzlaf,Semyon Varlamov,Stanley Cup,Tomas Plekanec,Tyler Seguin
The cream of the crop this season so far are the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Dallas Stars. The Rangers have reeled off nine straight wins and are 9-0-1 in their last ten despite not having the most talented lineup. Another testament to Alain Vigneault's coaching prowess. The...