NHL 2015-16 Recap Week 6 – NHL All-Star Game changes, Oilers doing fine without McDavid, Bobrovsky bounces back and Ducks do not
The big news, of course, is the 3 on 3 NHL All-Star tournament that was announced and will take place starting this season. The current game format wasn’t working so it’s okay that it’s gone. But the 3 on 3 part makes cringe. It makes it seem like eventually the regular season games will also be 3 on 3. That isn’t hockey. I don’t see why they couldn’t have made it 5 on 5 or 4 on 4.
There will be a team from each division, with the conference winner playing the other conference winner in the finals. Each team will have six forwards, three defenseman and two goalies. I highly doubt the backup goalie will play so it seems kind of pointless of even having one. It’s like an Olympic backup goalie, only with way less games. Each game will be twenty minutes. I don’t like the fact that if there is a tie, the game will be decided in a shootout. Let’s make it even less like hockey. I do realize the game doesn’t really mean anything and it is for fun but still.
The tournament part and the chance to win a million dollars should give the players more of an incentive to play hard and win. But on the other hand, it still seems unlikely they will play defense and do they really need a million dollars? I also wonder how much the goalies really want to be a part of this. It doesn’t sound like much fun for them. As long as they have the all-star skills competition, I’m happy though. Bring on those mini nets!
Things I like
1. Oilers fans need not despair with Connor McDavid out. Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl have been money. Hall has a five game point streak going and has finally cracked the top 5 in scoring. Joining fellow 2010 draft pick Tyler Seguin. I was at that draft in Los Angeles. Go me. It took awhile longer than expected but both picks, that were highly regarded, have developed nicely. Draisaitl also has a five game point streak going. If the Oilers can keep this core together, which will be a challenge considering the salary cap, this team will score goals like the Gretzky led Oilers of the 80’s.
2. Sergei Bobrovsky’s start to the season was, to put it nicely, dismal. In his first six games, he didn’t crack a .900 SV%. His best outing was .879 SV%. His last four games have all been over a .931 SV%. He also posted his first shutout of the season against the Predators, stopping 39 shots. Then of course he played the Sharks and it went South. But hey, optimism. The Blue Jackets have still been a disappointment but they’ve climbed out of the Atlantic division basement. Although they have played more games than the Hurricanes. Still things are looking up and they’ve cut their goal differential in half.
Things I don’t
1. NHL teams are getting a bye week starting next season. This was part of the deal of accepting the 3 on 3 tournament. So if they would not have gotten the bye week, would they not have accepted the tournament? I don’t really see how they are related. I get it’s a, you do this for us, we will do this for you type of thing. But the tournament doesn’t really hurt anybody. Plus do they really need a bye week? They generally play about three games a week and they get about 4 months off in the summer. But I do see how it would be nice to have a week off halfway through the season.
2. It’s been a column or two since I mentioned the Ducks but let’s do it one more time. The Ducks are still towards the bottom of the Pacific division. They just got wiped by the Lightning 5-0. It wasn’t pretty either. The Ducks looked uninterested, they left Steven Stamkos wide open on the powerplay and they were shutout again. Their stubbornness to not doing any changes is perplexing. Their attitude of, It worked last year so it will work this year, is not the best strategy. The Bruins faced similar situations a few times before were they didn’t panic and it ultimately worked out. Until they most recently panicked and ultimately made moves that were questionable. They might be thinking they don’t want to make the same mistake here. The difference of course being that the Bruins were actually scoring, went to two Cups and won one and had a coach that could win a Game 7. None of that applies here. The team isn’t responding so once again, the coach needs to go. If they do actually make the playoffs, they will probably face either the Kings or the Stars n the 1st round. I don’t like their chance if that happens.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Kevin Bieksa vs Mike Fisher
Decent scrap between Bieksa and Fisher.
Luca Sbisa vs Anthony Peluso
Not often we have such one sided fights. So here is Peluso making Sbisa a punching bag.
Nicolas Deslauriers vs Jamie Oleksiak
Here’s another one sided fight because, why not?
Goat of the Week
Jason Chimera – Washington Capitals
In a 2-2 game in the 3rd period in Washington DC, Chimera gets the puck off of a Stars errant pass. Instead of skating towards the boards, where there was nobody, or bouncing the puck up the boards, Chimera passes right up the middle and right to Jason Spezza, a former all-star. You can guess what happened from there.
Stat Line of the Week
11/21/15 NY Rangers 5 vs. Florida 4
Skater TOI G A +/- SOG Hits
R. Nash 14:48 3 0 2 10 2
In a pretty crazy game, Rick Nash scored the 1st, 2nd and overtime winner for the Rangers for his 7th career hat trick. But it was how we got there that was even more interesting. In a The wild 3rd period, the period started tied at two a piece. The rangers scored two in the middle of the period and looked to be on course to win the game. The Panthers score two goals late in the third period in 39 seconds and had a chance to win a few seconds later with a penalty shot. But Lundqvist stopped it and we headed to overtime where a too many men penalty doomed the Panthers.
484 – Goals by Alex Ovechkin, breaking Sergei Fedorov’s career mark for a Russian born player
.012 – Nazem Kadri’s shooting percentage, or basically 1 goal on 81 shots, the 3rd most shots taken in the league
34.5 – Powerplay percentage for the Boston Bruins
1 – Goal finally scored by Jakob Silfverberg of the Ducks on Thursday night. Joining fellow duck teammates Ryan Kesler and Ryan Getzlaf also in the one goal club. Yikes
1000 – Career points by Patrick Marleau who, believe it or not, is now in his 18th season all with the Sharks
16 – Game point streak for Patrick Kane
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
1. NY Rangers
3. San Jose
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.