I think one of the dumbest things I have ever read are the Evgeni Malkin trade rumors this past week. Like seriously? Is this even a real thing? Why would the Penguins trade their best player? Especially for Eric Staal of all people? When was the last time he was relevant? 2006? And yes, I did say their best player. History shows that Malkin and Sidney Crosby don’t play their best hockey at the same time. When one is up, the other is down. Usually one goes down to injury and the other straps their team to his back. This season, no one is injured but Crosby is struggling so therefore Malkin is their best player. But Eric Staal? That’s beyond laughable.

Here is a list of players you can trade for each other and that is it. Connor McDavid, Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin, John Tavares, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Steven Stamkos. I would have thrown Ryan Getzlaf or Corey Perry in there but their struggles this season made me not. But they are kind of turning it around, slowly. Those players you can, almost, basically trade for one another and that is it. Nobody else makes the list. If you want to trade one of those players listed above for some one else, you need your head examined.

Things I like

1. With Jonathan Bernier playing badly, and having yet to record a win for the Maple Leafs, he was shipped off to the AHL. James Reimer then became injured and suddenly the Maple Leafs had no goalies. So in comes 22 year old Garret Sparks who became the first Maple Leafs’ goalie to ever post a shutout in his debut. For a team that’s been around for almost 100 years, that’s a bigger accomplishment than it would seem. So much so that Sparks cried during his post game interview. Love that emotion. But since this is the Leafs, and they can’t have nice things, Sparks was lit up for six goals by the Jets in his next start. Welcome to Toronto Garrett, the honeymoon is over. But he was able to bounce back and help propel the Leafs to a big 4-1 win against the Blues a few days later.

2. Rasmus Ristolainen just rolls off the tongue doesn’t it? But get used to that name. Ristolainen has been lost in the Sabres hubbub surrounding Jack Eichel, Evander Kane and Ryan O’Reilly. But Ristolainen was an 8th overall pick in 2013. Now in his third season, he is leading the team in assists and is second in points with 18. Just two back of his point total for all of last season. But the most important stat is that he only has a +/- of -2 which is a huge improvement over last season. The again the goal differential of the whole team last season was -113 so a -32 isn’t all that bad.

3. Life without Carey Price isn’t going that badly for the Montreal Canadiens. Yes, they did lose their last two games including a game to the Carolina Hurricanes of all teams and they are 2-2-1 since Price went down to injury. But, all their games have been one goal games so far and Mike Condon is getting much needed experience. In his first NHL season the undrafted Condon is showing he is more than capable of filling in for Price. Although he has yet to post a shutout. One thing that surprises me is the Canadiens are currently the 2nd highest scoring team in the NHL. That really surprises me. The Canadiens and Capitals are both in the top four in goals for and against. But if they can keep it going, and maintain 1st place without Price, they might have a really long playoff run in them. In the long run, Price’s injury will be a boon for the team.

Things I don’t

1. Lost in all the holiday and overtime hubbub last week was the fact that Alexander Semin was injured and placed on injured reserve. Apparently he’s on the Canadiens now. I honestly had no idea. And with just one goal and four points in fifteen games, it’s not hard to see why he’s been forgotten about. I’ll honestly be amazed if he ever scores twenty goals in a season again. It’s a real shame too, what has become of his career.

2. The wheels are coming off the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks got off to a great start that, more than likely, couldn’t be sustained and now they are back down to earth. They have only two wins in their last ten games. In goal, Ryan Miller’s best day’s are behind him and, at 35, he isn’t the long term solution. Jacob Markstrom isn’t either. As for the rest of the team, they basically live and die by the Sedin twins. Nobody else on the team is really playing well besides Alexander Edler. Their defense used to be one of their greatest strengths, when they had six plus quality starters. Now they only have Edler and Dan Hamhius. Sadly, it doesn’t look like Luca Sbisa will develop into anything. The trade of Nick Bonino for Brandon Sutter hasn’t worked out. Considering how well Bonino was playing for them last season, the trade made little sense. Alexandre Burrows is now in his 3rd straight sub-par season. It’s unlikely he will ever get back on track. Things are looking bleak and now they are out of the playoff picture, possibly for good.

Fights of the Week

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

Kyle Chipchura vs Brendan Smith

Certified grade A hoss fight right here.

Cody McLeod vs Tanner Glass

A decent back and forth right along the bench. A few punches connected.

It’s not often you see knockout blows so we give you two.

Jordin Tootoo vs Brad Malone

Nick Foligno vs Nathan Beaulieu

Goat of the Week

Jamie Benn – Dallas Stars

Lately the goats aren’t the usual suspects. First Brent Seabrook last week and now Jamie Been this week but even stars make mistakes. You’ll have to see it later in the video below, but Jamie Benn fans on a pass attempt in his own zone, which turns it over and sets up the eventual game winner for the Oilers by Jordan Eberle.

Stat Line of the Week

12/04/15 Calgary 5 vs. Boston 4

Skater

TOI

G

A

+/-

SOG

PIM

J. Gaudreau

18:34

3

1

4

5

2

Johnny Hockey is back. Gaudreau figured into all but one of the Flames goals against the Bruins. His second carer hat trick was completed on the overtime winner. He now has as many points as games played with 26.

Numbers, Numbers

22 – Game point streak for Patrick Kane, yup still going
1 – Fighting majors for the Toronto Maple Leafs after Nazem Kadri finally had the first fight for Leafs on Saturday night
14 – Fighting majors for the Columbus Blue Jackets, tops in the NHL
4 – Shutouts for Devan Dubnyk, tops in the NHL and only two away from his career high of six set last season
0 – Overtime or shootout losses for the Sharks, the only team without any

Rankings

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

Top 5
1. Florida
2. Detroit
3. Los Angeles
4. Boston
5. Dallas

Bottom 5
30. Vancouver
29. Nashville
28. Arizona
27. Carolina
26. Buffalo

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 8 – Malkin Trade Rumors, Sparks Debuts, Rasmus Ristolainen Rises, Canucks and Semin Fallhttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/garrett-sparks-1024x577.jpghttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/garrett-sparks-150x150.jpgAlex MuellerWeekly RecapsAlex Ovechkin,Alexander Semin,Alexandre Burrows,Brandon Sutter,Brent Seabrook,Carey Price,Carolina Hurricanes,Cody McLeod,Columbus Blue Jackets,Connor McDavid,Corey Perry,Dallas Stars,Devan Dubnyk,Eric Staal,Evander Kane,Evgeni Malkin,Jack Eichel,James Reimer,Jamie Benn,John Tavares,Jonathan Bernier,Jonathan Toews,Jordan Eberle,Jordin Tootoo,Kyle Chipchura,Luca Sbisa,Montreal Canadiens,Nazem Kadri,Nick Bonino,Nick Foligno,Patrick Kane,Recap,Ryan Getzlaf,Ryan Miller,Sidney Crosby,Steven Stamkos,Tanner Glass,Toronto Maple Leafs,Tyler Seguin,Vancouver Canucks
I think one of the dumbest things I have ever read are the Evgeni Malkin trade rumors this past week. Like seriously? Is this even a real thing? Why would the Penguins trade their best player? Especially for Eric Staal of all people? When was the last time he...