The salary cap in the NHL is a funny thing. It’s currently set at 71 Million which isn’t really that much considering the NBA salary cap is 61 million and they only have six players that really do anything. Not so much the case in hockey. What I’m trying to say is, I don’t think the cap is high enough in the NHL. Which brings me to the Los Angeles Kings. The big news with them is they just signed Anze Kopitar to an eight year 80 million deal. To me, I think that’s overpaying. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good player. But he’s been slipping offensively the last few seasons. He’s also going to be 29 this year. I would have paid him 8 million a season. But the Kings will soon face the problems the Blackhawks always seem to face. How can we afford everyone? The answer is, they can’t.

Kopitar’s cap hit will be 10 million going forward. But then there’s Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, Marian Gaborik, Milan Lucic, Drew Doughty and Jonathan Quick just to name a few. Let’s not forget that, after next season, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson will want new deals as well. Which basically means this seasons and next season are the best chance for the Kings to win the Stanley Cup. Lucic is a free agent after this season. I doubt he will be back, unless it’s for a one year deal similar or just under what he is making now. I’m thinking Brown will be dumped in favor of Toffoli. But except for Toffoli, Pearson and Lucic, all the main Kings are locked up until 2019 at least. Still think giving Kopitar less would have helped in the long run. Their current cap space is 200 bucks. But that’s utilizing it well. If you’re wondering, Kopitar’s current cap hit is 6.8 million. So it’s a difference.

Things I like

1. “All-Star” John Scott gets demoted to the AHL, not something that normally happens to All-Stars, and then gets traded to the Montreal Canadiens. I personally believe this is the NHL’s doing to keep him out of the All-Star game. And kudos to them for doing so. Demoting him probably wouldn’t work but trading him to the other conference pretty much means there’s no way he can be captain of a division he isn’t in. This is because they asked Scott to not play in the game but he said no. It’s kind of a lot of effort to go through to remove him from the game. I wonder who takes his spot though now. If they want the fans to vote for the captains, which isn’t a bad idea, then they should leave it to the top 25 scorers in each division as the only players on the ballot. This would limit it to offensive skilled players only really but it’s highly unlikely they would vote for a defenseman or goalie to be captain in the first place and it only fills four spots. There’s usually a couple of defenseman towards the top anyway. Plus it’s the All-Star game, we want to see goals.

2. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins played an offensive marvel on Friday night. It had all kinds of goals that you could ever want. It also showed what each team is capable of when they are playing at their best. The Lighting beat a hot Panthers team in their next game and have scored 18 goals in their last five games. The Penguins crushed the Hurricanes in their next game with Sidney Crosby scoring two powerplay goals. Tampa Bay has worked itself back into a playoff spot and the Penguins are just a point out. These teams will play hot down the stretch.

Things I don’t

1. The St Louis Blues vs New Jersey Devils hit and fighting fiasco on Tuesday night brought up whether the NHL should ban fighting. Although fighting is down, which is good, the NHL should not ban fighting, that would be bad. But with the new concussion knowledge, should grown men be punching each other in the head? Probably not. But then why is anything in UFC legal? Everything is just a concussion waiting to happen there. But back to the NHL. I suppose you could ban punching to the head and just have body shots but there’s padding there and I’m pretty sure the players would go to the head anyway. So what can really be done? Nothing really. Unless you’re going to throw out players that fight or punch to the head. That’s a bit extreme. There also checks into the boards or hits that floor the player to hit their head on the ice. Hockey isn’t like football where you can just tackle in another location. There are definitely less occurrences in hockey but it’s hard to avoid. The only real progress that has been made is the harder calls of elbows to the head.

2. So what is wrong with Ryan Getzlaf? Here’s a Stanley Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist center playing on the 4th line and the 2nd powerplay unit. Yikes, how the mighty have fallen. Getzlaf also had another no look pass that went the other way for a goal. He really needs to stop doing that. Below you can see the latest one in the Goat of the Week section. He’s currently looking at his worst season ever in his career which closer mirrors his 2011-12 season. That season he had a -11, the only time he had a minus, and a career low 11 goals. This season he has only 3 goals, on pace for a career low of 6, and a -3. I think he has what Sidney Crosby has, not having fun, trying to do to much and not being at the right place at the right time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do no look drop passes before and I have no idea why he keeps doing them when it leads to goal for the other team. The Ducks are playing better and in the mix for the final Pacific division playoff spot, which every team in the division is alive for. But if he doesn’t play better, they won’t go very far if they get in. But it’s unlikely they would beat the Kings in the 2nd round anyway. Been there, didn’t do that.

Fights of the Week

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

Maxime Talbot vs Johan Larsson

Fairly decent scrap between a couple of big boys. Pretty long too.

Travis Zajac vs Brad Richardson

A decent fairly even scrap.

Paul Gaustad vs Mark Stuart

Not a bad back and forth fight.

Goat of the Week

Ryan Getzlaf – Anaheim Ducks

Normally, I try and find a turnover that end sup being a crucial misstep for a team that loses by a goal but I couldn’t find one like that this week. So we should you aforementioned Getzlaf turnover because it was that bad. Luckily the Ducks won anyway.

Stat Line of the Week

1/13/16 Calgary 6 vs. Florida 0

Skater

TOI

G

A

+/-

SOG

Shifts

S. Bennett

15:41

4

0

5

5

21

Bennett was the 4th overall pick in 2014 and he had the best rookie performance so far this year as he scored four goals against the Panthers. In fact he’s had half of his season goal total in his last two games. Probably not where the Flames want their 4th overall pick to be at this point. But scoring four goals in only 15 minutes of ice time, and on five shots, is an impressive feat.

Numbers, Numbers

4 – Shorthanded goals for Jean-Gabriel Pageau
6 – Shutouts for Corey Crawford, leading the NHL
2 – Weeks, about or is it aboot?, to go from 1st to 5th place in the division for the Canadiens, what a fall
11 – Straight wins for the Blackhawks
.934 – SV% for James Reimer who is tied for the NHL league in that category and kudos to him for all the crap he’s had to endure

Rankings

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

Top 5
1. Chicago
2. Tampa Bay
3. San Jose
4. Los Angeles
5. Washington

Bottom 5
30. Minnesota
29. Montreal
28. Toronto
27. Buffalo
26. Dallas

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 14 – Kopitar is a rich King but Kings are poor, All-Star John Scott no more, Lightning and Penguins rise, Getzlaf fallshttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/anze-kopitar-stanley-cup-1024x574.jpghttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/anze-kopitar-stanley-cup-150x150.jpgAlex MuellerWeekly Recaps
The salary cap in the NHL is a funny thing. It's currently set at 71 Million which isn't really that much considering the NBA salary cap is 61 million and they only have six players that really do anything. Not so much the case in hockey. What I'm trying...