This week featured a slate of really great games and potential playoff match-ups. You had the Capitals vs Ducks, Capitals vs Kings, Bruins vs Panthers, Bruins vs Lightning, Stars vs Blackhawks and Stars vs Blues. The Capitals vs Ducks was one of the best game of the year that, sadly, ended in a shootout. John Gibson and Braden Holtby were both sensational in goal. This game broke the Ducks winning steak and, ironically, they have not won since or even played well. Next up the Capitals played the Kings and, even with a day of rest, you could tell the Ducks game took a lot out of them. The Kings jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 1st, only to have the Capitals score three of their own in the 3rd period. Jeff Carter ending up scoring the game winner in overtime.

The Bruins had a busy week themselves. Proving to everyone that they belong and will be a tough out in the playoffs. It started last weekend with their overtime loss to the Capitals and then this week they beat both the Lighting and Panthers in overtime (see stat line of the week below). They’ll more than likely end up playing one of those two teams in the 1st round, unless they stay in 1st place in the division. Then, of course, they lost to the Hurricanes in overtime because that’s how that works.

The Stars had been slumping but turned it around against the Blackhawks. More on that lovely game below. They then played the Blues for 1st place in the division with the game ending up in overtime after Jamie Benn tied it with about a minute to go. Alex Pietrangelo scored the game winner in overtime for the Blues. The two teams are now tied for 1st place, with the Stars have the regulation and overtime wins tiebreaker.

Things I like

1. There will be four outdoor games next year featuring the Oilers vs the Jets, the Red Wings vs the Maple Leafs, the Blackhawks vs the Blues and the Flyers vs the Penguins. Red Wings and the Maple Leafs have been done before but it was a good one. This one is special because it’s the Centennial Classic celebrating the NHL’s 100 year anniversary. Surprisingly, the Flyers vs Penguins hasn’t been done before. But there’s already talk that they’ll do it again in Philadelphia after doing it in Pittsburgh next season. So get used to it. Blackhawks vs Blues is the actual Winter Classic. St. Louis is a good choice because it’s different, St. Louis loves hockey and they just lost the Rams. But I’m most excited for the Oilers and Jets, that actually happens a little early than most outdoor games as it falls in October. But the reason I’m looking forward to it has nothing to do with the actual game. It’s because of the alumni game before. You’ll have Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri and Paul Coffey for the Oilers and Teemu Selanne, Dale Hawerchuk and hopefully others like Keith Tkachuk for the Jets. The unfortunate thing is, it’s doubtful they will televise the alumni game.

2. We finally have some playoff drama. The Flyers are now only a four points back of the Penguins for the final wild card spot with the Flyers having a game in hand. They will play each other three more times this season. To say those are big games is an understatement. Meanwhile, the Avalanche and Wild are now tied at 74 points. Minnesota has a game in hand though. They play each other in two weeks.

Things I don’t

1. Ryan Reaves of the Blues was ejected, against the Blackhawks, for a hit on Christian Ehrhoff. Unfortunately it was a clean hit that should have warranted only a two minute penalty for leaving his feet. Not the five minutes and the game misconduct it received. Although I get that it’s easy to see it in slow motion with all the replay angles we have and not so easy in real time on the ice. Although you would think out of the two refs and linesman on the ice somebody would have seen it correctly. But why have challenges and replays if you can’t use them? Any hit that’s deemed major, should be reviewable to see if it was in fact that. It was the acting job of Ehroff slinging his head back that made the call worse than it was. In reality, he should have gotten an embellishment penalty.

2. Speaking of the Blackhawks, and great potential playoff match-ups, they continued their abysmally disappointing regular season with the Dallas Stars. They have now played four games against each other and none of them have been close. It’s inevitable they will meet in the playoffs and this string of games isn’t assuring anyone of a decent series. At the halfway point of the game it was 4-0 Stars and the game was already over. The Blackhawks really decided to go for it and pulled their goalie with about eight minutes left but it didn’t matter. There’s one more game left in Chicago. I’m not really looking forward to it.

3. The injury bug is rearing it’s ugly head late. Evgeni Malkin and Jaroslav Halak will both be out for 6 to 8 weeks. A big loss for both teams but it should bring them both back around the start of the playoffs. Worse P.K Subban ended up in the hospital after being carted off on a stretcher from a collision with his own teammate but all signs point to him being okay. Niklas Kronwall was also just injured and will be out 1 to 3 weeks.

Fights of the Week

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

Andreas Athanasiou vs Matt Calvert

A somewhat decent back and forth tussle The fights this week weren’t the greatest.

Goat of the Week

Morgan Rielly – Toronto Maple Leafs

Nothing has gone right for the Leafs this decade. Rielly may be up and coming but he’ll take his lumps along the way. Apparently he didn’t see Sam Reinhart, as he passed it right to him, who feed it to Evander Kane for the easy goal. They Sabres tied the game with that goal and then won a few minutes later in the shootout.

Stat Line of the Week

3/08/16 Boston 1 vs. Tampa Bay 0

Skater

TOI

G

A

+/-

SOG

Take

B. Marchand

19:05

1

0

1

6

1

Marchand had the lone goal in the game in overtime right off the face-off, as he beat his man to the net. Marchand now has 34 goals, which is a career season high for him. He is also now just one point show of his career season high point total.

Connor McDavid Calder Watch

McDavid did nothing against San Jose but had the game winning goal against the Wild. It’s funny, some of his breakaways are actually amazing to watch. Others are just average with a shot that’s not that great but somehow it always manages to go in anyway. McDavid follow that up with nothing against the Coyotes.

Numbers, Numbers

389 – Career coaching wins for Bruins coach Claude Julien who passed Art Ross, yes that one, for most wins in franchise history
1853 – Points for Jaromir Jagr who moved passed Gordie freakin Howe for 3rd all time in the NHL
350 – Career wins for Marc-Andre Fleury
1 – Overtime win for Florida, Nashville, Minnesota, Columbus and Toronto, dead last in the NHL
10 – Overtime wins for the Los Angeles Kings, 1st in the NHL
200 – Career wins for Jaroslav Halak

Rankings

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

Top 5
1. St. Louis
2. Boston
3. Nashville
4. Los Angeles
5. NY Islanders

Bottom 5
30. Toronto
29. Calgary
28. Winnipeg
27. Arizona
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 22 – Big week of playoff preview NHL games, Outdoor games revealed, Wild Card races heat up, another Blackhawks Stars dudhttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/jeff-carter-kings-1024x576.jpghttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/jeff-carter-kings-150x150.jpgAlex MuellerWeekly Recaps
This week featured a slate of really great games and potential playoff match-ups. You had the Capitals vs Ducks, Capitals vs Kings, Bruins vs Panthers, Bruins vs Lightning, Stars vs Blackhawks and Stars vs Blues. The Capitals vs Ducks was one of the best game of the year that,...