I found it funny that by Friday Night all but one playoff spot in the West was clinched and only one playoff spot in the East was clinched. Which could tell you a few things. Either the Eastern Conference is that bad or it’s that good. Likewise for the Western Conference. In reality, the Eastern Conference has one really great team and then a bunch of above average teams that could all technically represent the East. The West has a bunch of great teams, a few above average teams and then the rest are really bad. The East has really bad teams too. So what does it all mean? Mostly that the last two weeks in the East will be really fun. But it’s inevitable that the Western Conference will hoist the Stanley Cup again.

I feel really sorry for the Blues and Sharks right now. Two teams that have no luck in getting out of the 1st round recently and that doesn’t appear to be changing this season. The Blues will more than likely draw the defending champ Blackhawks. Despite all the Blackhawks recent problems, I really don’t want to play them in the 1st round. The Sharks will either get the Ducks or the Kings this postseason. The same thing that happened two postseasons ago when they lost to the eventual champion Kings in seven games after leading the series 3-0. That might actually happen again this season. But I think they’ll draw the Ducks who, a month ago, I could have seen them beating it the playoffs but now I really don’t. That’s the downside of this new division playoff format. You get stuck playing the same teams you can’t get past. It especially sucks when those teams happen to be the ones that keep winning the Stanley Cup.

Things I like

1. Patrick Kane for having an amazing season after going through a lot of adversity in the offseason. He is just a few points shy of 100, he notched his 40th goal and he is in the top three in the NHL in points, assists and goals. He’s also tied for second in game winning goals with eight. But he’s also been very consistent. His longest streak of not having any points was just three games. It’ll be interesting to see what he does in the postseason.

2. The awesomeness that has become the three team race between the Red Wings, Bruins, Flyers and I suppose the Islanders. Only three of those teams will get it in. The Islanders have the best chance by having the most points and the most games remaining. They should get in but this was not how their season should have went. Boston has the worst chance by having the least points and the least amount of games remaining. But they do play the Red Wings on Thursday and if they can beat them, in regulation, they would greatly help their chances. The Red Wings also play the Flyers the night before so the Bruins will get them on the second half of a back to back. This helps the Bruins chances tremendously since the Flyers game is also must win for the Red Wings. If the Red Wings should lose both of those games, their playoff streak will more than likely be snapped.

Things I don’t

1. Speaking of the Bruins one wonders why they didn’t learn anything from last season. They should have made the playoffs then but they stumbled down the stretch as well and the red hot Senators took their spot. The same thing seems to be happening with the red hot Flyers taking their spot. Hard to imagine, since just a few weeks ago the Bruins were in 1st place in their division. They also beat the Panthers and Lightning in successive games. Perhaps they thought it was a lock after those wins but they’ve since stumbled and played inconstantly. They lost all their road games in California, which can happen, but they also lost to the big rematch with the Panthers and against a Devils team with nothing to play for. The Blues game on Friday night was a microcosm of their season. Played great at the beginning of the game and were winning 5-2 and then let the Blues back in and almost lost before hanging on for the 6-5 win. The team playing the 3rd period looked nothing like the team playing the first two periods. The same thing happened in Chicago were they managed to get down 6-0 nothing, before finally waking up and scoring the last four goals. But you can’t let yourself get down that big of a hole. The team has talent and can beat good teams but they aren’t able to sustain anything, especially down the stretch. This falls largely on coaching.

2. Duncan Keith yielding his stick like a sword. Obviously, he was pissed off and we all do stupid thins when we are pissed off but that was a big mistake. I didn’t really care for his six game ban. There’s only one game that means anything and that’s the one playoff game he will miss. He should miss more than that. But he’s a star player and the NHL wants it’s star players to play I those games. Which I get but on the other hand, you demean your own discipline and show that the playoffs are more important than setting a good precedent. Three playoff games missed would have sufficed for me.

3. No Canadian teams will make the playoffs for only the second time ever, after five made it last season. It’s always fun to have them make it because it gives some hope to Canada to be able to finally end their Stanley Cup drought. It wasn’t going to happen this season but you figured at least one team would get in. I really only though Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary would possibly get in. Calgary and Montreal have goalie issues and Ottawa just isn’t very consistent. On the bright side they all get high draft picks. Also, in a few seasons, Edmonton will be very very good if they could just get a defense.

Fights of the Week

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

Eric Selleck vs Jordie Benn

Not a bad fight, long too.

Andrew Shaw vs Mathew Dumba

This fight had a little bit of everything and was even longer.

Darren Dietz vs Jonathan Audy-Marchessault

Fists of flurry, my favorite, although not many connected.

Goat of the Week

Ben Chiarot – Winnipeg Jets

Chiarot carelessly plays the puck coming out from behind his own net which Ryan Dzingel takes advantage of and dishes to Alex Chiasson for the game winner.

Stat Line of the Week

4/2/16 Panthers 4 vs. Canadiens 3

Skater

TOI

G

A

+/-

SOG

FO%

A. Barkov

19:33

2

2

2

6

62

The Panthers found themselves down three goals midway through the 2nd period but this plucky bunch didn’t give up. They scored four unanswered goals with Aleksander Barkov figuring into all of them. He had a nifty redirect of the game winner with just 29 seconds left in the game. Not a bad game fro Barkov or the Panthers.

Connor McDavid Calder Watch

McDavid was named rookie of the month for March, which isn’t bad. But he had his point streak snapped by Anaheim and now has two games in which he hasn’t scored. The Oilers didn’t win either game either.

Numbers, Numbers

1 – Goalie, having played in at least 25 games, with a GAA over 3. That’s really good. But it mostly just shows you how hard it is to score in the NHL now.
4 – Goalies, having played in at least 25 games, without a shutout, everyone else has at least one
47 – Wins for Braden Holtby, just one shy of tying the record for most wins in a season
45.2 – Faceoff winning percentage for the Canucks dead last in the NHL. Only two seasons ago they were in the upper half but ,after losing Kesler, they’ve been at the bottom of the NHL
2 – Teams averaging over 3 goals a game, Washington and Dallas

Rankings

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

Top 5
1. Pittsburgh
2. Philadelphia
3. Dallas
4. St. Louis
5. Buffalo

Bottom 5
30. Edmonton
29. Vancouver
28. Winnipeg
27. Columbus
26. Boston

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 25 – Bruins consistently inconsistent, Duncan Keith ban too light, Feel sorry for the Sharks and Blueshttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bruins-blues-julien-1024x576.jpghttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bruins-blues-julien-300x300.jpgAlex MuellerWeekly Recaps
I found it funny that by Friday Night all but one playoff spot in the West was clinched and only one playoff spot in the East was clinched. Which could tell you a few things. Either the Eastern Conference is that bad or it's that good. Likewise for the...