Surprise, surprise but the Los Angeles Kings are the only team without a regulation loss. And that’s a pretty big deal for several reason. The first one being you can see what a difference a healthy Jonathan Quick makes to the Kings. Quick looks great and is putting up equally great numbers. But the main one is the play of some familiar veterans. I had written in my NHL season preview that this was going to be a strange season. They mostly have a bunch of high priced veterans that aren’t producing anymore. But they can’t rebuild because they have nothing to rebuild with. But it looks like they’ll still be able to coax something out of the veterans.

You probably remember Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown from their Stanley Cup runs and they are back, leading the Kings in scoring. This is significant because Jeff Carter is normally their most consistent scorer and he’s been struggling so far. Drew Doughty is still doing his thing though. Kopitar and Brown were the heart of the Kings’ cup runs. If they can continue to play like this and the Kings can work in younger players like Adrian Kempe and Tyler Toffoli, who are both off to decent starts, and Quick can stay healthy, this will be a tough team to beat in the playoffs. A place they hope to get back to.

Things I like

1. Alex Ovechkin isn’t the only player to have double digits in goals already, Nikita Kucherov joined the club this weekend. He has 10 goals and 16 points. But what’s more remarkable is that Steven Stamkos has 15 assists already. Stamkos isn’t really known for his passing and has only recorded more than 40 assists twice in his career. Stamkos and Kucherov are now one and two in scoring respectively. The Lightning are also getting big contributions from Vladislav Namestnikov and Brayden Point. Looks like they won’t miss Jonathan Drouin after all. Andrei Vasilevskiy has been great as the new number one goalie as well. The Lightning only have one regulation loss so far and they may be poised for big things this season.

Things I don’t

1. Not a lot has gone right so far this season in Montreal. The Canadiens are dead last in goals for, 28th in goals against, 28th in power play and 24th in penalty kill. They also have the league worst -20 in goal differential. In a nutshell, it’s not hard to see why they only have one regulation win. Carey Price’s numbers are atrocious. But it’s not really his fault. Jonathan Drouin leading the team in points is about the only positive thing so far. Price has masked most of the Canadiens problems over the last few years. But with most other teams in the NHL getting better and younger, he can’t really do that anymore. I don’t believe they can fix it this season either. I’ll be amazed if they make the playoffs.

2. The NHL is starting to have a concussion problem. Tuukka Rask, Marc-Andre Fluery and Leon Draisaitl are just a few of the big names out with concussions. Here’s hoping they can all return healthy. The good thing is concussions don’t seem to happen very often in the NHL. Usually it’s hits into the boards for players. Although Draisaitl was hit with a stick to the head. But I really worry about the goalies moving forward. Bodies and pucks to the heads are not good. I stopped playing goalie because of pucks to the head and neck issues. The NHL needs to look into even better helmets for goalies.

3. I worry about the Oilers for a lot of reasons. And it’s not just because Draisaitl is out. I picked the Oilers to win it all and, right now, that doesn’t seem likely. It could still happen but it looks like the Maple Leafs, Lightning and the Kings are the early favorites. The Oilers have Connor McDavid and that’s great. That also have Draisaitl, when he’s healthy, which is also great. But they need to get help from others. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hasn’t lived up to his potential yet. Patrick Maroon seems unlikely to duplicate his strong play from last season. Milan Lucic has been a huge bust so far. Zack Kassian needs to try and play like he did in the playoffs more often. The defense is still young and a work in progress. Last year everything seemed to click. This year it’s not. That’s a problem for a young team and a coach, Todd McLellan, who never seems to get the most out of the talent he has. It’s too early to hit the panic button but it might not be in a few weeks.

Fights of the Week

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

Derek Dorsett vs Mark Borowiecki

Only five fights this weeks so this was the only one to make the cut. It was one of those great fights that happens after a questionable hit. I just wish it was longer.

Goat of the Week

Ryan McDonagh – New York Rangers

Another team playing the Penguins makes this section. The Rangers thought they had a win but they made some mistakes that cost them it. Sidney Crosby creates a goal out of nothing late in the third period to force overtime. And then after a face-off win. from behind his own net, McDonagh just passes it right to Phil Kessel in front of the net. Kessel bats it to Evgeni Malkin and there’s the game.

Stat Line of the Week

10/19/17 New Jersey 5 vs. Ottawa 4

Skater

TOI

G

A

+/-

SOG

Hits

N. Hischier

18:20

2

1

1

2

1

Rookie Nico Hischier scored the first two goals of his NHL career on two shots against the Senators. He then assisted on the game winner in overtime. Not a bad game for the number one overall pick. He now has seven points in eight games and the Devils keep right on rolling.

Numbers, Numbers

200 – Career goals for the Blake Wheeler of the Jets
3 – Overtime/shootout losses for the Senators already
27 – Differential between the Penguins 4th place in goals for and 31st place in goals against
2 – Shorthanded goals for Evander Kane, 1st in the NHL

This Week in Hockey History

Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.

October 16, 1996 Philadelphia’s Pat Falloon recorded his 100th career NHL goal and added an assist in 4-3 victory at Anaheim.

October 17, 1992 Washington’s Dale Hunter scored the 250th goal of his NHL career, and Mike Ridley had a goal and three assists in the Capitals’ 6-4 win over the visiting Buffalo Sabres.

October 18, 1989 Brett Hull scored a hat trick and added two assists to lead the Blues to a 9-3 win at Pittsburgh. It was Hull’s first hat trick as a member of the Blues, the second of his career, and the first of five hat tricks in the 1989-90 season for Hull.

October 19, 1974 Mickey Redmond scored his 4th career hat trick as the Red Wings beat Washington 6-4, at the Olympia in Detroit. It was the first game ever between the Wings and Caps.

October 20, 1993 Rookie goaltender Martin Brodeur recorded his first career NHL shutout to lead the Devils to a 4-0 win over the Mighty Ducks in New Jersey.

October 21, 1984 Marcel Dionne became the 7th player in NHL history to score 800 assists, as the Kings lost 5-2 at Chicago.

October 22, 1957 Chicago rookie Bobby Hull scored his first career NHL goal in a 2-1 win over the visiting Boston Bruins.

Rankings

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

Top 5
1. Los Angeles
2.Tampa Bay
3. Toronto
4. New Jersey
5. Vegas

Bottom 5
30. Arizona
29. Montreal
28. NY Rangers
27. Buffalo
26. Edmonton

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 2017-18 Recap Week 2 – Kings on the rebound, Stamkos and Kucherov start hot, Canadiens and Oilers strugglehttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/anze-kopitar-willie-oree-puck-drop-1024x557.jpghttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/anze-kopitar-willie-oree-puck-drop-300x300.jpgAlex MuellerWeekly Recaps
Surprise, surprise but the Los Angeles Kings are the only team without a regulation loss. And that's a pretty big deal for several reason. The first one being you can see what a difference a healthy Jonathan Quick makes to the Kings. Quick looks great and is putting up...