NHL 2017-18 Recap Week 6 – William Karlsson and Anton Khudobin find homes, Winnipeg Jets on a roll, Chicago Blackhawks in the Winter Classic again
Some quick snippets from this past week of NHL action, as we have now reached the quarter point of the season.
The Blackhawks are now officially Corey Crawford’s team. Without him, they would be even worse off than they are. This is his been his best season thus far in the NHL. The Vezina should come down to either him, Martin Jones or Sergei Bobrovsky.
There’s nothing worse than laying a complete egg at home on a Saturday night against your archival. But the Canadiens managed to do it against the Maple Leafs. Charlie Lindgren did his best but there’s only so much a goalie can do. I’ve been saying what they have in Montreal hasn’t been working for a long time. Now they’ve managed to zap Jonathan Drouin’s goal scoring capabilities too. This was going to be his breakout season with over 30 goals and now he’ll be lucky to get a dozen.
Break up the Phoenix Coyotes. They got their first regulation win against the Canadiens and then followed it up with another win against the Senators, although in overtime. While it’s nice to see them winning, one more high draft pick will be more beneficial than a few wins right now in the long run.
It’s probably safe to say the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs are the best two teams in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, neither the Metropolitan or the Central division have any teams below .500. I don’t think there’s a clear favorite in the Western Conference yet.
The Edmonton Oilers are probably the most inconsistent team. Score six goals, then score none the next game. Score eight goals, then score one the next game. And how can a team with Connor McDavid on it be 28th in the NHL in goals scored?
Things I like
1. How about those Winnipeg Jets? They are one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now. Blake Wheeler is his consistent self and Patrick Laine and Mark Scheifele are picking up where they left off last season. Dustin Byfuglien contributes his all around game from the backend. Although he has yet to score a goal. But there isn’t much depth behind them. Nikolaj Ehlers and Kyle Connor do provide some secondary scoring but that’s about it. But if this teams hopes to do anything in the playoffs, they will need to have players step up or acquire some help from elsewhere. On the positive side, it looks like they have found their goalie in Connor Hellebuyck.
2. William Karlsson has played on three teams since he was drafted in the 2nd round in 2011. He didn’t fit in on the first two but he’s found a nice home with the Golden Knights. Karlsson already has nine goals, which matches his previous high for a whole season. In his last four games he has six points too. I think there’s a good chance Karlsson develops into a point per game player.
3. Speaking of players than have bounced around, Anton Khudobin has re-energized the Boston Bruins. Khudobin was drafted way back in 2004 and has played on four teams and is currently in his second stint in Boston. He is 5-0-2 with a .935 SV% and a 2.17 GAA this season. He’s facing over 30 shots a game on average too. For now, Tuukka Rask is sitting on the bench. But you have to imagine this run will go south at some point.
Things I don’t
1. I’m not really happy the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins are going to play in another Winter Classic. On paper it looks like a good match-up and the fact that it will be in Notre Dame stadium makes it look even better. I’m also sure it’ll be a great game. But the Blackhawks again? This will be the 4th overall time for the Blackhawks. And if it feels like they have been in every other one, it’s because they literally have. This will be their third appearance in the last five years. Come on NHL, pick a new team. The Vegas Golden Knights playing as an away team in one would be really cool to see.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Calgary Flames vs Detroit Red Wings
After the first minute or two, you can see both teams fight each other at the benches, goalies too.
Derek Dorsett vs Andy Andreoff
Really great fight here.
Goats of the Week
Justin Falk – Buffalo Sbabres
You can’t really fault Falk here to much because the puck takes a funny bounce but you have to know the situation better and get your body in front of it. Sebastian Aho capitalizes on it for the game winner. The Hurricanes added an empty netter later.
Jonathan Quick – Los Angeles Kings
Just another reason why goalies shouldn’t leave the net. At this point it was now 3-0 Golden Knights. But the Kings scored two to cut the deficit before the Knights added an empty netter. If only this hadn’t happened.
Stat Line of the Week
11/18/17 Arizona 3 vs. Ottawa 2
Anthony Duclair scored all three Coyote goals in their big overtime win over the Senators. Duclair hasn’t really been known for his offensive prowess. But if he can keep this up,he’ll give the Coyotes some much needed scoring depth.
9 – Game point streak for Johnny Gaudreau, who has 17 points during it
2 – San Jose Sharks goalies with a SV% over .923 and a GAA under 2.14
19 – Points combined by Hurricanes teammates Sebastian Aho (9) and Teuvo Teravainen (10) the last four games.
26 – Points for Brayden Schenn, fifth overall in scoring and the first time he’s been above a point per game
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
November 13, 1998 Joe Sakic scored a goal and added four assists, including the 900th point of his NHL career as the Avalanche won 8-1 over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.
November 14, 1989 Larry Robinson had two assists in the first period of Kings’ 8-6 win over Calgary to move past Brad Park (896) into third place on the NHL’s all time point scoring list among defensemen. Only Denis Potvin and Bobby Orr were still ahead.
November 15, 1979 Los Angeles Kings tied the Penguins 3-3 at the Forum. It was the 56th straight game of the Triple Crown Line’s point scoring streak — this time they combined for five points.
November 16, 1977 Montreal’s Ken Dryden became the third goaltender in franchise history to record 200 victories as a member of the Canadiens. The milestone came in a 4-1 win over the Rockies at Colorado. Dryden became the 21st NHL goaltender to get 200 wins.
November 17, 1988 Vancouver rookie Trevor Linden scored his first NHL hat trick, and added an assist, in a 7-6 Canucks loss to the North Stars at Minnesota. Defenseman Harold Snepsts became only the second Vancouver player to appear in 700 games.
November 18, 1987 Doug Wilson became the first defenseman in Chicago Blackhawks history to score 600 career points, in a 5-2 win over the visiting Minnesota North Stars.
November 19, 2002 Ed Belfour recorded his 60th career shutout in the Maple Leafs 2-0 win against the visiting Boston Bruins.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
3. Tampa Bay
4. St. Louis
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.