The Montreal Canadiens are perpetually in the hot seat. Being in a top market in Canada will do that to you. Being the most successful NHL franchise ever also adds fuel to the fire. A lot of people wrote them off a few weeks ago, me being one of them. However, unlike most people, I’m not ready to jump on their bandwagon just yet. A five game win streak is always good but teams get streaky during the course of the season. It’s probably not a coincidence that Carey Price just came back and helped to win all these games either. But beating the Sabres isn’t impressive beating the Blue Jackets and Senators is a little better. However, what the did against the Red Wings is impressive.

First a 6-3 win and then a 10-1 domination. 16 goals in two games is impressive for a team that will never be mistaken for an offensive juggernaut. Anytime you can have fourteen guys record at least one point it’s special. But one reason it’s not impressive is because both games weren’t against one team and the Red Wings aren’t that great this season. Keep in mind they did score five plus goals back to back in October and then they crashed and burned shortly thereafter. Jonathan Drouin is still not scoring and now his is injured. Alex Galchenyuk is getting hot but he’s still far away from getting 30 goals in a season. Something a 3rd overall pick should do. They don’t have anyone on the team averaging a point a game but the do have ten players in double digits in points. But I’m not sold on the Canadiens. Playing in the worst division, more on that below, also helps their cause.

Things I like

1. The much maligned Edmonton Oilers have some more adversity to overcome when they lost their starting goalie, Cam Talbot, for about two weeks. Something that’s a real problem because he basically plays every game for them. But in the long run, being forced to play without him will be a good thing for the team. What was also good for them was jumping out to a 6-1 lead against their arch-rival, the Calgary Flames, to only see the lead evaporate to 6-5. But they stayed poised and even got a bounce to go their way for once as the Flames scored a goal on themselves, with an assist from the Oilers pressure. This was a big win because the team didn’t fold like they did against the Ducks in the playoffs. Considering they have been very uneven so far this season, this might be the kind of game they needed to springboard them.

2. Radek Faksa has been on a roll as of late. He has five goals and seven points in his last four games. Faksa is in his third NHL season and second full season. It’s good to see him playing better but he still has a ways to go to as a former first round pick. But if he can continue his play, he gives the Dallas Stars some very much needed scoring depth.

3. Alex DeBrincat, stands at just 5′ 7”, but he’s having a great rookie season anyway. DeBrincat picked up his first career hat trick on Monday against the Ducks and he now has 11 goals on the season and is second on the team in points. He and Nick Schmaltz, fourth on the team in scoring, have been two of the biggest surprises so far this season for the Blackhawks. They really needed them to as their core continues to age.

Things I don’t

1. Who is the worst division is hockey? Why it’s the Atlantic. Only two teams have a positive goal differential, Tampa Bay and Toronto. The rest all have a negative goal differential and if you add it up, it makes a whopping -89. Yikes. It’s safe to say, even this early, the Atlantic will only send three teams to the playoffs. That third team will either be Montreal or Boston.

Fights of the Week

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

Kevan Miller vs Wayne Simmonds

A decent back and forth fight.

Josh Manson vs Cody McLeod

Just a couple of big boys going at it.

Goats of the Week

Kris Russell – Edmonton Oilers

Russell makes one of the biggest blunders ever, attempting to, I guess, clear the puck into the boards behind the net and instead scores into his own goal to give the Maple Leafs the win. The only thing worse than this was Patrik Laine’s own goal last season. Coach McLellan tries to defend him by saying mistakes happen and clearly you never played competitive sports if you are criticizing him. Well I played ice hockey but I played goalie so that’s different. I was a defenseman in floor hockey and I made mistakes but I never shot the puck into my own net. Just saying.

Vladimir Tarasenko – St. Louis Blues

The Wild somehow turned a two on three into a two on zero courtesy of the Blues mindbogglingly bad defense. Special credit goes to Tarasenko for playing the puck instead of his man.

Stat Line of the Week

11/27/17 Pittsburgh 5 vs. Philadelphia 4

Skater

TOI

G

A

+/-

SOG

GWG

S. Crosby

25:38

1

2

2

5

1

There’s a guy named Sidney Crosby and he might be pretty good. Crosby is in the midst of a really good stretch. In this game, he had an assist on the game tying goal and then he had the game winning goal in overtime against the Flyers. Crosby is currently on a six game scoring streak with 13 points during that span.

Numbers, Numbers

1001 – Career points for Daniel Sedin
10 – Game losing streak for the Philadelphia Flyers
.944 – SV% for Darcy Kuemper who is leading the NHL in SV% and GAA in limited duty
7 – Points in back to back games for Blake Wheeler

This Week in Hockey History

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

November 27, 1965 Glenn Hall made 47 saves to earn his 65th career shutout in the Black Hawks’ 1-0 win, in an afternoon game at New York.

November 28, 1957 Gordie Howe picked up an assist during Detroit’s 3-3 tie against Toronto to become the NHL’s all time assist leader, with #409 of his career. He broke the record set by Montreal’s Elmer Lach.

November 29, 1993 Dominik Hasek recorded his second career NHL shutout (his first with Buffalo) as the Sabres extended their road undefeated streak in Toronto to 7 straight games (6-0-1) with a 3-0 win over the Maple Leafs.

November 30, 1958 Montreal’s Bernie Geoffrion scored his 7th career hat trick and an assist, and Dickie Moore added two goals and three assists when the Canadiens won 7-0, at Detroit. Jacques Plante earned his 38th career shutout for the Habs.

December 01, 1996 Brian Leetch scored a goal and an assist for his 600th career NHL point in the Rangers’ 6-2 win over the Canadiens, at MSG.

December 02, 2003 Mats Sundin became the Toronto Maple Leafs all-time leader in game winning goals, when his 64th with the Leafs gave the team a 5-4 win over the New York Rangers. He broke the mark of 63 set by Dave Keon.

December 03, 1999 Ottawa’s Kevin Dineen picked up a misconduct penalty to become the fifth player in league history to get 300 goals and 2,000 penalty minutes in his NHL career. The milestone came during a 7-4 Senators loss at New Jersey.

Rankings

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

Top 5

1. Montreal
2. Columbus
3. Dallas
4. Pittsburgh
5. Winnipeg

Bottom 5

30. Buffalo
29. Philadelphia
28. Detroit
27. Ottawa
26. St. Louis

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 8 – Canadiens and Crosby have a good week, Oilers grow, Faksa and DeBrincat arrivehttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/oilers-own-goal-1024x557.jpghttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/oilers-own-goal-300x300.jpgAlex MuellerWeekly Recaps
The Montreal Canadiens are perpetually in the hot seat. Being in a top market in Canada will do that to you. Being the most successful NHL franchise ever also adds fuel to the fire. A lot of people wrote them off a few weeks ago, me being one of...