NHL 2017-18 Recap Week 14 – All-Star rosters announced, Flames red hot, NHL mandatory breaks hypocritical
The NHL released the All-Star game rosters this week and I can’t wait for the games. As usual there’s always a few headscratchers. Jakub Voracek Is third in the NHL in scoring but apparently that isn’t good enough to make the cut. I realize his teammate, Claude Giroux, is second and made it but the Islanders sent both John Tavares and Josh Bailey and they are both lower in scoring. So I’d love to know what the rationale there is. Sidney Crosby also gets in over Evgeni Malki and Phil Kessel something I’m not a fan of. I know it’s Crosby but Malkin should have gotten in. So there’s another case that makes you wonder why two Islanders forwards got in. Jonathan Huberdeau has a case for going in over Aleksander Barkov too.
For the goalies, it sucks that Corey Crawford is injured and won’t be able to play because he earned it. Sergei Bobrovsky deserves it over Braden Holtby too. Tuukka Rask deserves it over Carey Price too but the Canadiens need an all-star. That’s the only thing I don’t like about the All-Star weekend is the notion that every team deserves to have a representative. I don’t think so. You should earn it. If you have no good players than too bad. Anyway, its nice to see players like Jack Eichel, Rickard Rakell and Blake Wheeler making their first All-Star appearances. Looking forward to the skills competition and games.
Things I like
1. The hottest team in the NHL is once again the Calgary Flames. Winners of seven in a row, the Flames have played themselves into the third spot in the Pacific division. Coincidentally, Johnny Gaudreau has a seven game scoring streak going where he’s racked up 13 points. He’s on pace to tie his career high in goals and set career highs in assists and points. He hasn’t been the only Flame on fire. Micheal Ferland has nine points in his last six games, Sean Monahan has ten points in his last seven games and Matthew Tkachuk has nine points in his last seven games. They even beat the Lightning 5-1 during their streak. Having said all that, I still can’t help but think another first round exit is in their future.
Things I don’t
1. While the players are a fan of the new mandatory five day breaks, I’m not. Since most of the breaks coincide with each other it leaves only one, two or three games on some nights. But more importantly, it’s a slap in the face to all the players who wanted to participate in the Olympics. Two more days and it’s a week off. Just add one more week and then everyone can have a large break and play in the Olympics. You can still even have the All-Star game. It’s literally only a week difference between Olympics and no Olympics. It’s definitely not the big deal the NHL made it to be.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Kevin Bieksa vs Andy Andreoff
A pretty decent back and forth fight.
Goats of the Week
Noah Hanifin – Carolina Hurricanes
With about three minutes left in the game, the Hurricanes had a one goal lead. But then Noah Hanifin passes up the middle which the Capitals capitalize on. While there were plenty of Hurricanes in the area, none of them were really open and it the pass wasn’t anywhere near any of them. After tying the game, the Capitals scored with literally a half of second left on the clock to win the game. Talk about a heart breaker.
Jonathan Quick – Los Angeles Kings
Jonathan Quick goes behind the net to… well I don’t know what he was doing. Stay in the net Quick. Ondrej Kase scores what ended up being the game winner. The Ducks added an empty netter later.
Stat Line of the Week
1/09/18 Tampa Bay 5 vs. Carolina 4
Tyler Johnson has been streaking as of late. Against the Hurricanes he had a hat trick and scored the game winning goal. The game winning goal was quite nifty as he out skated a Hurricane defender for the puck and then batted in his own rebound. Johnson has a four game point streak currently going.
200 – Career NHL points for Connor McDavid
-52 – Goal differential for the Sabres
-54 – Goal differential for the Coyotes
32 – Goal differential in the third period for the Los Angeles Kings, 1st in the NHL
5 – Points for rookie Matthew Barzal against the Rangers, his second five point game of the season
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
January 08, 1977 Gary Dornhoefer scored his 200th NHL goal to lead the Flyers to a 6-1 win against the Kings, at Spectrum.
January 09, 2002 Mike Modano scored twice, including a breakaway goal with the Stars two-men short-handed, and Ed Belfour set a franchise record with his 5th assist of the season, as Dallas won 3-2 against the Panthers at Florida.
January 10, 1960 Two and a half months after Jacques Plante made history by becoming the first NHL goalie to permanently wear a mask, Boston’s Don Simmons became the second to do so, as he led the Bruins to a 4-0 win (his 13th career shutout) over Toronto.
January 11, 1958 Montreal’s Marcel Bonin scored a hat trick and added an assist, and Dickie Moore had a goal and four assists as the Canadiens won 9-3 against the NY Rangers, at the Forum.
January 12, 1955 Toronto goalie Harry Lumley and Rangers’ Gump Worsley dueled to a 0-0 scoreless tie, in a game played at New York. It was the 60th career shutout for Lumley and the 4th for Worsley.
January 13, 1987 Washington’s Larry Murphy recorded his 300th career NHL assist as the Capitals lost 3-2 to the visiting Winnipeg Jets.
January 14, 1988 Denis Potvin became the first defenseman in NHL history (and the 66th player overall) to score 300 career goals, when he scored in the Islanders’ 8-5 win over the visiting Quebec Nordiques.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
26. New Jersey
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.