NHL 2018-19 Recap Week 6 – NHL parity is real, Joe Thornton notches 400, The Wild might be good, William Nylander keeps holding out
As we inch closer to Thanksgiving and a quarter of the way done the season, one thing is for sure in the NHL there are no bad teams. The teams that were supposed to be bad and started out that way (Detroit, Arizona to name a few) are no longer bad. They aren’t playoff teams but they can certainly beat you on a given night. Basically parity has reached fevered pitch in the NHL. Friday night is a good example of that. Five of the six games went to overtime or the shootout. Proving that parity is real but it’s also another reason why the standings are so bunched up. It’s all those three point games.
The Penguins continued their slide to the bottom but it’s not as bleak as it seems. Only a few wins puts them ahead of several teams. I also think it’s far too early for them to panic, even with Sidney Crosby injured. They only sit nine points out of first place. Twelve points is the biggest point differential from worst to first in any division and it occurs three times. And in those cases, the top team has played a couple of more games than the team at the bottom. This is probably one the few seasons where there are no playoff guarantees. I just hope it’s this competitive in the playoffs.
Things I like
1.Before their two game losing streak, the Wild had been one of the biggest surprises this season. They always had enough talent to make the playoffs but not enough talent to do anything in them. But now they only sit behind the Nashville Predators in the central. Mikael Granlund seems to finally becoming the star he was destined to be. He might finally be able to notch 40 goals and a point per game average this season. Zach Parise has finally returned from that cliff he fell off of three years ago. The Wild also have a very deep team and Devan Dubnyk is still a rock of consistency. Despite how good they look now, I feel like we all now how this will end. They haven’t really add any new significant pieces and they are still coached by Bruce Boudreau. Unless the team or the coach changes their ways, it’ll be more of the same come playoff time.
2.Joe Thornton has been many things over his long career. Most value player to scapegoat and everything in between. Now he can add becoming a member of the 400 NHL goal scoring club. Thornton is definitely older and playing a reduced role on the Sharks but you wouldn’t know with the way he broke away for his 400th goal. The goal also happened to be the game winner against the Predators and it was a big win for the Sharks. Thornton also recently passed 1500 games played, placing him 19th overall. He might end up in 12th place when the season is over. Thornton may never win a Stanley Cup but at least he got to play in one and have a long and compelling hall of fame career.
Things I don’t
1.The William Nylander holdout is becoming ridiculous. The Maple Leafs have shown they can win without them but it’s a shame this has dragged out so long and now he isn’t a part of the Maple Leafs resurgence and worse he might be traded. I realize he wants a long term deal and he wants to get paid but he isn’t the only one. Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are right behind him. At some point someone will need to swallow their pride and take a pay cut. He might as well be the first or he won’t be in Toronto.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Josh Anderson vs Jamie Benn
A really good back and forth fight. For a guy who won a scoring title, Benn sure likes to fight.
Darnell Nurse vs Sam Bennett
Not a lot connected but it was still fun to watch.
Goat of the Week
Richard Bachman – Vancouver Canucks
There weren’t any great ones this week in a close game so we’ll just show you this horribly bad goal. Remember young goalies, never play the puck. Just stay in your net.
Stat Line of the Week
11/15/18 Tampa Bay 4 vs Pittsburgh 3
Brayden Point had one of those games on Thursday. He’s also having a pretty good week. Point scored a natural hat trick in about 90 seconds, spanning two periods, against the Penguins and all three were power play goals. He followed that up with two goals in his next game against the Flyer. Point currently has 14 goals and is on pace for 56.
10– Coyote short handed goals, way more than anyone else
900 – Career NHL points for Jason Spezza, admit it you thought he was retired
19 – Shot advantage for the Flyers (45) over the Lightning (26) in their 6-5 overtime loss
1 – Road loss for the Maple Leafs, better than playing at home in the pressure cooker
-22 – For the Los Angeles Kings, not really how I pictured this season going and I’m sure they didn’t either
1 – Goal by Erik Karlsson in a Sharks uniform, it only took 21 games
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
November 12, 1978 Goaltender Bernie Parent recorded his 52nd career shutout in the Flyers’ 4-0 win over the Canucks at Vancouver. Parent made just 14 saves to get the win.
November 13, 2000 Jaromir Jagr scored twice to reach the 400 NHL goal plateau in the Penguins 3-2 loss in overtime at Colorado. Jagr became just the second player in Penguins history to score 400 goals.
November 14, 1997 Martin Brodeur made 20 saves to record his 9th consecutive victory (breaking the club record set by Chris Terreri in 1991-92) as the Devils won 4-1 over the visiting Colorado Avalanche. .
November 15, 1996 Dallas goalie Andy Moog passed Gump Worsley for 6th on the NHL’s all-time win list with his 336th victory as the Stars won 4-3 over the visiting Mighty Ducks.
November 16, 1990 Brian Leetch had five assists, to tie the Rangers’ team record for defensemen, and Darren Turcotte scored twice in :31 to lead the Rangers to a 6-4 win against the Jets, at Winnipeg.
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, 2000 Ottawa’s Marian Hossa scored his first career hat trick, including two shorthanded and one on a power play and added an assist as the Senators won 5-2 against the visiting Florida Panthers.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
3. Tampa Bay
27. 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.