NHL 2019-20 Recap Week 4 – A week of high scoring comebacks, Islanders and Canucks on a roll, Oilers still lack balance
We had a lot of really exciting NHL games this past week. Dallas Stars vs Colorado Avalanche featured two teams currently going in opposite directions. The Stars played one of their most complete games of the season were Roope Hintz, their leading scorer, was the star of the show. He scored both goals and one short handed. Philipp Grubauer played great in net in the loss. This big win followed the Stars epic comeback win against the Wild. They were flat out balling in the third period. They finally played with aggression and passion and it paid off. They scored six unanswered goals in the game with five in the third period.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Edmonton Oilers featured the two best players in the NHL but Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby tend to never score in these games and they didn’t here either. But it sure was entertaining anyway. Their overtime period was one of the most thrilling you’ll ever see. Pure end to end action. New Oiler Mike Smith was stellar in goal making 51 saves. He’s been surprisingly good for them this season. Colby Cave scored a really pretty goal for the Oilers. He might be a late bloomer so keep an eye out for him. Then Leon Draisaitl did his thing in overtime. More on him and the Oilers below.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs New Jersey Devils was a 7-6 scoring track meet that the Lightning won. After being down 5-3 in the third period, the Lightning scored three unanswered goals to take a 6-5 lead into the final minute. The Devils scored with eight seconds left to force overtime and secure a consolation point. Tyler Johnson scored the game-winner.
Calgary Flames vs Nashville Predators was another high scoring affair. The Flames were down 4-1 and they also came back in the third period, since that’s what you do in the NHL now, and scored four goals to force overtime. Matthew Tkachuk scored the game-winner with just two seconds left with a really pretty goal from a puck that bounced off a Predator.
Montreal Canadiens vs Vegas Golden Knights was tied 2-2 in the third period. The Golden Knights scored two quick goalies and were seemingly on their way to a win. But the Canadiens scored a bunch of weird goals to close out the game. The first one in the third period went off a Canadiens chest and the second one went off the skate of a Golden Knight. The Canadiens scored quickly in overtime when Max Domi netted the game-winner when Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t know where the rebound was.
Things I like
1. The Islanders, winners of nine straight, are the hottest team in the NHL. Although the Bruins might like a word with that. They’re winning high scoring games, low scoring games and one goal games. Thomas Greiss has picked up right were he left off last season. And even Semyon Varlamov is better now. The Islanders don’t score many goals but they scored 18 of them in a four game span. Just like last season, the Islanders are getting a total team effort in their winning streak. Nine players have at least six points. Even career journeyman Derick Brassard has a five game goal streak. Of course what matters is how they do in the playoffs. And they seem like they are going to suffer the same fate this time.
2. The Canucks are also on a bit of a roll lately. They’ve scored five goals or more in five of their last six games. Brock Boeser notched a hat trick against the Kings and six players have at least ten points. Elias Pettersson is starting to heat up with 14 points in his last seven games.The Canucks are top ten in scoring, goals against, penalty kill and power play. Thatcher Demko has played pretty well in what will end up being his rookie season. If the young Canucks can put it all together, they will be quite scary.
Things I don’t
1. The Oilers have the same exact problem they had last year. No scoring depth. It’s basically Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, James Neal and that’s it. They’ve scored 30 of their 43 goals or 69% of them. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hasn’t really ignited yet. There’s nothing wrong with your top players being your top players but there is something wrong with have a massive drop-off after them. Their defense is definitely better but their other problem is how they win games. A majority of their games are won by McDavid or Draisaitl doing something amazing at the end of the game or overtime. Hard to imagine they only have two overtime wins like that this season. It seems like more. If they make it to the playoffs, they aren’t going to be able to win like that.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Patrick Maroon vs Micheal Haley
A pretty decent and close fight especially considering Maroon’s size advantage.
Barclay Goodrow vs Brett Ritchie
Not a bad one but Ritchie got the better of him and his helmet.
Goat of the Week
Sean Couturier – Philadelphia Flyers
Up one in the third period, Couturier spins around at center ice and hits his teammate in the skate. Mitch Marner takes it the other way for the game-tying goal. The Maple Leafs won in the shootout.
Stat Line of the Week
10/29/19 Washington 4 vs Toronto 3
Alex Ovechkin did what he does best against the Maple Leafs. Take shots and score points. Ovechkin took a whopping ten shots and figured into all of the Capitals goals including the game-tying goal and the game-winner in overtime. This was made much easier for him because the Maple Leafs stupidly took back to back penalties in overtime. Not to be outdone, Auston Matthews had two goals and an assist. What made this game even more intriguing was Ovechkin saying the Maple Leafs would need to play different if they want to win the Stanley Cup before it. I guess they didn’t listen.
500 – Career NHL points for Max Pacioretty
4 – Game losing streak for the Avalanche after starting basically undefeated
13 – Game point streak for Nathan MacKinnon snapped
11 – Game point streak for David Pastrnak currently
1 – Career NHL hat trick by 13th overall pick in 2014 Jakub Vrana, the first of his career
8 – Washington Capitals in double digits in scoring
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
October 28, 1993 Toronto Maple Leafs extended their NHL record to ten straight wins from the start of the season, with a 4-2 win over the Blackhawks at Chicago.
October 29, 1957 Chicago goalie Glenn Hall recorded his second consecutive shutout (for the 20th of his career) as the Black Hawks won 1-0 over the visiting Detroit Red Wings.
October 30, 2003 Rookie Marc-Andre Fleury recorded his first career shutout in his first road start, and rookie Konstantin Kolstov scored his first NHL goal in the Penguins 1-0 win over the Blackhawks at Chicago.
October 31, 1996 Toronto’s Doug Gilmour scored his 350th career goal and Mats Sundin had the 200th of his career when the Maple Leafs won 5-3 over the Islanders, at Long Island.
November 01, 1984 Mike Bossy scored four times to extend his team-record goal scoring streak to 10 games in the New York Islanders’ 6-5 loss at Montreal. Bossy scored 17 goals during the 10 game streak, tying his own team record set in 1978-79.
November 02, 1995 John MacLean became the first player to score 600 points as a member of the New Jersey Devils. The milestone came in a 3-3 tie at San Jose.
November 03, 1999 Toronto’s Mats Sundin scored his 300th career NHL goal and picked up an assist and Curtis Joseph recorded his 25th career shutout in the Maple Leafs 6-0 win against the Hurricanes, at North Carolina.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
2. NY Islanders
4. St. Louis
30. San Jose
27. Los Angeles