NHL 2019-20 Recap Week 9 – Devils fire their coach, Eichel continues to soar, Jarry and Penguins hot, Red Wings not
The New Jersey Devils fired their head coach and I can’t say I’m surprised. John Hynes had to develop recent top picks, integrate newly acquired key veterans and deal with sending his former top goalie to the AHL. It’s hard to imagine any coach succeeding under those circumstances. I wrote in my season preview that the Devils would have the biggest turn around unless something went really wrong. Well, it all went wrong.
I kind of love Joe Thornton’s sucker punch on Petr Mrazek. It serves him right for instigating a fight he was never going to partake in. The Carolina Hurricanes poked fun of Mrazek’s flop by sketching a outline of his body on the ice, like they do in crime scenes, at practice.
Jack Eichel continues his ascent to being one of the elite players in the NHL. Eichel is on a 13 game scoring streak where he’s racked up 23 points. He’s had a four point game and three three point games. He is now 7th in the NHL in scoring. He’s getting more accurate too. His shooting percentage has risen to 16.4 percent and this is his first season with a positive plus/minus. The Buffalo Sabres are currently in the last Atlantic division spot with three Atlantic teams literally right behind them.
Things I like
1. The Pittsburgh Penguins have been on a roll lately even without Sidney Crosby and all their other injured players. Most of this can be attributed to Tristan Jarry who is racking up saves, wins and back to back shutouts. Jarry has now surpassed Darcy Kuemper for the lead in GAA and SV%. This is just the latest in the Penguins very unique experience with goalies recently. They won a cup with Marc-Andre Fleury before he started to play badly and then they rode Matt Murray to two Stanley Cups. Fleury played will during their last Stanley Cup before he was traded. Now that Murray is struggling, in comes Jarry. It seems like they will win a Stanley Cup with Jarry. Before he inevitably struggles. In the meantime, they’ll continue their climb out of the wild card spot.
Things I don’t
1. The Detroit Red Wings are hitting rock bottom right now. After a brutal November, their December isn’t off to any better of a start. They aren’t just losing games either, they are getting dismantled. They’ve lost 11 in a row by an aggregate score of 49 to 20. They are last in goals for, goals against and penalty kill. To make matters worse, second leading scorer Anthony Mantha is now out for a few weeks. It might not be a total waste if they were developing players but they really aren’t. But they did just recall their first pick in the 2018 draft a few games ago and he has two assists. At least that’s something.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Nick Foligno vs Josh Brown
A long and decent back and forth. More strategic than most fights.
Dennis Gilbert vs Wayne Simmonds
This one took awhile to get going but it was pretty good once it did.
Goat of the Week
Morgan Rielly and Jason Spezza – Toronto Maple Leafs
If any one play sums up the Maple Leafs’ season thus far, this would be it. In a tie game in the 3rd period, in which they are playing well, the Maple Leafs are on a power play and of course Spezza breaks his stick. The puck goes back to the point and Spezza tries to help with his skate, since he has no stick, but he really just prevents Reilly from doing anything. Valeri Nichushkin takes it the other way for the game-winning short-handed goal. The Leafs prove once again how unlucky they are. The Maple Leafs have been playing better, even if it doesn’t look like it.
Stat Line of the Week
12/03/19 Vegas 4 vs New Jersey 3
Like the Vegas Golden Knights, Jonathan Marchessault has had an uneven season. After scoring 27 and 25 goals since coming to Vegas, Marchessault only had six goals coming into this game. But he scored a natural hat trick against the Devils to lift the Golden Knights to a big win and his season total to nine. It’s hard to imagine a win over the Devils as big these days but it was for the Golden Knights. That was their fourth win in a row after three losses. But they’ve loss two straight again. But they are now third in the Pacific.
200 – Career NHL goals for David Krejci
5 – Unanswered first period goals for the Sabres against the Devils
5 – Unanswered goals by the Flyers in the final nine and a half minutes of the game against the Maple Leafs
11 – Of the 12 teams that won on Saturday night scored at least four goals, all 12 scored at least three and five of the losing teams scored at least three goals
101 – Blocked shots for Oscar Klefbom, the first to get to the century mark
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
December 02, 1990 Vancouver’s Garth Butcher set a team record for defensemen with four assists, as the Canucks won 5-1 against the Jets, at Winnipeg.
December 03, 1983 Bobby Clarke became the second player in franchise history to score 350 goals as a member of the Flyers. The milestone came as Philadelphia won 6-3 at Pittsburgh.
December 04, 1999 The NHL had it’s busiest night in league history, with all 28 teams playing games.
December 05, 2000 Patrik Elias scored his first career hat trick and Jason Arnott had a goal and three assists as the Devils extended their unbeaten streak to 9 straight games (7-0-2) with a 6-1 win against the visiting Colorado Avalanche.
December 06, 1987 Washington’s Scott Stevens set a club record with five assists as the Capitals won 10-3 over the visiting Los Angeles Kings.
December 07, 1948 New York Rangers snapped a five game losing streak, with a 2-2 tie against the Bruins at MSG. Before the game NHL President Campbell presented Ranger Buddy O’Connor with both the Hart and Lady Byng trophies, for the 1947-48 season.
December 08, 1967 Two months into their first NHL season, the “California” Seals officially changed their name to the “Oakland” Seals.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
29. New Jersey
27. Los Angeles