NHL 2019-20 Recap Week 11 – Taylor Hall gets traded again, Parity in Atlantic and Pacific Divisions, Matthews and Tavares need to play better
The big news this week was the trade for Taylor Hall. The New Jersey Devils certainly got a lot more for him than what they gave up to get him. But it’s still a terrible trade for them. This season is clearly a bust but next season may not be. You have two win now players in P.K. Subban and Wayne Simmonds who are probably now thinking what am I doing here. Their biggest problem is they need to get Jack Hughes to the level he needs to be at. But it’s not something that can be rushed. I have a feeling he’s going to work really hard this summer and will play at a much higher level. But one thing that will help his development is playing with a top winger. Someone like Taylor Hall. The Devils should have just ate this season and waited to see how next season unfolded.
Let’s dissect what they received. Kevin Bahl, Nick Merkley, Nate Schnarr, the Arizona Coyotes first-round pick in 2020 and their third-round pick in 2021. The first round pick is nice but it won’t be very high since they will make the playoffs. The third-round pick is where it gets interesting. If Hall resigns or the Coyotes win a playoff series, it becomes a second-round pick. If both happen, it becomes a first-round pick. That’s not bad. It still won’t be very high but it’s good nonetheless. None of those prospects are any of the Coyotes top prospects. But they all have potential. Receiving five things in return, increases the possibility of getting equal value for Hall. The guy they said they were going to make the centerpiece of their franchise when they acquired him three and a half years ago.
As for the Coyotes, this gives them some very much needed scoring depth. And they don’t end up giving too much unless it all works out for them, in which case it doesn’t matter. And Hall does have some playoff experience, even if it’s not very much.
Things I like
1. This season has been one of the better ones mostly due to the parity. You’re always going to have your Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals but it’s extremely tight everywhere else. The Boston Bruins had what appeared to be a stranglehold on the Atlantic Division but they’ve now had five close losses in their last six games. The Toronto Maple Leafs (more on them below) are playing much better. They’ve won six of seven and have outscored their opponents 30 to 15 over that span. Subsequently, they now find themselves in a playoff spot. Five Atlantic teams are within four points of each other. The Pacific leading Coyotes are only two points up. The top four Pacific teams are all within three points of each other. The Los Angeles Kings are only six points out of ninth place in the conference. These two divisions will be very intriguing over the next couple of months.
Things I don’t
1. The Toronto Maple Leafs are still playing their up and down brand of hockey. Teams can only go as far as their best players can take them. And right now John Tavares and Auston Matthews aren’t helping. Against the Buffalo Sabres Auston Matthews made two really crappy clearing attempts from in a row that essentially gave the puck right to the Sabres both times. The second time they scored a goal after Frederik Andersen lost sight of the puck. This cut the deficit to one. Tavares blocks out his man but he gave Kyle Okposo a wide open net which he didn’t miss. It’s nice that you blocked out your guy but what difference does that make in this case. He would have been better off trying to block the shot. Sure they won and Matthews scored two goals in this game but these are the kinds of things you can’t do in the playoffs.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Dennis Gilbert vs Gabriel Landeskog
A bit of a mess but still a decent fight. Bonus: puppy clip at the beginning.
Nicolas Deslauriers vs Chris Stewart
A pretty decent back and forth that starts slow.
Goat of the Week
Nikita Kucherov – Tampa Bay Lightning
There wasn’t any turnovers in a one goal game that led to that team losing this week. But there was this play that almost led to the Lightning losing. Kucherov tries to skate through the Senators but ends up losing the puck to Anthony Duclair who took it the other way for the goal. The Lightning were also badly spaced on this power-play which didn’t help matters.
However, this play did enable us to get a great coast to coast overtime winner from Anthony Cirelli. The Senators really should have done a better job of cutting him off.
Stat Line of the Week
12/19/19 Minnesota 8 vs Arizona 5
I bet you didn’t know Eric Staal was still in the NHL. Because I didn’t. But Staal just recently passed the 1000 career point mark. He added a goal, two assists, two blocked shots and a takeaway in the Wild’s wild 8 to 5 win. This was the last game in his five game scoring streak. In his 16th season, Staal has only averaged a point per game or higher in four seasons. He has a ways to go to accomplish that this season. This was Taylor Hall’s second game as a Coyote. He assisted on the first goal by Phil Kessel. He has a three game points streak as a Coyote.
900 – Career NHL points for Nicklas Backstrom
400 – Career NHL goals for Evgeni Malkin
7 – Unanswered goals by the Nashville Predators in their 8-3 win over the Islanders
18 – Game points streak for Jack Eichel, he missed one game due to injury
10 – Points in his last five games for Patrick Kane
2 – Clayton Keller goals both assisted by Nick Schmaltz and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (in that order) scored in 3:18 against the Red Wings
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
December 16, 1990 Buffalo’s Pierre Turgeon scored his 100th career NHL goal as the Sabres lost 5-3 to the visiting St. Louis Blues.
December 17, 1999 Raymond Bourque became just the third player in NHL history to score 1,100 assists, and Byron Dafoe recorded his 100th NHL victory in Boston’s 3-1 win over the Thrashers, at Atlanta.
December 18, 2001 Mark Recchi scored his 400th career NHL goal in the Flyers 6-3 win against the visiting St. Louis Blues. The loss came in the Blues’ 3,000th all-time NHL game.
December 19, 1933 Boston goalie Tiny Thompson made 34 saves for his 41st career shutout, and Bob Gracie scored at 6:24 of overtime for a 1-0 win over the Montreal Maroons. All proceeds of the game ($6,741 ) were donated to injured player Ace Bailey’s wife.
December 20, 1950 Toronto’s Turk Broda became the first goaltender in NHL history to record 300 career victories. The milestone came in a Maple Leafs’ 6-1 win over the Canadiens.
December 21, 1987 Maple Leafs’ goaltender Allan Bester and North Stars’ goaltender Kari Takko recorded shutouts as Minnesota tied 0-0 at Toronto. It was the only shutout of Takko’s NHL career and the 5th career shutout for Bester.
December 22, 1920 Hamilton became the 1st (and only) NHL team to post a shutout in it’s debut, when the Tigers (relocated from Quebec City) beat the visiting Montreal Canadiens 5-0. Babe Dye scored twice and Howie Lockhart recorded the only shutout of his career.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
3. St. Louis
29. New Jersey
28. San Jose
26. NY Rangers