NHL 2019-20 Recap Week 14 – Lightning rolling, Devils better after Hall trade, McDavid dazzles, Kassian and Tkachuk fight
There’s something happening right now the rest of the NHL probably wished wasn’t. The Tampa Bay Lightning are awakening. That’s bad news but it’s especially bad news for the Toronto Maple Leafs who may never make it out of the first round at this rate. The Lightning had won ten in a row, before losing to the New Jersey Devils, (more on them below) and they are doing it in spectacular fashion. Their drubbing of the Vancouver Canucks was something to behold. The Lightning beat the Canucks 9-2 and scored four goals in just under three minutes and they made it look too easy. They are one of only a few teams in the NHL that can do that. The Boston Bruins being the other one. The other thing the Lightning have right now is exceptional balance. Nobody has over 20 goals but four players have 17/18 goals. Four others have nine or more goals. Their balance should serve them well in the playoffs. The Lightning also top 10 in goals for, goals against, power play and penalty kill. The Bruins are the only other team with that distinction. It’s safe to say the Lightning have gotten over the playoff disappointment hangover.
Things I like
1. I still don’t like the Taylor Hall trade and I think the New Jersey Devils will regret it. But right now the Devils are playing pretty well and their younger players are getting better. That’s the one benefit of trading Hall, somebody else has to step up. The Devils became to complacent in waiting for Hall to do something. Almost like the Edmonton Oilers do with Connor McDavid at times. They’re surprisingly an above .500 team since he left, which is real good for them. Nico Hischier has 12 points since Hall left. Almost as much as he had when the trade was made. Jack Hughes has only five points but that’s pretty good for him and he’s been injured. Even veteran Kyle Palmieri has 11 points in the 13 games since the trade. Hughes probably should have played a season in the AHL or somewhere else but if the Devils can get Hischier going, this season will be a success.
2. When the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs meet, Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews are usually pretty quiet. But they weren’t this time on Monday night. Matthews had a only one goal but he was visible throughout the game. McDavid on the other hand had a four point night. He dished out three assists and had one beauty of a goal. Nobody else can accelerate like him from a complete standstill and then make several moves around a defenseman and goalie. One of the best goals of the season.
Things I don’t
1. In a chippy Battle of Alberta game, Zach Kassian and Matthew Tkachuk went after each other like bullies on a playground. Tkachuk got the better of it with two clean high shoulder hits that popped the helmet off of Kassian each time. Kassian had enough after the second one and he proceeded to pummel him from behind and threw him around like a ragdoll. I don’t have a problem with Kassian taking offense to the hits and wanting to fight Tkachuk. But do it like a man. Challenge him to a fight. Don’t sucker punch him from behind and never let him get his balance. Kassian racked up 14 penalty minutes for his actions and well most likely garner a suspension. Tkachuk isn’t exactly a saint
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Jamie Oleksiak vs Nicolas Deslauriers
This one took a bit to get going but man was it good when it did. Long, with a lot of great punches.
Zdeno Chara vs Yakov Trenin
Somebody takes on Chara and does a great job of it. It was fairly even back and forth, with a slight advantage to Chara, until Trenin popped him good.
Goat of the Week
Nick Jensen and the rest of the Capitals on the ice – Washington Capitals
I don’t really know what Jensen was doing with the puck in his own zone but I do know that his teammates didn’t really give him anyone open to pass to. They just left him there. That was the opening goal. The Capitals lost by one.
Stat Line of the Week
01/09/20 NY Rangers 6 vs New Jersey 3
Way back in 2014, Tony DeAngelo was a first round pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning. He never played for them. DeAngelo is having a career year for the New York Rangers this season. Against the Devils he notched a hat trick, the game-winning goal and two assists. He’s only the second defensman in Rangers history to have five points in a single game. DeAngelo is currently the 6th highest scoring defenseman in the NHL. It’s safe to say he’s found a home in New York.
1 – Empty net goal by Pekka Rinne, only the 12th goalie to score an NHL goal
30 – Plus/minus for Dougie Hamilton, first in the NHL and 30 more than last season
5 – Unanswered goals to begin the game by the Florida Panthers in their 8-5 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs
420 – Career NHL points by Jonathan Huberdeau, breaking the Panthers franchise record
4 – 30 goal seasons to start his career for Auston Matthews joining a bunch of hall of famers
3 – Shutouts already for James Reimer, his career season high is 4
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
January 06, 1997 Montreal’s Vincent Damphousse scored his 9th career hat trick, including his 300th NHL goal, in the Canadiens’ 5-4 win against the visiting Hartford Whalers.
January 07, 1985 Hartford’s Ron Francis scored his third career hat trick and added an assist as the Whalers won 7-4 at Toronto.
January 08, 1994 Dino Ciccarelli became the 19th player in NHL history to score 500 goals, and added an assist to lead the Red Wings to a 6-3 win over the Kings at Los Angeles.
January 09, 1918 NHL announced a new rule permitting goaltenders to leave their feet while making a save. Previously it was a penalty for goaltenders to sit or lie on the ice to stop the puck.
January 10, 1980 Philadelphia’s rookie goalie Pete Peeters extended his undefeated streak to 20 straight games (15-0-5) in a 5-4 Flyers’ win over the Winnipeg Jets.
January 11, 1953 Gordie Howe scored three goals (his 8th career hat trick) and added an assist as the Red Wings won 5-2 against Toronto, at the Olympia.
January 12, 1981 Montreal Canadiens became the first NHL team to have four different goaltenders get shutouts in one season, when rookie Richard Sevigny picked up the first of his NHL career in a 5-0 win over Edmonton, at the Forum.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
1. Tampa Bay
4. St. Louis
27. Los Angeles