NHL 2019-20 Recap Week 17 – Oilers and Flames combust, bottom of Eastern Conference tightens, Golden Knights and Hurricanes have great ending
There’s no better rivalry right now in the NHL than the Battle of Alberta. The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers flat out despise each other and hockey is better for it. They played two games this week. 17 goals (minus the shootout goal) and 140 minutes were racked up in the two games. All the fights in the fights of the week section below are from this rivalry. Most of those are from the end of the second period of the last game were all hell broke lose. 50 penalty minutes were racked up in the melee. Some people don’t like fighting but I think it serves a purpose. It sets a tone for the match-ups and it makes the games more exciting and emotional. The rivalry is even better now because both teams are in the playoff race and they each have a lot of young talent. The Oilers had lost the first three games but they finally put together a real game and dominated the Flames in the last game. Connor McDavid was big part of the win in that game and he’ll always remain integral to the series. Not just because of his skill but also because his only major injury came while playing against the Flames. There’s only one more game between these two and it’s in April.
Things I like
1. After a mostly mundane start to the Eastern Conference standings, it’s finally starting to get interesting. There’s a huge drop-off from tenth to eleventh. Meaning only two decent teams will miss out. Two Atlantic and four metropolitan teams are within three points of each other with about 30 games to play. Each division has their third seed open and of course the two wild cards. The best part about the race is there aren’t any clear favorites. But the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders seem the most likeliest to get in. The Columbus Blue Jackets are the hottest of the bunch but they’ve played the most games and have the lowest goal differential. I can’t wait for the stretch run.
2. There’s nothing better than the end of a close back and forth hockey game where a lot of goals are scored in the third period. The Vegas Golden Knights vs the Carolina Hurricanes gave you just that. The Golden Knights scored off a great rush with about eight minutes left in the game to take a 3-1 lead. But that’s not safe in this day in age. The Hurricanes scored off their own rush a mere 16 seconds later to get within one. They scored about four minutes later on the power play to tie the game. But the Golden Knights scored the game-winner on their own power play with some nifty passing 50 seconds later. It’s funny how all of their goals mirrored each other.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Sean Monahan vs Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
I loved this fight. Nugent-Hopkins doesn’t fight very much. This was his fourth NHL fight and Monahan had the early advantage. But after getting a little bit of separation, Nugent-Hopkins come back with a fury. They end up evening out before they tumble to the ground.
Ethan Bear vs Matthew Tkachuk
This fight proceeded the melee and was before the goalie fight.
Mike Smith vs Cam Talbot
Goalie fight! Oh, yes! You didn’t think it would happen but then it did.
Goat of the Week
Braden Holtby – Washington Capitals
The Flyers had a really bad turnover that led to a Sidney Crosby overtime winner but you can’t see the turnover in the goal clip because the Penguins took their sweet ass time scoring. Instead we go to Washington were Braden Holtby tries to spring the power play. Only he passes it right to Ryan Johansen who skates in and scores. There weren’t any Capitals in the area so I’m not sure what Holtby was thinking. That was the game tying goals. The Predators ended up winning 5-4.
Stat Line of the Week
01/30/20 Los Angeles 3 vs Arizona 2
Alex Iafallo is one of those players the Los Angeles Kings have desperately needed to find over the past few years. The Kings have largely remained the same team since they last won the Stanley Cup in 2014. That’s not a good thing. Iafallo is undrafted and now in his third NHL season. On this night he had a slap shot goal to opening the scoring, a power play goal to tie the game and the overtime winner on a nice give and go. Iafallo needs only one more goal to tie his career season high. The Kings need to keep developing and turning to younger players.
682 – Days between wins for Flyers goalie Alex Lyon
50 – Regular season games between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin
109 – Game winning goals for Patrick Marleau and Alex Ovechkin, tied for 6th all time
695 – Career NHL goals for Alex Ovechkin, now 8th all time
46 – Saves for Ryan Miller in the Ducks win over the Kings, he’s still getting it done at 39
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
January 27, 1976 Rogie Vachon became the first goaltender to record 20 shutouts as a member of the Kings as Los Angeles won 2-0 against the visiting Washington Capitals.
January 28, 1989 Edmonton’s Grant Fuhr recorded the 200th victory of his NHL career, in a 7-6 Oilers win at Los Angeles. Fuhr became the 30th goaltender in the NHL to get 200 wins.
January 29, 1999 Edmonton Oilers acquired center Alexandre Daigle from the Philadelphia Flyers for left wing Andrei Kovalenko.
January 30, 1999 Patrick Roy recorded his 45th career shutout as Colorado won 5-0 against the visiting San Jose Sharks.
January 31, 2004 Pat Quinn became just the 4th coach in NHL history to win 600 regular-season games as Toronto won 5-1 over the visiting Ottawa Senators.
February 01, 1962 Bobby Hull scored four goals (his 7th career hat trick) to lead the Black Hawks to a 7-4 win against the Red Wings, at Detroit.
February 02, 1918 Montreal’s Joe Malone scored five times (to give him 34 goals on the year) to lead the Canadiens to an 11-2 win over Toronto. Malone extended his goal scoring streak to 13 straight games (beginning with the start of the NHL two months earlier).
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
3. Tampa Bay
28. Los Angeles
26. San Jose