NHL 2020-21 Recap Week 2 – Patrick Laine trade fallout, Tony DeAngelo waived, Stars have great odds
When Patrik Laine wanted out of a team that recently made the conference finals and seemed to disrespect his all-star teammate as not good enough, it didn’t add up. There had to be something else, and there definitely was. Pekka Jalonen wrote an article on a Finnish site that he left because of Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele. Wheeler felt threatened because Laine originally played the same position and was becoming as popular as Teemu Selanne. Scheifele preferred playing with Wheeler. Wheeler also said things about Laine behind his back. Head coach Paul Maurice did nothing. Wheeler and Maurice admitted they could have done things differently. But its’ easier to say that after the fact. Scheifele has not said anything since he was traded. That silence speaks volumes on how much he disliked Laine.
As a head coach, you shouldn’t have to instruct grown men how to behave. But you have to put a stop to things that seem to be getting out of hand. If you choose to do nothing, you aren’t much of a leader. And then what’s the point of you being a coach? Other players like Evander Kane, who wanted out, and Dustin Byfuglien basically quit to get out of there. If I’m the Winnipeg Jets front office, I may have questions as to what exactly is going on and if Maurice is the right coach to be handling it.
Things I like
1. Despite making it to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Dallas stars were 13th in odds at 28/1 to win the Stanley Cup. Behind teams they beat (Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights) in last year’s playoffs and teams that lost in the first round. Truly baffling. I can see why you would put the Avalanche and Golden Knights ahead, but the Montreal Canadiens and St. Louis Blues, really? The Stars have come out of their delayed season start on fire at 4-1-1. Joel Pavelski is leading the charge with ten points. They are also doing this without their top two players and their sometimes starting goalie. However, Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist in his first game back. I like those 28/1 odds.
2. Are you a struggling NHL team that’s slumping or wants to score goals? Then play the Ottawa Senators. They’re worst than we thought they would be. The Senators gave up 14 goals in a three-game span to the Winnipeg Jets. Then they gave up 16 goals in a three-game span against a struggling Vancouver Canucks team. Including a 7-1 thrashing. Then they lost 8-5 to the Edmonton Oilers. Leon Draisaitl had six assists, and Connor McDavid had a goal and four assists. Draisaitl has 21 points, and McDavid has 22 points now. Yup, they’re one-two in NHL scoring yet again. I imagine that will be the trend for another few years. As for the Senators, you want another high pick, but it will be demoralizing if this continues.
Things I don’t
1. In overtime on Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Penguins had a rare 3-0 that became a 2-0 when one player chose to peel off for some reason. That left perennial All-Stars Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang to score the game-winner. Only they never had a shot. They had too many passes, and Tuukka Rask broke up the last pass with his stick. Later, the Boston Bruins had their own 2-0, and they did it properly when Craig Smith scored to end the game. If you can’t score on a 3-0, you shouldn’t be playing hockey.
2. My breakout player of the year award winner Tony DeAngelo has been waived. Further, make his strange career odder. I didn’t cover any of his suspensions when I gave him the award. Instead, I focused on the season he had and being optimistic he had turned the corner. Apparently, that wasn’t the case. I also wasn’t aware of his off ice viewpoints. He quit Twitter because of Trump’s ban, denied COVID, and challenged a fan to a fight. But they aren’t surprising, considering he was suspended in the juniors for using derogatory language. DeAngelo started the season on the wrong note getting an unsportsmanlike penalty for slamming the penalty box door. While not the worst thing in the world, I don’t know why he did it. It was pretty obvious he committed the holding penalty. He’s only had one point in six games. The Rangers said the final straw was getting into an altercation with goalie Alexandar Georgiev in the tunnel. I imagine the off ice issues and his personality are too much for any team. It seems unlikely he will play in the NHL again.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Brady Tkachuk vs Zack MacEwen
This was a hot mess.
Kurtis MacDermid vs Marcus Foligno
Short but a few big blows. Some connected.
Goat of the Week
Jake Eichel – Buffalo Sabres
Eichel thought it was a good idea to try passing to his teammate through another player, or maybe it was off the boards, too hard to tell. Colin Blackwell took the puck and went the other way to dish it to Alexis Lafreniere, who scored the game-winner. This was Lafreniere’s first goal of the season. The much-hyped number one overall pick has only one point in eight games in his rookie season.
Stat Line of the Week
01/31/21 Philadelphia 4 vs. NY Islanders 3
Joel Farabee is a guy Philadelphia Flyers fans should become accustomed to. He was their first round pick in 2018 and he notched hit first career hat trick. He’s got quite a shot too. Now with eight points in ten games, this could very well be his breakout season. The Flyers won the game in overtime on a goal by Kevin Hayes.
20 – Seconds into the game for a breakaway goal in the New Jersey Devils vs Buffalo Sabres scored by Michael McLeod
67.4 – Face-off winning percentage by Luke Glendening of the lowly Detroit Red Wings
4.8 – Power play percentage for the Anaheim Ducks, 1 goal in 21 tries
5 – Goalies with two shutouts already
7 – Goals given up by the Carolina Hurricanes in six games
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
January 25, 1990 Edmonton’s Mark Messier scored a goal and picked up four assists in a 7-6 win over the visiting Los Angeles Kings. During the game Glenn Anderson scored the 4,000th goal in Oilers’ NHL history.
January 26, 2002 Joe Thornton scored twice, including his 100th career NHL goal, in the Bruins 4-2 win against the visiting Florida Panthers. Pavel Bure scored his 400th career goal for the losing Panthers.
January 27, 1997 Toronto’s Larry Murphy scored his 250th NHL goal in the Maple Leafs’ 5-2 loss to the visiting Colorado Avalanche. Murphy became the 6th defenseman in NHL history to score 250 goals.
January 28, 1989 Bernie Nicholls scored his 49th and 50th goals of the season in his 51st game, and set a team record with 13 shots in the game, as the Kings lost to the Oilers, 7-6 at the Forum.
January 29, 1953 Maurice Richard became the first NHL player to score 20 (or more) goals in each of his first 10 seasons, when he picked up his 20th of the year, in a 5-2 Canadiens’ win over the Rangers. Richard finished the night with 2 goals and an assist.
January 30, 1975 John Bucyk scored a goal and added two assists to become just the 6th player in NHL history reach the 1,200 point milestone, as the Bruins won 6-0 over the Oakland Seals, at Boston Garden. Gilles Gilbert recorded the shutout.
January 31, 1933 Dit Clapper became the first player (and the first defenseman) in Boston history to score 100 goals as a member of the Bruins, when they lost 5-1 to the visiting Chicago Black Hawks.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
28. NY Rangers
26. San Jose