The NHL needs to do a better job of defining what is a good shootout attempt or eliminate it all together. In the Anaheim Ducks vs. San Jose Sharks game on Saturday Night Joe Pavelski stopped dead and it appeared the puck did too but he ended up shooting and scoring. After some consultation the ref let it stand. Unless someone in Toronto was looking at it, none of the refs saw a replay of it. It’s quite clear Pavelski stops and while it only matters if the puck did or not, it’s hard to see how anyone can look at the play and say the puck didn’t stop. I normally don’t mind the spinaroonie during shootouts because it never looks like the puck stops. But the NHL needs to do a better job clarifying what constitutes a stop, institute a replay for officials actually reffing the game to view or just eliminate the shootout entirely. I don’t know the Ducks didn’t try and press their luck with their shots either after the refs let that one go. It’s a tough way to lose a game.

Things I Like

1. The Rangers and Canucks swapped head coaches in the off season and it was hard to predict who would be better off where. Alain Vigneault was the more laid back coach versus the in your face John Tortorella. With the Rangers early struggles, the Canucks seemed to have the edge but the Rangers have played much better recently and in the match-up of old coaches in new places, the Rangers were victorious. Playoff time will be the true measure for both teams but neither are expected to go very far, if they even make it.
2. Ben Scrivens continues to play well for the Los Angeles Kings. He’s tops in the league in GAA (1.52), SV% (.944) and shutouts. Not bad for a guy who has only started 11 games. Hopefully this will quell the rumors that the Kings need to acquire another goalie. See below
3. Nobody has been hotter than Evgeni Malkin lately. After a somewhat slow start ( 10 points in 13 games) he is now leading the league in assists and 2nd in points to only Sidney Crosby. He has 17 points in his last 8 games. Surprisingly he has only 7 goals and he’s on pace to have his lowest goals per game average ever.

Things I Don’t

1. So the Buffalo Sabres cleaned house and they appear to be exactly where they were before, in last place not winning games. Of course this mostly has to do with the fact that they have the same players. Luckily for the Sabres about half of the team is a free agent (restricted or unrestricted) in some form or another so don’t expect most of them to be back if they have any sense whatsoever.
2. While Max Pacioretty has been luke warm as of late and has had a few timely goals, he isn’t very consistent. Or rather he is consistently inconsistent. Pacioretty has 9 goals in 5 games and none in 13 other games. Including a streak of 8 games without a goal and only one assist. If he plans on taking his game to the next level he will need to show up in all the games he plays.
3. What happened to the Islanders? A team many thought to be on the rise, including me, was just a month ago 2nd in the division. Granted that isn’t saying much, since most of the division was struggling then, but the Islanders are now in last place with 6 straight losses and a 2-7-1 record in their last 10 games. John Tavares is the only player on the team averaging over a point per game and none of their top six scorers has a positive +/-. To say their goaltending is struggling is an understatement. It’s time for the Islanders to cut ties with Evgeni Nabokov and find a different goalie. And no I don’t mean Kevin Poulin.

Ryan Miller Watch

Nothing new on this front. The Blues rumors seemed to have cooled. The latest rumor is that Miller might end up on the Kings if the injury to Jonathan Quick is worse than expected. While that might be nice for the Kings in the short term they would have to give up a prospect or draft pick in return for a goalie for a half season because he won’t be on the roster next season. Ben Scrivens has played well so it’s not worth it for the Kings.

Fights of the Week

Special thanks to for making this section a little easier to do.
Brandon Bollig vs Brian McGrattan
McGratten uses Bollig as his punching bag, not pretty.

Marcus Foligno vs Ryan Carter
Foligno kockes out Carter good.

Jay Rosehill vs Krys Barch
A good high intensity scrap.

Tom Sestito vs Chris Neil
A retaliation from a hit fight, always good.

Goat of the Week

Andy Greene – New Jersey Devils
Andy Greene failed to protect the point on a powerplay which led to a shorthanded goal the other way for the Hurricanes. A big mistake in a 4-3 loss.

Stat Line of the Week

11/29/13 San Jose 6 vs. St. Louis 3









B. Burns








Brent Burns, he of NHL yearly photo fame, had a big night in a big game of Western Conference Powers. He recorded his first ever career hat trick and added an assist on any empty netter. What makes this game more significant is the fact that the Blues only have 4 regulation losses and two of them are to the Sharks. Even more interesting is that the Sharks scored six goal both times.

Numbers, Numbers

700 – Career points for Sidney Crosby
0 – Regulation losses at home for the Ducks
0 – Overtime losses for both the Avalanche and Rangers
1.59 – Goals a game for the Sabres, the only team under a 2 goals a game average, yikes

This Week in Hockey History

Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
November 25, 1998 Pittsburgh Penguins traded Petr Nedved, Chris Tamer and Sean Pronger to the New York Rangers for Alexei Kovalev, Harry York and future considerations.
November 26, 1983 Edmonton’s Wayne Gretzky began an NHL-record 17 consecutive game assist streak, at St. Louis. It came in the midst of his NHL record 51-game point scoring streak (during which he scored 153 points). Oilers lost 8-6 to Blues.
November 27, 1988 New York’s Bryan Trottier picked up two assists to become the 8th player in NHL history to score 1,300 career points, as the Islanders lost 5-3 to the Rangers at MSG.
November 28, 1978 Montreal’s Jacques Lemaire became the 6th player in franchise history to score 350 goals. The milestone goal (along with two assists) came as the Canadiens won 3-0 over the Flyers, at the Forum. Ken Dryden recorded his 43rd career shutout.
November 29, 1967 Scotty Bowman picked up the first coaching victory of his NHL career when the Blues beat the Kings 3-2 in St. Louis (to end a team-record 7 game losing streak). Jimmy Roberts led the scoring with two goals.
November 30, 1950 Toronto Maple Leafs’ rookie Al Rollins and Canadiens’ rookie Gerry McNeil recorded shutouts to lead their teams to a 0-0 tie in Montreal. It was the 5th career shutout for McNeil, and the second for Rollins.
December 1, 1951 Tod Sloan scored two goals and two assists and Ted Kennedy had a goal and three assists in the Maple Leafs’ 8-2 win against the NY Rangers, in Toronto. Max Bentley scored his 200th NHL goal and added two assists.


The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
Top 5
1. Chicago
2. San Jose
3. Boston
4. St. Louis
5. Philadelphia
Bottom 5
30. NY Islanders
29. Buffalo
28. Calgary
27. Vancouver
26. Toronto

Alex MuellerWeekly RecapsAlain Vigneault,Alexei Kovalev,Anaheim Ducks,Andy Greene,Ben Scrivens,Brandon Bollig,Brent Burns,Brian McGrattan,Buffalo Sabres,Chris Neil,Evgeni Malkin,Evgeni Nabokov,Jay Rosehill,Joe Pavelski,John Tavares,Jonathan Quick,Krys Barch,Los Angeles Kings,Marcus Foligno,Max Pacioretty,New Jersey Devils,New York Islanders,New York Rangers,Pittsburgh Penguins,Recap,Ryan Carter,Ryan Miller,San Jose Sharks,Sidney Crosby,Tom Sestito,Toronto Maple Leafs,Vancouver Canucks,Wayne Gretzky
The NHL needs to do a better job of defining what is a good shootout attempt or eliminate it all together. In the Anaheim Ducks vs. San Jose Sharks game on Saturday Night Joe Pavelski stopped dead and it appeared the puck did too but he ended up shooting...