The Outdoor Series is in full gear for the NHL this week with games at Dodger and Yankee Stadium. In Dodger Stadium you had the return of Wayne Gretzky as an ambassador of the game, the USC marching band, fireworks, celebrity sightings, Vince Scully introducing the game and little kids playing in a mini rink. That was all the good stuff. The bad included random beach volleyball players playing in the sand, some production miscues early on, a ridiculous interview with pitcher Brian Wilson, who seemed to know nothing about any of the players on the Ducks or Kings Jeremy Roenick asked him about, and KISS playing their overrated and old songs. However, I give props to KISS for accomplishing what they have, even if it’s not my cup of tea, and I compliment the NHL for at least trying to get a big band that they’ve had success with in the past. The game was pretty decent although the Kings couldn’t get anything past Jonas Hiller, who pitched a shutout. After Corey Perry cleaned up a rebound behind Jonathan Quick, who didn’t know where the puck was, you had a sense that the Kings had no chance. The best moment of the game was when Jonathan Quick took exception to Kyle Palmieri hitting him on a scoring opportunity and pinned him up against the glass. Palmieri received an interference penalty even though he was pushed into Quick. All in all it was a big spectacle and over 54,000 were in attendance and the premature was in the high 60’s.
In the next game, less than 24 hours later, in Yankee Stadium it was a bit colder. Ironically the game was delayed because of a sun glare. The Jersey Boys performed during the delay. I’m not sure hockey and Broadway really crossover but at least they sounded good. The Devils stormed out to a 3-1 to one lead but in the 2nd period the Rangers dominated by being faster, getting to loose pucks and taking advantage of their breakaways. They Rangers ended up scoring 6 unanswered goals and chasing away Martin Brodeur in the process. Brodeur called the ice in the game the worst he’s ever played on. Me thinks he’s trying to cover up for letting in six goals. A few other players commented that it wasn’t the greatest either. Ironically during the pre-game interviews the players said the ice was fine. Either way the ice quality was the same for both teams. On Wednesday we get to do the whole thing all over again with the Rangers and Islanders.

Things I Like

1. The Columbus Blue Jackets were the 2nd hottest team besides the Ducks for awhile. They won eight in a row before succumbing to the mighty Buffalo Sabres. Although to be fair, it was more like they ran into Ryan Miller. They propelled themselves to 3rd in their division and into the playoffs. During the Streak the Blue Jackets never scored less than three goals and scored five or more goals four times. It’s mostly been a team effort of balanced scoring. Sergei Bobrovsky had a personal streak of nine wins in a row and didn’t have a SV% lower than .926 in the first six wins. He also beat his old team the Flyers which had to feel good.
2. Even without Steven Stamkos Martin St. Louis has been on a tear as of late. Currently working on a ten game point scoring streak, St. Louis has amassed 14 points during the streak. He’s now just 36 points shy of 1000 for his career. He’s just one of the reasons Tampa Bay has been playing so well.
3. The Islanders and Penguins game on Thursday was reminiscent of their highly entertaining and wild 1st round playoff series from last season. In the 3rd the Islanders had a goal that was then ruled not a goal before becoming a goal again in a referee exchange that seemed to go on forever. The stars shown bright for both teams and Olli Maatta continued his strong rookie play with great defense and a goal and an assist. The Penguins have a star in the making and they know it. Thankfully for them he’s a defenseman.

Things I Don’t

1. In the Penguins Canadiens game on Wednesday, Marc-Andre Fleury and Peter Budaj were prepared to lock horns and fight. Unfortunately the ref skated in between them and put a stop to it. On the one hand I understand that the NHL has put forth a conscious effort to prevent what happened when Ray Emery fought Braden Holtby. On the other hand Holtby didn’t want to fight and Fleury and Budaj did. They should have been allowed to fight since goalie fights are rare and great to watch. Whether they like it or not, goalie fights add more exposure and attention to the game of hockey.
2. The Ducks had their glorious 20-0-2 home record run snapped by the Winnipeg Jets? Yes, all-time great Teemu Selanne’s former team was the one to finally end the streak. It was kind of anti-climatic and unexpected but the game was still good and you thought, only down one in the 3rd, the Ducks might pull it out but alas they did not. But it wasn’t for a lack of trying as the Ducks amassed 42 shots on goal and the Jets had 36 blocked shots.
3. Four playoff caliber teams are struggling heading into the Olympic break. Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Montreal and Chicago all only have three regulation wins in their last 10 games. They are all also riding at least a three game losing streak. Not really where you want to be coming down the stretch. Chicago is most bulletproof but they only have a one point lead over St. Louis for the division lead now.

Ryan Miller Watch

Nothing really new on this front. I think it’s more and more likely that Miller will be the starter. Especially after his great game of ending the Blue Jackets streak. The bigger rumor on the NHL front is still Miller going to St. Louis. I just don’t see it but I guess we will have to wait and see. It seems likely that if Miller was traded it would be to a Western Conference team.

Fights of the Week

Special thanks to for making this section a little easier to do.
Antoine Roussel vs Kevin Klein
They never take a break from throwing punches in this one.

Tanner Glass vs Matt Martin
A pretty decent back and forth fight.

Jordan Nolan vs Milan Lucic
Lucic sticks up for Torey Krug and pummels Nolan.

Goat of the Week

Roberto Luongo – Vancouver Canucks
Antoine Vermette’s shot was going wide but Luongo accidentally redirects the shot into his own net. On the next Vermette goal, Ryan Kesler helps propel the puck back into the Canucks’ goal as well. Although the Canucks won in overtime, they made it a lot tougher than it needed to be.

Stat Line of the Week

01/25/14 Tampa Bay 5 vs. Colorado 2









T. Johnson








Rookie Tyler Johnson opened the scoring of the game and then put the game away with two goals within two minutes of each other in the 3rd period for his first career hat trick. Johnson is now tied for the top spot in NHL rookie points and one behind in assists and goals.

Numbers, Numbers

15 – Days and 6 games suspended for Canucks coach John Tortorellas for his actions in the locker room for the now infamous Canucks Flames line brawl
11 – Points for Rick Nash the last three weeks, all goals
15 – Point difference between New Jersey Devil points leader Jaromir Jagr and his next closest teammate. Although to be fair Patrick Elias has played in 15 less games
8 – Goals for Joe Thornton, on pace for his lowest full season goal total ever but on pace for one of his highest assist totals in some time, he’s also the only top 20 point scorer that isn’t double digits in goals

This Week in Hockey History

Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
January 20, 1988 Paul Coffey scored his first hat trick as a Penguin (the 5th of his NHL career) and added an assist as Pittsburgh won 8-3 over the Blackhawks at Chicago.
January 21, 1962 Detroit’s Gordie Howe scored his 1,100th career NHL point with a goal in his 1,023rd NHL game. Red Wings lost to Montreal 5-3, in Detroit.
January 22, 1972 Andre Boudrias scored his first career hat trick and the fifth hat trick in Canucks’ history, leading Vancouver to a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers.
January 23, 1975 Rogie Vachon recorded his 26th career shutout and Juha Widing scored his first NHL hat trick, as the Kings beat Toronto, 8-0 at the Forum.
January 24, 2002 Espen Knutsen scored his first career hat trick and added an assist, and Mike Sillinger tied a career high with four points (two goals and two assists) in the Blue Jackets 6-2 win over the visiting San Jose Sharks.
January 25, 1972 Defenseman Bobby Orr set up Phil Esposito for the winning goal to lift the East Division All-Stars over the West, 3-2 in the NHL All Star Game. Orr earned the MVP award for his offensive and defensive heroics.
January 26, 1978 Chicago goaltender Tony Esposito recorded his 62nd career shutout in the Black Hawks’ 5-0 win against the Cleveland Barons at Chicago Stadium. The game was played before a crowd of just 527 fans, due to a severe blizzard.


The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
Top 5
1. Anaheim
2. Columbus
3. San Jose
4. Pittsburgh
5. Carolina
Bottom 5
30. Philadelphia
29. Los Angeles
28. Montreal
27. Chicago
26. Phoenix

Alex MuellerWeekly RecapsAnaheim Ducks,Antoine Roussel,Antoine Vermette,Bobby Orr,Braden Holtby,Buffalo Sabres,Columbus Blue Jackets,Corey Perry,Gordie Howe,Jaromir Jagr,Jeremy Roenick,Joe Thornton,Jonas Hiller,Jonathan Quick,Jordan Nolan,Kevin Klein,Kyle Palmieri,Los Angeles Kings,Marc-Andre Fleury,Martin Brodeur,Martin St. Louis,Matt Martin,Milan Lucic,New Jersey Devils,New York Islanders,New York Rangers,Olli Maatta,Peter Budaj,Pittsburgh Penguins,Ray Emery,Recap,Rick Nash,Roberto Luongo,Ryan Miller,Sergei Bobrovsky,Tanner Glass,Teemu Selanne,Tyler Johnson,Wayne Gretzky,Winnipeg Jets
The Outdoor Series is in full gear for the NHL this week with games at Dodger and Yankee Stadium. In Dodger Stadium you had the return of Wayne Gretzky as an ambassador of the game, the USC marching band, fireworks, celebrity sightings, Vince Scully introducing the game and little...