The Stadium Series returns with just one game on the docket this season. The NHL decided to scale it back for fear of overexposure. Personally, I liked the number of games last season and I’m strongly for each team each holding one regular season game outdoors. Which would make for a total of 30 games a season and the growth of the NHL to the casual fan.

My first though of watching the Kings vs Sharks is who the heck is Kris Allen? Not sure why they think we need musicians during the outdoor games. I know they are trying to make it into a big spectacle but it’s something I can really do without. And John Fogerty… really? Not a huge fan of the Kings jerseys looked like… well some weird baseball outfit. I dug the Sharks jerseys though. Yes, I am aware that they were the same design just different colors. They worked with the Shark colors not so much with the Kings.

As for the actual game, I’m grateful they didn’t do the stupid pan and zoom crap they do during Winter Classic games. However, for a stadium series game the crowd sure felt mostly dead throughout the game. There was also no Jeremy Roenick randomly placed, boo. The two goals the Sharks allowed I felt that Antti Niemi wish he had those back. The Sharks really needed this game and it didn’t really feel like that by their level of play. Despite that, it was a pretty even back and forth game but the Kings pick up their seventh win in a row.

Things I like

1. The NHL scoring race is sure getting interesting. After having a three way race between Jakub Voracek, Sidney Crosby and Tyler Seguin for most of the season, Patrick Kane comes out of nowhere to take first only to be shortly supplanted by Nicklas Backstrom, also out of nowhere, with linemate Alex Ovechkin not far behind. Which now leaves eight players within five points of each other. Unfortunately, nobody is on pace to crack the century mark.

2. The muddled mess that has become the Pacific Division. After the Ducks, who are firmly in first place, you have four teams fighting for, presumably, three playoff spots all within a point of each other. Nobody is hotter than the Kings right now. The Kings and Canucks should take second and third place setting up the third recent playoff meeting between the two. Leaving the Sharks and Flames to duke it out for the wild card spot. But if the Flames keep playing defense like they did against the Ducks in the third period they won’t be making the playoffs, that’s for sure. But it’s sure going to be fun watching the drama unfold the final two months.

3. Speaking of fun division races, there’s the now suddenly exciting Metropolitan Division to watch. After mostly being a race between the Penguins and Islanders, the Penguins have slumped and the Capitals and Rangers have been hot. Which gives us an almost three way tie for second place and just five points separating fourth from first. The Rangers have played the fewest games so they have a slight advantage. All four should make the playoffs so it’s just about jockeying for position.

Things I don’t

1. Here comes the tumbling playoff teams. Boston, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Anaheim and Chicago. San Jose and Boston might not even make the playoffs when the dust settles. Part of the downside starting strong is that, inevitably, you won’t be able to sustain it throughout the season. Slumping now is not a good thing as you want to be hot come playoff time. Slumping teams rarely do well in the playoffs. There’s still two months to turn it around however. When two slumping teams meet apparently one dominates the other as was the case in the Bruins win over the Blackhawks 6-2.

2. Other than the kings, few have been hotter as of late than the Flyers. They are 5-1-4 in their last 10 games, meaning they have points in all but one of them. They are now just four points out of the final wild card spot but that begs the question, do they really want to make the playoffs? Their starting goalie, Steve Mason, is injured, Vincent Lecavalier is apparently still on the team and they could use a higher draft pick more than a 1st round exit. Their line bright spots are Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds. I’m impressed with how well Simmonds has played with the Flyers but on the other hand, he is tailor-made for the Flyers. Since they’ve been beating the Capitals and Predators, as of late, it’s possible they could sneak in and get the final wild spot. It until depends upon the Bruins.

Fights of the Week

Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a lot easier to do.

Luke Gazdic vs Anthony Peluso

If you like fights that twirl, you’ll love this fight. They get in some good punches too after the initial twirling.

Michael Latta vs Robert Bortuzzo

It had a weird flow to it but it was a good fight nonetheless.

Matt Calvert vs Christian Thomas

Fists of fury to the head.

Goats of the Week

Normally I show one bad goal that determined the outcome of game but there were so many bad goals this week, I’m just going to show the worst of them.

Corey Crawford – Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks had a mini meltdown in the 3rd and this capped it off. Crawford was trying to send a quick pass up but he misjudged it. I’ve done this before too, embarrassing.

Roman Josi – Nashville Predators

Trying to save the goal, Josi ends up bouncing the puck off Pekka Rinne. It’s kind of hard to see in this clip.

Pittsburgh Penguins

During a powerplay, the Penguins carelessly pass the puck, which leads to a breakaway for the Blue Jackets and a rebound that anyone could have knocked in with that horrible defense.

Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings

Both teams exchange bouncing late third period goals off the opposing teams various body parts.

Stat Line of the Week

2/21/15 Detroit 7 vs Dallas 6 OT

Skater

TOI

G

A

+/-

SOG

Bks

Hits

P. Datsyuk

21:48

2

2

3

3

2

2

There were some wacky games this week and then there was this game. A 7-6 OT thriller that saw six goals scored in the 3rd period and a controversial game tying goal. A goal that shouldn’t have been allowed due to goalie interference but hey that’s not reviewable because that makes sense, right? Pavel Datsyuk showed he’s still got it with two goals and two assists, including assisting on the game winner. Can’t help but feel for the Stars though.

Numbers, Numbers

5 – Shutouts for Devan Dubnyk in 16 games
5 – Goals in 14 minutes for the Ducks in their big win in Calgary on Friday night
70,000 – Plus in attendance for the Kings vs Sharks game at Levi Stadium, all outdoor games have been sold out
7 – Points in his last four games for Nicklas Backstrom
8 – Game winning goals for Matt Beleskey, Michael Cammalleri and Alex Ovechkin

This Week in Hockey History

Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.

February 16, 1986 Detroit Red Wings’ goalie Corrado Micalef stopped penalty shots by both Pierre Larouche and rookie Mike Ridley of the Rangers. Both, however came back to score goals to lead the Rangers to a 3-1 win over Detroit.

February 17, 1951 Gordie Howe scored his 100th career NHL goal and added an assist in a 2-1 Red Wings’ victory in Montreal on a night Maurice “Rocket” Richard was honored with a car and other gifts in a ceremony at the Forum.

February 18, 2003 Vancouver tied a team record by extending their unbeaten streak to 10 games (6-0-4) after coming back from a 3-0 deficit in the final 15 minutes of the game to beat the Wings 4-3 at Detroit. Marek Malik scored at 3:02 of overtime for the victory.

February 19, 1997 Chris Osgood recorded his 5th shutout of the season in the Red Wings’ 4-0 win over the visiting Calgary Flames. Steve Yzerman picked up three assists in his 1,000th career NHL game. He became the 3rd to play 1,000 games with Detroit.

February 20, 1995 Montreal goaltender Patrick Roy became the 31st goaltender in NHL history to appear in 500 games as the Canadiens won 3-2 in overtime over the Islanders.

February 21, 1994 Toronto’s Doug Gilmour scored two goals, including the 300th of his NHL career as the Maple Leafs won 6-4 over the Kings, at Los Angeles.

February 22, 1993 Toronto’s Glenn Anderson scored a goal and three assists to become the 36th player in NHL history to reach the 1,000 career point mark. The Maple Leafs won 8-1 over the in Vancouver.

Rankings

The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.

Top 5
1. Los Angeles
2. Minnesota
3. Nashville
4. Washington
5. NY Islanders

Bottom 5
30. Toronto
29. Boston
28. Buffalo
27. Arizona
26. San Jose

Alex Mueller

Author: Alex Mueller

Alex Mueller graduated from Temple University with a minor in journalism over a decade ago. He’s been writing about NHL hockey, on and off, since the Fall of 2009. He’s written for Pucking Awesome, the Checking Line and now Hockey Recaps. He played goalie at San Diego Ice Arena. His first novel, Bobby Sterling vs Truth, is available on Amazon now.

https://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/sharks-vs-kings-1024x578.jpghttps://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/sharks-vs-kings-150x150.jpgAlex MuellerWeekly RecapsAlex Ovechkin,Anthony Peluso,Antti Niemi,Calgary Flames,Chicago Blackhawks,Chris Osgood,Claude Giroux,Corey Crawford,Detroit Red Wings,Devan Dubnyk,Gordie Howe,Jakub Voracek,Jeremy Roenick,Luke Gazdic,Matt Beleskey,Matt Calvert,Michael Cammalleri,Nashville Predators,Nicklas Backstrom,Patrick Kane,Patrick Roy,Pavel Datsyuk,Pekka Rinne,Pittsburgh Penguins,Recap,Robert Bortuzzo,Sidney Crosby,Steve Mason,Steve Yzerman,Tyler Seguin,Wayne Simmonds,Winter Classic
The Stadium Series returns with just one game on the docket this season. The NHL decided to scale it back for fear of overexposure. Personally, I liked the number of games last season and I'm strongly for each team each holding one regular season game outdoors. Which would make...