NHL 2016-17 Recap Week 4 – Canadiens lay an egg, Blackhawks rolling, Rangers scoring, Seguin passing, no goal challenges and more
In every sport season there’s always at least one game where you scratch your head and say, “Did that just happen?” A game such as that occurred when the Canadiens faced the Blue Jackets this week. This was a Canadiens team going into the game without a regulation loss. Carey price was also not starting though and the Blue Jackets walloped the Canadiens 10-0. And no that is not a misprint.
Let’s break down the goal scoring. Three in the 1st period, five in the 2nd period and two in the 3rd period. The Blue Jackets had four powerplay goals on five opportunities. The first two goals were last than a minute apart. The Canadians in their own zone either poorly attempted to clear or turned over the puck on a few goals. That’s not to say all the goals were due to lousy defense. The Blue Jackets had some nice moves on a few of them. By the 7th goal, Carey Price looked like he was itching to come on in. The 8th goal, Al Montoya didn’t even see it so much that he didn’t even move at all. This game was reminiscent of the infamous Patrick Roy game. Except Montoya wasn’t asking to be pulled. But Michel Therrien still should have put Price in even if most of the goal were the fault of the Canadiens’ defense.
But this game shows all the reason why the Canadiens are not a favorite. Every team has a stinker of a game but rarely one this bad. But you can see just how bad the Canadiens team is on defense. They weren’t good last season and they weren’t good in this game. Which means Carey Price really is that good at hiding all of this. Once again the Canadiens couldn’t score a goal when they needed, to stop the bleeding and change the momentum. There is no way this team can beat the Lightning in the playoffs.
Things I like
1. The Blackhawks have one of the most skilled and complete teams in the NHL. How good are they? They revived the careers of Artem Anisimov and Richard Panik and Jonathan Toews is seventh on the team in scoring. Toews scoring output has been steadily declining, as his faceoff winning percentage and game winning goals increase. Not a bad trade off. The Blackhawks beat the Stars twice in a row and have six wins overall. The are also now in 1st place in the division. They are also second in the NHL in scoring. It’s not all roses, however, as their penalty kill is dead last in the NHL.
2. Tyler Seguin is known more for his goal scoring and doesn’t receive enough of credit for how good of a passer he is. But he had four assists against the Blues and all of his passes were things of beauty and right on the money. But the rest of the Stars team isn’t doing as great. Injuries are still plentiful and Jamie Benn has only two goals so far. But they are at .500 and if they can hover around that until they get everyone back, they should be fine. Unless they have the injury bug the whole season. In which case, this is a lost season.
Things I don’t
1. In the hotly anticipated match-up of Connor McDavid v Auston Matthews, I mean the Oilers vs Maple Leafs, neither produced any points. However, McDavid did figure into the game winning goal in overtime for the Maple Leafs. McDavid had his arm grabbed by Kadri to prevent him from playing the puck as well as he could have. Nazem Kadri ended up scoring on the play. McDavid complained about it afterward. In real time, there was really no way to see it. But on replay, with it slowed down, it’s obvious that Kadri did. This should have been a challengeable call, since it lead directly to a goal. All aspects for a goal should be challengeable. Just like all aspects of a touchdown can be challenged in the NFL. It also bothered me that the overtime ended in ten seconds. What a rip.
2. I don’t understand why anyone leaves Alex Ovechkin open on the powerplay. He will kill you every time. And it’s not like it’s something new each powerplay. Every powerplay he sets up on the top of the left face-off circle. Knowing this, I don’t get why a team doesn’t just put a player right in front of him, whose sole purpose is to guard him and stand in front of his shooting lane. That would leave three players to guard four players. Which is about the same thing as four players guarding five but then you also take away the primary scoring threat.
3. Kadri was also busy in the Canucks game, as he took off Daniel Sedin’s helmet, and almost his head, in the Maple Leafs win over the Canucks. For the life of me, I don’t know how Sedin scored while being hit like that. Kadri wasn’t suspended because the main point of contact was his shoulder. It’s kind of hard to tell but it sort of looked like that. Although if you go frame by frame, I’m sure that’s the case. But even if it is at the shoulder, Sedin was in an awkward position when the hit happened. That’s not to say it’s Kadri’s responsibility for how he was positioned but you have to leave those hits out of the game. This triggered the mess of fights that occurred the rest of the game. Although watching Ryan Miller come to the aid of a rookie defenseman Troy Stecher fighting Matt Martin and Frederik Andersen skating all the way down to get a piece of the melee is always entertaining.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Max Domi vs Ryan Kesler
You don’t see a player going down with one punch very often, especially the first one. But here is one time.
Nick Foligno vs Ryan Reaves
A pretty decent, hard hitting scrap.
Jared Boll vs Kyle Clifford
Kevin Bieksa vs Kyle Clifford
These fights were both from the same Ducks vs Kings game. Both were long and featured Kyle Clifford.
Goat of the Week
Michal Neuvirth – Philadelphia Flyers
You’ve seen this one before. Goalie comes out to play it behind his own net, hits an opposing player while trying to clear, who then passes it before the goalie gets back in time. The Flyers lost by one, 5-4 to the Canadiens.
Stat Line of the Week
11/04/16 Winnipeg 5 vs. Detroit 3
Nikolaj Ehlers had three assists and the empty netter to help the Jets pick up a big win in Detroit. Ehlers is a 9th overall pick from 2014 who had a so so rookie season last year. The Jets are hoping this will help break him out this year. He assisted on Brandon Tanev’s first career NHL goal in the game. Ehlers followed it up with an assist against the Rangers in their next game.
4.17 – GFA by the Rangers. They have become an unstoppable scoring machine. Never would have guessed that in a million years before the season started. More than half goal over the next highest team.
10 – Rounds of shootout for the Lightning and Bruins won by the Bruins
3 – Players on the Flyers in the top 10 in scoring with a -5 or worse. That’s really hard to do.
.438 – Shooting percentage of Richard Pannik who is 1st in the NHL
.381 – Shooting percentage of Sidney Crosby who is 2nd
25 – Penalties in the 3rd period in the wild Canucks vs Maple Leafs game
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
October 31, 1996 Toronto’s Doug Gilmour scored his 350th career goal and Mats Sundin had the 200th of his career when the Maple Leafs won 5-3 over the Islanders, at Long Island.
November 01, 1987 Defenseman Denis Potvin became the first player to appear in 1,000 games with the New York Islanders. The milestone came as the Isles ended their 10 game road winless streak against the Bruins (0-6-4) with a 6-5 overtime win in Boston.
November 02, 1993 Jaromir Jagr scored twice to give him 100 career goals, and added two assists to lead the Penguins to a 6-2 win over the Sabres, in an NHL neutral site game played in Sacramento, California.
November 03, 1991 Buffalo’s Pat LaFontaine scored a goal and added two assists in his first game as a Sabre, and Dale Hawerchuk had a goal and three assists to lead the Sabres to a 5-1 win over the visiting Hartford Whalers.
November 04, 1962 Detroit’s Bill Gadsby became the first defenseman in NHL history to score 500 career NHL points. He reached the milestone in a 3-1 Red Wings’ win over Chicago, in his 17th NHL season.
November 05, 1986 Detroit’s John Ogrodnick became the 5th player in franchise history to score 250 goals. The milestone goal (along with three assists) came in the Red Wings’ 5-4 overtime win over the visiting New York Rangers.
November 06, 1987 Veteran defenseman Dave Lewis retired after playing in his 1,008th NHL game, and immediately was named assistant coach of the Detroit Red Wings. Lewis retired with 36 career goals.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
1. NY Rangers
28. NY Islanders
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.