The play this NHL season has been really competitive. It’s still early but we only have eight teams below .500. You may ask how that’s possible with 30 teams but that would be because of overtime losses. In past seasons, the Western Conference has been far superior to the Eastern Conference but that has changed this season. Five of the below .500 teams are out west, with four of them residing in the lowly Pacific Division.

Don’t expect either of these trends to stop either. Games will be tight all year long with a few unforeseen upsets along the way. As for the Pacific Division, well it’s going to be the worst all season long. Generally they only get three teams to the playoffs and, this year, the 1st place team is the team that had been at the bottom the past few years. The rest of the teams are either a huge disappointment or have no talent. It’ll be the Oilers and Sharks and then either the Kings or Ducks getting the last spot.

Things I like

1. Patrik Laine started to hit up a bit more with a four game point streak and his second career hat trick. Which is impressive to have two after only a dozen games. He’s cooled off a bit since then, with no points in his last two games. But he still leads the NHL with eleven goals in seventeen games. His teammate Mark Scheifele is right behind him with ten goals. Then comes Sidney Crosby with ten goals in nine games and David Pastrnak with ten in fourteen games. All are on pace to have fifty plus goal seasons. Multiple fifty goal seasons hasn’t been done since 2011-12 when Steven Stamkos and Evgeni Malkin did it.

2. Speaking of goals, if you think you’ve been seeing a lot more high scoring games this season, it’s because you have. Scoring is up to 2.77 goals a game. That may not seem that high but it’s the highest since 2010-11, when we had 2.79 a game. I think we have a good chance to crack the 3.00 mark. Which we’ve only done once in the past twenty years. That was back in the 2005-06 season.

Things I don’t

1. Remember when the Canucks were in the 1st place and I said that wasn’t going to last? Well it didn’t. They lost nine in a row and ten of their last twelve. Somehow they beat the Rangers in one of their two wins though. Ryan Miller also made a save of the year contender, in their loss in Detroit, with his epic slide while way out of position. Sadly, Miller has only one win and I don’t even know why he’s splitting games with Jacob Markstrom. Miller is 36 now and it’s time to give Markstrom the load in a rebuilding season. Troy Stecher has now cracked the lineup and has two assists in six games. But otherwise, not much else to look forward to on this team. The Sedin twins are also 36 but are still leading the team in points. Time to start stockpiling draft picks.

Fights of the Week

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

Artemi Panarin vs Scottie Upshall

Not a bad fight and not a bad job by Panarin in his first fight.

Chris Neil vs Cody Bass

A heavy hitting fight were Bass does a good job of getting his head out of his jersey mid-fight.

Goat of the Week

Benoit Pouliot – Edmonton Oilers

Connor Mcdavid met Sidney Crosby for the very first time ever this week. It reminded people of Wayne Gretzky vs Mario Lemieux. Coincidentally, the teams were Oilers vs Penguins then and now. This game had a few goals scored on turnovers but the game winner is the one we will focus on here. Pouliot goes to clear the puck and hits it a second time, in midair, into his own net. Much to the dismay of his teammates. I couldn’t find a short clip so you get the whole game highlights.

Stat Line of the Week

11/10/16 Anaheim 4 vs. Carolina 2

Skater

TOI

G

A

+/-

SOG

Take

J. Silfverberg

18:38

2

2

4

3

2

Jakob Silfverberg figured into all of the Ducks goals with two assists and two goals on this night. Silfverberg was, for the most part, traded for Bobby Ryan. Neither has really flourished like Ducks and Senators had hoped. Ryan has regressed this season but Silfverberg just had a game that gives the Ducks some renewed hope.

Numbers, Numbers

4 – Points for Vladimir Tarasenko in an 8-4 losing effort against the Blue Jackets
4 – 3rd period goals by the Maple Leafs against the Flyers
7 – Lopsided wins by four goals or more this week
.957 – SV% for Carey Price, 1st in the NHL
0 – Losses for Carey Price thus far

This Week in Hockey History

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

November 07, 1975 Gary Sabourin scored four goals (his second career hat trick) in the Oakland Seals’ 7-5 win over the visiting New York Rangers.

November 08, 1934 NHL hockey made its debut in St. Louis, as 12,600 fans welcomed the Eagles to the Coliseum for the 1934-35 home opener against the Black Hawks, a 3-1 loss. St. Louis finished the season 11-31-6 before being forced to fold.

November 09, 1947 Toronto goalie Turk Broda recorded his 38th career shutout as the Maple Leafs beat the Red Wings, 6-0 at Detroit.

November 10, 1962 31-year-old Chicago goalie Glenn Hall was forced to sit out a game, due to a back injury, ending a streak of 503 consecutive games played. The streak spanned 7 years. Denis DeJordy took his place as the Black Hawks won 3-1 at Montreal.

November 11, 1981 Bobby Smith scored four goals (including his third career hat trick) and added three assists as the Minnesota North Stars beat the Winnipeg Jets 15-2. Teammate Dino Ciccarelli added a goal and four assists.

November 12, 1992 Pittsburgh Penguins tied the Quebec Nordiques 4-4 to give them a record of 7-0-2 at home from the start of the 1992-93 season.

November 13, 2000 Jaromir Jagr scored twice to reach the 400 NHL goal plateau in the Penguins 3-2 loss in overtime at Colorado. Jagr became just the second player in Penguins history to score 400 goals.

Rankings

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

Top 5
1. Chicago
2. Montreal
3. NY Rangers
4. Pittsburgh
5. New Jersey

Bottom 5
30. Vancouver
29. Colorado
28. NY Islanders
27. Carolina
26. St. Louis

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.

NHL 2016-17 Recap Week 5 – Competitive NHL season so far, Goals per game are up, Laine and others on pace for 50, Canucks sink and morehttps://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Patrik-Laine-1024x576.jpghttps://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Patrik-Laine-300x300.jpgAlex MuellerWeekly RecapsBobby Ryan,Carey Price,Chris Neil,Connor McDavid,Edmonton Oilers,Evgeni Malkin,Jakob Silfverberg,Jaromir Jagr,Mario Lemieux,New York Rangers,Patrik Laine,Pittsburgh Penguins,Recap,Ryan Miller,Sidney Crosby,Steven Stamkos,Troy Stecher,Vladimir Tarasenko,Wayne Gretzky,Winnipeg Jets
The play this NHL season has been really competitive. It's still early but we only have eight teams below .500. You may ask how that's possible with 30 teams but that would be because of overtime losses. In past seasons, the Western Conference has been far superior to the...