NHL 2018-19 Recap Week 11 – Carter Hart in a tough spot, Bryan Rust and Jonathan Huberdeau get hot, Joshua Ho-Sang appears early
Former WHL Player of the Year and Goalie of the Year Carter Hart was called up by the Philadelphia Flyers this past week. And I worry about him now for a number of reasons. He was called up by the Flyers to try and make them better now. But that’s a problem for several reasons. He’s 20 years old. That’s quite young for anything in life really but it’s especially young for an NHL goalie. Goalies and NFL quarterbacks take the longest to develop and get comfortable. He’s going to be developing for a while. He’s playing in a tough market. Philadelphia is one of the hardest non-Canadian markets to play in. You don’t want to be there when things go south. He wasn’t exactly tearing it up in the AHL. He wasn’t awful but he wasn’t great either. This is just another one of those bad panic moves by the Flyers. Sacrificing the long term for the short term. It would be better for him to be in the AHL now. But if this does work out, he was picked by Ron Hextall. They guy they just fired. Anyway, he’s off to a somewhat good start. He won his two first games before being average and losing to the Blue Jackets and the goalie that should currently be a Flyer, Sergei Bobrovsky. Of course Bobrovsky isn’t there anymore because the Flyers screwed that up by panicking when he struggled and subsequently pissing him off. I worry what might happen when Hart struggles, which he will at some point. Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself. But it usually does.
Things I like
1. The Penguins won two Stanley Cups because they had depth. They haven’t really had much of that this season. But one of their key depth contributors during those runs has suddenly caught fire. Bryan Rust has 11 points in his last seven games. This also means he only had a paltry seven points in his first 29 games. But he’s now scored in five straight games. Rust excels at being at the right place at the right time. That’s how he usually scores his goals. You’ll see that later on in the column.
2. Joshua Ho-Sang made his seasonal NHL appearance only this time it was much earlier than usual. The former first round pick usually plays only the last twenty games to avoid triggering his NHL contract. But I guess they decided now would be the time to make him a permanent member of the team. Even though he was just average in the AHL I applaud this move. It’s about time they figured out if he can play in the NHL or not. Besides, first round picks that aren’t goalies or defensemen are usually ready to play right away. Ho-Sang has only one goal in five games but it was a great shot from a tough angle.
Things I don’t
1. It’s becoming more and more obvious the two best teams in the NHL are the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs. They will probably end up with the two best records too. But they are also in the same division which means they will play each other in the second round. This is to absolutely no one’s benefit. Maybe it will be the necessary evil that finally makes the NHL change their screwy playoff system. But don’t count on it. This isn’t the NBA.
2. The Florida Panthers are underachieving. They definitely aren’t the best team in the division but they certainly shouldn’t be this bad or in last place. Jonathan Huberdeau is one of their few bright spots. In his last 15 games he has racked up 25 points. Eleven of those games were multi points games. The other four games he didn’t have any points. The one downside to all these points is most of them are assists. Never a bad thing but a winger’s job is to score goals and he only has nine. It’s unlikely he will match his career high of 27 goals from last season.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Kyle Turris vs Bobby Ryan
Not the greatest fight but it features two guys who don’t normally fight and they were former teammates.
Timo Meier vs Greg Pateryn
Short and intense.
Roman Polak vs Luke Kunin
Short and even more intense.
Goats of the Week
Ivan Provorov – Philadelphia Flyers
Provorov loses the handle in his own zone leading to a nice goal by the Blue Jackets. The Flyers lost by a goal in Carter Hart’s first loss.
The Wild gave the Penguins their only two goals in their 2-1 loss to them. And you know who, Bryan Rust, was there to score both of them.
Stat Line of the Week
12/23/18 Carolina 5 vs Boston 3
Teuvo Teravainen had an interesting game against the Bruins. He scored the first Hurricanes goal with a secondary assist from Sebastian Aho. Then he had an assist on Aho’s short-handed goal. The he assisted on a regular Aho goal six minutes later. Later, he scored his own short-handed goal with an assist from Aho. Although he was a first round pick, Teravainen has never been a big star. He probably never will be but he can produce solid games.
3 – Great saves in a row from way outside his net by Braden Holtby
202 – Career assists for Connor McDavid, the fifth youngest player to reach that mark
8 – Game point streak for Nikita Kucherov who has 15 points during it
3 – Road wins this season for the Devils, worst in the NHL
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
December 17, 1958 Ted Lindsay scored twice and added an assist to lead the Black Hawks to a 5-2 win over the Bruins, at Chicago Stadium. With the two goals Lindsay became the highest scoring left wing in NHL history, passing Aurel Joliat, who retired with 270.
December 18, 1989 Brett Hull scored his 100th career NHL goal in the Blues’ 6-3 loss, at Toronto.
December 19, 1999 Steve Yzerman wore the captain’s “C” for Detroit for the 1,000th regular-season game in the Red Wings 3-1 loss to the Mighty Ducks at Anaheim.
December 20, 1985 New York Islanders’ Denis Potvin scored his 916th career point, an assist, to break Bobby Orr’s all-time NHL record for defensemen. It came in a 2-2 tie against the Rangers.
December 21, 1983 Edmonton’s Wayne Gretzky scored his 23rd career hat trick and added two assists, and Jari Kurri had two goals and two assists as the Oilers won 7-4 against the visiting Winnipeg Jets. Andy Moog picked up his 50th career victory in the game.
December 22, 1924 In the 7th game in Bruins’ history, coach/GM Art Ross fired goalie Norm Fowler after he gave up 7 goals to Toronto. He had played in all 7 Bruins games, with 6.14 GAA. Forward George Redding finished the game in goal, a 10-1 loss to Leafs.
December 23, 1997 Colorado’s Jarri Kurri scored his 600th career NHL goal as the Avalanche won 5-1 over the visiting Los Angeles Kings.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
1. Tampa Bay
27. NY Rangers
26. New Jersey