NHL 2018-19 Recap Week 16 – Central finally wins an All-Star game, USA women have skills, Chiarelli finally fired
Now in its fourth iteration of the 3 on 3 format, the All-Stars of the NHL showcased their skills in San Jose. Of course I use that term loosely, as many stars weren’t there. Alex Ovechkin is the most notable but then we can add Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and all the hot Flames. The Flames have the best record in the west, yet they only sent one player. The Avalanche sent all three of their high scorers. Speaking of which, it was nice that Nathan MacKinnon came, even though he couldn’t play, since the fans voted him captain. But why did the Central team need to be shorthanded? I’m pretty sure Tyler Seguin could have made the trip on a short notice. The NHL seems very adamant of sticking to their one player from each team rule, which screws over more deserving players. But when Carey Price couldn’t play, they never bothered to add another Canadien. The Canadiens weren’t represented. That doesn’t really make sense. Either stick to the rule or don’t. And Jimmy Howard an All-Star? Give me a break. I dug the muted jerseys with the player’s team logo on it. Much better than just a jersey with the division name on it.
It was nice to see the Central Division finally show up and win a game for once. It’s a little odd though that the winner of the second game always wins the third game. I’m not really a fan of teammates playing on the same lines. We see that enough during the regular season. The point of an All-Star game is to see players playing with other players you wouldn’t normally see them with. It’s very unoriginal. Having Sidney Crosby play with Alex Ovechkin was nice to see last year. The games were very entertaining and all the teams played well except the Pacific didn’t show up in the first half of their game. Very odd since they were basically the home team. This was probably because they paired all the Sharks and Oilers together. The Central was the worst team last year when they played all the Blackhawks together. Just another reason to not pair teammates together. They play better apart. I’m glad the new puck and player tracking stuff is only available through an app. I don’t want to see it. But it’s much better than when they tried it before with the glowing puck. Yuck.
Things I like
1. It finally happened, general manager Peter Chiarelli was fired. Something that was long overdue. The amount of bad trades he made in his tenures in Boston and Edmonton are simply stunning. The Oilers would have been better off if he had never been their general manager. Never a good sign. Some of his lowlights included trading Tyler Seguin for players that would no longer be on the team a few years later, trading away eventual MVP Taylor Hall straight up for an average defenseman, trading away a first and second round pick for someone who wasn’t even in the NHL a few seasons later. There are so many more I could mention but I don’t want to be here all day. As for the Oilers, they have a lot of work to do. It’s just sad that Chiarelli made it even harder for them to dig themselves out of their mess.
2. The skills competition is always fun. The hardest shot isn’t really the same without anyone with a hard shot being in it. I liked the addition of a USA women’s skater to the fastest skater. Poor Miro Heiskanen took a bad spill during it. Connor McDavid won that event for the third year in a row and his teammate Leon Draisaitl won the the premier passing event. Brianna Decker, also of USA women’s hockey, unofficially beat Draisaitl’s premier passing time and good of CCM to give her the prize money, since the NHL would not. As for the event, the mini nets killed many players times. But Draisaitl thought the first part with the cutouts was the hardest. Okay then. I love the puck control relay because it really screws over players when they get cocky. Auston Matthews honoring Patrick Marleau with his jersey was also a nice touch. I also dug the emojis on the accuracy discs. Nice to see them going green and using renewable ones too.
Things I don’t
1. I still don’t understand why the NHL has back to back games. It’s one thing to have them if you want to have back to back games at home or play a road trip in Los Angeles and Anaheim back to back. It’s another to play at home like the Capitals did and then having to fly to Toronto that night to play the Maple Leags the next day. A game which they of course lost. There’s no reason to ever schedule games like that.
2. P.K Subban getting mad that Pierre-Edouard Bellemare may or may not have bit his fingers is ridiculous. If you are going to put your fingers near a man’s mouth, because you are face-washing him, you shouldn’t be surprised if something like that happens.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Brenden Dillon vs Josh Brown
Slow and methodical with a few good punches thrown by each.
Goat of the Week
None this short week
Stat Line of the Week
1/22/19 San Jose 7 vs Washington 6
In a very wild game in the nation’s capitol, the Sharks scored the last three goals of the game to notch a win in overtime over the Capitals. Hertl had a hand in all three of the last goals in the the game. A power-play goal, an assist on the next goal and the overtime game winner. Hertl is having his best season ever and only needs two more points to set a career season high in points. Hertl should have been named an All-Star over Joe Pavelski.
0 – Losses when entering the third period with a lead to go with 23 wins for the Maple Leafs
19 – Shot difference between the Blues (32) and the Ducks (13) in the Blues big 5-1 win
600 – Wins for Predators coach Peter Laviolette, the second US born coach (John Tortorella is the other) to reach that milestone.
6 – Players with over 70 points
7 – Game losing streak for the Capitals
14 – Losses out of 16 games for the sinking Ducks
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
January 21, 1989 Mario Lemieux scored two goals and added five assists as the Penguins beat the Oilers at Edmonton, 7-4.
January 22, 2000 Pavel Bure scored twice, including the overtime winner at 1:31 and added an assist in the Panthers 4-3 win against the visiting Boston Bruins. Bure’s first goal was the 300th of his NHL career, the 7th fastest 300 goals in league history.
January 23, 1945 Detroit’s Earl Seibert, wearing a patch over his right eye due to an injury, scored twice within a span of 0:36 in the third period for a 5-4 win over the Bruins, at Boston Garden.
January 24, 2001 Detroit’s Larry Murphy became just the second player in league history to appear in 1,600 NHL games, and chipped in with an assist as the Red Wings won 4-3 against the visiting Nashville Predators.
January 25, 1982 Calgary’s Lanny McDonald scored his 300th career NHL goal as the Flames tied 3-3 at Boston.
January 26, 1982 New York Islanders set a team record for fastest four goals. Tonelli, Trottier (twice) and Duane Sutter combined for four goals within a span of 1:38 during a 9-2 win against Pittsburgh at Nassau Coliseum.
January 27, 1989 Steve Yzerman had a goal and two assists in his 50th game of the year, as Red Wings beat Toronto, 8-1. Yzerman became 4th NHL player to record 100 points in 50 games or less. The others were Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, and Bernie Nicholls.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
3. NY Islanders
4. Tampa Bay
5. San Jose
30. New Jersey