NHL 2018-19 Recap Week 19 – Blues on a roll, Ducks rebound, Tavares faces criticism
A couple of months ago I said I didn’t really see what the point of the Blues firing their head coach was. They weren’t a very good team and they didn’t have much talent. But now they are the hottest team in the NHL. I still haven’t changed my opinion, as they won’t do much in the playoffs, but their turnaround is impressive nonetheless. They’ve now won ten games in a row, a franchise record. But it’s the way they are winning that is more impressive. They are crushing teams. Three straight shutouts. 24 goals in their last five games. It’s hard to imagine they were so bad before. But a lot of the things that are happening now are unlikely to be sustainable. Vladimir Tarasenko is a great player but it’s unlikely he can continue putting up 15 points in 7 games. It’s unlikely Jordan Binnington will keep pitching shutouts. But for now, they find themselves in the third spot in the Central. Considering how bad the Central teams are below them, it’s likely this is where they will finish the season. They will they draw a tough first round match-up against the Jets or Predators. But at least they got in.
Things I like
1. The Ducks are 2-1 since ditching coach Randy Carlyle for a second time. It really makes you wonder why they brought him back at all. Something that didn’t even make sense then. But they’re playing much better and they’re at least still in the game in the second period even when they lose. But for a team that’s heading for a major overhaul next season, Gulls head coach Dallas Eakins is rumored to be the new coach next season and he’s bringing up a bunch of players with him, they’re doesn’t seem to be any point in winning. I know it’s hard to just tank but here’s a time a high draft pick would really help a team out.
Things I don’t
1. As John Tavares comes back to New York for the first time since leaving to join the Maple Leafs, a lot of old teammates have a few not so nice words for him. Rob Schremp called him the ultiamte I did my job superstar. The evidence seems to indict he wasn’t that greatest of teammates because he didn’t make those around him better. But on the flipside, it’s possible they just all waited around for him to do something. In any case, I don’t have a problem with people speaking their mind either. But wouldn’t the better time to have brought this up been when he was on the team? Then you could try and make the situation better. They probably feel empowered now that the Islanders are doing better without him but, other than making yourself seem right, this really benefits no one. This is one of the rare instances where a player leaving via free agency benefits both teams.
2.The Maple Leafs had another one of their patented up and down weeks. They scored three power play goals in the span of two minutes in a win against the Avalanche. Then in a tie game in the third period against the Golden Knights, they scored the final three goals in the span of six minutes. And then they followed it up with a shutout loss against the Coyotes. Because why not. They’ve also fallen to third in the Atlantic despite playing well lately.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Anthony Mantha vs Wayne Simmonds
There were a lot of fights this week but all of them were really short or really lopsided. This was neither.
Goats of the Week
Devan Dubnyk and Jared Spurgeon – Minnesota Wild
This is just a terrible way to lose a game in overtime. Zach Parise had nowhere to go with the puck so he plays it back to Dubnyk. The pass takes a funny bounce and Dubnyk doesn’t have anywhere to go with it either. Jared Spurgeon is the biggest culprit as he just puck watches instead of boxing out his man.
Los Angeles Kings
The Kings are having one of those seasons where they have no luck. They tie the game in the third with about four minutes left. You think it’s going into overtime. But no so fast. First,
the Bruins get a goal off of Anze Kopitar’s skate. Then they get another goal a few seconds later when Jeff Carter mishandles the puck and the Bruins knock home an easy goal. What a way to lose at home.
Stat Line of the Week
2/17/19 Pittsburgh 6 vs New York 5
Sidney Crosby is beginning to heat up. Crosby has a five game point streak going where he’s racked up 11 points. He dished out three assists against the Rangers and surprisingly only had one shot. The Penguins are currently battling for a wild card spot. They play an outdoor game against the Flyers this Saturday night.
1001 – Career NHL games for Chris Kunitz, yup he still plays
40 – Percentage of Oiler goals scored by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl
375 – Wins for Ryan Miller, he doesn’t play much anymore but he is now the all time winningest USA born goalie in NHL history
101 – Goals for Auston Matthews
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
February 11, 1941 Bruins’ goaltender Frank Brimsek made 28 saves (his 19th career shutout) in a 4-0 win over the visiting Detroit Red Wings, as Boston tied an NHL record by extending their unbeaten streak to 19 games (12-0-7).
February 12, 1999 Brendan Shanahan picked up his 400th career assist in the Red Wings 2-1 win against the Blackhawks at Chicago.
February 13, 1999 Kip Miller scored the winning goal at 3:39 of overtime to extend the Penguins’ winning streak to nine games, with a 3-2 victory at Nashville. It was the Penguins’ 3rd straight win that came in Overtime, an NHL record. The 3 wins came in 5 days.
February 14, 1995 Tampa Bay’s Denis Savard recorded his 800th career NHL assist, becoming the 15th player to reach that plateau, as the Lighting lost 5-2 to the visiting Philadelphia Flyers.
February 15, 1996 Rangers’ Luc Robitaille scored twice in the third period to give him 900 career points as New York tied 2-2 with Montreal, at MSG. The win improved the Rangers’ home unbeaten streak to 24 games, tying the team record.
February 16, 1995 Luc Robitaille scored four goals (including three in the second period for his first hat trick with Pittsburgh) in a 5-2 win over the visiting Hartford Whalers. The victory gave Ken Wregget a 12-0-1 record to start the 1995 NHL season.
February 17, 1955 Detroit’s Gordie Howe recorded his 300th career NHL assist in a 4-2 loss at Montreal.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
1. St. Louis
3. Tampa Bay