NHL 2019-20 Recap Week 5 – Capitals start red hot, Jean-Gabriel Pageau is rolling, Stars stars are not hot, Don Cherry says stuff
Tell me if you’ve heard this before, the team with the best record in the NHL is the Washington Capitals. They’ve rather quietly regained their top spot. But like other times, it may not mean anything. The Capitals famously won the President’s Trophy three times this decade, only to lose in the first or second round of the playoffs. Considering they only won the Stanley Cup with Barry Trotz and they lost in the first round again as soon as he left, it’ll probably happen again. But that doesn’t take away from their accomplishments thus far. The Capitals are first in goals scored by a wide margin, They are also first in goal differential. They only have two regulation losses. One was by one goal to the Predators and one was by three goals to the Avalanche when the were undefeated. This means they only didn’t play well in one game so far. Not too shabby. They have nine players with at least ten points. John Carlson is first in the NHL in assists. Alex Ovechkin is third in the NHL in goals. Ovechkin finally has some competition in the goals category this season. There only weakness really is their defense and Braden Holtby is having a bit of a down year. But when you’re scoring over four goals a game, it doesn’t really matter much. For now anyway.
Things I like
1. Jean-Gabriel Pageau is having a career year. Only you might not have noticed because he plays for the Ottawa Senators. Now in his sixth full NHL season, Pageau has five goals in his last four games for a total of eight. It’s significant because he’s never scored more than 19 in a season. He has two short-handed goals and two game-winning goals. He’s pretty good at shorties, having scored seven in a season once. More significantly, the Senators are 5-2 when he scores a goal. It’s a possibility the Senators might try to trade him if he keeps this up.
2. It’s time once again for someone on the Dallas Stars to call out the lack of production from the team’s star players. This time it’s the head coach. Yup, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, he who has one point in his last seven games, were one again called out. It worked last year when the front office called them out, hopefully it will work this time. Of course you really shouldn’t have to keep calling out your top players who sometimes seem to be invisible. It’s a shame because the rest of the team has been playing pretty well lately. If Seguin and Benn could just wake up, they’d be a force to be reckoned with.
Things I don’t
1. This back to back games nonsense is getting old. The Avalanche lost both second games of their back to back this season. The Bruins lost the second game of their back to back this week. The Canucks did as well. Although they did win their second game the previous week. And yes the Blues did win both of their back to back games. But still, there’s no reason to do this because there’s plenty of days in the season to spread the games out. It’s okay when both teams are stuck in Sweden like the Tampa Bay Lighting and Buffalo Sabres were this week. Or if you do a back to back with the same teams and the cities are right next to each other like when the Maple Leafs and Sabres will do back to backs at the end of the month.
2. I watched Coach’s Corner this past Saturday night and listened to Don Cherry and I honestly didn’t think he said anything bad. Then the next day I see all over the internet how outraged everyone is about what he said. And I thought to myself, what did he say again? Then I watched it again and I was like o. Honestly, I don’t think it was that bad. Sure he shouldn’t have said you people or in that tone but his point seemed to be that everyone should wear a poppy to symbolically honor the people who died and it only cost a few bucks so you don’t have an excuse. Of course there are other ways to honor them too. But it seems like everything offends everyone these days. You can literally spin anything anyone says to fit what you want it to mean. If you want things that are truly offensive, I can find some and copy and paste them here. In fact, there was something someone said in a book that’s coming out soon that was 1000 times worse. But I’m not going to do that because this is a hockey column. Even though I’ve never been to Canada, someone from Twitter mailed me a poppy because I wanted one. I never wear it but I have it.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Mark Borowiecki vs Brendan Lemieux
This fight was fast and furious. My favorite kind of fight. It starts about 40 seconds into the clip.
J C Beaudin vs Anthony DeAngelo
Not a bad scrap.
Goats of the Week
Kris Letang – Pittsburgh Penguins
Letang passes right to Jake DeBrusk and then Letang and Murray allow DeBrusk to score from a very bad angle for the first goal of the game. A game they lost by one, minus the empty netter. More on this game below.
Leon Draisaitl and Joel Persson – Edmonton Oilers
As good as the Oilers have been this season, games like this remind you of how they play most of the time. First, as good as Draisaitl is you can’t skate through people. He tried to do that here and turned it over. The Coyotes took it the other way and scored.
Next, Draisaitl, again, and Joel Persson play the puck extremely poorly against the boards. The Coyotes take advantage and score another goal. The Oilers lost in overtime.
Stat Line of the Week
11/04/19 Boston 6 vs Pittsburgh 4
Brad Marchand was a one man wrecking crew against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a big win. One goal was off a his great tip-in and the other was on a breakaway from a loose puck. He had great assists too, including one were he almost had the puck stolen twice. There’s no better duo in the NHL right now than Marchand and David Pastrnak.
1 – 3 on 0 in overtime, the first one I’ve ever seen in the Canucks vs Blues
5 – Overtime games on Thursday
14 – Game point streak for David Pastrnak currently
2 – Goals scored by the Flames in 49 seconds at the end of the third period to send the game into overtime where they won it
9 – Goals scored by the Avalanche against the Predators
6 – Goals were unanswered in the game
4 – Goals of the unanswered were scored in a span of 2:21
1 – Hat trick in the game by Joonas Donskoi, his first one in the NHL
402 – Career Points by Connor McDavid, including his fifth career hat trick against the Ducks
53 – Saves by Robin Lehner in the Blackhawks 5-4 win against the Maple Leafs
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
November 04, 1972 Ralph Backstrom, Mike Corrigan and Bob Berry set a Kings record for fastest 3 goals, scoring within 45 seconds in the second period of a 9-2 win over the NY Islanders, in the first game between the two clubs. It was the Kings’ 7th straight win.
November 05, 1981 Bruin goalie Rogie Vachon extended his unbeaten streak to 5-0-3 with a 2-1 win over Vancouver, at Boston Garden. Peter McNab led the scoring with a goal and an assist in the first period.
November 06, 1993 Winnipeg Jets named Keith Tkachuk as their new team Captain, replacing Dean Kennedy. Tkachuk became the 12th Captain in the Jets’ NHL history.
November 07, 2002 Brian Leetch became the 1st defenseman in NHL history to get 7 regular season overtime goals, when he scored 51 seconds into OT, and Dan Blackburn recorded his first career NHL shutout in the Rangers 1-0 win against the visiting Calgary Flames.
November 08, 1997 Teemu Selanne scored a goal in his 10th straight game, as Anaheim won 3-2 at Vancouver.
November 09, 1957 Montreal’s Claude Provost scored just four seconds into the second period to set an NHL record (later tied by Denis Savard) for fastest goal from start of a period. Canadiens beat Boston, 4-2.
November 10, 1999 Scott Mellanby became the first player to score 300 points in a Florida Panthers’ uniform, when he picked up two third-period goals in a 4-1 win against the visiting expansion Atlanta Thrashers.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
2. NY Islanders
4. St. Louis
30. New Jersey
29. Los Angeles
27. San Jose