NHL 2019-20 Recap Week 6 – Unreal parity in the NHL, High scoring duos, Flames vs Coyotes Brawl and Avalanche overcome odds
We’re about a quarter of the way done the NHL season and there’s nothing too surprising yet. The parity in the NHL this season is unreal. Only five wins separates you from last to first in both divisions in the Western Conference. And there’s only four teams with four regulation losses or less. Being down three goals in the third period doesn’t mean anything anymore either. We had a lot of those comebacks this week. No lead is safe now with all the young talent in the NHL. The only overachieving team is the Arizona Coyotes. I can’t see them holding down the second spot in their division for much longer. If I were the Vegas Golden Knights, Toronto Maple Leafs or Tampa Bay Lightning, I wouldn’t panic but I’d be a little worried.
Things I like
1. Last year’s trios have been replaced with duos. And we have some major duos this season. Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid lead the NHL in scoring and it’s hard to see anyone toppling them. Draisaitl has a 12 game point streak and is on the fastest scoring pace of any player since 2002-03 Then there is Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin and lastly Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau. Auston Matthews and Nathan MacKinnon are the only two in the top 10 without a teammate. Ovechkin just slid down to 13th. Of course the Blues won last year without any of this. But it’s still fun to know. And watch out for Patrick Kane. He’s heating up, now 9th in scoring, and showing he’s still got it. He’s racked up 17 points during his current nine game point streak.
2. I always love it when goalies get involved in fights because then you know it was an epic melee. It all started with a crosscheck after a hit and then it spiraled out of control. Johnny Gaudreau did the crosscheck and then he sort of pushed Jason Demers while he was down as did Matthew Tkachuk. But they were very light pushes. Sure Demers was down but it usually takes a lot more for a goalie to get involved. But apparently Darcy Kuemper didn’t like it. David Rittich raced down but sadly the goalies did not fight. Surprisingly, there was only 14 minutes of penalties assessed. Usually there’s more. But this one was just tamer than normal. I love these kind of brawls. The Flames lost this game 3-0 and then they got crushed the next night in Vegas 6-0. Not the best time for a back to back. But when is a good time really.
Things I don’t
1. These next few weeks will be a good barometer test for the Colorado Avalanche after faltering a bit from their red hot start, the Avalanche have been hit with the injury bug. Both of their starting goalies, Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz, have gone down. The first game with their two new goalies, Adam Werner and Antoine Bibeau, together came against the Edmonton Oilers. You can guess how that went. The Avalanche were also up 4-2 with a few minutes left in the game until Matt Calvert was hit in the head by the puck from a shot and bleeding on the ice. But did the officials stop the game? Of course not. The Canucks scored a goal and the Avalanche were rightfully livid. If someone is bleeding, the whistle should always be blown. End of story. The fact that the NHL prioritizes the game over player safety is a joke. The Canucks ending up scoring again to force overtime. The Avalanche managed to win though when Nathan MacKinnon went coast to coast for the goal.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Dalton Prout vs Nicolas Deslauriers
This fight was like a punching carousel.
Givani Smith vs Nicolas Deslauriers
It’s a double bill of Deslauriers. This one was also a bit of a carousel. It was even at first, until Deslauriers pulled away at the end.
Goat of the Week
John Marino – Pittsburgh Penguins
Marino misplays the puck at the point and despite it being a breakaway the Penguins have the two on one advantage. Despite this, Blake Coleman gets off a shot and then taps in his own rebound when he overpowers Marino. The Penguins lost 2-1.
Stat Line of the Week
11/13/19 Ottawa 4 vs New Jersey 2
Jean-Gabriel Pageau has cooled a bit but he did manage to net a hat trick against the Devils. He scored the game winner on a nifty rebound from the side of the net and then sealed it later with the empty net goal. He now has 11 goals on the season. Just eight shy of his season career high.
400 – Career goals for Steven Stamkos
5 – Overtime or shootout games on Tuesday out of nine games
7 – Overtime or shootout games on Saturday out of 15
35.3 – Shooting percentage of Filip Chytil who has six goals on 17 shots
14 – Game point streak for the Islanders
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
November 11, 1991 Winnipeg rookie Stu Barnes scored his first career hat trick — with all three goals coming in the third period, of a 6-2 Jets’ win over the Kings. It was the first Jets’ hat trick in 185 games (since Thomas Steen on March 18, 1989).
November 12, 1991 Detroit’s Jimmy Carson had a goal and four assists, while Ray Sheppard scored his third career hat trick as the Red Wings ended their 7-game road winless streak in Calgary (0-6-1) with a 5-4 overtime win over the Flames.
November 13, 1968 St. Louis Blues beat the Rangers 3-1 in New York, in a game that featured three Blues’ goalies — Glenn Hall (ejected early in the first period), Robbie Irons (who suffered a leg injury) and, finally Jacques Plante.
November 14, 1992 Calgary’s Mike Vernon registered his 200th career NHL victory as the Flames won 5-3 over the Lightning at Tampa Bay. Vernon became the first goalie in Flames’ history to win 200 career games and the 38th in the NHL
November 15, 1987 Doug Smith scored his 100th career NHL goal, and it was also the 5,000th goal in Sabres’ history in a 5-4 win over Toronto, at the Aud.
November 16, 2001 Steve Yzerman scored twice, including the 650th goal of his NHL career and Brett Hull had two assists for his 1,200th career point in the Red Wings 8-3 win over the visiting Minnesota Wild.
November 17, 1973 Goaltender Gilles Gilbert made 30 saves for his third career shutout, and Phil Esposito scored his 20th goal of the season (in game #18, the fastest 20 goals in modern NHL history at that time) in an 8-0 Bruins’ win over Detroit, at Boston Garden.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
2. NY Islanders
4. St. Louis