NHL 2019-20 Recap Week 21 – Golden Knights and Flyers hot, Penguins not, Oilers make good trades
One team the Western Conference doesn’t want to see get hot is. The Vegas Golden Knights have won eight in a row and they’ve been on fire at home lately. And then that all ended when they lost to the… Los Angeles Kings Sunday night. Regardless, the Golden Knights have always had a balanced team and this season is no different. They have four players with at least 20 goals and William Karlsson will soon be the fifth. He hasn’t had the best season so far but he’s been gaining steam with nine points in his last ten games. Paul Stastny may be the sixth in that club too. He also hasn’t had the best start but he’s also getting better, with seven points in his last ten games. I like the Malcolm Subban for Robin Lehner trade. The few games I’ve seen Subban start this season were not impressive. Lehner will be a quality backup. If the Golden Knight end up winning their division, it’s a pretty safe bet they’ll be going to the conference finals. The only bad news for the Golden Knights is Mark Stone will be out week to week with a lower body injury.
Things I like
1. The other hot team right now is the Philadelphia Flyers. They had a sensational February compiling a record of 10-3. Their only bad game was a head scratching 5-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils. The Flyers now find themselves in second place in the Metropolitan Division. This streak isn’t all that surprising with the talent they have. They finally have quality goaltending from Carter Hart and Brian Elliott to help propel them. Travis Konecny has steadily improved each season and he now leads the Flyers in goals and points. He’s red hot too with 13 points in his last seven games. The Flyers are even better balanced than the Golden Knights. They having five players with at least 19 goals and four others with 11 or 12. Their potential first-round match-up with the Penguins is intriguing.
2. The Edmonton Oilers made a couple of good moves before the trade deadline. Despite his eye popping -45, gotta love the Red Wings, Andreas Athanasiou is a great addition to a team that needs quality wingers. Especially with James Neal still injured. Mike Green isn’t what he used to be but he adds some much needed depth and experience to the defensive core. Unfortunately, they both became injured shortly after arriving. Green will be gone a month but Athanasiou didn’t actually miss any games. The Oilers seem like a lock for a playoff spot with their dynamic duo and their top rated killer power play and second ranked penalty kill.
Things I don’t
1. It’s probably nothing but the Pittsburgh Penguins have lost six in a row. All of the losses were on the road except one. They got blown out by the Toronto Maple Leafs and the San Jose Sharks. The Maple Leafs is fine, since they had just beaten them the game before and the Maple Leafs were looking for payback. But the Sharks? Yikes. The Penguins also lost to the Los Angeles Kings because that’s a trendy thing to do now. Sidney Crosby only has one point during the losing streak. Both of their goalies seem like they have no confidence. Platooning them isn’t helping either one. Their next game is against the Ottawa Senators. If they lose to them, it might be time to start panicking.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Zack MacEwen vs Stefan Matteau
This fight was odd and that’s what made it fun to watch.
Brenden Dillon vs Ryan Hartman
Most of the punches missed wildly but it was still entertaining.
Goat of the Week
Couldn’t find any that mattered.
Stat Line of the Week
02/27/20 Ottawa 5 vs Vancouver 2
Bobby Ryan hasn’t been seen in the NHL since November, when he disappeared into the NHL assistance program for alcohol related problems. Ryan returned to a standing ovation, a hat trick and even a fight. It was his first hat trick in six years. Ryan hasn’t been relevant for years, who knows maybe alcohol was to blame. His last 20 plus goal season was in 2015-16. It’ll be interesting to see how his career progresses from here at the age of 32.
5 – Goals scored in 7:52 in the Calgary Flames vs Tampa Bay Lightning game
2 – Goals scored by the Jets in 34 seconds in the Winnipeg Jets vs Edmonton Oilers game
102 – Points by Leon Draisaitl, the first player to the century mark this season. He had 105 last season. It’s safe to assume he will obliterate that mark.
10 – Shots on goal for Artem Anisimov against the Red Wings, he got two in
-120 – Goal differential for the Red Wings, it just keeps getting worse.
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
February 24, 1994 Rookie Alexei Yashin had three assists as the Senators won 5-4 over
the Sharks in Ottawa.
February 25, 1989 Steve Yzerman and Shawn Burr scored shorthanded goals 54 seconds apart, and Glen Hanlon made 27 saves (his 12th career shutout) to give the Red Wings a 5-0 win over the Blackhawks, at Joe Louis Arena.
February 26, 1999 Jacques Demers moved past Punch Imlach into 11th place on the NHL’s all-time victory list with his 403rd win as the Lightning won 4-1 against the visiting Philadelphia Flyers.
February 27, 2003 Brett Hull scored twice and added an assist to surpass 1,300 career NHL points in the Red Wings 7-2 win over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. The two goals gave Hull 25 goals (or more) for the 15th time in his NHL career.
February 28, 1993 Winnipeg’s Teemu Selanne scored four goals (including his 3rd career hat trick) to give him 50 in his rookie season, as the Jets won 7-6 over the visiting Minnesota North Stars. Selanne became the 3rd rookie in NHL history to score 50 goals.
February 29, 1940 Detroit’s Cecil “Tiny” Thompson became the first goaltender in NHL history to play 40 (or more) games for 12 straight seasons. The milestone came in a 3-1 Red Wings loss at Toronto.
March 01, 1989 Toronto’s Wendel Clark played his first game in 390 days, after missing 90 consecutive games. He picked up an assist in his comeback, a 7-4 loss to the Rangers at New York.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
4. St. Louis
26. NY Islanders