NHL 2020-21 Recap Week 13 – NHL trades, Stars heating up, Canucks return, No end season drama
If you like football, I wrote an article on how to draft an NFL Quarterback on my other site.
By now, everyone knows about all the NHL trades. The three major ones were Taylor Hall to the Boston Bruins, Jeff Carter to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Columbus Blue Jackets sending Nick Foligno to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It’s impressive the Blue Jackets acquired a first and fourth-round pick for Foligno. The Maple Leafs are pretty stacked at forward. I wouldn’t have given up a first-round pick or traded for him at all. I doubt he’ll contribute much.
I’m a bit surprised the Buffalo Sabres only got a second-round pick and a prospect (Anders Bjork) for Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar. Hall looks like a great fit in Boston, who almost drafted him. After the Oilers picked Hall first, the Bruins drafted Tyler Seguin, who they famously gave up on. Hall will now play on a good team for the first time in his career. This will be the third time he will make the playoffs. He’s off to a good start with two goals and an assist in three games. Now on his fifth NHL team and fourth in two seasons. Get around much Hall?
The Jeff Carter trade is most intriguing. He’s definitely not the same player he once was, but the Penguins always play better when they have wingers that can generate their own offense. They do have Jake Guentzel, but more options are always better. But Carter has no points yet.
Things I like
1. The Dallas Stars are starting to get hot. Despite officially losing Ben Bishop and Alexander Radulov for the rest of the season, the Stars are 6-2-2 in their last ten. Denis Gurianov and Jason Robertson are stepping up to join Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski. Their biggest detriment is their whopping twelve overtime or shootout losses. If they had won just a third of those games, they would already be in the final playoff spot. Their next four games are against the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings aren’t an easy win, but they should be able to sweep them. That would probably vault them into the final playoff spot. The Stars’ goal differential is 13, while the Chicago Blackhawks (-12) and Nashville Predators (-9) both have negative differentials. Tyler Seguin skated for the first time this week. He might be back in two weeks.
2. The Buffalo Sabres are on fire! They’ve won five of their last nine games. I’m only highlighting this because of all the crap I’ve given them this season. But being applauded for playing like a professional hockey team is never a good sign. Jack Eichel is done for the rest of the season and will undergo neck surgery for a herniated disc.
Things I don’t
1. This will be one of the most anticlimactic and boring ends to an NHL season in some time. The only drama will be who gets the final spot in the Central and West divisions. That’s it. There’s drama at the top, but since there are no fans, I don’t see what difference it makes other than you’d rather play the fourth seed than a third seed in the first round. These divisions are uncompetitive, and there’s no wildcard. I’m grateful things will go back to normal next season.
2. 25 days have passed between games for the Vancouver Canucks, who returned against the Maple Leafs on Sunday night with an overtime win. That’s not the part I don’t like. In the final minute of the game, Mitch Marner shoots the puck off the back of Braden Holtby. Based on how far in he was and where it hit, logic would assume it crossed the line. Marner thought so too. However, you can’t see the puck. But when Holtby unwraps his leg from the post, you can see the puck firmly in goal. It’s unlikely he knocked it in when he moved. It looked like he was sitting on it. They went to video review, and the no-goal call stood. I get we want to see it, but sometimes logic should prevail.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Milan Lucic vs Scott Sabourin
Lucic takes out Sabourin.
Tage Thompson vs Kevan Miller
Miller knocks Thompson.
Goat of the Week
San Jose Sharks
At least three Sharks touched the puck behind or in front of the net, two almost collided into each other. But none of them cleared the puck, enabling Nick Bonino to score. The Sharks lost 3-2.
Stat Line of the Week
04/17/21 Washington 6 vs. Philadelphia 3
With four helpers in this game, John Carlson reached 405 career assists. Alex Ovechkin had two power-play blasts from his office, one right off the face-off. Evgeny Kuznetsov had a nice goal set up from a pretty pass by Tom Wilson. When the Capitals are on, they are hard to beat. But the Bruins did so the next day, 6-3. Their big boys came to play. Brad Marchand had four points, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak each had three. Bergeron had his third short-handed goal to tie Marchand for second place this season.
485 – NHL wins for Marc-Andre Fleury, passing Ed Beflour for fourth all-time
301 – NHL wins for Tuukka Rask
1767 – NHL games played by Patrick Marleau, tying Gordie Howe for first all-time
71 – Points by Connor McDavid, who would probably have 140 in an 82 game season
401 – Career assists for Victor Hedman
1 – Hat trick on his birthday for Pavel Buchnevich
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
April 12, 2002 Teppo Numminen became the first defenseman in Phoenix Coyotes franchise history to get 400 career assists; the milestone came during a 7-1 win over the visiting Minnesota Wild.
April 13, 1994 San Jose Sharks finished the regular season as the most improved team in NHL history, posting a 58-point gain over 1992-93. Sharks tied 2-2 with the Oilers in their final regular season game to increase their points total to 82.
April 14, 1948 Toronto beat the Red Wings 7-2 in Game 4 of the Finals in Detroit, to give the Leafs a four game sweep, and their second consecutive Stanley Cup Championship.
April 15, 2004 Detroit’s Brett Hull picked up his 24th career playoff game-winning goal (tying him with Wayne Gretzky for 1st overall in playoff history) in a 4-1 win against the visiting Nashville Predators, in Game 5 of the Western Conference Quarter-Finals.
April 16, 1992 Brett Hull became just the second player in NHL history to score 70+ goals in three consecutive seasons when the Blues beat the Minnesota North Stars, 5-3 in St. Louis.
April 17, 1980 Paul Holmgren and Bill Barber set a Flyers’ playoff record by scoring :14 apart during the second period of a 4-1 win over the Rangers, in Game Two of the Quarter-Finals.
April 18, 1998 Peter Bondra scored his 50th goal of the season for the second time in his career (the fourth NHL player to reach 50 goals in 1997-98) in the Capitals 4-3 win against the Hurricanes, in North Carolina.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
30. New Jersey
28. Los Angeles
26. San Jose