NHL 2020-21 Recap Week 14 – Kirill Kaprizov Calderworthy, Blue Jackets tumble, West hot, Devils Penguins wild game
The New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins played a wild game on Tuesday night. The Penguins jumped out to a 6-0 lead, and you thought, game over. But not so fast. The Devils scored six goals in the third period, and if it weren’t for Sidney Crosby’s goal sandwiched in the middle, it would have gone to overtime. Kudos to the Devils for getting close enough to pull the goalie. I don’t recall a team coming back from a 6-0 deficit before. Let’s look at some key goals.
Brian Dumoulin dumps the puck in that Scott Wedgewood handles with goatworthy precision.
Jeff Carter blasts his first goal as a Penguin with a wicked slap shot.
Yegor Sharangovich takes a bad pass from Kris Letang and scores a shorthanded goal.
The Devils with some sick and crisp passing to set up Nolan Foote’s first goal.
Things I like
1. Kirill Kaprizov of the Minnesota Wild currently has a five-game goal-scoring streak. Kaprizov leads all rookies in points (41) and goals (22) and is second in assists. He’s the leader for the Calder Trophy. Not bad for a 5’ 9” fifth-round pick. Check out one of his nifty goals this week below. Jason Robertson of the Dallas Stars is a close second and currently has a seven-game point streak.
2. The three hottest teams in the NHL are all in West Division. The Vegas Golden Knights have a nine-game winning streak, the Wild seven, and the Colorado Avalanche had their five-game streak snapped by the St. Louis Blues. They are also the first three teams to clinch a playoff spot. I lean toward Vegas getting the top spot. Cam Talbot has played great for the Wild in the last few games. The Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames both gave up on him too quickly. The Oilers were quite porous on defense during his tenure there. They should have done a better job evaluating the situation.
3. The Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings played one of those vastly uneven games. The Stars had 52 shots on goal to the Red Wings 17. The Red Wings only had three shots in the first and second periods. Jonathan Bernier showed he can still get it done. I honestly thought he wasn’t in the NHL anymore. It shows you how many Red Wings games I watch. The Stars prevailed in overtime on a Jamie Benn goal off a bad Red Wings turnover. Why would you make that pass?
Things I don’t
1. Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins expressed lament at the team’s current nine-game losing streak and losing 16 of 18. I can’t say I blame him, but it’s not that surprising. They play in a very tough division, and their team isn’t very good. They’ve never been a franchise that scored a lot of goals, and they still can’t. Even Patrik Laine can’t score goals anymore. The offensive structure and the general handling of players fall squarely on one man, the coach. I’ve always believed John Tortorella was one of the most overrated coaches ever. The only playoff series win he’s had in Columbus was because the Tampa Bay Lightning beat themselves.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Josh Manson vs Brendan Lemieux
More of a grapplefest than a fight.
Jordan Martinook vs Barclay Goodrow
A great fight cut short by Goodrow’s fist.
Goat of the Week
David Rittich – Toronto Maple Leafs
Rittich isn’t a bad goalie, but he makes some real head-scratching plays sometimes. He gives up a bad game-tying goal, and then two goals later, he gives up this one. I have no idea what stance that is. I don’t recall ever doing that as a goalie. If you take away his two bad goals and the empty-net goal, it’s a tie game instead of a 6-3 loss.
Stat Line of the Week
04/23/21 Buffalo 6 vs. Boston 4
The Buffalo Sabres got a big win over a red hot Boston Bruins team. Sam Reinhart had a hat trick and reached 20 goals for the fifth time in six seasons. He’s still a big piece of the Sabres future. Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist in the game.
2 – Shutouts for Matt Murray in his last three games
13 – Career NHL goals in the first minute of a game for Sidney Crosby, tying him with Mark Messier for first all-time
1767 – NHL games played by Patrick Marleau, tying Gordie Howe for first all-time
41 – Age of Joe Thornton who became the oldest goal scorer in Maple Leafs history, breaking the record by 44 days
1 – Lawsuit filed against the Seattle Kraken by a bar with the same name
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
April 19, 2004 Jose Theodore recorded his first career playoff shutout in the Montreal’s 2-0 win over the Bruins at Boston, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals. It was only the fourth game 7 road shutout in NHL playoff history.
April 20, 1950 New York’s Don Raleigh became the first player in NHL history to score two straight OT goals in the Finals, when he connected at 1:38 of overtime as the Rangers beat Detroit 2-1 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
April 21, 1999 Steve Yzerman scored three goals as the Red Wings won 5-3 against the visiting Mighty Ducks, in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarter-Finals. Yzerman’s fourth career playoff hat trick broke the Wings’ team record of 3 set by Norm Ullman.
April 22, 1990 St. Louis’ Brett Hull scored twice and added two assists as the Blues won 5-4 against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks, in Game 3 of the Norris Division Finals.
April 23, 2002 Patrick Roy became the first goaltender in NHL history to record 20 career playoff shutouts as the Avalanche beat the Kings 1-0 in Los Angeles, in Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarter-Finals.
April 24, 2002 Shawn Bates scored a penalty shot goal at 17:30 of the 3rd period to give the Islanders a 4-3 win over the visiting Maple Leafs, in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals. It was just the 2nd game-winning penalty shot in NHL history.
April 25, 2002 Sergei Fedorov became the first Detroit player to get 100 playoff assists, and added 2 goals in a 4-0 win against the visiting Canucks, in Game 5 of the Western Conference Quarter-Finals. Dominik Hasek recorded his 7th career playoff shutout
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
29. New Jersey
28. San Jose
27. Los Angeles