NHL 2020-21 Recap Week 16 – Thug Tom Wilson, Connor McDavid 100 Points, Rangers firings
Tom Wilson is a thug and needs to be banned from the NHL. I said something similar the last time he was suspended. His latest incident was worse, but somehow he wasn’t suspended. Apparently, taking sucker punches on defenseless players and slamming helmet-less players down to the ice is okay. Even though if he did this stuff off the ice, he’d be in jail. Rather than do the right thing and overrule George Parros, who didn’t do the right thing, the NHL decided to fine the Rangers 250K for criticizing Parros; because we can’t have free speech and criticize people who are clearly bad at their jobs. Wilson was only fined 5k for what he did. Why is someone who was an enforcer and fought to earn an NHL paycheck the head of player safety? That’s like putting an arsonist in charge of the fire department. Stupidity knows no bounds. This whole incident and the aftermath are hard to fathom. Worse, Tom Wilson learned nothing as he called it a ‘fairly routine hockey scrum.’ There was nothing routine about what he did. Surprisingly, Wilson called Artemi Panarin to see how he was doing. That’s the least he could do after injuring him and making him miss the rest of the season.
The very next game, the teams fought less than a second after the puck was dropped. The Rangers lines brawled with the Capitals to extract justice since the NHL couldn’t bother to do it. The game had 141 penalty minutes. The NHL may have wanted this to create buzz, but fighting isn’t the best way to sell your product since your product is hockey, not UFC or boxing. Surprisingly, that wasn’t the game with the most penalty minutes this week. That honor went to the Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, who racked up 154. They are meeting in the first round, so that should be fun.
Some good came out of that game. T.J. Oshie scored a hat trick a day after his father’s death. Two games later, Oshie left the game with a lower-body injury. Most of the Capitals’ top players are now injured, not a good omen heading into the playoffs.
Things I like
1. Connor McDavid keeps going. McDavid is the only player not named Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux to score 30 goals and 60 assists in his first 50 games. He hit 100 points in 53 games, the fifth-fastest to get to that mark. We are getting peak Connor McDavid at the same time as peak Auston Matthews. I really hope they meet in the second round.
2. Rookie Cole Caufield was at it again. He scored another overtime game-winner the very next game after his first overtime winner. Then he scored another goal two games later. The Montreal Canadiens have found a winner. But his 5′ 7″ size is cause for major concern. Johnny Gaudreau is two inches taller, and nobody considers him big. I hope he holds up in the playoffs.
3. It was great to see Tyler Seguin back. It’s too little too late for the Dallas Stars, but they sorely missed his presence. He scored two goals in his first two games back. Three games are all he’ll play this season as he’s being benched for the final two games.
Things I don’t
1. In a head-scratching move, the New York Rangers fired their president and general manager. Apparently, owner James Dolan was fed up with not making the playoffs. But that’s the wrong way to look at it. The Rangers have been building a great young hockey club the past few seasons and now have many talented young players. They also signed Artemi Panarin as a free agent. Either next season or the season after, they will make the playoffs. Firing two people who helped get you those young players is dumb.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Nicolas Hague vs Nick Foligno
A long big boy fight.
Tom Wilson vs Brendan Smith
The edge sadly goes to Wilson.
Luke Schenn vs Ryan Lomberg
Decent fight but Schenn dominated most of it.
Goat of the Week
J.T. Miller – Vancouver Canucks
In a game the Canucks were leading 1-0, Miller decides to pass the puck right to McDavid behind the net. McDavid quickly dishes to Leon Draisaitl, who ties the game. It quickly unraveled after that for the Canucks. Of all the things you shouldn’t do, I think passing the puck to McDavid when he’s not on your team is at the top of the list.
Stat Line of the Week
05/07/21 Pittsburgh 8 vs. Buffalo 4
Jeff Carter seems to have rejuvenated his career in Pittsburgh. That’s terrible news for teams that will be playing the Penguins in the playoffs. Carter exploded for four goals against the Sabres. Surprisingly, his first career four-goal game. He scored the Penguins’ only goal in their final game against the Buffalo Sabres that clinched the division title.
1000 – Career NHL points for Anze Kopitar
501 – Career NHL points for Leon Draisaitl
200 – Career NHL goals for David Pastrnak
40 – Goals by Auston Matthews, still eight ahead of second-place McDavid
7 – Shutouts this season for Semyon Varlamov, first in the NHL and he had three in a row last week
1 – Vacancy in Columbus with John Tortorella leaving. Hopefully, the most overrated coach stays retired.
This Week in Hockey History
Special thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame site for making this section a little easier to do.
May 03, 1977 Billy Harris’ overtime goal at 3:58 of overtime gave the Islanders a 4-3 win over Montreal at the Forum, in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals.
May 04, 1998 Curtis Joseph recorded his second straight playoff shutout (and the 6th of his playoff career) in the Oilers’ 4-0 win at Colorado, in Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarter-Finals. The win advanced the Oilers to the Semi-Finals, against Dallas.
May 05, 1984 New York Islanders’ goaltender Bill Smith became the NHL’s all-time leader in career playoff victories, in a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. His 81st career Stanley Cup win moved him one ahead of Ken Dryden.
May 06, 1960 Detroit’s Gordie Howe was named winner of Hart Memorial Trophy as NHL’s MVP for a record fifth time.
May 07, 1992 Brian Leetch picked up three assists, and Kris King scored the overtime winning goal at 1:29 to lead the Rangers to a 6-5 win at Pittsburgh, in Game 3 of the Patrick Division Finals.
May 08, 2001 Mario Lemieux tied the game with 1:18 left in regulation and Martin Straka scored the winning goal at 11:29 of OT (and added two assists) in the Penguins 3-2 win against the visiting Buffalo Sabres, in Game 6 of the East. Conference Semi-Finals.
May 09, 2000 Flyers won 2-1 at Pittsburgh, to become the 13th NHL team to win a series after falling behind 2-0 at home, in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.