NHL 2021-22 Recap Week 3 – Quenneville resigns, Hurricanes ard Flames are scorching, Golden Knights inept power play
For the first time in the NHL, four teams started 5-0. The Blues and Oilers have since lost. The Capitals have yet to lose in regulation, but that doesn’t count. That leaves us with the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers. The two highest-scoring teams in the NHL.
I wrote in the season preview I thought the Hurricanes were crazy to dump both their goalies. But Fredrik Anderson has worked out well for them. Playing in Carolina probably feels like Anaheim and a better fit. The Hurricanes have been building something special for a while, so this start isn’t that surprising. They are the only team left without any loss. A Stanley Cup is a possibility.
The Florida Panthers, on the other hand, are different. They’ve acquired pieces through the draft, but it hadn’t led to much. Previous rebuilds have not gone smoothly. That’s what made landing Joel Quenneville intriguing. After hiring Quenneville, they made the playoffs consecutively for the first time since 1997. I don’t place much emphasis on coaching. If you made it this far as a player, you should know what you’re doing and be able to motivate yourself. But the correct coach can help. Just ask the Washington Capitals. You can also look at the NBA and the Lakers with Phil Jackson. Those same players could not win a championship with different coaches before and after Jackson.
His style is starting to pay off as the Panthers are off to a 7-0 start. They’ve since lost in the shootout to the Boston Bruins. However, that is now over after Quenneville’s resignation. I’ll get into that more below.
Things I like
1. The Chicago Blackhawks wanted a lead and a win. The Toronto Maple Leafs wanted a win. Auston Matthews really wanted it. The Blackhawks finally got a lead, but the Maple Leafs got the win. Comebacks, winning close games, unassisted goals (more on that below), a pretty goal from their second power-play unit. I mean, who had Michael Bunting with more goals than Auston Matthews at this point of the season? If you’re a Maple Leaf fan, you should like this two-game winning streak. Next up, a struggling Vegas team.
2. The Calgary Flames have won six in a row. Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, and Andrew Mangiapane are on fire. Goalie Jacob Markstrom is scorching with three shutouts in his last four games. Considering three is the most he’s ever had all season, that’s pretty good, as is 45 saves against the Pittsburgh Penguins. One short of tying the Flames shutout saves record. The Flames are now fourth in goals. I didn’t like them bringing back Darryl Sutter as their coach. I still don’t. But at least they’re winning, for now.
Things I don’t
1. The Colorado Avalanche faced the Vegas Golden Knights in a game nowhere near as good as last season. The Golden Knights were without Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone, yet somehow the Colorado Avalanche could not generate anything. The game wasn’t that entertaining except for the hit by Jack Johnson. That led to an extraordinarily long review in which the refs kept it at a major penalty. After the two minutes of matching, minors were up; the Golden Knights had a three-minute power play in which they did absolutely nothing. They only managed one shot and are the only team not to score a power-play goal this season. After watching that performance, it’s not hard to see why. They didn’t score any against the Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs, either. The Golden Knights are the favorite to land Jack Eichel, however. That will help.
2. Kyle Beach came forward to say he was sexually assaulted and harassed as a player on the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. The higher-ups met to discuss it. Former president John McDonough didn’t want any negative publicity. Quenneville shook his head and said that it was hard for the team to get to where they were, and they could not deal with this issue now. I get that you don’t want to deal with it. Nobody does. And I get that as a hockey coach; this isn’t your area of expertise. But to not deal with it is dumb. If you don’t want to deal with it, then hire someone. Even one you are paid to do, a game is never more important than someones’ physical or mental well-being, especially when another event occurred before they finally did anything about it three weeks later. Coach Jeremy Colliton felt bad for resigning president Stan Bowman who was general manager then. He said he was a great mentor, and those aren’t his values. I don’t have a problem with you feeling bad for him or thanking him for what he’s done for you. But to say that’s not his values is stupid. He had a chance to do something, and he didn’t. Your actions define who you are. None of them took part in the incident, but failing to help once known is almost as bad.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Alexander Romanov vs Jonah Gadjovich
Short and sweet with lots of punches.
Zack MacEwen vs Luke Schenn
A longer fight with even more punches.
Goat of the Week
Nick Leddy and Thomas Greiss – Detroit Red Wings
Greiss shouldn’t have left his crease because he didn’t help much. Then Leddy feels pressure and makes a terrible pass, which might not have mattered if Greiss was in net.
Mitchell Marner takes advantage. This became the game-winning goal because the Red Wings scored after.
Goal of the Week
After slowly declining in Columbus, Atkinson is off to a good start in Philadelphia. With a second left, he takes the bouncing puck Darnell Nurse swats and kicks it stick side for a nifty goal through Nurse’s legs.
Stat Line of the Week
10/25/21 Washington 7 vs. Ottawa 5
Drake Batherson had four points in a losing effort on the same night T.J Oshie also had a hat trick, but I’m giving him the spotlight anyway. Batherson knew where he needed to be and even got lucky with one goal. But it’s never bad to put it on net. He had a mini break out last season. It seems like big things are in his future.
200 – Career goals for Auston Matthews
84 – Multi goal road games by Alex Ovechkin, breaking Wayne Gretzky’s record
989 – Career points for Ryan Getzlaf breaking Teemu Selanne’s record for most in Ducks’ history
0 – Wins for the Blackhawks and Coyotes still
8 – Shutouts this week
100 – Career points for Cale Makar in only 108 games. A distinction he now shares with five hall of fame defensemen.
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
4. St. Louis