NHL Weekly Things to Think About

Weekly ramblings, musings, and thoughts to ponder about every team in the league.

In case you’ve been too caught up in CFB, NFL, NBA, CBB, and everything else going on in the sports world to realize that we already 1/3rd of the way through the NHL season I’m here to help you get caught up to speed. Let’s roll through each team and see what’s happening. In case you missed last week’s as the site wasn’t quite live yet check it here.

Let’s get into it…

Anaheim Ducks – I don’t think anyone saw the Pacific division as anything other than the Sharks playground after the Erik Karlsson addition but the Ducks and Flames have been standing tall. Anaheim is 8-2 in their last 10 and they have Daniel Sprong doing things like this

Sigh.

Arizona Coyotes – Anti Raanta  is out for possibly the entire season after having “lower body surgery” which revealed more damage than initially thought. Lower body surgery is tough folks, it’s impossible to predict because it’s essentially 50% of your body, extremely hard to estimate damage and accurately diagnose such a broad area. Good news for the Coyotes is they seem to have found a gem in Rookie Adin Hill. The former 3rd rounder is 6 foot freaking 6 and he’s gone 3-2-0 with a 1.82 GAA and .936 save percentage.

Lower Body surgery can be complicated and confusing. Here’s a tool to help.

Boston Bruins – Big weekend for the B’s as they find themselves in the middle of one of the more surprisingly stacked divisions and snatched up two divisional game wins pounding Toronto 6-1 and edging out Ottawa 2-1. May not seem like much but they need every point they can get until their injury bug subsides. There’s also a rumor floating around the internets of trying to bring Lucic back? Don’t do that. Play the kids!

Krug OT winner against Ottawa

Buffalo Sabres – Things were looking up! Finally the Sabres were getting some recognition and putting the league on notice! Jeff Skinner has 20 goals! What!? No seriously I know it’s insane look it up…. Then… 0-3-2 in their last 5. Carter Hutton was on the ice this morning and his return should help sure some things up.

Calgary Flames – Sean Monohan is a top 10 point getter and the Flames are currently 1st in the entire Western Conference after spanking Nashville 5-2. We’re about 1/3rd of the way through the season and the Flames are proving a lot of doubters wrong looking like a playoff team. I don’t think they hold onto the top spot in the division but at the least have wild card potential. All of this meanwhile with James Neal only having 3 goals and 6 points on the year. Wow.

Carolina Hurricanes – The Canes are getting in the Xmas spirit rocking the red and green breaking in those Whaler throwbacks.

They’ll be sporting these on the 23rd and some folks are none too pleased. I understand people are still a bit sour about the way the team left Hartford but this is most definitely a tribute and as an innocent bystander I think it presents a cool chance to watch some hockey history, it’s not like Justin Williams is some Buffalo Bill copycat skinning corpses creating some ungodly hockey monstrosity. (Also it’s definitely a money grab, a smart one… These are sick sweaters).

Chicago Blackhawks – Turns out firing coach Q has created more problems than solutions. The Hawks are 1-9 in their last 10 games and at the bottom of the Western Conference. What happens first? Coach Q gets a new gig or GM Stan Bowman gets the axe?

Colorado Avalanche – *Checks the points leaderboard* – Yep Rantanen and McKinnon are both going to score over 100 points. It’s funny most people still don’t know what a beast Rantanen is or how far we’ve come with the offensive explosion… This was what we were dealing with in 2015!

Columbus Blue Jackets – Time to stop sleeping on Cam Atkinson… DYK Since the start of the 2015-16 season, he’s 13th in the league with 105 goals. More than Connor McDavid, Nathan McKinnon, Taylor Hall, Phil Kessel… That’s a fun fact from Aaron Portzline but it’s impressive for sure. Put some respek on his name

Dallas Stars – Martin Hanzal hasn’t played since last February. He is a 6’6 12 year NHL vet who just came back from spinal fusion surgery, let’s see how he fared in his two games back…

Yup seems to be holding up fine

HE SCORED WITH HIS BACK! HE’S BACK FOLKS!!

Detroit Red Wings – This saucy paws pass to Larkin to seal the game is so damn beautiful…

Also why is Dylan Larkin fighting Josh Bailey?

Edmonton Oilers – ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!? 13 points (4-9) in nine games for No. 97 since Hitchcock took over. Oilers 7-2-1 under Hitch.

Florida Panthers – Things aren’t… great…

Still not dead last though!

Los Angeles Kings – Also not dead last after the Hawks recent slide. I reiterate as I said last week BLOW IT UP! It’s time the Kings tear it down and rebuild. Move pieces while there’s still time to get premium value.

Minnesota Wild – Last week I wrote “The Wild have two of the top 10 scoring D men in terms of points in the entire league (Ryan Suter, Matt Dumba) Only 1 fwd in the top 50 (Granlund). Seems problematic.” – Still problematic, Granlund is hanging on there, but barely. He’s 48th. Minny needs some big time production.

Montreal Canadiens – How long can this team hold a playoff spot? Their PP is damn near dead last, their PK is 18th. They don’t score a ton or defend particularly well. Carey Price hasn’t exactly been shutdown this year, yet they continue to win. The Max Domi revenge tour continues though, 31 points in 30 games.

Nashville Predators – I mean I understand EVERYONE loves the city of Nashville, myself included I spent a month there one weekend, but these guys need to get over the home cooking and figure it out when they’re on the road. For a team this good they have lost their last 6 away games. 

New Jersey Devils – Still last in the East, but the Flyers are making a case they deserve it more! Also this is just strange:

New York Islanders – According to multiple sources, the Islanders have been engaged in contract negotiations with Anders Lee and his agent on a long-term extension in the six-to-seven year range. They can’t afford to let their leading goal scorer leave after the Tavares decision. Have to wonder if he was thinking about 7 mil a year here when he had his head down and got KRONWALLED

New York Rangers – Rangers have some decisions to make. It seems they’re very likely going to move on and trade Zuccarello at some point this season, but what about Kevin Hayes? He’s on pace for what could be a career year in points… Do you sign or trade him?

Ottawa Senators – Look out league!

Philadelphia Flyers – Much like the Hawks, it seems like they fired the wrong guy. Dave Hakstol’s clock is ticking but the Philly faithful are are fed up and one of them hucked a Hextall jersey on the ice after a 7-1 loss to the Jets. We’re getting close on the Philly DoomsDay Emergency Scale, first it’s beers, then it’s jerseys, then batteries are next, and eventually human heads.

Pittsburgh Penguins – Just when you think this team is starting to turn a corner putting up 6 goals in back to back games, beating the Islanders in an important division game, they lose to Ottawa in OT. When will we see Matt Murray back in the net and will it be the good or the bad version? 

Also in the least surprising news ever, Kris Letang is a big brooklyn guy over playing at Nassau. How’s he supposed to flaunt those dashing good looks and incredible flow in the city when he’s stuck at that trash heap on the Island. 

San Jose Sharks – Kinda concerning for SJ fans that Erik Karlsson and Joe Pavelski are this far in and still not signed huh? They are awfully tight against the cap so it’s kind of a waiting game. I assume this would be the last year of Jumbo in San Jose and they would flip his money to little Joe P’s if they choose to have him stick around.

St Louis Blues – Let’s see how the players are handling the stress of a losing year in St. Louis…

Oh good (Also the Owner was attending practice… Yikes)

Tampa Bay Lightning – When is Vasilevsky coming back? Oh he’s practicing this week? Oh it doesn’t matter? Ok, cool. Louis Domingue went 3-0-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average and .957 save percentage, giving the Bolts their sixth straight win overall and a six-point lead atop the NHL standings.

Toronto Maple Leafs – Get ready for a yard sale this offseason you guys. It could easily cost $22 million to re-sign Matthews and Marner, crushing the Leafs’ cap space with to over $78 million tied up in just 14 players. They’d probably love to keep Jake Gardiner, but is there room?

Vancouver Canucks – Elias Petterson is continuing the trend of tremendous Swede’s in Vancouver. He has 30 points for his career already which puts him at 6th on a list of rookies with mesmerizing starts over the last 30 NHL seasons

The Youth movement is on in Vancouver and is paying off…

Vegas Golden Knights – Before the season started VGK and William Karlsson avoided arbitration with a $5.25 million 1 year deal. The ultimate show me deal. Karlsson scored 43 goals last year after never scoring more than 9 in the season. Vegas was hesitant to commit big money long term and rightfully so. So where does he stand this offseason? He’s got 10 goals this year and is on pace for 25ish. He’s 25 years old, 5 years x 6 million per sounds about right.

Also MAF own’d Kuznetsov 

Washington Capitals – After struggling early the Caps are back on top of the Metro division. I don’t expect them to ease up either and will take the Metro title for another year. This Kuzy goal is straight filthy. I’ve seen him try this against the Pens more than a few times

Winnipeg Jets – After dummying the Flyers, the Jets had to feel even better than usual after a big win when 7! different players scored in the game. Who said this after the game “Honestly, that was pretty ugly from our group…” Go ahead take a guess… Got it? No not a Flyer offering up some accountability, It was a Jet! Tyler Meyers actually, just straight savage on the winning side of a 7-1 ass beating and speaking some hard truth.

Here’s all 7 goals for your viewing pleasure:

Until next week…

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