Friday, November 22, 2013

ClubberSpeak: The Tour Around The NHL

((HT: Jim Lang Blog))

Understandably, it is time to talk hockey AND football here at the HQ...

But, for now, anyway... we leave the puck to the pros...

After a busy Thursday night in the NHL I thought it was time some of the good and bad trends taking place around the league.

Leafs – There are not many positives to take away from the Leafs loss to the Predators Thursday night. Jonathan Bernier had an awful night as the Leafs lost 4-2. Bernier’s performance all but guarantees that James Reimer will get the start Saturday night when the Leafs host the Capitals. With the loss to Nashville the Leafs are now 3-4 and 1 in November. The more troubling trend is the Leafs issues when it comes to scoring goals this month. The Leafs are currently ranked 29th in the NHL in November, averaging 1,88 goals per game this month. In Riemer’s last three starts the Leafs have scored a total of five goals. Phil Kessel has three goals in November with two of those coming in Tuesday’s win over the Islanders. This sparking debate as to whether or not Kessel is playing hurt. With the Leafs dealing with more serious injuries at other positions Kessel has little choice but to play through whatever is ailing him the best he can.

Oilers – I wonder if local Edmonton kids have stopped telling Dallas Eakins that he sucks when drops his kids off at school? Thursday night the Oilers beat the Panthers 4-1 to extend their winning streak to three games. In those three games they have defeated the Flames, Blue Jackets and Panthers by a combined scored of 15-3. Now three games doesn’t make a season but any kind of winning streak is a welcome sight for Oilers’ fans who have suffered through the pain of this season.

Canucks – Memo to NHL reporters, this is not the week to crack jokes with John Tortorella. The Canucks are riding a five game losing streak (One in OT and in a shoot-out) as they host Columbus tonight at Rogers Arena. Much like the Leafs, goal scoring has been an issue for the Canucks in November. In November the Canucks are tied with the Sabres for 28th, averaging two goals per game. Concern among Canucks fans will turn into downright panic if they lose to Columbus tonight.

Flyers – The team that puts the word “fun” into dysfunctional, the Flyers are beginning to turn it around. The Flyers beat the Sabres Thursday night to win their second straight and they are now a respectable 6-2 and 2 in their past 10 games. The Flyers have played 10 games in November and they are ranked sixth in the NHL this month, allowing an average of 2.00 goals per game. The Flyers are also benefiting from the fact that Claude Giroux has six points in his last six games.

Blackhawks – This is now news to anyone, but the Blackhawks are still the class of the NHL. After Thursday night’s win over the Jets the Blackhawks took over first place over-all in the NHL with a 15-4 and 4 record. The Hawks are almost unbeatable on home ice, sporting a 9-1 and 3 record at the United Center. The Hawks are a deep, talented and well coached machine that show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Tuukka Rask – I love how Rask responds to letting in a goal he thinks he should have stopped. A perfect example took place last night after Derek Roy beat Rask in the shoot-out for the GWG in the Blues 3-2 victory over the Bruins.

I am sure none of his teammates had much to say about after the game. But you can be sure that Rask’s Bruins teammates will be giving him the business bout his failed attempt to break his stick at practice today.

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