Nick Jehamy | November 2nd, 2019
Welcome to the second edition of The NHL Weekly Roundup. If you took my advice last week on what to watch you should have had a great hockey experience. Game of the week, Arizona Coyotes at the Buffalo Sabres was a fantastic game that ended up having to go all the way to a shootout!
The New York Islanders continue to stay hot and extend their win streak to eight games, and the Anaheim Ducks have turned things back around taking their first two games on their homestand. David Pastrnak’s goal streak ended, but still holds a ten-game streak with a point scored, and Pekka Rinne started off the week for the Predators with a gem picking up a shutout victory. Now let’s get into my stars of last week!
Three Stars of the Week
Andrei Svechnikov, Carolina Hurricanes
The right wing for the Carolina Hurricanes, Svechnikov has been a key part of the Hurricanes dominate run they have been on as of late. Up until this week, Svechnikov only had one goal on the season. Over his last three games, Svechnikov has produced five goals and one assist while holding a plus/minus of +5. Two of those goals came in a strongly fought matchup against the Calgary Flames where Svechnikov’s two in the net were the deciding factors in a 2-1 victory at home.
David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
Appearing on last week’s “What to Watch For”, the Boston Bruins leading goal scorer did not disappoint over the past week. As stated earlier Pastrnak’s goal streak may have ended, but it ended in a match where Pastrnak went and picked up five assists! The league-leading goal scorer now has 12 goals and 12 assists on the season, and with a goal in his last match, he currently has a ten-game point streak and is looking to keep it going in his next game against a very weak Ottawa Senators team.
Matt Murray, Pittsburgh Penguins
Goalie Matt Murray has been hot over his last two starts for the surging Pittsburgh Penguins. Shutting out the Dallas Stars in a 3-0 victory, and holding the Philadelphia Flyers to one goal in a 7-1 beat down, Matt Murray flaunted a .982 save percentage and 0.50 goals against average! Murray led the league this week with those two statistics and now is tied for second amongst his position in wins with seven on the season through ten games started.
Team on the Rise
St. Louis Blues (Last Week: 3-0)
The defending Stanley Cup champions have had an issue at the start of the season not being able to close out close fought games. Coming into this week the Blues sported a 5-3-3 record, with losses in all three of their overtime games. This week though the Blues went and turned that around, taking three victories all by the margin of one goal. Two of those one-goal matches also were overtime victories. The Blues didn’t get these victories over the best of teams, beating the Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota Wild, but this should hopefully be a confidence booster and a nice turn around for the reigning champions of the league.
Team on the Decline
San Jose Sharks (Last Week: 0-3)
The Sharks just haven’t been able to put the offense together. On the season when the Sharks score more than three goals, they win, and when they score less than three they lose. In the last week, the Sharks were outscored by eight goals, scoring five of their own and giving up a total of thirteen. Of course, when looking at those numbers the only issue here isn’t the offensive play from San Jose but the below-average play from their two goalies as well. Both Martin Jones and Aaron Dell have +3.50 goals against average and a save percentage below .900. The Sharks are going into this next week looking at matchups against the hot Vancouver Canucks, and then two games where they can turn it around against the struggling Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild.
What to Watch for the Week Ahead!
John Gibson back at home
The Ducks were on our radar last week with the start of their homestand, so this week as they continue their run of home games watch out for the man manning the net for the Ducks, Gibson. He is currently leading the league in saves with 362 on the season so far. Through 12 starts the Ducks goalie is currently at 6-6 with five of those six losses being away games, so just as we said about the team’s struggles away, their goalie has had them as well. With five more games left on this homestand lookout for Gibson to start performing at a higher level as the team seems to be picking it up as well. With games against the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild coming up we should see the home game advantage continue.
The brick wall known as Tuukka Rask
Another goalie here on what to watch for the week. Gibson may be leading the league in saves, but Bruins’ goalie Rask is currently in the lead in goals against average and save percentage, holding a 1.41 GAA and .951 save percentage. With a record of 6-0-1 on the season, Rask has been like a brick wall and a vital part of the Boston Bruins’ success so far this season. Rask has only given up more than two goals on two occasions this season, one being a 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights and the other a 4-3 loss that ended in a shootout. Rask is going to be put to the test this week against the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Montreal Canadians as well as taking on the Detroit Red Wings.
The return of the Maple Leafs star
The Maple Leafs have been on a skid as of late without star skater John Tavares, with a record of 2-3-2 since the star Forward has been out. Well, this week the Maple Leafs may see an earlier return from Tavares. With matchups against the Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, and Vegas Golden Knights coming up, they can really use Tavares back on the ice and we will see what they can do with him there this week.
The Sabres will stay hot
The Sabres scorching hot start to the season has simmered down a bit as of late. Losing three of their last four matches and two of which they gave up six goals to their opponent. The Sabres are coming into this week trying to bounce back and are starting with what should be an amazing matchup against the streaking New York Islanders, after which they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in back-to-back matchups. With recent minor injuries to Jimmy Vesey and Brandon Montour affecting them in their last two matchups, we will have to monitor the return of them both because with them both back on the ice the Sabres should keep looking hot.
Game of the Week
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Boston Bruins (Monday, November 4th)
I’ve already talked about both these teams goalies and how exceptional they’ve been as of late, now let’s see them pitted up against each other. Let’s see what Sidney Crosby and Pastrnak can accomplish against each other’s star in the net. Both teams are hot right now and this game should be a close one that you shouldn’t miss!
NHL Power Rankings
*Last week’s ranking in parentheses
- Boston Bruins (3)
- Washington Capitals (2)
- Carolina Hurricanes (6)
- Colorado Avalanche (1)
- Buffalo Sabres (4)
- Nashville Predators (5)
- Vegas Golden Knights (8)
- Edmonton Oilers (7)
- Pittsburgh Penguins (10)
- Toronto Maple Leafs (9)
- New York Islanders (12)
- St. Louis Blues (14)
- Anaheim Ducks (11)
- Vancouver Canucks (16)
- Arizona Coyotes (13)
- Calgary Flames (15)
- Montreal Canadiens (18)
- Tampa Bay Lightning (17)
- Florida Panthers (20)
- Winnipeg Jets (22)
- Philadelphia Flyers (19)
- Dallas Stars (25)
- Columbus Blue Jackets (21)
- New York Rangers (24)
- San Jose Sharks (23)
- Minnesota Wild (26)
- Detroit Red Wings (31)
- Los Angeles Kings (27)
- Chicago Blackhawks (29)
- New Jersey Devils (28)
- Ottawa Senators (30)
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