NHL 2021-22 Recap Week 17 Rask retires, Marchand suspended, Canadiens and Oilers fire coaches

February 13, 2022 Weekly Recaps

What week of NHL news. Let's start with those coaching changes. It's hard for an NHL coach to stay a long time with a franchise. Even advancing to a Stanley Cup Finals means nothing. The Montreal Canadiens fired head coach Dominique Ducharme only a few months after their impromptu finals run. They fired Claude Julien in 2021 when they were struggling. It was surprising because I didn't think the team was very good. But they ended up turning it around and made the Stanley Cup Finals despite being a historically bad team. I credited their success to playing in a weak division and the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Knights choking. The Canadiens then got off to another bad start, which was it for Ducharme. Regardless of his record, I don't know how you can fire someone who was there for only a year and took you to the finals. I honestly have no idea what this franchise is doing. Someone in Montreal has very unrealistic standards. Martin St. Louis is the interim coach, and all I can say is good luck. They're 29th or lower in all major team categories. They gave up four goals to Jeff Skinner by Canadiens' turnover, or the Buffalo Sabres stole it. They look dreadful. At least Cole Caufield scored goals in back-to-back games for the first time this season, including his first career power-play goal. But he's regressed this season too.

I mentioned Dave Tippet would probably be fired if things didn't turn around soon for the Edmonton Oilers, and that's exactly what happened. The outcome isn't surprising. He was a weird choice to begin with, and they lost twice in the first round. Only winning one out of eight games which won't cut it. Jay Woodcroft, who coached their AHL team, took over. Although the interim coach right now, the Oilers followed recent teams in promoting their AHL coach. While it doesn't mean they're the best person for the job, they are familiar with the organization and most of the players. I'd like to think the team will play better, but it may not be enough to make the playoffs. At least they won his first game against the New York Islanders.

Things I don't like

  1. The Boston Bruins had a busy week and not the good kind. First came the announcement that Tuukka Rask was retiring. Rask played for the Bruins for 16 seasons and is the winningest goalie in franchise history with 308 and second in shutouts with 52. It's hard to imagine a goalie of his caliber playing on a franchise like the Bruins was never the starting goalie for a Stanley Cup championship despite making it to the finals three times. The one they won in 2011, he was the backup, and they lost the two times he was a starter. I argue they were the better team in both losses, but they didn't get it done.

Then there's the little ball of hate Brad Marchand. As talented as Marchand is, he does some mindbogglingly stupid stuff. There's the licking, but then there's what he did to Tristan Jarry. First, he knocked the puck off his stick when Jarry was trying to throw it into the stand. That was okay and a little funny. Second, he punched him in the face right in front of the refs after Jarry said something when the game was over. Lastly, he pushed his stick into his face. The last two are uncalled for. I can't imagine what he said warranted such a response. He was suspended for the eighth time and is the most suspended player in NHL history. He claims what he did was stupid, but he didn't deserve the suspension. The suspension was based on his past behavior. Uh yeah. Perhaps if you had learned anything from the previous ones, you wouldn't have done what you did and then been suspended.

Fights of the Week

Special thanks to for making this section a little easier to do.

Jamie Oleksiak vs Nicolas Deslauriers

Punches galore

Brendan Smith vs Wayne Simmonds

This one had a little bit of everything and was long.

Ross Johnston vs Luke Schenn

Short and sweet

Brenden Dillon vs Jamie Benn

Some good punches by former teammates.

Goats of the Week

Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks make some bad passes in this sequence. I think it may have hit off the ref. I can't tell. The Seattle Kraken tied it here and won it on a beautiful Joran Eberle goal with two minutes left.

Luke Kunin - Nashville Predators

Kunin whiffs on the bouncing puck, enabling Roope Hintz to go the other way. The Stars won by a goal.

Stat Line of the Week

02/12/21 Winnipeg 5 vs. Nashville 2

Skater TOI G A +/- SOG BLK B.Wheeler 21:55 2 3 1 8 1

Blake Wheeler isn't having his best season. With 30 games played, he had only two goals, a very low number for someone who normally scores at least 20. But he doubles his total in this game with a power-play goal and an empty netter. He also assisted on the other three goals. The Winnipeg Jets needed this game to keep their faint playoff hopes alive.

Numbers, Numbers

500 – Career NHL points for Alex Pietrangelo 301 – Career NHL points for Kyle Connor 3 – Goals scored in the span of 31seconds by the New York Islanders against the Vancouver Canucks .960 – Save percentage for Matt Murray over his last four games. He's faced an average of 38 shots a game during that span. 36 – Plus-minus for league leader Johnny Gaudreau. Although Devon Toews is second with 34 and has played in nine fewer games.


The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.

Top 5

  1. Colorado
  2. Minnesota
  3. Calgary
  4. Pittsburgh
  5. Florida

Bottom 5

  1. Montreal
  2. Arizona
  3. Philadelphia
  4. New Jersey
  5. Chicago
Alex Mueller
Alex has played floor and ice hockey but never anywhere near NHL level. He's been writing this column since 2013. He's finishing up his first novel entitled Bobby Sterling vs Truth. Learn move about the book here. He loves exploring the outdoors and photography. Join the adventure and view the photos here.