NHL 2022-23 Recap Week 18 Tarasenko to the Rangers, Horvat returns to New York, Francouz should be mumber one

February 12, 2023 Weekly Recaps

Trading deadline deals are usually a fleecing by one team taking advantage of another's desperation. They usually involve players at the end of their careers and or pending free agents. It’s basically renting a player. But the New York Rangers trading for Vladimir Tarasenko isn’t too bad as these trades go. The Rangers have aspirations after last season but need a spark. Giving up a prospect and a first-round pick isn’t bad by normal standards. I’m a little surprised the St. Louis Blues are so disappointing. But if he wasn’t going to resign with them, unlikely since he asked to be traded a few seasons ago, it makes sense. But if the Rangers don’t win it all and they don’t resign him, it’s a loss. Not as bad as most teams, but still a gamble. Personally, I don’t think the Rangers are a piece away. They were a little ahead of schedule last season.

The Rangers thumped the Hurricanes and are now 2-0 against them since they beat them in seven games. Artemi Panarin had a four-goal, five-point night, recording his fourth career NHL hat trick.

Patrick Kane wasn’t happy that Tarasenko took his Rangers’ spot, but with his injuries, that’s how it goes.

Things I like

  1. Bo Horvat has fit in well with the New York Islanders. He’s produced four points in four games, but the Islanders lost the last two heartbreakingly. Horvat lost to his former team after being up 4-2 as the Vancouver Canucks scored four unanswered goals. Anthony Beauvillier had the game-winning goal in his first return to Long Island since being traded for Horvat. Brock Boeser had four points. The worst was against the Montreal Canadiens. The Islanders had a 3-2 lead when the Canadiens tied it and won it in overtime after Mike Hoffman escaped from the penalty box right when Mathew Barzal turned it over due to exhaustion from playing the whole power play. It took about five minutes to determine if the play was onside.

Things I don’t

  1. It puzzles me why Pavel Francouz is not a number one goalie. He always shines when he plays and made the Pittsburgh Penguins earn their overtime against the Colorado Avalanche. He made a great poke check on the game-tying goal, but it went right back to the Penguins, who scored off two wild passes right after when the second one bounced off a skate and then Francouz’s pad. He made three saves in a row before the Penguins finally scored on their fourth shot in the sequence.

Fights of the Week

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

Jonah Gadjovich vs Givani Smith

A good back and forth, and then Gadjovich fights headless horseman style for a bit.

Tanner Jeannot vs Nicolas Deslauriers

Another long with some great grappling.

Goat of the Week

Scott Wedgewood - Dallas Stars

Anthony Cirelli figured into all the Tampa Bay Lightning’s goals against the Stars with two goals and an assist. Below he wraps around the net for the easy game-winning goal with 44 seconds left. It was easy because Wedgewood overplays the initial chance putting him out of position, and compounds the problem by standing up instead of sliding to the other post like normal. Terrible goaltending. The Lightning won by two after an empty-net goal.

Stat Line of the Week

2/11/23 Los Angeles 6 vs. Pittsburgh 0

Skater TOI G A +/- SOG PPG
A. Kempe 17:45 4 0 2 7 2

I try to stay clear of blowouts in this section because it’s easy to rack up points in a lopsided game, but Adrian Kempe deserves the spotlight. Kempe had four unanswered goals as the Kings demolished the Penguins. Impressive because the Penguins just did the same to the Ducks the previous night. However, they might have been tired. Kempe had two goals in his last game. First-round pick Kempe was a late bloomer and didn’t crack the 30-goal mark until his fifth NHL season. He’ll easily do it again this season, already having 26 goals. 31-year-old undrafted Pheonix Copley, born in North Pole, Alaska, had the shutout. There ought to be more Alaskan-born NHL players.

Numbers, Numbers

1099 – Career total goals by 50-year-old Jaromir Jagr, breaking Wayne Gretzky’s record

500 – Career NHL assists for Victor Hedman

7 – Unanswered goals by the Calgary Flames against the Buffalo Sabres

3 – Fight by the New York Rangers against the Calgary Flames, two by Jacob Trouba

2 – Losses by six goals in the last four seasons for the Tampa Bay Lightning, both defeats courtesy of the Florida Panthers

28 – Shot advantage for the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Anaheim Ducks


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

Top 5

  1. New Jersey
  2. NY Rangers
  3. Carolina
  4. Edmonton
  5. Boston

Bottom 5

  1. Arizona
  2. Columbus
  3. Vancouver
  4. San Jose
  5. St. Louis
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.