NHL 2022-23 Recap Week 19 Hurricanes rock NC State, tight Pacific division, Maple Leafs get O’Reilly, comeback victories

February 19, 2023 Weekly Recaps

I like nothing more than a tight race during the final stretch run. Since most playoff races are lacking, the Pacific Division will provide all the drama. Ever since the Anaheim Ducks’ dominance ended, the division crown has seesawed between the Vegas Golden Knights and Calgary Flames. It’s the Golden Knight’s turn, and they are currently leading, as luck would have it. Only four points separate first from fourth in the division. With 25 games left, anything can happen.

The Golden Knights play the Oilers and Kraken twice and the Kings once. The Oilers play the Kings and Golden Knights twice and the Kraken once. The Kraken play the Oilers and Kings once and the Golden Knights twice. The Kings play the Golden Knights and Oilers twice and the Kings once.

The Golden Knights will probably win it. The Oilers should finish in second, but they must get out of their overtime/shootout funk. They’ve lost their last six past regulation. I will love it if they avoided the fourth seed if the Golden Knights win. I really want a final four out West of the Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche, Golden Knights, and Oilers.

Things I like

  1. We had quite a few comeback victories this week. The most notable being the following. The Ottawa Senators were down 3-1 in the third period to the Calgary Flames. They scored two goals in the final two minutes and fifteen seconds to force overtime, where Tim Stützle scored. He had four points on the night. The New York Rangers were down 4-1 to the Edmonton Oilers when they scored three in a row to win in the shootout. The Avalanche were down 5-3 to the Oilers in the third but scored the last three to win in overtime. The Oilers had their chances but couldn’t convert, and Jack Campbell made some stunning saves. The two goals to tie it weren’t his fault, and he made some fantastic saves right before the game-winner. But that one was his fault, as he came out too much. Chris Kreider had an overtime and short-handed goal. The New York Islanders were down 4-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins when they scored three in a row to win in regulation. This was a big win for the Islanders, who desperately needed it after tough losses to the Canucks, Canadians, and Senators. But then they got destroyed by the Boston Bruins.

  2. The Carolina Hurricanes played the Washington Capitals outdoors at Carter-Finley Stadium. When Tom Dundon bought the Hurricanes, he wanted an outdoor game. The NHL was skeptical because they didn’t think the Hurricanes could fill a stadium in North Carolina. But they did. The game wasn’t much, but with Alex Ovechkin not there because of his father’s passing and with how well the Hurricanes play at home, it was a given they would crush the Capitals. I was blown away by the atmosphere. The Hurricanes really played into playing in NC State Wolfpack stadium. They had many notable alumni, cheerleaders, and the band playing “Rock you like a Hurricane.” I could get used to listening to college bands playing while hockey players take the ice. Black and red with some white sprinkled in are perfect colors for a night hockey game. I’m sure being there was electric.

Things I don’t

  1. Patrick Kane has quite a list of teams he’d go to. It consists of the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, and that’s it. The Rangers just traded for Vladimir Tarasenko, and the Maple Leafs have no cap space. The Maple Leafs also just acquired Ryan O’Reilly, who they plan on making a left winger. That leaves Patrick Kane with nowhere to go. At least he can go where he wants to this offseason. Although if he thinks it’s to those teams, he’s sadly mistaken. He better update his list during the summer.

As for the Maple Leafs, I suppose many will say this makes them better. But you don’t score your way to Stanley Cup. While adding a former Conn Smythe winner to your roster is enticing, O’Reilly should not have won because Jordan Binnington should have. Just like adding Ryan Kesler to the Ducks didn’t solve their problems like they thought it would, O’Reilly won’t solve the Maple Leafs’ either. They need better goaltending, fewer turnovers, and their stars to show up. O’Reilly doesn’t help with any of that. But having another person who can be a top-line center is always good for depth.

Fights of the Week

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

Mathieu Olivier vs Nick Ritchie

A fast paced fight after a slow start.

Erik Gudbranson vs Josh Brown

Another great one from the same game.

Goat of the Week

Dallas Stars

The Stars leave David Pastrnak, one of the top five goal scorers in the NHL, wide open in overtime, and he, of course, scores.

Stat Line of the Week

2/18/23 Vancouver 6 vs. Philadelphia 2

Skater TOI G A +/- SOG Blk
E. Pettersson 20:28 2 3 4 4 2

Elias Pettersson cheated a bit with two empty net goals, but they were short-handed, which makes them impressive. He also had three assists, two of them on Anthony Beauvillier goals. Pettersson has 17 points in his last nine games, and Beauvillier has six points in his last five games. He’s scored one more point than Bo Horvat since the trade. This is one of those rare trades that will work out for both teams. Although it probably would have worked if the trade never occurred too.

Numbers, Numbers

18 – Game road winless streak by the Arizona Coyotes snapped against the Nashville Predators, the third longest in NHL history

46 – Saves by Kevin Mandolese in his NHL debut, tied for the fifth most in a debut

101 – Career NHL goals for Nico Hischier in his four-point effort against the Pittsburgh Penguins

3 – Goals for 21-year-old Seth Jarvis against the Montreal Canadiens, the second youngest to score a hat trick this season. Tim Stutzle was 20.

47 – Saves by Connor Ingram in the Arizona Coyotes shootout win over the Tampa Bay Lightning

2 – Seconds left when Ryan Graves of the Devils scored to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets

102 – Points for Connor McDavid, the first to 100

9 – Career hat tricks for Patrick Kane. I’m surprised it’s that low.


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

Top 5

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

Bottom 5

  1. Anaheim
  2. Philadelphia
  3. Chicago
  4. San Jose
  5. Washington
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.