Two weeks into the season, we have three teams with no regulation losses, the Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues, and one team with no regulation wins the Vancouver Canucks. The Cancuks are not the worst team, though. They were in all their games until their first road game in Buffalo, where they still had a chance. They can turn it around if they can improve their dead-last penalty kill. 55% is dreadful.
A team that might be the worst is the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks have a surprising overtime win over the New York Rangers, and that’s it. However, they just beat the Philadelphia Flyers to mess up my lead story. They haven’t had a goalie in years and have only four good players: Logan Couture, Timo Meier, and Tomas Hertl, the three least consistent players ever. Lastly, there’s Erik Karlsson, the player who cursed their franchise.
After his first season, they have not made the playoffs. They traded away four players and three picks. One of those players, Josh Norris, scored 35 goals last season. The first pick became a third overall pick when they moved up in the lottery. That player, Tim Stuetzle, scored 22 goals last season and is only 20. Half of those players are important players for the Ottawa Senators. Then there’s his $11.5 million cap hit. Ridiculous by any standard. It’s awful for a defenseman. His contract was part of the reason they couldn’t keep Joe Pavelski. However, he may have left anyway. I don’t get why teams still make trades like this. It’s like they learned nothing from the Herschel Walker trade. The Russell Wilson trade is the latest example. Sharks fans will take little solace that Karlsson is currently leading them in scoring. There are still four years left on his contract after this season. Bad decisions linger forever.
There’s also the Arizona Coyotes, but they’re bad every year. Remember when they traded to rent Taylor Hall for a playoff push? That was funny.
Things I like
The Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators played one of those fun, almost everyone scores games. The Senators jumped out to a 3-0 lead, only for the Bruins to tie it, then the Senators scored three unanswered again before the Bruins scored two, and the Senators sealed it with another one. Seven goals were scored in the second period. All but one Senators forward had a point, but no Bruins defensemen had any, which is odd. The Senators didn’t look great in their first two games but have since scored 18 goals in three games.
Rasmus Dahlin made NHL history by becoming the only defenseman to score a goal in four straight games, and then he did it again to make it five. Will he do six? The Buffalo Sabres are playing better than expected at 4-1. Alex Tuch is on pace for his best season ever and has an active four-game goal streak. Casey Mittelstadt might finally break out this season. And surprisingly, Craig Anderson is still playing because why not.
Things I don’t
- The Shane Wright situation in Seattle is just plain stupid. So stupid we might get a rule change. Wright played in the OHL. As such, he can’t be sent to the AHL until he turns 20. So the Seattle Kraken either need to keep him in the NHL or return him to the OHL. He’s too good to play in the OHL but not good enough to be in the NHL. But if they send him to the OHL, he can’t return to the NHL. The Kraken probably also want the option of being able to recall him. So he’s playing about seven minutes a game. This doesn’t benefit him or the Kraken, who are wasting a year of his entry contract. The solution would be to send him to the AHL, but anything that makes too much sense can’t happen. The NHL and CHL would need to reach an agreement which won’t happen anytime soon.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Jamie Oleksiak vs Kurtis MacDermid
Big boys going at it with a nice uppercut.
Nick Seeler vs Cole Smith
A nice back and forth.
Goats of the Week
Justin Schultz and Martin Jones - Seattle Kraken
The Kraken are still going through their growing pains. Against the Blues, they had a lot of them. Justin Faulk scores the overtime winner after Justin Schultz whiffs on his clearing attempt behind the net.
Of course, they may not have been in this situation if not for their earlier gaffe. Brayden Schenn scores to take an early lead after goalie Martin Jones poorly attempts to play the puck behind the net and casually gets back into position. The Blue also scored 17 seconds after that because momentum is a thing.
Stat Line of the Week
10/17/22 Washington 6 vs. Vancouver 4
Alex Ovechkin hasn’t slowed down at all and figured into fours Capitals goal in their win over the Canucks. He scored his first goal of the season on the powerplay 56 seconds in. Then he figured into the last three goals in the third period when the Capitals stormed back from being down 4-2. These are the only two goals he’s scored this season. Ovechkin is still 112 goals behind Wayne Gretzky. He is second in hits this season with 27.
1 – Hat trick by Andrei Svechnikov in a losing effort against the Edmonton Oilers 1 – Hat trick by Joe Pavelski, the seventh of his career and the oldest player in franchise history to record one 6 – Powerplay points in six games for Steven Stamkos, five are goals 31 – Blocked shots by the Montreal Canadiens David Savard in six games 5.15 – Goals a game by the Pittsburgh Penguins, way ahead of second-place Buffalo at 4.40
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
- San Jose