It was another busy week in the NHL last week, as we quickly make our way toward the All Star break. With injuries, winning streaks, losing streaks and everything in between, let us take a quick look at the past week in the NHL.
Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins – Marchand had a 5 point night on Saturday’s 6-3 win against the Flyers and now has a Bruins-leading 43 points overall. Marchand has been playing some aggressive hockey since Christmas and it’s been playing off. He was just named Second NHL Star of the Week and was also named to the NHL All Star Team. Now, if only Boston could start winning a few more games…
Toronto Maple Leafs – It’s hard for me to admit this, but I will give credit where credit is due. The Leafs have been playing very well as of late. With a 8-1-1 record in their last 10 games, the leafs are up to 48 points overall and sit third in the Atlantic Division. At the beginning of this season, the Leafs took a lot of heat with their decision to play a very young team, but it seems to be paying off, particularly with the success of Matthews and Marner. Will they continue on this path? Will they finally make it to the post-season? I guess only time will tell.
Nathan Beaulieu, Montreal Canadiens – Beaulieu is a pick this week mostly for all those fantasy players out there. He’s second (behind last week’s player of the week, Maroon) in fantasy adds, he netted two assists (one of them on the power play) in his last game, and his shots on goal are improving and he’s up to 65 total for the year now. So, while not someone you would base your team around, if you need a pickup this week in order to fill in for an injury on your team, go with Beaulieu while he’s still on a hot streak.
Buffalo Sabres – On paper, Buffalo has a pretty great team. Eichel, O’Reilly, Okposo, Kane and Ristolainen are just some of the names of the young, talented players on the team. However Buffalo just can’t seem to put it all together. Their win record is mediocre at best and they’re currently sitting last in the Atlantic Division. If Buffalo finishes last in the east this year, a serious overhaul is going to be needed going into the next season, as they have far too much talent for it to go to waste.
Winnipeg Jets – The Jets suffered a giant hit this week with the loss of superstar rookie Patrik Laine. Laine suffered a concussion on January 7th against the Buffalo Sabres and it was announced this week that he’s been placed on the injured reserve with no timetable in place just yet for his return. That’s a rough hit for a team that (for the moment) is not out of the running for a playoff position.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning – When Ben Bishop was sidelined with injured, it was believed this would give Vasilevskiy his time to prove he’s the top contender for #1 goalie. However this did not come to pass. In the 22 games he’s played this season his record is 10-10-0-2 with 2.93 goals against average. If he’s looking to break it into the top tier of NHL goalies, those starts are not going to cut it. Here’s hoping the second half of the season is more successful.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals – On January 11, Ovechkin scored his 1000th point, tying Rocket Richard on the leader list. Also, in reaching the milestone, he becomes the second fastest player to do so, second only behind the amazing Jaromir Jagr. Not only is Ovi playing a great game, but so have the Capitals in general. They are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games (including a 9 game winning streak) and should they continue with their aggressive play, expect a solid playoff effort from them.