This roundup is a little out of line with what I’ve been doing recently, but there’s a season for that. The NHL is set for it’s All Star weekend (January 27-29) so NHL scheduling is what I’ll call a little ‘wonky’ right now. After tonight, there’ll be no games through to the weekend. So what we have here is an extended roundup, and following this I’ll be doing a NHL All Star recap on Sunday night/Monday, so stay tuned for that! Now, let us examine what has been going on in the NHL these last few days.
Chicago Blackhawks – Where as the Red Wings (see below) have been failing in their consistency lately, the Blackhawks sure have not. With a 7-3-0 record in their last 10 games they currently have 65 points and sit in 2nd place in the Central Division. The Hawks are generally a team you can count on – with winning records, solid playoff runs, Stanley Cups, it’s not hard to see why they have a huge fan base. My only worry here is that the team is starting to age – and if they don’t start investing in young talent, they may see their consistency record fall in upcoming years.
Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets – Byfuglien has been on a bit of a hot streak lately. He’s netted 2 points in both of his last 2 games, he currently sits at healthy +4 and has had over 150 shots on goal. With the return of Patrik Laine this week, the Jets are looking up again as the All Star break quickly approaches.
Shea Weber, Montreal Canadiens – When Weber was traded to the Canadiens for PK Subban people thought that obviously, Nashville had scored the better deal. For this season, at least, this has not turned out to be the case. Weber is 3rd on the team with points (30) which is pretty solid numbers for a defensemen. Whether this trade was to the benefit of the Canadiens in the long run remains to be seen, but as for right now, we can put Weber in the winning category.
Detroit Red Wings – This is a team that you won’t find in the losing category too often. The Red Wings are often the picture of consistency, they may not be the top team in the league, but they definitely are not the last and they consistently make the playoffs. However, this year, something is off. The team is 3-3-4 in their last 10 games and are on a 4 game losing streak. If this keeps up, expect some big shake ups in Detroit as the trade deadline day approaches.
Colorado Avalanche – Honestly, one word that sums up the Avalanche this year is abysmal. In 46 games played they have won 13, lost 31 and currently sit with 28 points. The next closest team to them in the Central Division is the Jets, and they are 20 points ahead. The Avalanche’s problem is mostly the fact that they could not do what other teams have done successful – rebuild. They have not gutted their teams the way the Oilers and Maple Leafs have, to start fresh with new roster of young talent. It’s mostly a shame for Jerome Iginla, who is spending the last few years of a (stellar) career in a bottom of the barrel team.
Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal Canadiens – It’s been a rough couple of months for Galchenyuk. First, in December he injured his knee and did not play another game until mid-January. Then, he got bumped from 1st line centre down to 3rd and now, he’s re-injured his knee and is back in the injured reserve. When he’s at peak condition, Galchenyuk is a major asset to his team, he’s a great goal scorer and a fast player. Hopefully he can turn his luck around in the second half of the season.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs – Ask anyone who plays fantasy hockey, shut outs in hockey are becoming increasingly rare. With the speed of the game combined with number of shots on goal, it’s rare to get one shut out in a week, let alone two. This is exactly what Andersen just accomplished in back-to-back games. This is a rare feat for a goalie, and goes to show that Toronto is really on the up and up thus far this season.
Thanks for reading, as I mentioned at the top, stay tuned for a round up of the NHL All Star weekend!