Around the National Hockey League: week 9

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Views, Opinions, and comments on teams in the National Hockey League –

Winnipeg Hockey Talk writer George Bain takes a look around NHL this past week.

The Week That Was

Toronto Maple Leafs

It was quite a start to the week for the Leafs in the National Hockey League.  Last Monday Garret Sparks became the first goaltender in Maple Leafs history to post a shutout in his debut.  The Leafs defeated the visiting Edmonton Oilers 3-0.  With the injury to goaltender James Reimer and the poor play of Jonathan Bernier, coach Mike Babcock decided to give the kid a chance.  It was an emotional win for the young goaltender with his parents at the game watching history being made.

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To many, this is a rebuilding year for the Leafs but not to Babcock.  He’s pushing all the buttons trying to turn his team into one that will make the playoffs but in my opinion it will take a mammoth effort for them to make it. 

In other news in, Jonathon Bernier was sent down to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League for a ten-day conditioning stint.

Vancouver Canucks

Things started off in fine fashion for the Canucks at the start of the year in the National Hockey League but how that has changed.  They have won two games out of their last twelve and have a league high eight overtime losses.  Injuries have hurt the team.  Brandon Sutter has had surgery to repair a sports hernia injury and will be lost to the team for at least six weeks.  Jake Virtanen has a hip injury and Luca Sbisa is out with a hand injury.  There has been a lot of talk about sending rookies Virtanen and Jared McCann back to their junior teams.  

With the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, and the Anaheim Ducks starting to string more wins together the Canucks have to start winning or the playoffs are in jeopardy.

Winnipeg Jets

To say the Jets struggled in the month of November in the National Hockey League would be an understatement.  With only four wins out of fifteen games they were glad the month ended.  Last Wednesday Garret Sparks and the Toronto Maple Leafs came to town hoping to keep building on their improved play but that was not to the case as the Jets easily defeated Sparks and the Leafs by a lopsided 6-1 score.  It was a nice way for the Jets to start December.  The Mark Scheifele, Drew Stafford, and Mathieu Perreault line did most of the damage scoring a combined seven points while rookie goaltender Connor Hellebuyck won his second straight game.

National Hockey League Notes

The Florida Panthers are proposing an $86,000,000 bailout in Sunrise, Florida to be voted on this Tuesday.  The Panthers have lost a reported $150,000,000 since 1997.

Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks broke Bobby Hull’s franchise record scoring streak from the 1971-72 season.  Kane has scored points in twenty-two games and his streak is the longest of any American born player in the National Hockey League.


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The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed coach Jon Cooper to a multi-year contract extension.  No terms were released.

The Edmonton Oilers are currently in last place in the NHL and many analysts think it’s time for a trade.  Player names mentioned include defenceman Justin Schultz and forwards Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Mike Hoffman of the Ottawa Senators has scored eight goals in his last six games.

The Washington Capitals won six straight before their OT loss in Winnipeg Saturday afternoon and are chasing the Montreal Canadiens for top spot in the Eastern Conference.  They have road the hot goaltending of Braden Holtby who has posted a .940 save percentage in his last eleven games.

The Anaheim Ducks have struggled this season but Corey Perry has scored ten goals and Ryan Getzlaf has seventeen assists.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck has won his first three starts and has only allowed three goals.

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not

Atlantic Division

Detroit Red Wings are 7-0-3 in their last 10 games.

Buffalo Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games.

Metropolitan Division

Washington Capitals are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. 

New York Rangers are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games.

Central Division

Dallas Stars are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. 

Nashville Predators are 3-5-2 in their 10 games.

Pacific Division

Los Angeles Kings are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. 

Vancouver Canucks are 2-5-3 in their last 10 games.

Top Scorers

Patrick KaneChicago Blackhawks27 16 2642
Jamie BennDallas Stars2718 1735
Tyler SeguinDallas Stars27142135
Erik KarlssonOttawa Senators2762632
Mike CammalleriNew Jersey Devils27111930


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