As we pass the quarter mark of the NHL season, teams and individuals are starting to separate themselves from their competition and we can start to look at the league with a LITTLE more clarity. The guys at Puck Show are here to catch you up on the first NHL weekend from December.
Time for a coaching change in Philly ??
The Boston Bruins handed the Philadelphia Flyers their 10th consecutive loss Saturday afternoon by a score of 3-0. This matches the Flyers longest losing streak in franchise history and they’ve now almost gone an entire month without recording a W (their last win coming on Nov. 9th against the Blackhawks). After a promising start to the season Philly now only sits ahead of two NHL clubs in the standings: The Arizona Coyotes and the Buffalo Sabres. The “Fire Hakstol” chants have been loud and clear during Philadelphia’s last few home games, and although GM Ron Hextall insists Dave Hakstol’s job is safe, it wouldn’t shock me if we see a coaching change from ‘Flyer-Nation’ in the near future.
Theres Life in Dallas
Just a short time ago it appeared that the Dallas Stars might be ready for another season of mediocracy. They were struggling to keep pucks out of their net, and they were getting virtually zero secondary scoring. As we all know, things can change very quickly in this league and entering this week the Dallas Stars are now riding a 5 game winning streak. Tyler Seguin’s stick is starting to heat up, and he now has 27 pts in 27 games. Alexander Radulov is continuing to pay dividends after he left Montreal in the off-season. And most importantly, goaltender Ben Bishop is finally starting to look comfortable between the pipes in the lone-star state. Dallas has also done a fantastic job at taking care of their opponents on their home ice, as they are tied for first in the West with 10 home wins. I’m still not completely sold on this team because almost all of their success rides on 5 players, (Seguin, Radulov, Benn, Klingberg, Bishop) but as of late it appears these guys are fine with taking on the heavy workload. Ken Hitchcock’s system seems to be paying off and for the first time in 2 seasons, things are looking up in the Big D.
Blowout at the Bell Centre
The Detroit Red Wings are one of the most storied franchises in the NHL. They’re also one of the most successful franchises in the NHL. But after missing the playoffs for the first time since 1990 last season, the winning culture appears to be (for the moment) a thing of the past, and Saturday’s game against the Canadiens was a prime example. After beating the Wings at Little Caesars Arena earlier in the week, the Canadiens embarrassed Detroit 10-1 on Hockey Night in Canada from the Bell Centre. The Canadiens have been playing much better hockey since the return of Carey Price, but that is no excuse to get spanked 10-1 on primetime by an original six rival. Wings Captain, Henrik Zetterberg (who hasn’t scored a goal in 20 games) called the game the most embarrassing loss of his professional career. The days of glory in Hockeytown are over and the fans know it too. Next time you watch a wings game just check out all the empty seats in that fancy new arena.
Other news and notes from the weekend.
The Winnipeg Jets appear to be the most dominant team in the league. This was evident again Sunday night when they smacked the Senators 5-0 from MTS Place. Ottawa has just two wins in their last 10 games and right now Matt Duchene doesn’t look too comfortable in the nations capital. The Kings are back on a heater…After a difficult stretch in November LA has now won 5 in a row and sit in second place in the Western Conference. The Canadiaen’s have also matched LA’s win streak with 5 in a row (Hab’s fans can thank the lord for the return of Carey Price). And last but not least we got to give love to the Columbus Blue Jackets. CBJ have quietly gone 8-2 in their last 10 and Sergei Bobrovsky looks poised for another Veznia. Maybe players do like playing for Torts after all.