Jump to content

ZzHockey's Blog

  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Eastern Conference Hot and Cold



This Weeks Hot and Cold in the Eastern Conference

I have decided to do a weekly hot and cold for clubs and players.



Who’s Hot in the Eastern Conference:


Of course this will be highlighted by none other than the Montreal Canadians who are on a relentless terror right now. 8-0-0 to begin the second, Montreal is flying high with goaltender Carey Price. While Price has been stellar at 6-0-0, sitting behind him, 25-year-old Mike Condon is playing top notch as well. Condon is 2-0-0 and holds a 1.5 GAA and .947 Sv%. Montreal leads the Atlantic division, Eastern Conference and the entire NHL at that.


In the same division we see the Tampa Bay Lightning also starting where they left off last year. Currently Tampa sits 5-2-1 behind only Montreal in the Atlantic division. While they are winning games, Tampa Bay has only scored 4 more goals than their opposition. Look for Tampa Bay to fall a little here as their next two opponents are a force to be recon with. They will have a Stanley Cup Final rematch Saturday, October 24th in Chicago and then head over to St. Louis to fire up against the pesky Blues. Tampa Bay is 2nd in the Atlantic division, 4th in the Eastern Conference and 6th in the NHL.


Another team to watch here are the Washington Capitals and man are they playing some great hockey. Now they only have one blemish on their 6-1-0 record and that came to a San Jose Sharks team who started off the season shot out of a cannon. Since then, Washington and Captain Alex Ovechkin have turned a sharp corner winning 5 of the next 5. Holtby is putting up pretty solid numbers in net, 5-1-0 2.03 GAA .917Sv%. But the defense and goal scoring are coming along as they have 29 goals for and 18 against this season, mind you 5 of those 18 came in their only loss 5-0. Washington leads the Metropolitan division, is currently in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference and sits 2nd in the NHL.


Who’s hot in the playing department?




Carey Price – 6-0-0 Record - .966 Save percentage - 1.00 Goals Against Average – 2 shutouts – 170 of 176 shots stopped.


Braden Holtby – 5-1-0 Record - .917 Save Percentage – 2.03 Goals Against Average – 0 Shutouts – 132 of 144 shots stopped.


Henrik Lundqvist – 4-2-1 Record - .938 Save Percentage – 2.00 Goals Against Average – 0 Shutouts – 210 of 224 shots stopped. (Despite his record, Lundqvist has been a monster in net for the Rangers, just look at the shots he has faced compared to Price or Holtby…. Monster!!!)


Defense –


We cannot NOT talk about Montreal Players and the team, here’s another.


P.K Subban – 8 games played, 0 goals but 8 assists, he is an amazing +13! Subban has taken 2 penalties for 4 minutes and put 16 shots at the opponent’s net. Subban is in his 7th season with the Canadians and is looking to add some goals, watch out if Subban gets hot on the power play!


Andre Markov – While Subban has been good, Markov has been just as good! 8 games played, Markov sports 1 goal 8 assists and an even better +14!! He also has had 2 penalties for 4 minutes but has managed only 10 shots on goal. Markov is averaging around 23 minutes a game.


Victor Hedman – Another defensemen playing some great hockey on the back end. Hedman has played in 7 games for Tampa Bay, he has 0 goals but has 9 helpers. Like Subban and Markov he has 2 penalties for 4 minutes. He is a +7 and has 10 shots on goal. Hedman is skating about 20 minutes per game right now.


Offense— christian_thomas_montreal_021215.jpg
Now we want to see some fire power!
Max Pacioretty – Without question this guy is my top pick, and yet another Montreal Canadian. Max has played in all 8 games for Montreal racking up a lead leading 6 goals (tied with 3 others) and has 3 assists. Max is tearing goalies apart with 34 shots on net, he also sits +11 on offense for the Habs.


David Krejci – I personally regret dumping Krejci on my fantasy team before letting him have a fair chance. David has made me look silly as all get out, he has a league leading 12 points in 7 games, (10 of those came after I dropped him and the winless Bruins.) With 5 goals and 7 assists Krejci has only managed 18 shots on goal. David is just 2 goals shy of the 7 he established last season, if he keeps it up, he might be on pace for his 3rd 20+ goal season and might manage a possible 30… but let us stick with 20 for now.


Evgeny Kuznetsov – I have to pick this kid after his stellar game in Edmonton last night. Recording not only his first 2 goal (regular season) game, but his first career hat trick in the NHL. Kuznetsov is playing on a line with Alez Ovechkin and T.J Oshie seems to be working well for the youngster. He is currently 2nd in the NHL in points with 11, has 3 goals and 9 assists with 16 shots and a +5.


It feels a little chilly out… oh wait, that’s just the Colorado weather, no but really let’s look at who is in the Cold in the Eastern Conference:


I must start with the Columbus Blue Jackets… This is a team A LOT of people were looking forward to watching this season. They were on the up and up and many thought they would contend for a playoff spot this season… Well, what happened? 27-year-old Russian Goaltender Sergei Bobrovski has always had a winning record and won some vital games for the Blue Jackets, last season he was 30-17-3 but things this season are falling way opposite. Columbus fired their Coach, Todd Richards and hire Coach John Tortorella (who should spark these guys, I just hope not against my AVS!) After yet another loss 3-2 to the Wild, Columbus is off to the worst start in the NHL in 72 years when the New York Rangers in 1943-44 started off 0-11!! Columbus is currently 0-8-o and Ryan Johansen leads the club with 6 points (1g5a) but was benched for the remaining 6.5 minutes against Minnesota. Sergei Bobrovski will look to get his first win of the season against fellow struggling Russian goaltender Semyon Varlamov. Must be something in the Russian water over the summer……


Next – the struggling Sabers…Surpriseeee!!! But no really, Buffalo well, we pretty much expected this… Super young team, their #1 goalie is on IR, I mean what else can you say? Bright side, Sam Reinhart is looking pretty good with 1 goal, 2 assists and a +2 (the highest +/- on the team.) However, guys they are leaning on to be leader just have not truly stepped up. Ryan O’Reilly has 2 goals and 2 assists with a -2, Evander Kane, 1 goal 2 assists and a -5 and you don’t expect a ton from Jamie McGinn but he is considered a lead on this young team 0 goals 2 assists -4. Young Jack Eichel (the #2 pick in the draft) started off the season well, he had a goal in his NHL debut and a goal in his third game but nothing since, Eichel sits -6 and looks to rebound after having 0 points in his last 4 games.


I could pick a few here but I will stay bottom three. The Carolina Hurricanes, this is a team that I feel should really be winning more. The combinations of players they have, you would think pucks would be going in the back of the net, yet they are not. There are three players with a team leading 4 points on the team, while Cam Ward continues to try and figure himself out. Rookie Noah Hanifin looks like a great draft for Carolina, although he had 1 point (an assist) he is a -2 but has 10 shots on goal. In order for the Hurricanes to start winning, they need to start scoring and balance their attack. In the last two games they have 1 goal (which they won on a Cam Ward shutout in overtime with that 1 goal.) They are being out scored 12 to 20 at this point of the season, Jeff Skinner, Staal brothers are three struggling goal scorers that can ignite at any time…. Just maybe together is their issue.


Struggling goaltenders—


Sergei Bobrovski – 0-6-0 Record – 4.71 goals against average - .840 Save Percentage – 0 Shutouts – 136 of 162 shots stopped. This kid can get going if the offense can get going. I see Bob’s and the Jackets rebounding but I do not think it will be enough to fight for a playoff spot.


Cam Ward – 2-4-0 Record – 2.68 Goals Against Average - .895 Save Percentage – 1 Shutouts - 136 of 152 shots against. This 11-year veteran has seen better days; I almost feel like there is a chance Ward could find a new home in the NHL. Where would be the question or who would want him? He does have 1 Stanley Cup on his resume.


Jonathan Bernier – 0-3-1 Record – 2.39 Goals Against Average - .924 Save Percentage – 0 Shutouts – 97 of 105 shots stopped. Bernier has never seemed to feel at home in Toronto since leaving Los Angeles. I could see Bernier or Reimer moving out of Toronto by trade deadline if not sooner. Something needs to happen with the Leafs.


Defense— best-defense-is-good-offense.jpg


Ryan Murray – a 2nd overall pick in 2012 has just never gotten going. In 2013-14 he played 66 games and managed 21 points. Last season injury led him to only 12 games and 3 points… So far to start the year, Murray has played all 8 game, he had no goals 2 assists and is a -3 with 8 shots. Is it a matter of bust or is Murray in need of a new team? He is only 22, however for a #2 pick he sure is not playing like it.


Morgan Reilly – Reilly was taking 5th overall in the 2012 draft, yes just 3 after above mentioned Murray. Reilly though, has proven himself valuable to the Leafs. The 21-year-old defensemen managed 27 points in 2013-14, 29 points last season but is off to a sluggish start. In 6 games, Reilly has 2 assists and is -2 with 11 shots on net. Reilly is a solid defenseman that needs to get the wheels turning to help the Leafs turn their season around.


Torey Krug – Off to a sputtering start, Krug has 6 points all assists to start the season, 5 of those 6 have come in two separate games. Krug has made a name for himself as a solid all around defensemen. He has been firing shots towards the net with 22 in 7 games and is looking to catch fire but has had nothing in his past two games other than a -1. Watch for the pucks to start going in as the Boston Bruins have started to turn things around (although they are 0-3-1 at home, they are 3-0-0 on the road.)




Ryan Johansen - Benched in the final minutes of the Blue Jackets last game in Minnesota. His 1 goals 5 assists are -6 are not enough to get this Blue Jacket team moving. By benching him, New Coach John Tortorella made a statement to not only Ryan Johansen but the Columbus Blue Jackets as a team.


Evander Kane - The number 4 overall pick in 2009 is known to be a pretty consistent 40 point a season guy. Kane was injured last season and did not play for Buffalo after being traded by Winnipeg. Kane has regained his health but along with the rest of Buffalo cannot find his scoring touch. Kane has 3 points (1g, 2a) and is a -5 on the season, a lack of chemistry and spark has him struggling. Once chemistry comes around, expect Kane to start putting up some numbers.


Eric Staal - a 1 time 100 point scorer, 7 time 70+ point scorer. Eric Staal was the 2nd overall pick back in 2003, but the now 30-year-old is struggling to get back to the 70's. E.Staal has 4 points to start the season and 3 of those 4 came in one game, a game that should have sparked the Hurricane captain. With the thought that maybe Cam Ward is on his way out of Carolina, could Eric Staal be? Probablu brother first though? Also a former #2 overall pick, Jordan Staal is struggling with 0 points 7 games into the season.


Now it is up to you, who do you think deserves to be listed in the hot or cold for the Eastern Conference?


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...