Who’s hot and who is NOT
Eastern Conference – Week 2
Fire, Fire! FIRE!!!!
Let us keep the Montreal Canadians on top here, at 10-2-0 and 20 points, Montreal continues to impress and make noise in the each. At this point, they still remain the top contender in the each for a playoff run. Carey Price, who has been amazing, will be sidelined with a lower body injury. Hopefully for the Habs, this is nothing serious and they can continue their impressive run. 3-0-0 Mike Condon looks to settle in as the starter with youngster Dustin Tokarski to back him up…. Montreal’s net is crazy deep, although he is not eligible to play remember they also have Zach Fucale in their system (future trades for Montreal? Who knows!)
I will nab the Pittsburgh Penguins here; the Pens have who their last four games after a dreadful start to their season. The took on the red hot Predators and Capitals to snag 2 of those four and then stole two more from some strugglers in the east. Evgeni Malkin has put up ten points to this point and Phil Kessel is slowly finding his stride, he is up to 6 points 4 of which are goals. Marc-Andre Fleury has put up some great numbers and is 4-1 in his last 5 games. As long as this group stays healthy and continues to build chemistry, expect the Penguins to start getting a little pesky once again.
Boston has been playing good hockey of late as they have also won 4 in a row. Jonas Gustavsson is 3-0-0 playing well behind Tuukka Rask who sits 3-3-1. David Krejci has been a force to be recon with putting up 15 points in just 10 games. The Bruins are on a terror since starting the season 0-3-0, Boston is 6-0-1 in their last 7 games, do not expect them to slow down much in the month of November.
Players to be aware of –
David Krejci – Krejci continues his rampage for Boston with 15 points and 10 of those 15 have come during the Bruins current 6-0-1 run. Expect Krejci to slow down some, but not too much.
Ryan O’Reilly – Ryan had been turning on the heat for the Buffalo Sabers of late. The 24-year-old has put up 10 points in his last 5 games. The Sabers are 2-3-0 in their last 5 games and 2 of those 3 losses were by only 1 goal.
Mark Stone – Stone is having a quite season alongside the Ottawa Senators. Stone had 13 points on the season and 5 points in his last 4 games. The right winger is trying to make a new for himself as a point producer as he has 64 last season, he is current 51 points shy of that mark, but well on his way.
Erik Karlsson – Erik has been impressive in his young career, and the 7-year vet continues to shine. Although he has yet to put a puck in the net, he has helped his team 11 times to do so. The sens just split a home and home with Detroit and have a tough test in Montreal coming up. Look for Karlsson to continue to shine and add a few more helpers and may a goal in this next week.
Dion Phaneuf – Dion has played well in his last few games, 3 assists in 4 games. Phaneuf has not played too great in Toronto since 2011-12, this could be a good year for the 30-year-old or a trade year. Toronto and new coach Mike Babcock will continue to watch and see how Dion leads the team up to the trade deadline.
P.K. Subban – P.K continues to play solid on the back end for Montreal. PK has 11 points (1G,10A) and is a +10 for Montreal. Look for Subban to step up with Carey Price injured and young goaltenders Tokarski and Condon in net.
In the nettttt – Goaltending—
Henrik Lundqvist – 5-2-2 Record - .934 save percentage – 1.87 goals against average – 0 shutouts – 280 of 297 shots stopped. Lundqvist is playing solid in net as he has allowed 2 or less goals in the last 5 games and in 8 of 9 games.
Marc-Andre Fleury – 6-4-0 Record - .942 save percentage – 1.71 goals against average – 2 shutouts – 275 of 291 shots stopped. Fleury is on a 3 game winning streak and has allowed only 2 goals in those 3 games stopping 92 of 94 shots.
Corey Schneider – 6-2-1 Record - .919 save percentage – 2.17 goals against average – 0 shutouts – 227 of 247 shots stopped. Schneider is 4-1 in his last 5 games.
As we inch closer to winter, some teams and players are playing in the cold a little soon!
The Toronto Maple Leafs are tops on this week’s cold list. The Maple Leafs have not been good for quite some time and I do not expect that to change until they get a new leader in the locker room. I think Dion Phanuef’s welcome is long gone and I expect to see him moved at the latest the NHL draft, but in the 2015-16 years. Toronto has lost their last 4 games sit 1-7-2 and have been out-scored 20 to 35.
The Columbus Blue Jackets looked like they had started to turn a corner winning 2 in a row…. Until now, Columbus has lost two straight and have a league worst 2-10-0 record. Jack Johnson is seemingly invisible as he sports 1 point and a -6 on the back end of things… Is Johnson another player that could be targeted for a move at this trade deadline?
The Flyers have been less than spectacular to start this season. At 4-4-2 the Flyers have lost two in a row, and Steve Mason continues to play salty in net with a .900 Save percentage and 3.39 goals against. Flyer fans are waiting for both Wayne Simmonds and Claude Giroux to break out, but that won’t save their Defense or goaltending. Could the Flyers look at a defenseman like Dustin Byfuglien or Jack Johnson? Even if they don’t, the Flyers need a change somewhere before they end up good friends with Toronto and Columbus.
Let’s look at which players are struggling off the hop.
James Vans Riemsdyk – Toronto has never been the place to be for James and has struggled quite a bit. Although the last two seasons were decent. James has 4 goals and 1 assists this season so far. He could be another name on the market place around trade deadline, yet he will not be a cheap trade regardless of his stats.
Claude Giroux – You Flyer fans had to know I was coming after picking on the Flyers not too long ago. Captain Claude has not started this season off well by any means. After back to back seasons that panned out nicely, Giroux is struggling to find the net consistently. He sits 3 goals two assists -4 and 2 of those 3 goals came in one game. I expect Giroux and Wayne Simmonds to find some consistency soon, otherwise, the Flyers are not looking too hot.
Ryan Johansen – Johansen has been a no show in the past five games with nothing but a -2 to show. Johansen is one key to why the Blue Jackets continue to struggle, weird enough, Ryan was out for the only 2 wins the Blue Jackets have this season.
Jonathan Bernier – 0-6-1 Record - .889 Save percentage – 3.02 goals against average – 0 Shutouts – 170 of 189 shots stopped. Bernier continues to struggle as a starter in Toronto, his name could possibly end up in trade rumors everywhere.
Steve Mason – 2-3-3 Record - .900 save percentage – 3.39 goals against average – 0 shutouts – 181 of 201 shots stopped. Mason looks shaky to begin this season; could an offensive strike help the 27-year-old find confidence?
Sergei Bobrovski – 2-8-0 Record - .865 save percentage – 3.97 goals against average – 0 shutouts – 224 of 259 shots stopped. Bob’s was on the rise with 2 wins, but came back down after two losses. He was pulled in the last game Columbus played after allowing 3 goals on 11 shots.
Jack Johnson – Johnson is having a terrible start to the season in 12 games he has produced 1 points and a -6. Sadly, I do not expect Johnson to shake this funk unless the Blue Jackets magic pull off .500 or better at the end of November.
Kris Letang – Normally a force that doesn’t stop in Pittsburgh, Letang has had a quiet week. In his past 5 games, Kris has managed 0 points and a -1. The 28-year-old has 4 points on his 11 games season and is a -4. While the Penguins find offence, expect Letang to catch a whiff of that confidence.
The ENTIRE Detroit Red Wing Defense – Highest scoring defensemen, Niklas Kronwall, 4 points. The Wings are finding ways to win games, but no thanks to anyone on D….
**All stats are as of 10/31/15**
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