Nick Jehamy | November 9th, 2019
Welcome to the third edition of the NHL Weekly Roundup. Well, John Tavares is back! In Tavares’ second game back for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the star forward scored the game-winning overtime goal against the Vegas Golden Knights. Last week’s team on the rise, the St Louis Blues, stayed hot winning all three of their matches for the week, and if you got the chance to watch my game of the week you enjoyed a great one with the Boston Bruins beating the Pittsburg Penguins 6-4. Sadly though I’m not always going to be right, the Buffalo Sabres continued slipping as they lost both of their games this past week. In news unrelated to my last article, congratulations to Anaheim Ducks veteran Ryan Getzlaf on his 1,000th game played! Now let’s get into our stars of the week.
Three Stars of the Week
David Rittich, Calgary Flames
Goaltender for the Calgary Flames, Rittich had an outstanding week between the posts. The Calgary Flames played four games this past week, winning three out of four, and Rittich was in net for them for all three of those victories. The Flames goaltender has been hot as of late as the Flames have risen in the standings pulling off some solid wins against Arizona Coyotes, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Nashville Predators, not teams to take too lightly. Rittich gave up five goals within those three games and saved 98 shots, giving him a 1.63 goals against average and .951 save percentage. This included a shutout victory against the Blue Jackets to start off the week. Rittich will have a tough matchup coming up against reigning champions, St Louis Blues.
Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs
Goaltender for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Andersen came off a tough overtime loss to the Washington Capitals last week and bounced back strong! The Maple Leafs won three straight this week and Andersen can arguably be considered the Man of the Match for all three of those contests. Now tell me if these numbers seem familiar, Andersen gave up five goals within those three games and saved 98 shots, giving him a 1.60 goals against average and .951 save percentage. With the return of star player, John Tavares, and Andersen’s strong play between the posts, the Maple Leafs are ready to step up their game even more now.
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks haven’t been having a great season and their veteran skater Patrick Kane has had a very slow start. Through the first 11 games, Kane posted three goals, six assists, and a -5 plus-minus. Well, the veteran stepped it up this week racking up two goals and five assists in the team’s four matchups this week. Kane has had at least one assist in each of those last four games, and the veteran helped lead the shakey Blackhawks to a solid week for them, taking wins from the Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks as well as taking a point in an overtime loss.
Team on the Rise
New York Islanders (Last Week: 2-0-1)
This team has been hot for a while and could have been the highlight of this category the past two weeks as well with the streak they’ve been on. With the Islanders’ slow start to the season, everyone took the start of their win streak with a grain of salt to see if they could keep it up. Well with their ten-game win streak coming to an end with an overtime loss to the Pittsburg Penguins, we can say that this team isn’t messing around and is one to watch out for going forward. With great goaltending from both Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov, the Islanders have been red hot, aside from the eventual overtime loss to the Penguins, the Islanders have given up a total of three goals over their last three games. The Islanders offensively have been putting up great numbers as well with Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas each putting up their first goals of the season, each putting up two goals and a +4 +/- and a total of three assists between the two of them over the last two games. With production coming from all parts of the roster from top to bottom the Islanders are just getting started and have jumped up to the third spot in this week’s power rankings.
Team on the Decline
Detroit Red Wings (Last Week: 1-3)
They gave me some hope the week before, but now they’re back, for the second time this year my team on the decline is the Detroit Red Wings. They ended the week with a quality win over a Bruins team who is at the top of my power rankings, but one game won’t change the route they’ve been on. Aside from that one win, the Red Wings lost three straight to start the week, all by a margin of four or more goals. Through their first three games this week the Red Wings scored only two goals, and gave up a total of 15! That type of goal differential is just disgusting and is representative of how their season is taking shape. With a goal differential of -31 on the season and a record of 2-7-1 in their last ten games, the Red Wings are at the bottom of the league standings and my power rankings. If they stay at this pace, don’t expect them in this segment again, because you can’t decline anymore from where they are at now.
What to Watch for the Week Ahead!
Rookies on the Rise: The Points Leader
The Colorado Avalanche have had an inconsistent start to their season, but one of the bright spots is a rookie defenseman, Cale Makar. Makar is leading the rookies this year with 15 points, four more than any other rookie so far. That 15 points are split between two goals and a rookie leading 13 assists. Makar has a goal and three assists over his last two games and is one to watch going forward.
Rookies on the Rise: The Good Luck Charm
Toronto Maple Leaf rookie, Ilya Mikheyev, has had a solid start to the season so far. Tied for second in rookie total points with 11, second in goals by a rookie with four, and racking up seven assists, Mikheyev has been an all-around strong asset for the Leaf’s. The number that stands out to me the most though is his +/- which is at +7 on the season. When Mikheyev is on the ice the Maple Leaf’s just find a way to get the puck in the net, that +7 leads the team in that category.
Rookies on the Rise: The Goal Scorer
With 11 total points, Buffalo Sabres rookie Victor Olofsson is tied with Mikheyev for second out of all the rookies so far this season. The Sabres rookie though is all alone on top of the rookies in goals with six so far on the season. Olofsson hasn’t scored a goal in almost ten games but still holds the lead, the rookie received some extended time on the ice last game against the Tampa Bay Lightning and picked up an assist. Expect Olofsson to see some more time on the ice and pick up his game.
The Avalanche are rolling downhill
Over their last five matches, the Colorado Avalanche hold a record of 1-3-1, aside from their freakish 9-4 win, Colorado was outscored 5 to 13 in those other matchups. With injuries to Gabriel Landeskog, Philipp Grubauer, and Nikita Zadorov, the Avalanche haven’t been playing at full strength. Leaning on their star forward Nathan MacKinnon and rookie defenseman Cale Makar, Colorado is looking to turn their season back around starting with their most recent 9-4 beat down on the Nashville Predators. Losing five of their last six, look for Colorado to turn it around with matches this week against Columbus, Winnipeg, and Edmonton.
Game of the Week
Toronto Maple Leafs @ New York Islanders (Wednesday, November 13th)
Whenever John Tavares returns to play the Islanders we are always going to be entertained. Between the fans’ reactions and emotions to the actual play of these two teams as of late, this is the game to watch out for this week!
NHL Power Rankings
- Boston Bruins (1)
- Washington Capitals (2)
- New York Islanders (11)
- St Louis Blues (12)
- Nashville Predators (6)
- Carolina Hurricanes (3)
- Buffalo Sabres (5)
- Vegas Golden Knights (7)
- Colorado Avalanche (4)
- Edmonton Oilers (8)
- Toronto Maple Leafs (10)
- Pittsburg Penguins (9)
- Vancouver Canucks (14)
- Anaheim Ducks (13)
- Arizona Coyotes (15)
- Calgary Flames (16)
- Tampa Bay Lightning (18)
- Montreal Canadians (17)
- Florida Panthers (19)
- Winnipeg Jets (20)
- Philadelphia Flyers (21)
- Dallas Stars (22)
- New York Rangers
- Colombus Blue Jackets (23)
- San Jose Sharks (25)
- Minnesota Wild (26)
- Los Angeles Kings (28)
- Chicago Blackhawks (29)
- New Jersey Devils (30)
- Ottawa Senators (31)
- Detroit Red Wings (27)
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images