Stoney's NHL Week in Review 10/31-11/6

Stoney's NHL Week In Review 10/31-11/6 - Around the Rinks

11/8/11 in NHL   |   The_Real_Stoney   |   25696 respect

Week of 10/31 – 11/6
What’s the Haps?
- The St. Louis Blues became the first team to make a change behind the bench on Sunday after firing coach Davis Payne. Payne had been 67-55-13 in parts of three seasons as the Blues head coach. Given the struggles of the Columbus Blue Jackets, the fact the blues were the first to pull the trigger only 13 games into the season and the fact they hired Ken Hitchcock who had been under contract with the Jackets makes for a bit of a double surprise. The timing may be right for the Blues though as they sit 14th in the Western Conference and are a team many thought would be in the mix for a playoff spot at the start of the year. Teams can not afford to get too far behind the rest of the pack in the West as the last two years it has taken 95 and 97 points respectively to make the playoffs. Hitchcock definitely brings experience having coached 1,042 NHL games with Dallas, Chicago, and Columbus, winning a cup with the Stars, but he’s thought to be more of an “old-school” coach and it will be interesting to see how his style meshes with a young, talented Blues squad.
- The Nashville Predators inked goalie Pekka Rinne to a 7-year, $49 million extension on Thursday, the largest contract in the history of the Preds. Some may question the length of the deal considering Rinne is 29 years old, but there is no questioning the fact that Rinne is among the top 5 goalies in the league right now. Now Nashville will have to turn their sights to retaining their two stud defensemen in the coming summer. Ryan Suter is set to be an unrestricted free agent and could be looking for a contract in the neighborhood of 6.5-7 million per year, and Shea Weber is a restricted free agent who was awarded a one year $7.5 million contract in arbitration this past summer. 
Stoney’s Star of the Week
Josh Harding – G Minnesota Wild
After missing all of last year with a knee injury, Harding has been a beast in net for the Wild in the 5 games he’s played. Last week he was 3-0 giving up only 1 goal in each of the games, all Wild wins, and stopping 90 of 93 shots he face.
(Records through Sunday 11/6)

PIT      9-3-3   21        W1
PHI      8-4-2   18        W1                 
NYR    7-3-3   17        W4
NJD     6-5-1   13        W2
NYI     4-5-2   10        W1
Notes: NJD – Marty Brodeur is back in the mix and after a first rough outing back, losing 5-3 to Toronto and giving up a Joffrey Lupul hat trick, Brodeur bounced back wth a 3-2 OT win over the Jets. The ageless Patrick Elias leads the team in goals (6) and points (11) but Kovalchuk still only has 2 goals this year. NYI – Who has scored the lowest amount of goals this year? Yep, the Isles. John Tavares with 8 goals, has 5 more than anyone else on the team. On a brighter NYR – The Rangers have been one of the hottest teams, having won all 4 of their games last week and outscoring their opponents 14-6. It’s good to be home evidently. Marion Gaborik and Brad Richards are doing what they’re supposed to for this team to win (13 and 10 points respectively). Sean Avery was called back up this week and in two games has provided 1 shot on goal in 5:04 minutes of ice a game PHI – Several teams have scored a lot of goals this year, but the Flyers 56 are 8 more than any other team thus far. Demolishing the Blue Jackets Saturday night 9-2 helped. The Flyers were 2-0-1 for the week and look to be getting Chris Pronger back within a week. Have I mentioned before how much I like Claude Giroux? 2nd in the league with 19 points, 3rd in goals with 10. Oh and Jagr quietly has 15 points in 14 games. PIT – After playing more games than any other team for most of the year so far, the Pens only had two this week, a shootout win over the Kings and a shootout loss to the Sharks. Evgeni Malkin returned to the lineup to the tune of 2G, 1A against the Sharks. Oh, and if anyone cares, Sidney Crosby has been traveling with the team, but no definitive return date has been set.
TOR    9-4-1   19        L1
BUF     8-5-0   16        W2
OTT     7-7-1   15        L3
MON   5-6-2   12        L1
BOS    5-7-0   10        W2
Notes: BOS – The Bruins may be this year’s poster child of the don’t panic too early brigade. They won both their games last week, 5-3 over Ottawa and 7-0 in Toronto. Tyler Seguin is becoming a big, bright shining star (7-7-14) and leads the league at +10 BUF – What happens when Ryan Miller gets a case of the yips and loses 4 in a row? You give him a chance to find his game and Jhonas Enroth steps right in to the tune of a 1.41 GA and .952 Save percentage. I really hope Thomas Vanek stays healthy, the guy takes a beating night in and night out but still produces (8-8-16) MON – Carey Price seems to have righted the ship after a rough start to the year, and it’s not without a lack of opportunity as he’s started 12 of the teams 13 games. The Habs are lacking a dynamic offensive player right now. OTT – The Senators finally lost a game after winning 6 straight.. Then lost two more for good measure. Milan Michalek leads the team and is 3rd in the league in goals (9). Daniel Alfredsson has missed the last 3 games with a concussion TOR – Goalie Ben Scrivens found out just how difficult it is to play in the NHL this week. He won his debut Thursday in Columbus 4-1, then was pulled in his next start after giving up 5 goals en route to a 7-0 whipping at the hands of the Bruins. Phil Kessel continues to lead the league in goals (10) and points (21)
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11/8/11   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

  Didja really hafta pick the Wild goalie TODAY????? For crying out loud, the Flames aren't having the best time lately, and now they are down 2-0 and it's all YOUR fault!!!!

11/8/11   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

The Caps played like crap tonight and lost to Dallas 5-2. Afterword, this is what Mike Knuble said.

"We look great when we’re all committing. We look all like a bunch of clowns when we don’t -- very average team when we’re not all committed."

So the Caps have *these* issues again. *rolls eyes*

11/8/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

I may have an answer to the million dollar question.  The Pens just traded Mark Letestu to Columbus for a 4th round draft pick.  He's been rumored to be on the trading block due to his lousy play so far this year, but why make the move now unless...

11/8/11   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

I am shocked Columbus wasn't the first to fire their coach.

11/8/11   |   kteacher   |   34438 respect

The_Real_Stoney wrote:
I don't see Penner being a King by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.  Is he as big a crybaby as it seems from the outside?

Bigger! But add big arse floating baby who almost shocked me with his three chances in the first last night.

Should have known then that doom was near.

11/8/11   |   The_Real_Stoney   |   25696 respect

Chief_aka_James wrote:
So, the Wild are hot, but how long do you see the good play lasting? Playoffs?

Until their goalie play slides.  Outside of the top line with Heatley and Setoguchi, they don't pack much of an offensive wallop and I think that will be their downfall in the end.  But saying that, if they can be consistent with their scheme like they did in 06-07 and 07-08 under Jacques Lemaire, there's a chance they could snag one of the last couple spots by winning a lot of 2-1games

11/8/11   |   Chief_aka_James   |   3307 respect

So, the Wild are hot, but how long do you see the good play lasting? Playoffs?

11/8/11   |   The_Real_Stoney   |   25696 respect

(Edited by The_Real_Stoney)

I don't see Penner being a King by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.  Is he as big a crybaby as it seems from the outside?

11/8/11   |   kteacher   |   34438 respect

(Edited by kteacher)

 The Kings play sucks right now. I can't see Lombardi allowing this to go on much longer. It's getting hard to watch. Quick and Kopitar deserve better.

***Oh....and any takers for Penner are welcomed.