Jiri Hudler and the Calgary Flames went 2-1-0 this week winning against the Avs and Coyotes, but losing to the San Jose Sharks. Hudler had a good week earning three assists (+1). At this pace, Hudler will most likely surpass his career best (in 2008-09 with the Red Wings) of 57 points in the regular season. The Flames are 17-9-2 and are just three points away from the division leaders, the Anaheim Ducks.
Although Pekka Rinne went 1-2-0 this week, it was not his fault that he only managed to get one win. He had a goals against average of 2.33 and a save percentage of .920. These numbers are bad, and partially due to his team failing to provide offense for Rinne, Rinne lost quite a few goals in losing to Carolina 2-1 and 3-1 to Chicago. However, their only win was against St. Louis, where the team scored 4 goals in a 4-3 win, where although Rinne did allow a lot of goals, his team was able to fight back and win the game for him. Nashville is 17-7-2 and Rinne still has all of the team’s wins!
Johnny Boychuk was unfortunately sidelined this week with an upper-body injury and did not play at all. However the Isles went 2-1-0, winning both their games against the Ottawa Senators. New York was able to win these games thanks to the goal-tending of Halak and tight defensive play. The Islanders are 19-8-0, and are tied with the Pens for the lead in the Metropolitan division.
Pavel Datsyuk had another great week getting 3G/4A (+6) in all four of Detroit’s games this week, where they went 3-1-0, losing only to Florida. Coming back from injury, Datsyuk is just what the Wings needed – consistent offence and someone who is reliable defensively. The Red Wings are now 17-6-5, and tied with Tampa Bay for the lead in the Atlantic division.
And now for this week’s stars…
1) The Pacific Division: Ryan Getzlaf Of The Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks’ captain Ryan Getzlaf led the way during the Ducks’ 4-0-0 streak this week, earning 1G/6A (+4), despite losing Corey Perry to injury against Minnesota. His best game was Sunday against Winnipeg, getting three helpers in their 4-3 overtime win.
As runner up for the Hart trophy last year, Getzlaf is on pace for another MVP-type of year. In 28 games, he leads the Ducks with 29 points (8G/21A), and he is only going to get hotter. In Movember, he managed to get 10 points in 12 games, and he has managed to get more than half of that in four games!
This week will be, relatively speaking, easy for the Ducks, as they face the Oilers twice (both times at home), and face the Jets again on Saturday. The Ducks’ record should improve this week, and so should Getzlaf’s stats. Anaheim led the Pacific division and has the best record in the NHL at 18-6-5.
2) The Atlantic Division: Aaron Ekblad Of The Florida Panthers
Aaron Ekblad, the 1st overall pick from the 2014 draft, has played a key part of Florida’s recent success this past week. The Panthers went 2-1-1 and Ekblad had six points (2G/4A, +6) in those four games.
Ekblad has only played 25 games in the NHL, but he is starting to play like he has been in the league for years. HE’S ONLY EIGHTEEN! He has 4G/13A (+6) this season so far, third in scoring for rookies. Not to mention, he has two power play goals for the Panthers and plays over 21 minutes a game. Because of his overall performance and how he has been a huge help to Florida this year (a team no one epects anything from), he is definitely in the discussion for Rookie of the Year, because of the impact he has had thus far.
Florida is 11-7-7 so far and is just two points shy of a wild-card. If Ekblad and his teammates continue to produce wins, I’m sure they can knock out one of the wild-card teams (i.e. Toronto) to get into the playoffs this year.
3) The Central Division: Jacob Trouba Of The Winnipeg Jets
The young defense-man for the Winnipeg Jets had a great week, earning 2G/3A (+3), highlighted by his three point night against the Edmonton Oilers, and his game tying goal against the Ducks on Sunday. The team went 2-0-1 this week at home.
In 28 games, Trouba has 4G/8A (+5) – on a team that doesn’t give up too many goals. The Jets are playing every well defensively and Trouba is a big part of that. He is second among the Jets’ defense-men in ice time with just above 23 minutes/game – which is great for a 20 year old!
Hopefully this season Trouba will not have the kind of bad luck he had last season, when he was injured for a majority of the season, a season where he could have been in the discussion on Rookie of the Year. Winnipeg is 14-9-5 in 28 games, and is tied with the LA Kings for a Wild-Card spot in the Central division.
4) The Metropolitan division: Marc Andre Fleury, the Pittsburgh Penguins
Marc Andre Fleury went 2-0-0 for the Pens this week, earning a 29 save shutout against the Devils and only allowing two goals against the Sens. Overall, he had a save percentage of .965 and a goals against average of just one this week.
Fleury leads the NHL with 5 shutouts and has gone 15-4-1 this season, with a goals against average just over two and .928 save percentage. His play for the Pens is what is expected from him, and he is a big reason why the Pens continue to make it into the playoffs each year, even if they have Crosby and Malkin. Although we will have to see, come April, how the playoffs will treat Fleury, as he has had struggled ever since winning the Cup in 2009.
However, if Crosby, Malkin et al. provide a lot of goals for Fleury and sound defensive games, the Pens might actually be a threat to many teams come April. Overall, the Pens are 18-6-2 and are tied for the lead in the Metropolitan division with the Islanders.
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