Category: Hockey Talk

The Road Trip is (finally) Over

Zach Hyman, Ryan Miller, Francois Beauchemin

Well it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been, but it definitely wasn’t the way we wanted it to go.

The road trip started with such promise, beating Boston one of the hottest teams in the NHL. Then, we went to the other side of the spectrum and played Ottawa, one of the worst teams in the league this year and lost in overtime, snapping their losing streak.

The next two games were a real rough ride, we got outscored 12-6. While we held up our own with six goals, letting in 12 over the two games is not a great look when we need to be pushing for playoff spots, in one of the most competitive divisions NHL has. The trip ended positively with a win in Buffalo thanks to Rico’s beautiful top shelf wrister on Lehner’s blocker side.

What we can takeaway

Perry is on fire, no game showed it more than the 7-4 loss in Toronto. Perry got 4 assists, meaning he had a hand in every goal. Apart from the obvious stats, his work rate and push was something we absolutely need from the veterans.

The top line is back together, Perry, Getzlaf and Rakell. We are producing goals and staying in games, more than our offense has mustered in the past, if our back end can improve we have a much easier job ahead of us.

Miller was in net for all four games on the road, and while many of the goals scored were definitely not his fault, letting in 17 goals over four games is not what you want from the net minder, and getting Gibson back would be a huge relief. Miller did his job, and the responsibility falls on the defense as well, but this does not look like a 1A/1B pairing.

Overall, we went in holding a playoff spot and came out with nothing, and to make matters worse everyone else in the playoff hunt has more games in hand than the Ducks, excluding the Stars. Tonight was a must win, but it is clear from here on out there is even less room for mistakes.

NHL All-Star Game Breakdown

2018_NHL_All-Star_Game_logo

Well, it’s that time of the year again, the game we all wait for. The NHL All-Star game, which in my opinion is definitely the most interesting of the major league All-Star competitions.

The opening ceremony was mostly what everyone expected, except for the terrible performance from Brett Young to sing the national anthem. Either he ran out of lung capacity and needed to pause every other second, or maybe he was just having a moment, but regardless of the way you put it, it wasn’t great to watch. Some notable introductions; Brian Boyle got a lot of cheers, a former Tampa Bay player and also currently fighting Leukemia, Brad Marchand received a great amount of booing from the home crowd thanks to his recent suspension, to which he repaid with blowing kisses, and Rak City Rakell had a few crickets welcome him into the All-Star game as well.

Pacific took care of business for the third straight season against the Central division. Not too much to see here other than some pretty great top shelf snipes, and Mike Smith having amazing handles, but in the end Laviolette’s decision to pull the net minder killed any momentum of a comeback. The match up ends at 5-2.

The second game of the day was much more tight despite the scoreline. It was a one goal affair throughout, but Crosby’s pucks on net couldn’t save this Metro team. Then, Kucherov went off scoring a hatty to get the Atlantic comfy again. Lastly, to top it all off Marchand finished the game with a great snipe, and one of the top celly’s of the day waving to the fans who had just booed him a bit earlier.

So Kid Rock performed right before the final as the headliner for the live performances of the night. In review, we should just pretend that didn’t happen and did something better with those minutes in between.

In the big showdown for the million dollars, Rik Rak opened up the scoring by cleaning up Kopitar’s shot on goal. During the first half the chances are relentless for the Pacific, eventually leading to another goal, this time from the Vancouver Canuck, Boeser. Atlantic finally scores one but it took a few minutes for Drew Doughty to respond with the help of Rickard Rakell and Anze Kopitar, what a weird sentence.

At the end of the day it was the Pacific division’s game all the way, Rakell got another goal, and Gaudreau got one as well. The million dollars will go home to the Pacific, Rik Rak is the real winner here in my eyes. I’ll say another pretty entertaining All-Star game, till next year.