Ice Hockey: NHL – Week 8 – NHL – National Hockey League

nothing in the west

The week is marked by the neck and neck of the teams at the top of the standings. With their game up, the Devils lost first place, leaving it once again to Boston who never seemed tired. Linus Ullmark moreover hasn’t moved from his place as the league leader in save percentage since the start of the season. It was he who shut out the game against defending champions Avalanche Colorado last night (December 8-9) for a score of 4-0.

It is for the moment the East which leads very largely, since the first in the West, Las Vegas, does not reach the number of points of the third in the East: Toronto (which has just chained two shutouts in a row, 4-0 and 5-0 against the cardinally opposed champions: Dallas and Los Angeles).

The Kraken, meanwhile, plunged back below the surface where it had been for two weeks and gave way in the face of the three consecutive victories of the Jets which won 5-2 in these three games.

First three teams in the east:
Boston Bruins: 43 points, 25 games played (21-3-0)
New Jersey Devils: 43 points, 26 games played (21-4-1)
Toronto Maple Leafs: 40 points, 28 games played (17-5-6)

Top three teams in the West:
Las Vegas Golden Knights: 39 points, 28 games played (19-8-1)
Winnipeg Jets: 35 points, 25 games played (17-7-1)
Dallas Stars: 35 points, 27 games played (15-7-5)

Hatching a star with the Sabers

Although the poster did not feature competition favourites, Wednesday night’s game sent fans into a panic. Tagus Thompson, the 25-year-old American forward who has been in the spotlight since his spectacular goal last week scored 4 goals in 11 minutes, 4 goals and an assist in 13 minutes and 7 points in the full game. They are four, in all the history of the league to have achieved the feat of collecting 4 points in a single and first third. As for the feat of amassing more than 6 points in a game, he is only the second to have done so.

The beginnings of the young striker were not easy, however. Born in the middle with a father who had already played on the ice of the league in the 90s, he however worked a lot to obtain a permanent place on the benches of the league. After being tossed about in the draft, and having greatly supported his ailing wife, he obtained a seven-year contract with the Sabers at the end of August of this year. Something to delight the team who had bet on him with a good dose of skepticism, according to Thompson himself. From now on, the 24e club in the standings can boast of having 4e league pointer in its lines.

Moment pointers:

Dallas advances on this point its 23-year-old striker, Jason Robertson, who has 41 points in 27 games. In front, unsurprisingly, are the Edmonton Oilers (15e in the general classification) who are well ahead of the classification with their two undisputed stars: the German Leon Draisaitl (44 points in 27 games) and of course, Connor McDavid, who has a solid average of 2 points per game (52 for 27 games). Since the beginning of the season, not once has another player managed to take the place of top scorer.

Avalanche without its champion

The reigning champions, we lost the match and McKinon against the Flyers on 12/6. The game, filled with penalties and aggressiveness of all kinds. After a failed shot in the direction of Carter Hart in the cages, he seemed to struggle with the pain and eventually came out of the ice. He is now out with an upper body injury. The club, which was already playing without 7 players including Landeskogforward and captain, now finds himself handicapped without his star player, which may explain such a pronounced setback during the match against the Bruins, lost 0-4.
They are now 9e to the west ahead of Vancouver and behind Minnesota. (27 points for 24 games played).

Rejuvenation and defense at half mast

Montreal goalkeeper Jake Allen who has been playing on NHL ice for more than 10 years now, granted Robert Laflamme, a Canadian journalist, an interview in which he discusses the changes in orientation and strategy within the league over the past few years. What to look at the statistics in terms of number of goals and age of players.
We notice in fact and without question that the recruits are increasingly young and that many star players are 25 years old or less. McDavid only has 25, Thompson too, Robertson 23, Tkatchuk 23… In the top 8, not a player has passed his thirties.

Faced with this resurgence of scorers whose youth is the force, the trajectory of the NHL is no longer the same and the games have changed atmosphere. Where there were between 0 and 4 goals per match ten years ago, it is not uncommon today to watch matches where the number of goals exceeds ten.
This is done, according to the experienced goalkeeper, to the detriment of interest in the defensive stronghold. Since the goals are linked, it is better to try to equalize rather than play the wall. The goalkeepers are having a bad time, far from the position’s glory days. The ramparts are no longer popular.

A positive point to this significant development should however be noted. Inevitably, since the game is more spectacular, since the defense tends to give way to the benefit of the attack, a team that is leading by several goals in the first period may very well see the match turn around completely afterwards and lose in letting enemy lines break through his shield. (We recall as proof the match two weeks ago, Dallas vs Chicago, which led by four goals before being up 5 in the last third before losing miserably)

This should therefore change the point of view on the statistics of goalies in terms of goals awarded.

The best goal of the week

Mikko Rantanen of the Colorado Avalanche (vs. Philadelphia Flyers) on 12/06
Goalie: Carter Hart

So many sticks crossed in his legs, so much energy from the opposing defense, so many moments just a few millimeters from the penalty to trip up… But the raised puck went into the cage like butter.

Marc-Andre Fleury Minnesota Wild (vs. Edmonton Oilers) on 12/02
Shooter: Nugent Hopkins

So many people to block the view and yet…. We see the goalkeeper cross his cage in the momentum of his skating, practically in a split, to end in a delicious save with the stick.

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