Minnesota in the middle of the series, the Canadians in the hard with a new coach and Bellemare who unlocks his goal counter, back on what happened this week in the NHL.
It slips for the Wild
After beating Anaheim twice at the end of last week, Minnesota had a clear clean winning four new games. Against the Sharks and then the Avalanche, the Wild controlled and rolled to obtain a large victory (6-2). Facing the Kings for a double confrontation this weekend Minnesota did not give up and overturned twice a franchise which then remained on six consecutive successes. Six victories in a row, it’s the current Wild series that leaves nothing to chance and took advantage of its good form to move up to second place in the West Division just one point behind the Golden Knights, even though ‘they were in the sixth just a week ago.
2min for Canadians
While we praised the attack of the Canadians a few weeks ago, the Quebec franchise is currently experiencing a serious halt. Yet opposed to the Jets and especially to the Senators, last in the North Division, Montreal has failed to win a single game and is now on five consecutive defeats. Infuriating for the Canadians, because the ex-players of Claude Julien (see below) came very close to winning on several occasions. Lost twice after extra time and once in a shootout this week, the conclusion drawn from the last seven days could have been totally different. Unfortunately Montreal has lost each time and is now lagging behind the top three in its division (four points).
Player of the week: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Opposed three times against the Hurricanes and then the Stars this week, the Lightning came out of this complicated period unscathed by winning all of their games. One of the reasons for this success comes from the performances of his goalkeeper, Andrei Vasilevskiy. Imperial in his cage against Dallas and in Game 2 against Carolina (no goals conceded, first two shutouts of his season), the Russian was also invaluable at the start of the week, conceding two goals but making 34 saves. If Curtis McElhinney replaced him (successfully) once this week, the Lightning goalkeeper has a lot of responsibility in the current form of his team (four wins in a row, leader of the Central Division).
Stat of the week: 18
Eighteen is the number of games Claude Julien will have held on the Canadiens bench this season. After battling for the top of the division with Toronto earlier in the season, Montreal has been totally disillusioned in recent days and moved away from the top of the standings. This negative spiral will therefore have pushed the management to separate from its coach the day after the defeat against Ottawa in a shootout (editor’s note: Wednesday evening). In post since the middle of the 2016/2017 season, the 60-year-old therefore finds himself without a post and leaves his post to Dominique Ducharne. Julien is the first coach to be fired this season and that could give ideas to other franchises.
As a reminder, here are the French who are currently playing in NHL:
- Alexandre Texier (C, Columbus Blue Jackets)
- Antoine Roussel (LW, Vancouver Canucks)
- Pierre-Édouard Bellemare (C, Colorado Avalanche)
Difficult period for the Blue Jackets who remain on four defeats in a row including three this week. With playing time down compared to last week, Alexandre Texier has not scored a single point, he who has not been decisive since February 9. Columbus is currently fifth in the Central Division.
The lights are not green either on the side of the Canucks of Antoine Roussel. Also on four defeats in a row including two this week against the Oilers, Vancouver is not in top form and the Frenchman has had a difficult week. Involved in a fight with Jesse Puljujarvi against Edmonton, Roussel was fined $ 5,000 which he openly contested, arguing that some players were protected in NHL (Editor’s note: Puljujarvi did not receive a fine).
Taking advantage of an empty cage against the Coyotes at the end of the week, Pierre-Édouard Bellemare unlocked his points counter this season by scoring a goal. In a franchise currently fourth in the West Division, the Ile-de-France, known for his defensive qualities, seems to have regained all his feelings after his injury a few weeks ago.
The landmark action
Sam Reinhart candidate for the goal of the year! pic.twitter.com/lFUKh3y2Bb
– Charles Trognon (@CharlesTrognon) February 23, 2021
- Connor McDavid (C, Edmonton Oilers) → 40 points
- Leon Draisaitl (C, Edmonton Oilers) → 34 points
- Mitchell Marner (RW, Toronto Maple Leafs) → 32 points
- Patrick Kane (RW, Chicago Blackhawks) → 31 points
- Auston Matthews (C, Toronto Maple Leafs) → 31 points
- Auston Matthews (C, Toronto Maple Leafs) → 18 goals
- Connor McDavid (C, Edmonton Oilers) → 14 goals
- Tyler Toffoli (C, Montreal Canadiens) → 12 goals
- Brock Boeser (RW, Vancouver Canucks) → 12 goals
- Mark Scheifele (C, Winnipeg Jets), Dustin Brown (RW, Los Angeles Kings), Nikolaj Ehlers (LW, Winnipeg Jets), Logan Couture (C, San Jose Sharks) → 11 goals
- Connor McDavid (C, Edmonton Oilers) → 26 assists
- Leon Draisaitl (C, Edmonton Oilers) → 24 assists
- Mitchell Marner (RW, Toronto Maple Leafs) → 22 assists
- Patrick Kane (RW, Chicago Blackhawks) → 21 assists
- Quinn Hugues (D, Vancouver Canucks) & Anze Kopitar (C, Los Angeles Kings) → 19 assists
Goals Against Average (GAA)
- Petr Mrazek (G, Carolina Hurricanes) → 0.99 GAA
- Jack Campell (G, Toronto Maple Leafs) → 1.33 GAA
- Marc-Andre Fleury (G, Vegas Golden Knights) → 1.59 GAA
- Andre Vasilevskiy (G, Tampa Bay Lightning) → 1.75 GAA
- Philipp Grubauer (G, Colorado Avalanche) → 2.01 GAA
- Petr Mrazek (G, Carolina Hurricanes) → .955%
- Jack Campell (G, Toronto Maple Leafs) → .951%
- Marc-Andre Fleury (G, Vegas Golden Knights) → .941%
- Andre Vasilevskiy (G, Tampa Bay Lightning) → .938%
- Laurent Brossoit (G, Winnipeg Jets) → .935%
Featured Image Credits: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports