Jason Demers returning to the ice after suffering what looked to be a season ending lower-body injury back in November may not be the biggest news in the National Hockey League this week, but we here at Fear the Fin still love and support the man known as Daddy. Sure, he isn’t back with the big club just yet, but he has been recalled from his conditioning assignment with the Tucson Roadrunners. He should be back to NHL ice this week, if all goes well.
Anyway, now that I got that out of my system, here’s everything else happened in the division this week.
Anaheim Ducks (25-32-9)
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Anaheim Ducks had a bad week. Monday saw their first loss of the week, a 4-0 shutout to the Vancouver Canucks. Nothing much to say about that one. They fell short again to the Chicago Blackhawks, but at least got some pucks in the net. The goals from Carter Rowney, Devin Shore and Troy Terry couldn’t keep them above the four goals from the Blackhawks. Ryan Miller was in net and made a total of 31 saves.
The Vegas Golden Knights had a field day with the Ducks too, also shutting them out, this time 3-0. They bounced back on Sunday against the Colorado Avalanche, beating them 2-1. Jakob Silfverberg and Cam Fowler got on the board, while John Gibson made 25 saves.
The Ducks signed Jakob Silfverberg to a five-year contract extension this week. Silfverberg has played 56 games this season and has 16 goals and 8 assists. He ended their five-game losing streak with his 100th goal as a Duck on Sunday. In less positive news, Devin Shore who has been playing hard since coming to Anaheim left Sunday’s game with a lower-body injury. There has been no update on his status.
The Ducks see the Arizona Coyotes Tuesday at 6 p.m. PT.
Arizona Coyotes (32-28-5)
The Arizona Jason Demers sit only a few points behind Vegas for quite a comeback this season. They are currently riding a six-game point streak wave. They kept their point streak alive with a 4-3 shootout win over the Florida Panthers. Derek Stepan had two goals, while Oliver Ekman-Larsson also found the net in regulation. Vinnie Hinostroza netted the shootout winner. The Desert Dogs found their first regulation win of the week against the Vancouver Canucks, coming out on top 5-2 with a four-goal night from Brad Richardson (we’ve got a name for the in San Jose, Brad). The other goal came off the stick of Alex Galchenyuk.
The Coyotes took down the Detroit Red Wings for their final matchup of the week. The 3-1 victory saw goals from Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Vinnie Hinostroza and Josh Archibald. The Red Wings put 23 shots on Darcy Kuemper, who saved 22 of them. The Coyotes are currently in a second Wild Card spot. We are living in a simulation.
The Coyotes face the Ducks on Tuesday at 6 p.m. PT.
Calgary Flames (41-17-7)
The Calgary Flames are still in first place, for whatever reason. They had yet another impressive week, winning two of their three games. The first was a 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders. Rasmus Andersson, Mikael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk found the net, while Mike Smith made 26 saves. Calgary went on to beat the struggling New Jersey Devils. Mark Giordano and Elias Lindholm scored in the 2-1 win.
They fell short on Saturday, losing 4-2 to the Minnesota Wild. Travis Hamonic and Sean Monahan got the Flames on the board, but ultimately the Wild had this game in the bag.
Sharks fans know the extent of Calgary’s questionable hits. Garnet Hathaway sent Luke Kunin’s head into the boards and received a ten minute penalty. There will be no hearing for the incident. This happened not too long after they retired legend Jarome Iginla’s number 12.
The Flames face the Toronto Maple Leafs today at 6 p.m. PT.
Edmonton Oilers (28-30-7)
The Edmonton Oilers’ golden child returned to the lineup after facing a two game suspension. Prior to his return, they lost 3-2 in a shootout against the Nashville Predators, with both goals coming from Leon Draisaitl. The Toronto Maple Leafs went on to put a 6-2 beating to the Oilers. Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins found the net in an attempt to revive the struggling team, but Toronto took the win. No cat feces was consumed in the making of this Maple Leafs victory.
Edmonton turned it around as the week came to a close. They won 4-2 over the Ottawa Senators, if that’s something you can even celebrate these days. Colby Cave, Sam Gagner, Zack Kassian and Connor McDavid scored while Mikko Koskinen made 35 saves. They continued this momentum against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 4-0 victory saw goals from Leon Draisaitl, Alex Chiasson, Josh Currie and Zack Kassian. Koskinen made 30 saves between the pipes.
The Oilers are losing winger Jesse Puljujarvi, who will undergo a season-ending surgery. He only has nine points on the season, but still tough to lose a player to an injury like this.
The Oilers look to keep their win streak going against the Buffalo Sabres today at 4 p.m. PT.
Los Angeles Kings (24-33-8)
The Los Angeles Kings started their week off on a sour note. They were able to hold on against the league’s best team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, but lost in a shootout. The 4-3 final saw goals from Austin Wagner, Jonny Brodzinski and Alex Iafallo. Jack Campbell manned the pipes, making 31 saves. Things got ugly when they faced that team of jerks, the Carolina Hurricanes. They fell 6-1 and Jonathan Quick had his typical stick breaking meltdown. Dustin Brown had the only Kings goal, while Quick allowed all six goals before being pulled.
The Dallas Stars beat the Kings next, 4-3 in overtime. Anze Kopitar netted two goals, while Brendan Leipsic had a single. Jonathan Quick made 29 saves. Things got better for the Kings when they faced the Chicago Blackhawks. They somehow won that one, with two goals from Dustin Brown, and single goals from Adrian Kempe, Ilya Kovalchuk, Brendan Leipsic and Sean Walker on the way to a 6-3 win. Not bad for a team in last place.
The Kings play the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. PT.
The only highlight I want to show you this week is this clip of a bunch of dogs on the ice. Thank you for your time.
Vancouver Canucks (27-30-9)
The Canucks started their week off strong, beating the Anaheim Ducks 4-0. Bo Horvat scored two goals, with the others coming from Alex Biega and old friend Nikolay Goldobin. Jacob Markstrom made 29 saves between the pipes. The Avalanche then beat the Canucks 3-2 in a shootout. Josh Leivo and Antoine Roussel had the two Vancouver goals.
The final two games they played this week were rough. They lost 5-2 to the Arizona Coyotes. Though Tanner Pearson and Antoine Roussel found the net, they couldn’t outscore the surging Coyotes. They went to Vegas next and that was even uglier, getting shutout 3-0. Jacob Markstrom made a total of 45 saves between the pipes, which was pretty impressive for a team that struggled hard.
The Canucks face the Maple Leafs on Wednesday at 6 p.m. PT.
Vegas Golden Knights (36-26-5)
The Vegas Golden Knights won every game they played this week, so that’s annoying. First came a 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. Max Pacioretty had two goals, while Nate Schmidt and Brayden McNabb each found the net once. Marc-Andre Fleury made 23 saves. Their next win of the week came against the Florida Panthers. The 6-5 shootout victory saw goals from Jon Merill, Paul Stastny and Collin Miller, while Reilly Smith had a pair of goals. Shea Theodore had the shootout winner.
They then beat two division rivals 3-0. The first win came over the Ducks. Cody Eakin, William Karlsson and Alex Tuch notched goals while Fleury made 34 saves. Then came the Vancouver Canucks. Old friend Ryan Carpenter found the net, along with Max Pacioretty and Reilly Smith. Vancouver only put 19 shots on net. Yikes!
Mark Stone made his debut in Vegas this week. He hasn’t gotten a goal of his own, but did generate some assists during his first week with the new club.
Vegas will see Calgary Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. PT.