After a promising start including a high profile upset of their hated rivals the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Ottawa Senators have settled into last place in the NHL. A quick reminder that they dealt their first rounder to Colorado in the Matt Duchene deal. Both the Sens and the Flyers are mired in 8 game losing streaks. The Ducks are also on an 8 game losing streak, but John Gibson’s strong play has mitigated that situation in the standings.
On the other side of the coin, the Las Vegas Golden Knights have won 8 games in a row! Marc-Andre Fleury will be smiling, but then again he always is. Boston and Carolina have strung together 5 game win streaks as well. The streaky Sebastian “Who are you calling” Aho has heated up in January.
Leaf defenceman Morgan Rielly has been getting a lot of Norris Trophy buzz, as has Calgary Flames Captain Mark Giordano. I’m far more inclined to give it to Giordano. I love Rielly, but Giordano means a lot more to Calgary. Calgary is also performing better than anticipated, whereas the Leafs had higher expectation heading into the season. It’s time the Norris Trophy went to the best defenceman, not the highest scoring one.
Speaking of which, Erik Karlsson has apparently remembered which end of the stick to hold and is riding a team record 13 game points streak. This certainly has some people – like myself – who overpaid for him in pools breathing a sigh of relief. Oddly enough, the record’s legitimacy is questionable as the streak was broken up by a two game suspension. In Karlsson’s defence it was a really stupid suspension. Sharks have won four in a row as well to make it 57 points on the season, one shy of Calgary and Las Vegas for the division lead. Calgary’s got two games in hand on Vegas, making the Pacific the most interesting and hotly contested battle for divisional supremacy in Hockey. Washington and Pittsburgh might feel a little disrespected by that statement but that’s more rooted in rivalry than reality.
And finally, Happy Birthday to our
fearless friend and peerless leader Landon. Go Oilers!