Wednesday NHL Roundup!

  1. Ouch. All aboard the Edmonton Oilers abuse train! The Axe fell as GM Peter Chiarelli was fired yesterday following a loss to the last place Detroit Red Wings. In recent days people like Jeremy Roenick and Connor McDavid himself have been slinging mud at the organization. Connor diplomatically made vague statements about teammates commitment to winning. Roenick just hauled off and called them a below professional calibre team. As bad a loudmouth as he is, Jeremy Roenick will always have a special following from dudes in my age group who grew up with his overpowered video game character in NHL ’94. So Edmonton has wisely decided to move on and join the modern era, awarding more value to people based on their skill at the business of hockey instead of famous name recognition of glories past. So to that end, they hired… Keith Gretzky. I can’t even.

2. If you could have tickets to one game this year last night’s tilt between the San Jose Sharks and the Washington Capitals would have been serious value for your money. Alex Ovechkin popped a hat trick, Evander Kane tied the game with one second left and then San Jose took it in OT 7-6. Thirteen goals! If you didn’t have Braden Holtby in your pool (I do) then this game was just fun for everyone. The Caps have coughed up 6 defeats in a row, but I think they’re more dangerous without that #1 seed. I guess you might be a little bit disappointed that Erik Karlsson wasn’t in the game. I theorized that Karlsson is milking his injury so he doesn’t get suspended for bailing on the All Star game, but he’s rumoured to possibly show up for some of the skills competition. It’s always funny how some people campaign to get in the AllStar game (Mitch Marner, various Calgary Flames) and some people campaign to get out of it. Don’t worry Mitch, you’ll be in the other category before you know it.

3. The Islanders have stepped up to take first place in the Metropolitan Division but really it’s still anyone’s game. No one seems real interested in stepping up and owning that division. They’ve sort of blithely divided themselves into the haves (Washington, NYI, Columbus, Pittsburgh) and have-nots (Carolina, NYR, Philadelphia, New Jersey). Chicago and Los Angeles to an extent used to be able to just flip gears on the eve of the playoffs and turn into juggernauts overnight. For every team that can do that there’s a hundred more that can’t so I think these teams oughta take a little more interest in the doldrums of the regular season schedule.

4. Things are looking good for Canada though as Calgary and Winnipeg have really stepped up to take the division lead in the Central and the West respectively. Winnipeg has a skinny lead of 2 points on Nashville but with 3 games in hand on them and Calgary for the Conference lead. Montreal still sits in the last playoff spot and Vancouver has very quietly moved into 9th place with 52 points, same as both teams ahead of them. It’s just the Oilers and the Sens out of the picture, and both those teams have extensively documented problems. Will the Cup go North of the border for the first time in decades?