NHL Weekly Recap: December 5

Story posted December 5, 2021 in CommRadio, Sports by Meghan Strange

The heart of the hockey season continues as more teams rise and fall in the rankings.

Florida has remained on top and continues to hold the top spot overall. Meanwhile, Washington and Toronto inch in with only a one-point difference. 

The Rangers, Flames and Wild are on the climb and have come into the top-10 teams in the league. These three teams are a win away from tying the Panthers with 37 points. 

A major factor to the success of these teams is winning streaks.  Numerous teams have consecutive wins at the moment.   

In the Easteren Conference, the New York Rangers have a hefty streak of six wins.  Not far behind is Detroit with five consecutive wins. Not as large of a streak, but still just as impressive, the Panthers have had three-straight comeback wins, contributing to their top spot in the conference and league.

Concurrently, in the Western Conference, Dallas and Minnesota have won six games in a row.  Simultaneously, Calgary looks to extend its road point streak to nine games, while holding a win streak of three. 

A large number of these teams have some of the leading goal scorers and point earners in the NHL, which are huge contributors to their successes.

Leon Draisaitl of the Oilers still leads in goals, but Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin continues to shine and this past week, scored his 750th goal.

Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, Calgary’s Mangiapane and New York’s Kreider all have 16 goals each, helping the boost in their teams’ ranking. 

Meanwhile the top goaltenders are from Dallas, Toronto, Calgary and New York, providing another answer to the question of their success.

Unfortunately, while some teams are on hot streaks, others have gone cold. Most notable are the Flyers and Islanders.

Philadelphia’s last win was in overtime in the middle of November.  Since then, it has suffered seven straight losses. 

There are many factors that contribute to the losses.  It could be the lack of goal scoring from the offense, considering the three team leaders combined have scored the same as Draisaitl on his own. 

However, a major problem is Carter Hart.  His goals against average is nearing three and it does not help that the only backup, Martin Jones, has an even higher number. 

The Flyers are just ahead of the Islanders in the bottom of the Metropolitan Division. New York is currently on a winning hiatus, after having a record of 0-8-2 in its last 10 games. 

In addition to their lack of victory on the ice, the Islanders recently had to postpone a game due to COVID protocol, thus, preventing more exposures and potentially another loss. 

Nonetheless, the losses keep rolling and teams’ playoff chances are slowly slipping away.  

The Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens both have a whopping 17 losses already, and Vancouver and Ottawa are on the same track with 15 games lost.

There is still plenty of season left and playoff spots are still up for grabs, yet with the adrenaline rush from certain teams winning, it will be hard for others to catch up.

Meghan Strange is a first-year majoring in journalism. To contact her, email mgs5649@psu.edu