NHL Weekly Recap: Feb. 9

Story posted February 9, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by James Morrison

As the NHL cruises into the All-Star break, some teams are well on their way to make the playoffs.

Atlantic Division

The Panthers have found secondary scoring from many unsung heroes including Mason Marchment and Anton Lundell which has helped propel them into the top seed in the Atlantic. Tampa Bay and Toronto follow in the standings.

The reinvigorated Bruins have surged into a wild card spot after the addition of Tuukka Rask.

This may not be the Red Wings’ year, but they have made enormous strides with All Star Dylan Larkin returning to form and the emergence of Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider.

Buffalo and Ottawa have had a nightmare goaltending situation this year, but Rasmus Dahlin looks to be the building block on the defensive end for the Sabres as Drake Batherson is for the forwards on the Senators.

Montreal literally went from the Stanley Cup Final, to worst in the league and with Ben Chiarot and Jeff Petry likely leaving town, the Canadiens will be without their top three defensemen from their cup run.

Metropolitan Division

The Hurricanes feature an absolutely loaded lineup and have five games in hand over the Rangers.

On the other hand, the Rangers are being carried by goaltender Igor Shesterkin while Boxford native Chris Kreider leads the NHL in goals.

Pittsburgh recently re-signed Jeff Carter for two more seasons and has one regulation loss in its last ten games. With Ovechkin headed to the covid list, Washington is all but locked into a Wild Card spot.

Columbus has overperformed this season and also have a lot of young players on the way such as forward Kent Johnson.

The Islanders, Flyers and Devils continue to underperform.

Central Division

Colorado is up by eight points in the Central Division but will likely need to add a cheaper scoring forward to make a deep playoff run.

Juuse Saros is carrying the Predators this season and his performance in the All-Star game showed how good he is. The Wild have been getting contributions up and down the lineup as they sit in third place in the Central, led by Kirill Kaprizov on offense and Cam Talbot in net.

St. Louis’ all-star Jordan Kyrou won the fastest skater competition over Connor McDavid and they sit firmly in a Wild Card spot. The Stars have made a comeback in the playoff race led by captain Joe Pavelski and goaltender Jake Oettinger.

Winnipeg is having a down year offensively, but All Star Kyle Connor has not been affected by it. Chicago is also having a very bad year considering the moves they made in the offseason.

The Coyotes will likely ship off Jakob Chychrun leaving their only bright spots as Clayton Keller and Nick Schmaltz.

Pacific Division

Vegas is holding a lead in the Pacific Division, but their play has been very questionable as of late. The Kings are being led by goaltending tandem Jonathan Quick and Cal Peterson to second place in the Pacific.

Anaheim has a slew of young players leading the way at the break such as Troy Terry, Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale into a playoff position. The Flames have come back from their early January slump and now have a loose hold on the second Wild Card spot.

Edmonton has stumbled into the All-Star break and so far, bringing in Evander Kane has provided a spark over a small sample size of games. The Sharks are slipping slowly out of the playoff race and losing Erik Karlsson for an extended period does not help.

Vancouver has struggled on offense this year with almost every player having a down year, so playoffs are most likely not in the picture.

Philipp Grubauer had the Kraken’s first shutout in the last game before the All-Star break.

NHL All-Star Game

Jordan Kyrou won the fastest skater competition with a time of 13.55 seconds.

The tandem of Jack Campbell and Andrei Vasilevskiy won the save streak competition.

Victor Hedman won the hardest shot competition with a speed of 103.2 mph.

Alex Pietrangelo won the breakaway challenge, but Trevor Zegras stole the show dressed up as Peter LaFleur from “Dodgeball” while he was blindfolded and scored a spin-o-rama goal.

Stars captain Joe Pavelski won the NHL style Blackjack game.

Sebastian Aho won the Accuracy Contest with a time of 10.937 seconds.

In the All-Star tournament the Metropolitan Division beat the Pacific and the Central beat the Atlantic in the first round.

The Metropolitan Division beat the Central Division in the finals with Claude Giroux winning All-Star game MVP.

James Morrison is a second-year majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email jpm6920@psu.edu.