NHL Weekly Recap: Jan. 17

Story posted January 17, 2022 in Sports, CommRadio by Nolan Wick

The 2021-2022 NHL season is roughly halfway finished. Several interesting things happened this week, including the release of the 2022 NHL All-Star Game rosters. The game is set to take place on Feb. 5 in Las Vegas.

Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, Toronto’s Auston Matthews, Colorado’s Nathan Mackinnon, and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid were each selected to captain their respective division’s teams in the All-Star Game following the fan vote.

Ovechkin’s selection to the 2022 All-Star Game marks his eighth selection, the most of any player selected this season. Meanwhile, several players were selected for the first time, including New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox, Winnipeg’s Kyle Connor, and Vegas’ Mark Stone.

Carolina’s Rod Brind’Amour, Florida’s Andrew Brunette, Colorado’s Jared Bednar, and Vegas’ Peter DeBoer were each selected to coach their division’s respective teams.

The game will feature a three-game tournament in a three versus three format. There also will be a skills contest on Feb. 4.

Aside from the All-Star Game rosters being released, many things happened on the ice this week.

After a tough four-game losing streak, the Capitals got back into the win column with a 2-0 win against the Islanders in their inaugural trip to UBS Arena.

The Kraken currently hold the longest losing streak with nine consecutive losses, while the Flyers are not far behind them with seven losses in a row. Seattle has faced tough competition throughout this losing streak, with losses against Colorado and St. Louis. Philadelphia has also faced some difficult opponents, with losses against the Bruins and Rangers.

Seattle is currently last place in the Pacific Division, and it’s not even close. The Kraken currently have 24 points, while the nearest team to them in the standings, the Canucks, have 35 points. It has arguably been a very lackluster first season for the Kraken, as next to nothing seems to be going right for them.

Although some teams have it bad, others have it good. On Saturday night, the Florida Panthers scored a whopping nine goals against the Blue Jackets in a 9-2 final score. The Panthers also put up seven goals against the Stars this week, too. The win over Columbus is Florida’s fourth straight win, which has it tied for first place with the Lightning.

Both Florida and Tampa Bay have to watch out, though, as the Boston Bruins are surging to the top of the Atlantic Division right now. Boston currently has a five-game win streak and is 8-2-0 in its last ten games.

The Atlantic Division is currently very competitive. Despite a strong start, the fifth-place Red Wings seem to have fallen behind, as the Bruins, Maple Leafs, Lightning, and Panthers appear to have taken control of the upper half of the division. With a less talented roster than those four teams, Detroit has a long way to go if it is to get back into the picture.

Some teams are beginning to establish themselves as legitimate playoff contenders. There is still time for some of the other teams that have lost ground to catch up. That being said, it needs to happen now as the season is roughly halfway done.

Nolan Wick is a first-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email nhw5046@psu.edu.