Category Archives: Sick Hands Sunday

Frank Fanelli writes about who he thought had the hottest hands of the week in the NHL and gives his input on all of the latest dirty dangles, dastardly dekes and whatnot.

Sick Hand of the Month-Toews’ Monster Month Doesn’t Steal From Burns’ 5th Appearance on SHotM

Hey, everyone, I’m back this week for the second Sick Hands of The Month! If you forgot what that was, here is a quick reminder: So what I’m basically going to do is pick a player from each position on the ice (Left Wing, Center, Right Wing, two defenders, and a goalie). Then it’s basically the same thing as the normal “SHS” where I recap why I picked them and highlight their best games, goals, assists, etc. This Sick Hands of the Month is going to range from the last time I put one out (1/25-2/25). (A quick side note, sorry I’m a week late getting this out, I got all caught up being sick last week and it’s been a mess and I haven’t found time to write it out but here I go!)

laine

benntoews

114706132x                                                                        erik                                                             holtby

Jonathan Toews – Center (CHI) The reason why I picked this big broad lad out of Winnipeg, Canada was because this guy was on fire this past month! When I mean fire like he couldn’t be stopped and for a good reason too. Toews recorded a total of 16 points in just a span of 11 games this past month and those 16 points were made up of 6 goals and 10 assists. He also had a total of five power play points with two of them being goals over this past calendar month as well as two game-winning goals and an overtime goal.  Also, Toews has torn it up in his past five games registering a total of ELEVEN points in that span, consisting of five goals and six assists. He also had a five-point night made up of a hat trick and two assists in a game against Minnesota on February 21st. So you can clearly tell that Captian Serious as they like to call him up in Chicago is coming into form down the stretch and killing the game.

Jamie Benn – Left Wing (DAL) I picked this STAR-studded player (see what I did there?) It’s okay I’ll let myself out now that was a terrible pun but I had to write it in. But I picked Benn because like Toews he himself had a killer month and it was fantastic to watch because I love watching Benn and he killed it. Been tallied the same number of points as Toews did this past month at 16 total in 12 games, but Benn did it differently as his 16 was made up of nine goals and seven assists. Benn also had a total of seven points on the manpower advantage with three of them turning into goals. He also followed in Toews footsteps and tallied two game-winning goals and one overtime goal as well. In Benn’s last five games he hasn’t been as on fire, but still pretty good at six points made up of three goals and three assists apiece. So as Benn and the Stars start to heat up look for them down to make a push to a playoff spot.

Patrik Laine – Right Wing (WPG) First off, this rookie is just been sensational to watch play, I mean every time I get a chance to watch him play my eyes are glued to the TV. Every time I see a highlight, my eyes are glued to my phone, he is a freak athlete and great for just a rookie. But enough of praising him let’s get to his stats shall we? In this past month Laine took a page out of Benn’s and Toews book and decided to tally 16 points as well and he also did it in just 12 games like Benn. Another funny thing is that he, like Benn, registered nine goals and seven assists to make up his total points. Although his other stats were down, he only tallied one power play point which was a goal and one game-winning goal. But his last five games are where he caught fire, and I mean burnt up! Laine recorded 10 points in his last five games which were made up of seven goals and three assists! So he is in the same boat as Benn is, if Laine continues to play like this and the rookie can rally the troops around his play, the Jets can make a push for the playoffs once again.

Brent Burns – Defense (SJS) DEAR LORD, would you look who it is, it’s Brent Burns! I need to ask my readers a question, are you really astonished that he’s on here again, or should we just start getting used to seeing his name? Don’t worry, I’ll wait for an answer….the answer is probably an astounding NO we aren’t surprised. Because that has been my answer for a while now. But yes, Mr. Burns appears on Sick Hands of the Month for the FIFTH month in a row because he was on yet another rampage during this month of hockey. Burns finished this month tied for the lead in points by D-men with 13 points in 11 games that were made up by six goals and seven points. He also had four power play points where one of them became a goal as well as one overtime goal. In Burns’ last five games he tallied eight points in that span which came from five goals and three assists. The Sharks are loving this play from Burns as I am sure everyone one is and if he keeps playing like this I am just going to pencil his name in every month.

Erik Karlsson – Defense (OTT) Hey look who it is, we’ve seen Mr. Karlsson here a couple times before and I am honestly not surprised he’s here again. These two guys are the best two offensive defenders in the league and it shows it. Karlsson had another great month and was tied with Burns in points for the month with 13 points in 13 games made up of only three goals but a whopping 10 assists! Karlsson also copied Burns this month and finished with four power play tallied and one of them turning out to be a geno as well as one game-winning goal! In Karlsson’s last five games, he recorded six points in that span made up of two goals and four assists. The Senators are in a heated race with the Canadiens for first place in the Atlantic and are only separated by four points at the moment. So if Karlsson keeps up his play, we could see a turnaround!

Braden Holtby – Goalie (WSH) The reason why I picked this star goaltender is simply easy. He was the best goalie this month by far and I will tell you just that and a little more. In the last month, Holtby has started and played in nine games and gone 8-0-1 in those games with an impressive .923 save percentage and a solid 1.99 goals against average. He also stopped a total of 216 shots out of 234 in the month and only gave up 18 total goals in that span which was the least amount given up for all goalie in the past month. In Holtby’s past five games he has gone 4-0-1 with one of them being an overtime loss. In his past three games, he’s faced 23 shots or more and hasn’t given up more than two goals in the process. If the Capitals are looking to make a deep run this year, I think it will happen if Holtby keeps up this great play.

Sick Hands Sunday – Backstrom Gets His Milestone & Allen Shuts Down Canada For the ‘SHS’ Title

Hey everyone, I’m back again for a new week of Sick Hands Sunday! I can’t wait to get another version out to all my fans for you all to enjoy! This week was a little tough to pick the winner because there was one player with seven points this week and six players tied with six points! So let’s jump right into this madness, shall we?

at Verizon Center on February 11, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Backstrom skates to the bench after his goal. (Rob Carr/getty images)

I decided to go with Niklas Backstrom this week because of his awesome week where he was pretty much on fire in my opinion. Backstrom finished with a solid seven points in just three games that consisted of two goals and five assists. In each of the three games of this past week, Backstrom had at least one point and one power play assist. So as you can see by these couple of stats he was on fire this week and I’ll break it down game by game for you guys and let’s see his in-game performances.

His first game he finished with a power play assist in a dominating 5-0 win at home against the Carolina Hurricanes. Backstrom set up the perfect play for Ovi to score his 26th of the season on the man advantage. He grabbed the loose puck at the right circle dot and quickly bumped it up to teammate Matt Niskanen who then fired the puck over to Ovechkin right in his office. Ovi fired the one-timer home through goalie Eddie Lack for the 1-0 lead. See Backstrom’s set up down below:

In Backstrom’s second game he came away with three points (1G, 2A) in a comfortable 6-3 win at home over the Detroit Red Wings. Backstrom picked up a secondary assist on the Caps third goal of the game that made it 3-2 only 1:16 into the second period. Then with a little under six minutes to go in the third period, the Caps were on the power play looking to extend their 4-3 lead and put the icing on the cake. Backstrom grabbed the puck at the half boards on the right-hand side hash marks. He then skated down below the goal line and almost all the way behind the net before he dished the puck over to teammate Marcus Johansson. He then looked at his options before giving it right back to Backstrom at the left side of the net. Backstrom then saw T.J. Oshie slip out of coverage and get wide open at the right circle dot. He fed Oshie a beauty of a pass and Oshie fired a wicked slap shot that beat goalie Petr Mrazek high blocker side for the 5-3 lead. Backstrom would then add an empty net goal with 1:32 left in the game. Here is the awesome pass below:

In the last game of the week, Backstrom again finished with another three-point performance that was mad up of one goal and two assists in a 6-4 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Backstrom tallied another secondary assist on the Capitals first goal of the game to make it 1-0 just 6:45 into the game. Backstrom was behind the net and he dished the puck over to Marcus Johansson on the right circle dot. Johansson drove right to the slot and threw a sneaky pass to T.J. Oshie in the slot who fired the puck home for the goal. With this assist, it was Backstrom’s 700th career NHL point! See it down below:

He then would grab a goal of his own with about five minutes left in the first to make the game 2-0. Backstrom grabbed the loose puck in the right-hand corner and took the puck to the left-hand side of the net. He then disgustingly fast threw a beauty of a pass to a streaking Alex Ovechkin in the slot off to the right. Ovi was shut down by John Gibson but the rebound was pushed off to the right of Gibson. Backstrom realized this and quickly skated around the net and backhanded the puck into the wide-open net for the goal. He would grab another assist on an empty net goal to cap off a great week. See his great play down below:

usa-today-9868592.0.jpg
Allen gets ready to make a save on an in-close shot (stlouisgametime.com)

For the goalie portion of the week, I decided to go with the clear winner and the guy who deserved it the most, St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen who had a fire week. Allen was unbeatable this week going 3-0 in three starts with a .967 SV% and a 1.00 GAA with a shutout to his name against the Senators. Allen stopped 89 out of the total 92 total shots faced during the week only allowing three goals total in three games! He faced at least 30 shots or more in all three games and was still able to let in no more than two goals in a game this past week. Also keep in mind that all the games he played this past week were AWAY games and it’s always generally hard to win an away game especially when you are on your Canadian road trip. He faced Ottawa, Toronto, and then Montreal. So with the exception on the Senators, the other two teams fans are always hard on away teams and goalies and he battled over that was able to have a stellar week. He has also turned his game around completely, he went 1-5 in a stretch from December 30th-Januaray 31st. a terrible record with even worse stats to back it up. But he has flipped that upside down and has gone 4-1 since January 31st. If Allen keeps this up, Blues fans should be very happy!

The Honorable Mentions of the week go to Viktor Arvidsson and Henrik Lundqvist. I will see you guys next Sunday for another recap of the best player of the week! (Thanks to the Washington Capitals’ Twitter for the videos of the goals!)

Sick Hands Sunday – Granland Seals His First Hat-Trick and “SHS” Trophy.

Hey everyone, I’m back again for a new week of Sick Hands Sunday! I can’t wait to get another version out to all my fans for you all to enjoy! This week was a little tough to pick the winner because there was three players tied for six points this week and 16 players tied for five points! I can finally post another one after not having one last week since it was the All-Star break. So let’s jump right into this madness, shall we?

qwtemp1-e1486419512285
Grunland calmly celebrates his third goal of the game (Darry Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

So like I said above this week was tough to pick the winner because there were three guys who finished with six points on the week. Mikael Granlund of the Minnesota Wild who tallied six points with three goals and three assists in three games played, Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins who recorded six points with two goals and four assists in three games, and Bruins’ David Pastrnak who also finished with six points with two goals and four assists in three games. So as you can tell, they were all basically evenly matched and it was super tough to pick a top performer! In the end, I decided to go with Wild forward Granlund mainly because he tallied a hat trick this week so that set him above the other two guys!

In Granlund’s first game of the week, they faced the Edmonton Oilers in Edmonton. Granlund finished with just an assist in a comfortable 5-2 win. But this assist was more than an ordinary assist, it was one of the better assists I have seen in a long time and I am not overreacting one bit! He carried the puck down the right-hand dot and as soon as he got to the bottom of the circle fired a sweet all most no-look backhand pass across the slot to the stick of teammate Tyler Graovac. He had a wide open net to put the puck home and did just that to stretch their lead to 4-1. You can see the nice assist below:

In his second game of the week, they didn’t have to travel very far as they took on the Calgary Flames. Grundland once again only finished with an assist in an awful 5-1 loss, but like last night his assist was just as beautiful. Granlund drove down the right-hand circle again, shifted the puck from his forehand to his backhand and went to the bottom of the circle. As soon as he got to the bottom of the circle he fired another mesmerizing backhand pass right to the slot to driving teammate Jason Zucker. All Zucker had to do was redirect the puck onto goal from about a couple feet out and he did just that to cut the Flames lead to 2-1. Here is his awesome pass below:

In Granlund’s last game of the week, they continued their Canadian road trip as they took on the Vancouver Canucks. Granlund caught fire this game and went off for a total of four points including a hat-trick and another assist in an easy 6-3 win. For Granlund’s first goal of the game, he was in the right spot at the right time and where every goal scorer should be, the front of the net. He waited for the rebound to squeak out from under Canucks goalie Ryan Miller and beat the defenders to the rebound and swiped home the puck to make the score 2-1 in favor of the Wild.

His second goal of the game came short-handed and was a beauty. Granlund carried the puck into the offensive zone and over the blueline and stickhandled the puck as he was set to shoot as he glided into the slot. He then let a wicked wrist shot go that beat Ryan Miller under the glove to push their lead to 3-1. It set a new career high for him in goals! You can see the goal down below:

The next goal he was involved in was the Wild’s 5th overall of the game and Granlund made the play happen all by himself and I mean it. He carried the puck down the right-hand side and into the offensive zone. He then faked a shot and moved into the slot making it seem to everyone in the arena as if he was going to put a shot on net. Well, Granlund had other plans and saw Wild captain Mikko Koivu all open at the side of the net to Miller’s left on the goal line.rifled a pass down to Koivu who one-timed the puck into the wide open net to make the score 5-2. Here is the beauty pass:

For his final goal of the game and to complete the hat-trick this goal took some skill! Granlund came into the zone already trailing the play with the puck in the corner. He did what any well-known goal scorer would do and went right to the front of the net. Well, it was his night and his luck that Zucker was able to finesse the puck into the slot where Granlund was standing and he literally poked the puck home to finish off the hat-trick with a brilliant goal. Here is the awesome goal down below:

920x920-1
Budaj makes one of his 17 saves in the shutout win vs Philly (Derik Hamilton, AP)

For the goalie portion of the article, I decided to go with Los Angles Kings’ tendy Peter Budaj who was on point in all three of his games this week! Budaj went 3-0 this past week in all three games he started with an amazing .972 SV5 and a whopping .66 GAA including two back to back shutouts against Colorado and  Philadelphia. He stopped all 69 of the 71 shots faced during the week only giving up two goals which is completely insane! I mean seriously, Budaj who would have spent probably the whole year down in the minors if not for Jonathan Quick‘s injury. If Budaj keeps this level of play up and keeps shutting the door game after game the Kings will be in for a real treat and a decent playoff run in my opinion!

The Honorable Mentions of the week go to Brad Marchand and Cam Ward. I will see you guys next Sunday for another recap of the best player of the week! (Thanks to the Minnesota Wild’s Twitter for the videos of the goals!)

 

Sick Hands Sunday (Half Way Point) – Bobrovsky Robs the Lime Light from Everyone for This Special “SHS”

Hey, everyone, I’m back again for a new week of Sick Hands Sunday! I can’t wait to get another version out to all my fans for you all to enjoy! This week was a little easier to pick the winner so let’s get right into it! I am very sorry for my post coming out two days late, I was busy with school work and just work and general and could not find time to write until now. This week I am going to do basically a Sick Hands of the Month but players up to the half way point since we have played 41 games. Let’s get to it! I decided not to have the lineup like pictures to be different than the regular “SHoTM”

8478402
Connor McDavid

So for the centermen position, this one was extremely hard to choose for one main reason. The two guys were Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby, who both went back and forth holding the lead in points up to the half way point. I decided to go with McDavid simply because of his ability to put up these ridiculous numbers with the lesser of the two teams between the Pens and the Oilers. Don’t get me wrong, Sid’s numbers were amazing too but the way McDavid was able to produce with just one or two guys around him makes him the winner over Crosby who has basically a whole team around him. McDavid, up to this point, has tallied a stunning 56 points in only 49 (1.14 P/PG) games which included 16 goals and FORTY as assists. Yes, I had to put that in all caps because someone who almost has the same amount of helpers then he does games is amazingly good! He’s totaled 16 power play points with two of them being goals and the other 14 being apples. McDavid also grabbed one shorthanded point, five game-winning goals which is third in the whole league, and one overtime goal. Last but not least, McDavid is also the league leader in points (56) and assists (40). So as you can tell, he was on a tear and couldn’t be stopped. If McDavid keeps it up and the Oilers get help from other players, they have a good chance to go far. Here is one of my favorite goals of his first half:

8473419
Brad Marchand

The next position, the left winger, I decided to go with Boston Bruin Brad Marchand who stuck it out over the Capitals star Alex Ovechkin. Marchand finished with 19 goals and 28 assists for a total of 45 points in 50 games at the halfway point in the season. His 17 goals ranked third among left wingers and his 28 assists ranked first by just one helper. He also tallied 12 total power play points with three of them happening to be goals as well as three total short-handed points (which ranks second) with two of them being goals (which ranks second)!  Last but not least Marchand totaled four game winning goals which happened to be third best for left wingers so he knew how to end games in style. Marchand also averaged 0.92 points per game, which may seem bad, but it’s actually pretty good for his points to game ratio and that’s ranked first out of all the left wingers in the show! Marchand seems to be carrying the Bruins offensive workload into the halfway point of the season. If they want to make the playoff’s they are going to need his offensive magic to rub off on everyone else around the locker room! Here is one of my favorite goals of his first half (Sorry for the video quality, I couldn’t find a better one):

8474141
Patrick Kane

Now let’s shift to the position I played when I was playing growing up, right wing, which is my favorite to play out there! I decided to narrow it down between Patrick Kane and a surprising candidate in Cam Atkinson out of Columbus. In the long run, I went with the defending Hart Memorial Trophy Winner Patrick Kane for the winner because of his awesome numbers compared to Atkinson’s. Kane has put up 48 points in 50 games which include 15 goals and 33 assists which are good enough for a solid 0.96 points per game. His 15 goals are tied for eighth for his position, his stunning 33 assists are enough for first place by two, and his points per game rank fourth. Kane has also racked up 13 power play points with two of them being goals so you can see he has a pass first mentality. He does have four game winning goals at this point in the season which is second for right wingers and one overtime goal as well. The Blackhawks sit at second place in the central division and western conference and they can say thanks to the whole team as well to Kane for carrying the load. If Kane keeps up his amazing offensive pace, I wouldn’t be surprised if they make it back to the Cup Finals. Here is my favorite goal of his for the first half:

114706132x
Brent Burns

Now on to the defensive pairs of the article! Yay, everyone loves defensemen right? Well, I love offensive defensemen and this first guy is probably, and I mean hands down, the best offensive defensemen in the league right now and has been for the past two years or so. He goes by the name of Burns…..Brent Burns (sorry I had to make it suspenseful) I’ll just let myself out haha. Alright, besides my terrible attempt at a James Bond movie Burns has had a fire start to the first half of the season registering 51 points in 49 games with 21 goals and 30 assists with a 1.04 points per game. His 21 goals rank first among D-man, he holds a stunning 10 goal led over the next closest player, his assists also third but are down by just two, and his points rank first by 12! So as you can tell just by his goals, assists, and points Burns is a complete force on the ice and can’t be stopped whenever he plays. He also tallied 14 points on the manpower advantage with six of those points being goals. Burns tallied a loan shorthanded point, four game-winning goals (which is tied for first among defenders), and one overtime goal to his credit as well. The Sharks are currently first in the Pacific Divison and third in the entire Western Conference with 64 points. So as you can see they are doing pretty well at this point, but it doesn’t hurt to keep up to good work and if Burns keeps up this pace the Sharks will be right back in the Finals again. Here is my favorite goal:

erik
Erik Karlsson

For the other D-man spot I decided to go with, believe it or not, of the guys Burns actually beat in the video above for the goal, Erik Karlsson. This guy is probably one of, if not the only other guy who can compete with Burns for the title of “Best Offensive Defensemen” in the whole NHL in my opinion and I strongly believe that and will argue with anyone who thinks otherwise! But, that’s not the fact, let’s get to the good stuff, I picked Karlsson to be his partner in crime because Karlsson has put up some pretty solid numbers through the first half of the season by registering 39 points in 46 games. This was made up of only seven goals (probably wish he had more if I am being honest with you guys) and a whopping 32 assists for a solid point per game ratio of 0.85. Karlsson’s seven goals rank sixth for the D-man position and his amazing 32 assists ranks first in the league for D-man but only by one assist! To add on to his awesome start, he grabbed 15 points on the first power play line with only one power play goal, one shorthanded point, and just two game winning goals. The Senators are currently in a close battle for second place in the Atlantic Divison and sixth place in the Eastern Conference and a lot of it is thanks to the production to Karlsson. If he keeps it up, the Sens will get back into the playoffs in my opinion which I am sure Ottawa fans will be pretty happy. Here is my favorite goal from the first half (I picked an empty net goal because I thought his determination on this goal was outstanding, I loved it):

8475683
Sergei Bobrovsky

Last but not least, one of the hardest, probably the hardest and the weirdest job description on the face of the earth, goalies! Seriously, they sit in a 4 by 6 white thing and try and stop a little three inch vulcanized rubber thing from getting behind them and into the net for a goal, how is that not the weirdest job title?!? So for the goalie part, it was down better Devan Dubnyk and Sergei Bobrovski and by god, this was the hardest thing to do basically because their stats were basically identical! I decided to go with Sergei Bobrovsky simply because look at how stellar he’s doing right with the team he has around him compared to how the Jackets did in the past (I’ll give you a hint, terrible). So yes, Bobrovsky has had an incredible first half of the season. He has started 38 games going 28-8-2 with an amazing .930 Save Percentage and average 2.04 Goals Against Average. For goalies who have started at least 20 games already or more, he is tied for third for the least amount of losses by a starting goalie (8), he has the most wins by a goalie with at least 20 starts (28), he is in sole position of second for best SV% (.930), and third for best GAA (2.04). Bobrovsky has also saved 999 shots on 1074 shot attempts letting in 75 goals which ranks 10th among goalies who have started 20 games or more and has three shutouts to his name which is fourth. Columbus is currently on fire and off to the best start in franchise history currently sits at second place in the Metropolitan Divison and second in the Eastern Conference. If they keep it up and ‘Bob’ continues to play like this they will be back in the playoffs and will make a “Cinderella Run” in my eyes. Writing about Bobrovsky was my favorite and he was easily the best. Here is one of many spectacular saves of the first half:

Sick Hands of The Month – Burns Shows Up For The Third Month in a Row, Easily Stands Out in SHoTM

Hey, everyone, I’m back again for a new week of Sick Hands Sunday! I can’t wait to get another version out to all my fans for you all to enjoy! This week was a little easier to pick the winner so let’s get right into it! I am very sorry for my post coming out two days late, I was busy traveling over the MLK weekend and I just now have the time to get it out so here it is! It’s time third “Sick Hands of The Month”

8474141

94785502x                                                8470595

114706132x

8475167
8475683

Eric Staal – Center (MIN) The reason why I picked this certain Staal brother from Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada was because he was simply unstoppable over the past month. Honestly, even in his last five games, he’s been on a complete tear and I mean it! In this past month, Staal has led all centers in points with 16 in 12 games played. His seven goals and nine assists that made up those points were good enough to rank himself for third in goals and fourth in the helper category. In his last five games, Staal has been on fire, recording six points in that stretch made up of two goals and four assists. He racked up six power play points which were second best for the center spot. It’s safe to say, Eric’s move to Minnesota has worked out for the better and if he stays this red hot no one’s going to be complaining!

Artemi Panarin – Left Wing (CHI) Hey look, it’s the breadman back on Sick Hands of The Month for the second time after a month off! Clearly, he did something right to get back on it and I’m gonna tell you just how great he was this month. Panarin had a very solid week and edged out his fellow countryman, Alex Ovechkin for the spot this month. The breadman finished with 18 points in 14 games that were made up of six goals and a whopping twelve assists. His six assists ranked third out of all left wingers for the month and his amazing twelve assists ranked number one for the calendar month! In Panarin’s last five games he has only tallied four points (2G, 2A). He also notched eight power play points, with four of them being goals, which were both first for his position as well.

Patrick Kane – Right Wing (CHI) Oh my, it must be a Blackhawks team party as this is the second Hawks player this month to find the list, but Kane’s firs time on Sick Hands of the Month! Kane had a fantastic week and rightfully deserved to be on this list and here’s why he tallied an amazing 17 points in just 14 games. Of those 17 points, only FOUR of them were goals and he had THIRTEEN assists, yes he had thirteen helpers this week which is mind blowing! He had five power play points, guess how he got them? Yes, all by the way of picking his head up and finding the open man for the assist. In Kane’s last five games, he’s registered seven points which were made up of two goals and five assists. His low week in goals (4) had him ranked at sixth for right wingers but first in assists (13).

Brent Burns – Defense (SJS) My oh my, would you look who it is, it’s Brent Burns! I need to ask my readers a question, are you really surprised that he’s on here, or should we just start getting used to seeing his name? Don’t worry, I’ll wait for an answer….the answer is probably no we aren’t surprised. But yes, Mr. Burns appears on Sick Hands of the Month for the THIRD month in a row because he was on yet another rampage during the third month of hockey. Burns finished with a jaw-dropping 19 points in only 14 games and those points were made up of just five goals and fourteen assists this month. He tallied five power play points with one of them being a goal. His two goals ranked fourth for D-men but he was first with his sixteen helpers for his position. In his last five games, Burns has racked up a staggering eight points based off of three goals and five assists. If he keeps this up again, I will probably be writing about him next week.

Victor Hedman – Defense (TB) This man right here, ALL the way from Ornskoldsvik, Sweden is an absolute beast on the backend for the Lightning without a doubt. He is always their most consistent offensive defenseman and most of the time, defensive as well. For this past month, Hedman put up a mountainous 18 points in just 13 games which were made up of only two goals and a tremendous SIXTEEN, yes you read this right, sixteen apples this month. This man was on a mission to find his teammates to score and he did just that! He also had TEN of his sixteen assists come on the manpower advantage so that is a major help to him and the team overall big time! In Hedman’s last five matchup’s he’s cooled off a bit by only tallying three points all by assists. If Hedman can keep this pace up, the Bolts will be extremly happy.

Sergei Bobrovsky – Goalie (CBJ) Dear lord, where do I start writing about Bobrovsky?!? It’s a serious question, this man was unbeatable during their historic 16 game win streak that fell one game short of the record. But overall, during the month, ‘Bob’ started in 11 games and finished with a fabulous 10-1 record, only letting in 22 goals on 313 shots against. He finished with a .930 Save Percentage and a 2.04 Goals Against Average. His SV% ranked fourth in the goalie category with a minimin of at least five games played. His GAA ranked fifth in all goalies which is not bad at all. ‘Bob” stood on his head, bailing out his team mulitpule times and that’s why he is on here! In his last five games, he is 4-1 and besides his one loss where his SV% was very poor, he did not let it drop below a .935 or give up more than two goals. ‘Bob’ is the Jackets savior and if his play keeps up they are going to make it far!

Sick Hands Sunday – Miller Goes Streaking and JVR Locks Up Second ‘SHS’

Hey everyone, I’m back again for a new week of Sick Hands Sunday! I can’t wait to get another version out to all my fans for you all to enjoy! This week was a little easier to pick the winner so let’s get right into it! This time I can actually get my post out on time like I want so I hope you all enjoy!

 

9688038-nhl-nashville-predators-toronto-maple-leafs-850x560
JVR screams from the bench during the game (Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports)

 

This was a little tough, but not the hardest, but it was challenging. I decided to go with Maple Leafs left winger James van Riemsdyk as he was on fire this week, especially in the assist category. JVR finished with eight points (1G, and SEVEN assists) in only three games so you can say he was having a great time finding his teammate’s sticks. He finished with two points in all three games this week and had at least one point on the man advantage as well. JVR had the hot hand and I’ll break it down game by game for you guys!

In van Riemsdyk’s first game of the week, he took on the mighty Washington Capitals and finished with two assists in a 6-5 OT loss. With his first assist of the night, JVR tried jamming in the puck at the side of the net but was stopped by Philipp Grubauer. His linemate Nazem Kadri picked up the loose puck and jammed it past his pad and into the net to tie the game at 1-1.

His second assist of the night was a beauty, to say the least. JVR saw linemate Mitch Marner streaking in for a breakaway and poked the bouncing puck behind him and onto his stick for the breakaway. Marner goes in all alone and puts the puck between the legs and into the net for the 5-4 lead. See the play down below:

In the Leafs’ second game of the week, they took on the New Jersey Devils. JVR once again finished with another two assists to make that four points in two games for the young man. JVR picked up the secondary assist on the Leafs opening goal. He then would grab an assist on their fourth goal that stretched their lead to 4-0. It’s hard to see in the video but he passes the puck over to Tyler Bozak off the goalie’s pads who then jams it in for the power play goal. See the goal down below:

In the last game of the week van Riemsdyk took on the Canadiens in a game that’s always a close high scoring matchup. He finished with a goal and two assists in a 5-3 loss. In his first assist of the game, he came down the wing, dished off to a breaking Mitch Marner who then fed it back to Tyler Bozak who slammed the puck home to bring the Leafs’ back to within a goal at 2-1. Here is the setup:

With his second assist of the game, JVR passed the puck to Marner who slammed a one-timer on net from the slot. The puck sat in the slot to Carey Price‘s right and Nazem Kadri jumped right on it and pushed the puck over the line to tie the game up at two goals apiece. You can see the play down below:

JVR finally get’s his first goal of the week and the last goal for the Leaf’s and it was a nice one! Mitch Marner flies around the zone looking for someone to dump it too but can’t find anyone to pass it too. He decides to go to the right dot and spots van Riemsdyk sitting in the slot and rifled a pass over to him. JVR taps the pass into the wide open net to bring the score to 4-3. Here’s the nice setup below:

 

1483424481429
Miller stops MacKinnon in front during their game this week. (Darryl Duck/The Canadian Press via AP)

 

For the goalie portion of the article, I decided to go with Vancouver goalie Ryan Miller who went 3-0 in all three games this week. He finished with a stellar .957 SV% and a great 1.33 GAA. He only allowed four goals in his three games and also had a shutout as well. He stopped 94 out of the 90 shots he faced all together in the week. Miller was on fire and led Vancouver to a six-game win streak to get back on track. Originally, he started out his season on the wrong foot, but if he continues his stellar performance they will be more than happy to keep giving Miller some starts!

The Honorable Mention goes to John Gibson and Michael Grabner. I will see you guys next Sunday for another recap of the best player of the week! (Thanks to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Twitter for the videos of the goals!)

Sick Hands Sunday – Matthews Shreds Up the Competition, Earns The Top Title of The Week.

Hey everyone, I’m back again for a new week of Sick Hands Sunday! I can’t wait to get another version out to all my fans for you all to enjoy! This week was a little easier to pick the winner so let’s get right into it! Sorry, I am a little behind, I got mixed up in the Christmas mix and holiday season!

leafs-11jpg-jpg-size-custom-crop-1086x724
Matthews celebrates his OT goal (Bernard Wall / Toronto Star)

Even though this week was a little short because there were no games until Wednesday the 27th, it was still hard to pick a winner. I decided to go with rookie Auston Matthews who had a stellar week, finishing with six points (4G, 2A) in only three games. He finished with two points in each of his three games and a goal in each game this week as well. So you can say, Matthews was on fire this week and I will break it down for ya!

In Matthews first game, they took on the Florida Panthers down in Florida. He finished with a goal and an assist in a 3-2 shootout win. Matthews got the Leafs on the board first thanks to being in the right place at the right time. He was standing in front of the net when his teammate, Connor Brown threw a wrister on net that hit Matthews hit him in the leg. The puck bounced down right in front of him and Matthews had a wide open net and tapped the puck in to make the score 1-0. You can see the goal down below:

Matthews would then grab an assist on William Nylander‘s power-play goal later in the second period that made the score 2-0. Matthews received the pass on the right-hand dot from fellow defenseman Jake Gardiner. He then rifled a pass over to Nylander who was standing on the opposite dot, who received the pass, and sniped one short side high on Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo. Here is the setup below:

The next night Matthews and the Leafs took on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Florida apart of their little road trip. Matthews finished with a goal and an assist for the second night in a row in a 3-2 overtime win over the Lightning. Matthews grabbed the loose puck in the slot, quickly turned, and fired the puck through the legs of Andrei Vasilevskiy for the 1-0. Matthews picked up a secondary assist on the OT winner as well. You can see the skill down below:

In Matthews last game of the week, it was indeed a special one! Matthews tallied two goals including the game-winner in overtime to beat the Detroit Red Wings in the Centennial Classic. Matthews came down into the offensive on a three on one looking to add to the lead and he did just that. He took a pass from Brown at the right-hand dot and didn’t hesitate one bit and ripped a wrist shot high glove side to push the lead to 4-1. Here is the nasty goal below:

The Leafs ended up blowing the lead with 1.1 seconds left and the game went into overtime. Matthews blew the roof off the place when he scored the game-winner with just over a minuted left to play in OT. Matthews got the rebound that came off the board to the left of the net. He was able to throw a backhand shot on net that trickled over the line and in to seal the game! The crowd went insane and rightfully so as it was the best result the Leafs were hoping for! You can see the goal below:

I decided not to pick a goalie this week because no goalie completely stood out to me. I mean yeah some of them had an okay week and okay stats but nothing that jumped out to me so I decided not to pick one. The Honorable Mention goes to Chris Kreider and Marc-Andre Fleury. I will see you guys next Sunday for another recap of the best player of the week! (Thanks to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Twitter for the videos of the goals!)

Sick Hands Sunday – Panarin and Lundqvist Can’t Be Stopped, Win This Week’s Crown.

Hey everyone, I’m back again for a new week of Sick Hands Sunday! I can’t wait to get another version out to all my fans for you all to enjoy! This week was a little easier to pick the winner so let’s get right into it!

So for the forward portion of this article, like I stated above, it was an easy week to pick the winner! The reason why I say this was because Blackhawks winger Artemi Panarin was on fire over the last week picking up ELEVEN points (4G, 7A) in just four games and in four of his five games this week he tallied at least two points and three power-play goals as well. Here’s how Panarin did game by game.

 

13-y-panarin-superjumbo
Panarin celebrates his goal (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

 

In Panarin’s first game, he recorded a power play goal in a solid 3-1 win against the Dallas Stars. The “BreadMan” as they like to call him, received a beautiful pass right on the left-hand dot from Duncan Keith. Panarin let a nasty one-timer go from his knee that beat Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen right under the blocker to ice the game and push the score to 3-1. You can see his goal down below:

In Panarin’s second game they took on the streaking New York Rangers in a battle of hot teams. Panarin recorded two assists in a 2-1 win. His best assist came on the Hawks first goal of the game early in the second period. He came down the left-hand boards, cut towards the dot, and delivered a great pass to a streaking Trevor van Riemsdyk who ripped a shot past Antti Raanta for the opening goal. He added a secondary assist late in the game as well. You can see the great pass down below:

In the Blackhawks’ third game Panarin picked up three points (2G, 1A) with all three points coming on the power play! Panarin scored his first goal of the game just like he did in his first game. He received a cross-ice pass from Brent Seabrook right in his wheelhouse and Panarin fired the one-timer top cheese to bring the Hawks back a goal at 2-1. Here’s his rocket down below:

Panarin would tally yet another power play goal in basically the same spot with the same setup. He took another beauty of a pass from Seabrook right on the left side dot and ripped another one-timer far side that beat Isles goalie Thomas Greiss high glove side to tie the game up at four goals a piece.He finished with another assist for three points on the night. Here’s his goal down below:

In Panarin’s fourth game he had another monster game with three points (1G, 2A) in a 6-4 win over the St. Louis Blues. His first assist came on Brian Campbell‘s tap in goal. Panarin received a cross-ice pass from Patrick Kane on the left side boards. Panarin then spotted Campbell sitting wide open at the back door and he rifled a pass over to him for the tap in goal to tie the game at 3-3. Here’s the beautiful pass below:

Panarin then put his great hands to use again with another fantastic assist. He spotted a wide-open Niklas Hjalmarsson at the points and sauced him a beaut of a pass at the top and Hjalmarsson fired a one-timer past Jake Allen to tie the game back up at 4-4. Panarin also added the icing to the cake with an empty net goal late in the goal to cap off the come from behind win! Here’s the awesome pass below:

Panarin’s last game of the week he tallied two assists in a commanding 4-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. Panarin’s first assist came on Kieth’s first goal of the season. He stopped on the half wall on the left-hand board and passed to Keith who was wide open at the point. Keith let a massive one-time clap bomb go that beat Sharks goalie Martin Jones blocker side to tie the game at 1-1. He would then get another assist on an empty net goal to cap off an amazing week. Here it is below:

 

2016-12-16t033856z-458751459-nocid-rtrmadp-3-nhl-new-yor-web
Lundqvist makes a save vs the Stars (Jermone Miron/USA Today Sports)

 

Now for the goalie part of the article, I decided to go with Rangers goalie, Henrik Lundqvist! Even though he had games where he was benched because of poor play, he still finished with an extremely strong week. He finished with a record of 3-0 a .98 GAA and a .967 SV%. He only gave up three goals on 90 shots in three games and also grabbed one joint shutout with Rannta vs the Stars. If some of you guys don’t know he had to come out of the game because he was decked by Stars goon Cody Eakin, who has later suspended four games, but later returned to complete the shutout! So it was pretty easy to pick “King Henrik” as the winner for this week!

The Honorable Mention goes to Devan Dubnyk and Eric Staal. I will see you guys next Sunday for another recap of the best player of the week! (Thanks to the Chicago Blackhawks’ Twitter for the videos of the goals!)

Sick Hands of The Month – Chad Johnson Steals the Show in the Second Annual ShoTM.

Hey, everyone, I’m back this week for the second Sick Hands of The Month! If you forgot what that was, here is a quick reminder: So what I’m basically going to do is pick a player from each position on the ice (Left Wing, Center, Right Wing, two defenders, and a goalie). Then it’s basically the same thing as the normal “SHS” where I recap why I picked them and highlight their best games, goals, assists, etc. (A quick side note, sorry I’m a little late getting this out, I’m all caught up in finals at school and it’s been a mess and I haven’t found time to write it out but here I go!)

cammaxcrosby

114706132x                                               erik

chad

Sidney Crosby – Center (PIT) The reason why I picked this powerhouse center from Cole Harbour, Canada is plain and simple! Mr. Crosby is a straight up, certified G and I mean it. He went from having an alright 13 points in just 10 games his first month on the ice (keep in mind he missed a couple games due to a concussion) to having a WICKED 21 points with 12 goals and 9 assists in just 15 games! Four of his 12 goals also came on the power play as well. Crosby was a dominant force whenever he was on the ice as he leads the league with his 21 goals overall and tied for second in points with 32. In Crosby’s last five games he’s racked up 7 points (5G, 2A) with two goals coming on the manpower advantage. So it was an easy choice to pick Crosby for the center position.

Max Pacioretty – Left Wing (MTL) I picked the stud captain from Montreal because he had a stellar month to say the lease! Max went from only having 12 points in the opening month to having a solid 14 points in 15 games and playing in Montreal isn’t the easiest thing to do. That included 10 goals and a nice 4 helpers as well. In fact just last Saturday, Patches put up a five-point night that included four goals and an assist in a 10-1 win against Colorado. In his last five games, Pacioretty has put up nine points (7G, 2) with four goals coming on the power play. So you can say he his on a total tear and if he keeps this up, Montreal is going to be atop the league for a long time!

Cam Atkinson – Right Wing (CBJ) This position was pretty hard because it was down between Atkinson and Tarasenko again. And as most of you know, if you read my post last month, he won this title last month so I decided to go with Cam plus he had different stats! So the reason why I picked Atkinson as the winner for this month was because he had a HUGE turnaround with his play from last month where he only racked up 12 points (4G, 8A) with a plus/minus of -5. He went totaling 19 points in just 15 games while scoring six goals and 13 assists a plus/minus of 12! In his last five games, he has seven points (7G, 2A) including at least two points in three straight games so he’s on fire. So as you can clearly tell, that is a great turn around for one of the top Blue Jacket players and if he keeps producing like this, the Jackets are going to have a great season!

Brent Burns – Defense (SJS) Once again, who else but Brent Burns? Don’t worry, I’ll wait for an answer….that’s what I thought, you couldn’t think of someone, could you?! Yes, Mr. Burns appears on Sick Hands of the Month for the second month in a row because he was on yet another rampage during the second month of hockey. (When isn’t he on a tear?), Burns picked up right where he left off with 14 points through the first month and tallied 12 points including 6 goals and six assists in this past month. He now leads all defenders in goals with 12 and is second in points with 25 so Burns is a force on the offensive side of the puck. In Burns’ last five games he has four points including a point in his last four straight games so he will look to keep the streak going and push the Sharks’ back into the playoffs.

Erik Karlsson – Defense (OTT) Well if you didn’t think of anyone when I asked you “Who else but Brent Burns?” Here’s your guy, well in my opinion at least, actually it should be in everyone’s opinion because this man is a stud! Karlsson is one of the best offensive defensemen in the game and I will argue with anyone on that. Karlsson went from having 12 points (3G, 9A) in the first month of playing to now having a fantastic 15 points made up of four goals and 11 assists with six points coming on the power play. In his last five games, he has tallied eight points (3G, 5A) including a three-point night against the Sharks and a four point night against the Penguins. He is tied for third by D-men in goals with seven, leads the league in assists with 20 and in points with 27. Karlsson is a clear choice for the Norris Trophy if he keeps this up.

Chad Johnson – Goalie (CGY) Yes people, you guys are indeed seeing this right. I did pick Chad Johnson for a reason, I know some of you if not all of you were probably expecting to see Carey Price or Devan Dubnyk or Matthew Murray but no! Chad Johnson got the win for the month and I’ll tell you why! Johnson has been the hottest goalie in hockey right now hands down, and he has certainly exceeded my expectations by far. This month Johnson has started in 13 games and has an amazing record of 11-2 with a solid .946 SV% and a 1.61 GAA. Johnson leads the month in wins and save percentage and is second in GAA by .01 to Dubnyk. Johnson has clearly taken the starting job away from Brian Elliott and is killing it in net for the Flames. Johnson has started in all the Flames last five games going 5-0. He never let his SV% get below .910 or let in more than three goals in one game. In all of those previous five games, he’s faced 25 shots or more so they were tough games. If Johnson keeps up his play and the Flames can ride the hot hand, they are in for a fun time! Johnson by far was the most dominate player to write about this week.

Well, that does it for me this week, I hope everyone enjoys the second new version of the article! I know I had a blast and I hope you all did reading it as well! I will see you guys next Sunday for another recap of the best player of the week!

Sick Hands Sunday – Hoffman and Jones Both Go On a Tear to Capture All The Glory For This Week’s Title.

Hey everyone, I’m back again for a new week of Sick Hands Sunday! Sorry, that I’m getting this week’s article out a day late, I was traveling all day back from Pittsburgh. But here I am, I can’t wait to get another version out to all my fans for you all to enjoy! This week was a little easier to pick the winner so let’s get right into it!

For the forward position of the article, once again it was pretty easy to pick the winner! So if it keeps going like this picking the winner is going to be easy from here on out and I will love it. I decided to go with Senators left winger Mike Hoffman who registered seven points (4G, 3A) in just four games. In all four games, he had at least one point and had four total power play points in four games as well. Here is how Hoffman did game by game:

1297903600211_original
Hoffman drives into the offensive zone with the puck (Julie Oliver/Postmedia)

In Hoffman’s first game he tallied an assist in a 2-0 win over the powerhouse New York Rangers. Hoffman’s assist came on the Mark Stone‘s power-play goal to stretch their lead to 2-0 after two periods. Hoffman picked up the puck, skated down the left-hand boards, and threw a pass to the streaking Stone right in the slot. Stone received the pass and quickly fired the pass over Antti Raanta‘s blocker for the goal. Here’s the beautiful pass below:

In Hoffman’s second game of the week, he recorded four points, including a hat trick and an assist in a 5-4 loss against the struggling Buffalo Sabres. Hoffman’s first goal came off a juicy rebound from a point shot, the puck was kicked back into the slot by Sabres goalie Robin Lehner. He jumped right on the loose puck and slammed it into the back of the net to bring the Sens within a goal at 2-1. Here’s his first of the night:

With Hoffman’s second of the night, it was a beauty. The play started with Stone bringing the puck down the left-hand side and throwing a cross-ice pass over to Erik Karlsson who skated down to the right-hand dot. Karlsson then dished an amazing pass to Hoffman who was making a B-line right to the front of the net. All Hoffman had to do was redirect the puck into the wide-open net, and he did to bring the Sens back to within a goal at 4-3 at the end of period two.

For Hoffman’s third and final goal, it was an absolute rocket! Hoffman received a great pass from teammate Dion Phaneuf right into his wheelhouse. Hoffman let the one-timer go and the shot trickled past Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson. That goal capped off a highly impressive night from the young man, but it wasn’t enough as the Sens could not complete the comeback. You can see all his goals in full time down below including the final goal:

The Senators then took on the Flyers where Hoffman recorded a power play goal in a 3-2 OT loss. The play all started by Kyle Turris cycling the puck down to Mark Stone below the goal line at the side of the net. Stone spotted Hoffman all alone standing at the side of the net and rifled a pass over to Hoffman who then fired the slap shot into the wide open net to open the scoring at 1-0. You can see his goal below:

0ffb76fa460bc0486a8b385b81c60deb
Jones makes one of his 31 saves during the 2-1 win over Montreal. (Getty Images)

Hoffman added an another assist in their 2-0 win over the Florida Panthers to round off the week on a high note. Now let’s move on to the goalie portion of the week! For the winner of this week, I decided to go with Sharks goalie Martin Jones who had a stellar week in the net! Jones started three of the Sharks games during the week going 3-0 in that span only letting in three goals finishing with an amazing .962 SV% and a 1.00 GAA. Jones was on fire and no one could score. He is turning his season around after a slow start and boosted his stats up to 13-8-1 with a 1.99 GAA and a .924 SV%. Down below you can see Jones’ absolute larceny on Alex Galchenyuk with a sprawling glove save.

The Honorable Mention goes to Connor McDavid and Steve Mason I will see you guys next Sunday for another recap of the best player of the week! (Thanks to the Ottawa Senators’ Twitter for the videos of the goals!)