Nick checks in with Colby Kephart and Frank Fanelli (of Student Union Sports) on Radko Gudas’s suspension, the Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers and Chance The Rapper’s SNL skit for the ages. Also discussed, the overabundance of outdoor games featuring teams that are obviously stuck in a revolving door of outdoor games.
The NHL’s annual awards ceremony is in a week, so to help kick off all of the excitement surrounding the primetime event in Las Vegas, I present to you our annual in-house awards. These things will never gather dust as they don’t even exist to begin with, so nobody has to worry about clogging up shelf space for Down the Frozen River participation trophies.
We weren’t able to afford Joe Manganiello’s hosting services, but if you’re a fan of said actor, don’t fret, because he is hosting this year’s NHL Awards Ceremony on NBCSN next Wednesday (June 21st) at 8 p.m. ET.
Simply Existed Award— presented by me to all of our members for simply existing– Frank Fanelli, Jordan Dettrow, Connor Keith and Colby Kephart
All of these people helped make Down the Frozen River exist over the past season.
Hot Air Award– presented by me to our crew member with the most bold predictions and hot takes this season on the Down the Frozen River Podcast— Colby Kephart
Colby became the two-time defending recipient of this award for having gone on many rants over the course of the third season of the Down the Frozen River Podcast.
Content-King Award— presented by me to our crew member with the most content/best quality content on a consistent basis this season– Connor Keith
For the second year in a row, Connor provided the best content on the site with his continued Game of the Day column. Connor also wrote some great stuff on panthers.com this season for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, if you’re interested.
The “Technically Can’t Give Yourself an Award” Award— presented by me to myself so I can feel included too– Nick Lanciani
While I wasn’t always able to provide the most coverage, I managed to stick to a (mostly) routine schedule of hosting the Down the Frozen River Podcast, write a few good things here and there and spent a good portion of the season at TD Garden. Pending career opportunities, I may or may not produce more thoughts on the blog in the near future.
Thanks to everyone– yes, that includes you, the reader– who made the 2016-2017 NHL season the best one yet! Be sure to tune in to our offseason content and keep in touch for all of our latest news, notes and potential career moves.
After trying to predict the outcome of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs last year, Nick and Connor decided to give it a go again this year with Frank joining the mix (Colby would’ve made it too if he didn’t ghost us). That’s right, this episode largely ignores the fact that we’re shutting down our full-time status and instead recaps our horrible 2016-2017 season predictions and previews the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Nice.
and I’ve had the most incredible time of my life creating this blog and making things happen for you, the reader, the listener and my favorite audience.
Our full-time operations are coming to an end, but we may still produce some content around here from time to time. As of now, we plan to bring you some playoff content, but not nearly as in depth as in years past.
Thank you for your support over the last few years. We had an incredible run.
Play us out, Fenway Park organist, Josh Kantor! Thank you all.
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!)
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.
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?
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:
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!)
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?
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:
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!)
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”
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:
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):
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:
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:
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):
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:
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”
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!
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!
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:
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!)