Canadiens Just Keep Winning: Atlantic Division Recap – Week 3
Another week of NHL action is in the books and it was more than eventful for some of the teams in the Atlantic division.
Lets take a look at how it all went down and as always teams are listed in order of the actual division standings.
Record: 7-1-0 (14 points)
Are they on the rise or fall? Montreal had a light week with only two games on the docket but they took care of business and won both games to extend their current winning streak to 4 games. However their schedule gets a little tougher this week as they head to Western Canada for a 4 game road trip, but the wheels would really have to fall off for the Canadiens to stumble.
Who’s hot? Nothing like a little home-cooking as Montreal is currently undefeated at home (4-0-0). The Bell Centre is always one of the more hostile arenas for opposing teams to play in and the Canadiens are using that to their advantage so far this season.
Who’s not? Young defenseman Nathan Beaulieu has had a bit of a rough start and at times has found himself watching the action from the press box high above the ice. Through 4 games played he has 0 points and a -3 rating.
Schedule this week: Monday 10/27 at Edmonton Oilers, Tuesday 10/28 at Calgary Flames, Thursday 10/30 at Vancouver Canucks and Sunday 11/2 at Calgary Flames
Tampa Bay Lightning
Record: 5-3-1 (11 points)
Are they on the rise or fall? The Lightning are doing what everyone would thought they’d be doing this season and that’s winning games while staying near the top of the Atlantic. Their roster has a little bit of everything and despite the injury to Ryan Callahan, the Bolts have enough depth and offensive punch upfront to more than makeup for his absence.
Who’s hot? Rookie Jonathan Drouin has been dealing with hype for most of his career and so far in his brief stint in the NHL he hasn’t disappointed. Playing alongside Steven Stamkos the youngster has 1 goals and 2 assists through 3-games while flashing the skill that made him a high first-round pick.
Who’s not? Defenseman Matt Carle is one of the more important members of Tampa Bay’s defensive corps and while his play hasn’t be all that bad this season, he only has 1 assist and needs to find the scoresheet a little bit more.
Schedule this week: Tuesday 10/28 vs. Arizona Coyotes, Thursday 10/30 vs. Philadelphia Flyers and Saturday 11/1 vs. Washington Capitals
Detroit Red Wings
Record: 4-2-2 (10 points)
Are they on the rise or fall? Detroit is getting healthy and is on the rise. Coming into the season I wasn’t very high on the Red Wings but so far this season they’ve proved me wrong and now just welcomed back Pavel Datsyuk. With a nice mix of youth and veterans, the Red Wings should continue to improve.
Who’s hot? Datsyuk returned to action this week and didn’t disappoint by recording a goal and 2 assists in 3 games. He is one of the more exciting players to watch and the Red Wings will be leaning on him heavily as some of their younger players are still trying to find their way.
Who’s not? Second year pro Tomas Tatar has stumbled out of the gate and only has 1 goal through 8 games to go with a -1 rating. He’s one of the more dangerous offensive weapons on the Red Wings and they’ll need him to start pitching in if they want to keep pace with the rest of the Atlantic.
Schedule this week: Wednesday 10/29 at Washington Capitals, Friday 10/31 vs. Los Angeles Kings and Sunday 11/2 at Buffalo Sabres
Record: 5-5-0 (10 points)
Are they on the rise or fall? Many have the Bruins falling fast and hard after the loss of Zdeno Chara to a knee injury for 4-6 weeks, but Boston responded with a 4-1 thumping of the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto. They got contributions from everyone and I feel the loss of Chara will cause some of the other guys to step up for the Bruins and they’ll remain in the thick of things until Chara returns.
Who’s hot? Dougie Hamilton is a former first round pick and now that he’s in his 3rd year much more is expected of the youngster. Hamilton responded to the loss of Chara this week by having his best game of the young season vs. Toronto when he pitched in a goal and 2 assists to give him 5 points through 10 games this year. Look for him to really excel during Chara’s absence.
Who’s not? Defenseman Matt Bartkowski has long been a whipping boy in Boston and that didn’t change this week as he often found himself out of position while the opposing team scored. Through 4 games he has a -3 rating with 0 points and he’ll need to be much better or he could find himself as the odd-man out once again.
Schedule this week: Tuesday 10/28 vs. Minnesota Wild, Thursday 10/30 at Buffalo Sabres and Saturday 11/1 vs. Ottawa Senators
Record: 4-2-1 (9 points)
Are they on the rise or fall? Ottawa had a very emotional week and considering the events that took place in Ottawa this past week it’s more than understandable they could stumble a bit but they’re still playing some good hockey and remain right in the mix.
Who’s hot? Captain Erik Karlsson is leading the way for the Senators with 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in 7 games, now if only some of the forwards would follow Karlsson’s lead.
Who’s not? I hate to keep piling on but young forward Mika Zibanejad still hasn’t found the scoresheet and at this point it’s got to have more than a few people concerned in Ottawa.
Schedule this week: Tuesday 10/28 at Columbus Blue Jackets, Thursday 10/30 vs. Chicago Blackhawks and Saturday 11/1 at Boston Bruins
Record: 2-2-3 (7 points)
Are they on the rise or fall? Florida isn’t really on the rise of the fall, they’re kind of just hanging around but they could rise very quickly if their offense ever wakes up.
Who’s hot? Florida’s defense and goaltending has only allowed 16 goals against so far through 7 games, 2nd to only Ottawa (15) in the Atlantic.
Who’s not? Florida’s offense unfortunately has only scored 10 goals through 7 games (the lowest amount in the division), so needless to say but the defense could use a little help.
Schedule this week: Thursday 10/30 vs. Arizona Coyotes and Saturday 11/1 vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Toronto Maple Leafs
Record: 3-4-1 (7 points)
Are they on the rise or fall? The Maple Leafs are falling and could continue to fall with some tough games on the schedule this week vs. the Blue Jackets and Blackhawks. The talent is their for the Leafs but so far this season the effort hasn’t been.
Who’s hot? Phil “the Thrill” Kessel is leading the way for Toronto and he know has 4 goals and 4 assists through 8 games. The speedster has stepped his game up, but will it be enough to spark the Leafs?
Who’s not? Nazem Kadri has 2 goals in 8 games but hasn’t played all that well and has made some more than questionable comments to the press this past week. In the word’s of Toby Keith, “A little less talk and a lot more action”.
Schedule this week: Tuesday 10/28 vs. Buffalo Sabres, Friday 10/31 at Columbus Blue Jackets and Saturday 11/1 vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Record: 2-7-0 (4 points)
Are they on the rise or fall? Is it possible to fall any deeper when you are already in the basement with no lights on?
Who’s hot? Forward Zegmus Girgensons has 3 points through 9 games but more impressively he’s the only regular member of the Sabres with a plus rating (+1). That in itself is a noteworthy feat.
Who’s not? Everyone has the Sabres have allowed 29 goals while only registering 11 for themselves to give Buffalo a league worst -18 goal differential.
Schedule this week: Tuesday 10/28 at Toronto Maple Leafs, Thursday 10/30 vs. Boston Bruins, Saturday 11/1 at Pittsburgh Penguins and 11/2 vs. Detroit Red Wings