Today’s 5 observations on current events in the National Hockey League.
1. Monahan Earns Points In Every Game This Season
Would the Calgary Flames be 2-0-2 right now if Sean Monahan didn’t produce a point in every single game so far this season? Probably not. The eighteen year old 1st round pick has contributed with offence in all four one-goal games his team has endured.
Usually, when a kid is drafted 6th overall, it’s widely accepted that he will probably become an NHL player at some point. What Monahan is accomplishing only months after draft day, is incredibly impressive.
Hampus Lindholm, was selected 6th overall in 2012. He has played one game in the NHL.
2010 Tampa Bay Lightning 6th overall pick, Brett Connolly, has suited up for 68 NHL games over the last two seasons. He has 5 career goals. If Monahan keeps pace, he’ll surpass the Bolts’ prospect in markers within the week.
2011 6th overall pick of the Ottawa Senators, Mika Zibanejad, has looked very promising throughout his young career. But, his offensive output is nowhere near Monahan’s at the current pace.
It was widely publicized that the 2013 NHL Entry Draft was very deep in talent, and so far this season, those claims appear very true.
Conclusion: Monahan is good.
2. Was Hertl Rubbing It In When He Scored His Flashy 4th Goal?
Traditionalists vs Evolvers may as well be the question here. Why is it wrong that Tomas Hertl scored a beautiful 4th goal in a lopsided game? Because it’s disrespectful to embarrass an opponent? I don’t understand that logic. Should he have received the breakaway pass and dumped the puck into the corner?
Fans pay a lot of money to watch their team put on a show. They got their money’s worth from Tomas Hertl the other night. Maybe, the occasional embarrassing night for a goaltender is worth the brand recognition the Sharks received, not to mention the NHL brand. Lots of fans in attendance at the SAP Center on October 8th will be telling the story of the night they saw Tomas Hertl score 4 goals, and they’ll be telling it for a while, with a smile.
The NHL is hockey’s ultimate showcase. There should be no relenting when an opponent is down on the scoreboard. Destroy them, I say. These guys are pros. They get paid top dollar to win games as decisively as possible, not to get a lead then chill out and mind their opponents’ feelings.
Hertl’s an eighteen year old kid from the Czech Republic. This old school “NHL Code” that suggests a team shouldn’t run up the score, is likely foreign to the Sharks’ rookie. So, there was probably no malice in Hertl’s actions. He was an excited kid scoring a beautiful goal. That’s it.
Traditionalists, want to keep fighting in the game. If what Hertl did was so disrespectful, he can fight the New York Rangers next time the two teams meet. Problem solved.
Check out this great piece entitled “Spectacular Scoring Display By San Jose’s Tomas Hertl Runs Afoul Of NHL Sourpusses” by Cam Cole of the National Post here. He talks more about “The Code.”
Cory Schneider said he doesn't care how guy shoots: what Hertl did, lacrosse style, whatever. It's his job to make the save. That's all.
— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) October 10, 2013
3. Watch Out Ward, Khudobin Is Good
I watched a lot of Boston Bruins hockey last season. Goaltender Anton Khudobin stood out when he had the chance to play. He’s a talented goaltender – don’t be surprised if he steals a couple starts away from Cam Ward, as he did Tuukka Rask last season.
The Carolina Hurricanes aren’t the best defensive team in the league by any stretch. In 2013 they finished 2nd worst in goals against. With 3 games down this season, they’re already a (-3) in goal differential. Ward might have a bad night or two to no fault of his own – Khudobin will get a chance to play. The Russian stopper is good enough to steal a game. If he steals a couple, he’ll play a decent amount of games this year. It’s possible, is all I’m saying.
4. Stuart Elbow On Rick Nash
Senseless head shot, is one way to assess Brad Stuart’s hit on New York Rangers’ forward Rick Nash.
It’s tough to completely blame a guy on one of these hockey plays. The game happens fast. Nash is big – it’s conceivable a defender instinctively gets an elbow up for protection, or just to take a better chunk out of his man. Either way, suspension was deserved if the league doesn’t want star players missing games to injury. Nash is day-to-day.
Brad Stuart was suspended 3 games for the incident.
5. Avs/Bruins Forever Linked Together By Ray Bourque
Tonight, the undefeated Colorado Avalanche face their toughest test of the season, up against the also undefeated Boston Bruins. These two teams have basically no history, other than that crazy trade they made over a decade ago.
On March 6, 2000, Bruins captain and legend Ray Bourque was traded to the Colorado Avalanche in quest of his first Stanley Cup. Bourque and the Avs didn’t win the championship that season, however, in 2001, they returned to the Stanley Cup Finals, and this time, Ray did it.
Avs head coach Patrick Roy played on the 2001 Stanley Cup winning Colorado Avalanche with Bourque.
Enjoy one of hockey’s best clips: