Wednesday Grab Bag 1.9

Wednesday Grab Bag 1.9

Penguins

Wednesday Grab Bag 1.9

In the second week of 2019, the coffee seems to taste better, the days despite not being dark as early, just seem brighter and your Twitter feed feels a lot less negative. Why could that be? Well, it’s because as we’ve come to learn, once the calendar hits December in the National Hockey League season, the Pittsburgh Penguins wake up.

In the last week, the Penguins blew up the Rangers and “The King” 7-2, made a statement against Winnipeg 4-0, had a slight setback against Chicago and rounded it out last night beating Florida 5-1.

We learned that Matt Murray is back, Sidney Crosby is still the best in the goddamn world and your takes from early December about this team were not just stupid, but also dumb.

Second in the Metro with the Caps in sight. Let’s roll.

Links

The Good

*extremely John Wick voice* Yeah, I’m thinking he’s back.

San Jose goaltender Aaron Dell, a native of Airdrie, Alberta, has formed a special bond and friendship with Ryan Straschnitzki, a survivor of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. It’s a really heartwarming story and will give you at least a small sliver of hope in this world.

We’re putting this under good, because Peep knocked this out of the goddamn park. Ovechkin is skipping the All-Star Game. Which, you know Sidney Crosby would never do. #BadTakesExposed

“I really think their goal is to be the worst defensive squad in the league, and they’re doing such a great job to be the worst defensive squad in the league.” – Michel Therrien, January 10, 2006

Adam Gretz and Pensburgh did a great dive back into the infamous Michel Therrien presser.

Jewels From The Crown, an LA Kings SB Nation blog, ran an absolutely hysterical two part series on The Worst Fans in Hockey. No, not fanbases, but type of fan. Read, get mad, laugh, repeat.
Part One, Part Two

The Bad

Tying an NHL record…the Philadelphia Flyers way. At least you’ve got Gritty! Blow it up! Blow it up! Blow it up!

No, really? Depth is an issue in Edmonton?! No one could have seen this coming!

Bad: The United States Men’s World Junior team getting silver (Not actually bad, I’m just bitter) after losing to Finland.
Good: The host country not medaling.

The Ugly

On its face, wow, how fun! ZAR delivered the knockout! Overall, how absolutely stupid and unnecessary. He threw a hit that was deemed interference. He sat for two minutes and then of course, some dipshit on Florida felt the need to “answer the bell.” ZAR, who has been playing extremely well lately, likely broke his hand because of this. To the “that’s hockey” crowd, let me ask…you don’t want hitting and physicality to leave the game, so why did Sceviour fill his diaper after a hit? That’s toughness? Seems like baby stuff. End of rant.

Numbers

Standings

Now that we are into 2019, and about at the true midway point of the season, this section now includes the wild card races. In the interest of fairness (and my sanity) the four teams in the race for wild card will be included. Full standings can be found here.

Metropolitan

GP Wins Losses OT Points
WSH 42 26 12 4 56
PIT 43 24 13 6 54
CBJ 42 24 15 3 51
Atlantic
GP Wins Losses OT Points
TB 43 33 8 2 68
TOR 42 27 13 2 56
BOS 43 25 14 4 54

Wild Card – Eastern Conference

GP Wins Losses OT Points
WC1 BUF 43 23 14 6 52
WC2 MTL 44 23 16 5 51
NYI 41 23 14 4 50
CAR 42 20 17 5 45
FLA 41 17 17 7 41

Central

GP Wins Losses OT Points
WPG 42 27 13 2 56
NSH 44 26 15 3 55
DAL 44 23 17 4 50
Pacific
GP Wins Losses OT Points
CGY 44 27 13 4 58
VGK 46 27 15 4 58
SJ 45 25 13 7 57

Wild Card – Western Conference 

GP Wins Losses OT Points
WC1 COL 43 20 15 8 48
WC2 MIN 42 21 18 3 45
ANA 43 19 17 7 45
VAN 45 20 21 4 44
EDM 43 20 20 3 43

Points

Player Team GP Goals Assists Points
Nikita Kucherov TB 43 21 50 71
Mikko Rantanen COL 43 19 47 66
Nathan MacKinnon COL 43 25 40 65
Johnny Gaudreau CGY 44 26 38 64
Connor McDavid EDM 42 24 39 63

Save Percentage

Goalie Team GP Save Percentage
Jack Campbell LA 15 .930
Robin Lehner NYI 21 .927
Jaroslav Halak BOS 23 .926
Linus Ullmark BUF 15 .924
Casey DeSmith PIT 26 .924

What These Numbers Tell Us: Obligatory, weekly reminder: The Penguins goaltending being consistently good again is one of the main drivers behind their recent success, only because it was an active liability through November. Okay, got that out of the way.
It’s honestly unfair how good Tampa Bay is. Through 43 games they are 12 (TWELVE!!!!) points up on their closest divisional opponent and 10 points up on the next best team in the league. All of this to say, they’re probably going to lose in the second round to some jabronis with a hot goalie.
Who else is excited for Dallas to finish in the top three spot in the Central and we’ll get all the cool takes from Smart Hockey Men that the CEO calling their two best players “horseshit” was the reason for the turnaround?
It’s actually amazing how much disparity there is in the Pacific Division. Calagary, Vegas, San Jose and then the bottom just falls the hell out. Anaheim might snag a wild card, but they’re 12 points back, Vancouver started hot but has since regressed to form and Edmonton…woof. McDavid either needs to get out of there, or sit down with Daryl Katz and demand a complete front office overhaul. The Metro might not be much better, but yikes.

The Week Ahead

Oh, baby…get your coffee ready, they’re heading west! A 12-day road trip begins Friday night in Anaheim. A team that has John Gibson and…..well that’s it. For those thinking it was a usage problem and not a talent problem, Sprong has six points with Anaheim, Pettersson also has six. Guess it wasn’t usage after all.

Know Your Enemy: Anaheim Calling

California may know how to party, but in the city of LA, they don’t know how to hockey. Saturday, it’s off to Staples Center for a date with another former Penguin, Carl Hagelin and his new squad the LA Kings. They…well, they suck.

Know Your Enemy: Jewels From The Crown

Finally, the Pens will face the only good hockey team in California on Tuesday as they make the 342 mile trip up the coast to San Jose. They’re finding some consistency finally, third in the Pacific and their big boys are coming on strong so of the week’s three games, this figures to be the hardest.

Know Your Enemy: Fear the Fin

Let me see if I can predict this script for this first week of the western swing: They’re going to come out, dicks on fire against Anaheim and likely beat the hell out of them. They’ll have a letdown in LA and then bring their A++ game against San Jose. We’re talking four out of a possible six points this week. The rotation will be Murr-The Smith-Murr.

Talk to you next week.


Thanks for reading, follow me (or tell me how bad this was) on Twitter @SynonymForWet.

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