THE BOX SEATS Edition Five, (Week of November 6th-12th, 2023)
We saw some teams suffer defeats that could be costly to the jobs of some head coaches around the league. One place being Ottawa, where the natives are getting restless over D.J. Smith, despite the fact that the Senators are ravaged with injuries and the Shane Pinto suspension didn’t help matters much as well.
Minnesota found a way to scrape back and beat the New York Rangers 5-4 in a shootout on Saturday, but that doesn’t cool the hot seat under coach Dean Evason, who’s team is still a mess defensively.
One team looking sharp right now is the Anaheim Ducks, who have won six games in a row and could now be an early contender for a Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, or perhaps a dark horse for the Pacific Division? We’ll touch more on that but first, let’s take a look at a couple of players to keep an eye on for this week’s action.
PLAYERS TO WATCH THIS WEEK
The nine-year veteran is off to the hottest start of his career, leading the National Hockey League with nine goals. The Anaheim Ducks are the hot new thing in the Western Conference with Leo Carlsson, Trevor Zegras, Troy Terry and a solid goaltending tandem of veteran John Gibson and upstart Lukas Dostal.
The 23-year old Czechia native is 5-1 in six starts this season with a 2.80 goals against average. Let’s take a look at the Ducks odds to reach the postseason in comparison with their Pacific Division counterparts, as well as their odds to win the Pacific Division.
|TEAM||Odds to Make Playoffs||Odds to Win Pacific|
|Vancouver Canucks||Yes -210/No +162||+850|
|Edmonton Oilers||Yes -245/No +186||+950|
|Calgary Flames||Yes +134/No -172||+2600|
|Seattle Kraken||Yes +148/No -192||+3100|
|Anaheim Ducks||Yes +680/No -1400||+14000|
The 27-year old San Diego, California native has been part of the early success for the Vancouver Canucks. With his 6-2 record, with a 1.55 goals-against average and a .947% save percentage, Demko is already in the early talks for Vezina Trophy for best goaltender in the league.
Demko has two shutouts this season, which already doubles his career total. The Canucks take on the Nashville Predators at home on Tuesday, before heading to San Jose on Thursday and battling Dallas at home on Saturday.
This eight-year veteran often gets a bad rap in the press for being lazy and taking shifts off and he gets overshadowed behind Auston Matthews and his offensive prowess, but the 26-year old Markham, Ontario native has been solid this season with four goals and nine assists.
The perennial contender for Lady Byng Trophy, but yet to win one, Marner has only six penalty minutes in eleven NHL games this season and has never accrued more than 38 in a single year.
Team Trends To Watch For
- The New Jersey Devils had their perfect mark of Overs snapped with an Under cashing against St. Louis on Friday and then pushing on the total of 6 in the game against Chicago on Sunday, to make New Jersey’s totals record 9-1-1 to the Over in their first eleven contests.
- The Montreal Canadiens lead the National Hockey League in games going past regulation with five overtime contests this season. The Habs have won three of the five games in overtime or in a shootout.
- The Anaheim Ducks gave the Vegas Golden Knights their first regulation loss of the season, extending their own win streak to six games. It’s the longest win streak for the franchise since last season, when they won eight in a row.
- The San Jose Sharks allowed back-to-back games with 10 goals last week against Vancouver on Thursday and Pittsburgh on Saturday. It’s the first time an NHL team has surrendered back-to-back double-digit goals since the Boston Bruins in the 1965-66 regular season
NATIONAL TELEVISION SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK
Toronto at Tampa Bay – 7:00p ET on NHL Network
Two hated Atlantic Division foes who need no introduction clash to start the week down in the Sunshine State.
Detroit at NY Rangers – 7:30p ET on TNT/MAX
An Original Six battle in Manhattan as the New York Rangers host the Red Wings in an Eastern Conference clash to open the nationally televised doubleheader.
New Jersey at Colorado – 9:30p ET on TNT/MAX
The suddenly slumping Avalanche host the New Jersey Devils, who continue to grind out wins. This is the end of the Devils’ four-game road trip.
Los Angeles at Vegas – 10:30p ET on TNT/MAX
Pacific Division rivals clash in a heated affair on the Vegas Strip as the hot Golden Knights look out for those silver Kings in their rear view, sitting in second place within the division.
Boston at Montreal – 7:00p ET on NHL Network
It doesn’t get any better than this rivalry on “Hockey Night in Canada” (and the United States) to wrap up the week of NHL Game Highlights. Bruins star David Pastrnak has 17 goals and 14 assists in 25 games against the Habs.
Frozen Fashion: The Hockey Jersey of The Week
Each Week, we will select one NHL team jersey to highlight the design and the history of that specific sweater. This week, we browse at an Original Six team with a drastic alternate look inspired by a fan and Pop mega-star:
In March of 2022, the Toronto Maple Leafs unveiled a jersey that is reversible with black on both side, their traditional Maple Leafs crest on the front side and on the flipside, a smiley face on a yellow leaf to represent “Drew House,” a brand by super fan and pop star Justin Bieber. The team wears the Maple Leafs logo side for all warm-ups and games (thankfully) and will wear them in a handful of games this season.
National Hockey League Trivia Question
Last Week: What is the current record for the Longest Shootout (most rounds) in National Hockey League history?
Answer: The Florida Panthers beat the Washington Capitals 2-1 on December 16th, 2014 after 20 Rounds of the shootout. Forward Nick Bjugstad scored for Florida on Caps goalie Braden Holtby to end the longest shootout in NHL history.
Q: Which Philadelphia Flyers Goaltender helped the team win back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975?
Hint: His #1 jersey is retired at Wells Fargo Center.
Come Back Next Week to find out The Answer!
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