The Bull on Ice: National Hockey League bi-weekly updatecsudhbulletin November 17, 2021 0 COMMENTS
2021-22 NHL season is in full swing. Photo Courtesy of Taylor Ogata
By Taylor Ogata, Staff Reporter
The 2021-22 National Hockey League (NHL) regular season is already underway, as it is roughly a month and a half old. A lot of milestones have been reached, records have been broken and players have moved up on all-time scoring lists.
In October, the NHL welcomed its 32nd franchise, the Seattle Kraken, to the league. They are currently sitting in dead last in the Pacific Division of the league’s Western Conference with a record of 4 wins, 10 losses and 1 overtime loss for 9 points through 15 games played.
As far as league leaders and milestones are concerned, Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin passed Brett Hull into fourth place on the NHL’s all-time goal scoring list with career goal number 742, part of a 4-3 Caps win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Nov. 12. Ovechkin is now 152 goals behind the league’s all-time leader, Wayne Gretzky, who scored 894 goals over his 20 seasons in the NHL.
“It means a lot,” said Ovechkin after the game. “When you start playing hockey, when you come to the NHL, you never thought you’d be in that position with those names,” said Ovechkin in an interview to NHL.com
The “Great 8,” as Ovechkin is known to many people around the league, was also named the NHL’s first star of the week for Nov. 8-14, 2021.
Meanwhile, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ottawa Senators had three of their upcoming games postponed because of having 10 players in protocol. They are not scheduled to play again until Nov. 22 against the Colorado Avalanche.
The Sens’ training facilities have also been shut down and will remain closed until further notice.
“It’s tough, it’s weird,” said Ottawa captain Brady Tkachuk. “You just get ready in a pregame skate and get ready for the game. It’s definitely different having not experienced it before but it’s the adversity that’s laid out in front of us and that we have to learn from and be better because of it.” told Tkachuk to NHL.com.
Back here in Southern California, the quality of play from the local hockey teams has been decent.
The Los Angeles Kings were recently on a seven-game winning streak, but it came to an end on Saturday, Nov. 13 in Winnipeg; the Jets beat them 3-2 in overtime.
LA’s record is at 8-5-2 with 18 points through 15 games played, which is good for fifth place in the Pacific Division. The next game is Wednesday, Nov. 17 against the Washington Capitals at Staples Center.
The Kings are currently paced by Anze Kopitar who has eight goals and eight assists for 16 points to lead the team in scoring. Goaltender Jonathan Quick has started eight games and has a 4-3-1 record with a 1.98 Goals Against Average and .935 Save Percentage; he has also posted a shutout this season.
Down the road in Anaheim, the Ducks have been playing better. They have a 9-4-3 record with 21 points through 16 games, good for second place in the Pacific.
The Ducks will face the aforementioned Washington Capitals on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at Honda Center in their next game, looking to extend their current winning streak to eight games.
Anaheim is led by Troy Terry’s 11 goals and 20 points. Captain Ryan Getzlaf has 16 assists to lead in that category.
Terry, for that matter, is currently riding a 14-game point streak and was named the NHL’s third star of the week for Nov. 8-14. Getzlaf, meanwhile, is now the Ducks’ all-time leading scorer at 999 career points; he passed Teemu Selanne with point 989 with an assist on Oct. 31 in a 4-2 Anaheim victory over the Montreal Canadiens at Honda Center.
With roughly three and a half months left in the regular season, there is still plenty of hockey to be played. The action has been intense, but in the end, only 16 teams will be able to play for the ultimate prize, Lord Stanley’s Cup.