Welcome back to the third installment of Crease to Crease here on MMOS! Eddie McDonald and Chuckie Maggio will once again break down what has happened in the past week in the National Hockey League. Each week the duo discusses who the best teams and players of the week are, the moment of the week and what they are looking forward to in the coming week.
Team of the Week
Eddie McDonald – Phoenix Coyotes
The Phoenix Coyotes are my choice for team that had the best week in the NHL. Phoenix went 3-0, adding on to its winning streak which is currently at four games. The Coyotes defeated the Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators, and San Jose Sharks this week, which is a pretty impressive task. Phoenix currently has 22 points and trail the Sharks and Anaheim Ducks by one point in the Pacific Division.
Chuckie Maggio – Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche keep on rolling in the West and they have more than earned the “Team of the Week” honor. An overtime win in Dallas over the Stars and a 4-1 thrashing of the Montreal Canadiens propelled the Avs to a 12-1 record on the year thus far.
Player of the Week
EM – Marc-Andre Fleury – Pittsburgh Penguins
I noticed we never give the goaltenders any love, so I decided to change that this week. My player of the week is Marc-Andre Fleury, the net minder of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Fleury went 3-0 this week and saved nearly 94% of shots he faced. In the process, he became the first goal tender to get to 10 wins this season. The Penguins currently sit atop not only the Metropolitan Division, but the entire Eastern Conference with 22 points.
CM – Josh Harding – Minnesota Wild
Harding has probably won the starting goaltender job over Niklas Backstrom after an impressive 2-0 week. He saved 28 of 31 shots in a win over Montreal, then shut out the New Jersey Devils yesterday. Backstrom is the starter for the moment, but Harding will be starting between the pipes in about a week.
Moment of the Week
EM – Semyon Varlamov starts, despite being arrested
Colorado Avalanche goalie, Semyon Varlamov, turned himself on Wednesday night after a domestic violence incident occurred between he and his girlfriend on Monday. Varlamov was in court Thursday after spending a night in jail. He is facing second-degree kidnapping and third-degree assault charges. On Friday night when the Avs took on the Dallas Stars, Varlamov was the man between the pipes. I felt Patrick Roy sent the wrong message when he decided to have Varlamov start. I understand innocent until proven guilty and that Roy wants to show he has his guy’s back, but this wasn’t the right decision.
CM – Semyon Varlamov’s controversial return to the ice amidst legal trouble
While many NHL fans and commentators were upset about the decision by Patrick Roy and the Avalanche front office to let their goaltender travel and play despite charges of assault of his girlfriend, this was the right move by the Avs for the time being. He’s innocent until proven guilty, and should be able to play while the legal issues are sorted out. Remember the Kobe Bryant scandal?
What We’re Looking Forward To
EM – The Vancouver Canucks Road Trip
The Vancouver Canucks face a daunting four-game road trip this week. The team will travel to Phoenix on Tuesday, San Jose on Thursday, Los Angeles on Saturday, and Anaheim on Sunday. All five of these teams are within five points of each other in the Pacific Division. The Sharks and Ducks have 23 points apiece, the Coyotes have 22, the Canucks have 21 and the Kings have 18. The season is young, but this will be a big test for the Canucks.
CM – Stars-Bruins Tuesday night
Tyler Seguin’s return to Boston. Don’t think for a second that Bruins fans have suddenly forgotten the ugly departure of their former star center, and both teams need to win this game, Dallas especially.