National Hockey League

NHL - Every Sunday, our NHL-crew is looking back at the past week and provides a summary and evaluation of the performances and results of the Swiss players and their respective teams.

Photo: Swiss Hockey News

Anaheim Ducks

After Jonas Hiller’s winning streak with 13 victories in a row he was between the pipes against the Detroit Red Wings who eliminated the Ducks in last year’s quarter finals of the Stanley Cup. The Ducks won the game with 1-0 at their home stadium. Jonas Hiller was again outstanding and struggled to get his 14th win and a shutout. Luca Sbisa was able hit the ice with the team for practice. He played in Norfolk this week. On Monday, the NHL announced the 3 stars of the week. Jonas Hiller was elected 2nd star of the week with his 14 straight wins. The Ducks faced the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday evening. Jonas Hiller was ill and had to watch the game on the TV. His team destroyed the Canucks 9-1. After this big win, the Ducks played against the Chicago Blackhawks, the current number 2 in the NHL standings right behind the Ducks. However, the Ducks did not play too well and the two goals towards the end of the game were not enough. They lost 2-4 and Hiller’s winning streak ended on this night with 31 saves. On the road against the St. Louis Blues the Ducks benched Jonas Hiller and let Frederik Andersen play. The Ducks led the game 3-0 but were careless in the final period. The Blues came back to a 3-2 but lost the game with this score. Anaheim won 6 points in 4 games and still leads the league with 79 points.

Calgary Flames

The Flames started their week with the first of three road games against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday. Reto Berra was on the bench this evening and Karri Ramo was the starting goalie. The Flames struggled against the Hurricanes, but won the game 2-0. On Tuesday, the Flames faced the Nashville Predators only 24 hours after the last game. Again was Karri Ramo the starting goalie. Reto Berra’s team was tired and could not hold against the strong team with Roman Josi. They lost the game with 2-4. Against the Winnipeg Jets, Reto Berra got the start on Thursday. However, Berra’s 17 saves were not enough and his team lost in Winnipeg with 2-5. In the Canadian game against the Vancouver Canucks, Berra had to sit on the bench for the third time this week and this was perhaps the best decision for him. The game got out of control after only 2 seconds and ended in the most combative game of the season. The game was tied after 65 minutes and Calgary lost the game 2-3 after shootout.

Minnesota Wild

After a great last week for Nino Niederreiter, the Wild played the first game of the week on the road against Nashville. Minnesota dominated the game over 60 minutes and Niederreiter scored his 15th assist of the season. His team defeated the Predators 4-0 and Niederreiter left the ice with a +1 in 16:43 minutes on the ice. On Tuesday, the Wild welcomed the Senators to their stadium. Nino Niederreiter had 3 shots on goal and a -1 rating in 15:21 TOI, but his Wild lost the game with 0-3. Two days later, the Oilers faced the Wild in Minnesota. They finally managed to score again and after Edmonton tied the game they came back and won the game 4-1. Nino Niederreiter had a +1 in this game with only one shot on goal in 14:53 minutes of ice time. In the last game of the week on Saturday, the Wild faced the Dallas Stars. Nino Niederreiter assisted the all decisive overtime-goal. His team won with 3-2 in overtime, Niederreiter had 4 shots on goal and 17:52 minutes of ice time.

Montréal Canadiens

The Canadiens started their three-game week on Tuesday against the Devils. It was a special game for goalie Martin Brodeur in his hometown. In the end, Brodeur and the Devils took home a 4-1 win. Raphael Diaz was 16:56 minutes on the ice and left it with an equal rating. On Thursday, they faced the Senators on the road in Ottawa. It was a hard-fought game for the Canadiens. Ottawa took the lead after the 2nd period and Montreal tied it in the 3rd. In the end, the Canadiens won in overtime with 5-4. Raphael Diaz was 14:21 on the ice and had 2 blocked shots and a -1 rating. Before the game on Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Raphael Diaz missed the morning skate with symptoms of a cold. He was not able to play the game. His team struggled and lost the game after a brilliant come back from a 1-3 to a tie game with 3-5 against Toronto.

Nashville Predators

Roman Josi and his Predators started the week on Sunday against Minnesota. But it was a bad start: they lost at home with 0-4. As usual, Roman Josi received a lot of ice time. He played 27:52 minutes and fired three shots on goal. On Tuesday, the Preds hosted the Calgary Flames. Roman Josi scored his 11th assist of the season. It was a tie game after the first period and Nashville started to score in the 3rd again. They won the game 4-2. Roman Josi had 3 shots on goal in 27:06 minutes on ice and a -2 rating. The perfect night for Josi was on Thursday. The Predators played against the Philadelphia Flyers and Roman Josi scored his 12th assist of the season. He had the best rating of the team and 4 blocked shots, 6 shots on goal and 32:10 TOI. After 65 minutes it was a 3-3 game and Josi decided the game for his team in the shootout. He earned the 1st star of the game in the 4-3 OT win over the Flyers. It was again a shootout game for the Predators at home against the Avalanche. After a 0-3 deficit after the first period, Nashville fought their way back in the third period. Roman Josi scored his 5th goal of the season, but could not prevent them from falling 4-5 at the end. Josi was again the man of the game for his team. He had 2 blocked shots, 2 shots on goal and 27:01 TOI.

New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils played on Sunday against Toronto - still without Damien Brunner. His team tied the game in the second period and it was a 2-2 game after 65 minutes. The Devils didn’t score in the shootout and fell 2-3 to the Leafs. On Tuesday, the Devils faced the Canadiens and dominated the game in Montréal. New Jersey won the game 4-1 and earned another two points. The Devils told the media on Wednesday that Damien Brunner resumed skating while his team had their road game in Denver. He is day-to-day at the moment and will make his comeback soon. In Denver, The Devils had to go to a second shootout this week. There, the Avalanche won 2-1 against the Devils. The Devils ended their week in Phoenix on the road. Brunner‘s team lost against the Coyotes 2-3.

Philadelphia Flyers

Mark Streit and his team faced the New York Rangers on Sunday. The Rangers dominated the Flyers and scored four goals in the first two periods. Mark Streit scored the only goal (his 6th goal of the season) for Philadelphia in the third period. His team hadn’t had the strength to come back and lost the game 1-4. Streit had 4 shots on goal and 20:52 TOI. On Tuesday, the Flyers played in Buffalo against the last team in the standings. The struggling Sabres were not an easy opponent. It was a tie game after 59:45 minutes when the Flyers scored the 4-3. Mark Streit received 18:01 of ice time and had an equal rating. On Tuesday against The Predators it was another hard. Mark Streit helped his team to tie the game in the second period with his 15th assist. The Flyers had to go to the shootout after it was a 3-3 game. With Romas Josi’s shootout winner Philadelphia lost the game 3-4. Streit had a +1 rating and blocked 1 shot in 22:24 TOI. Against the Nashville Predators on Saturday, the Flyers were down 0-2 after 12 minutes. Both teams took turns and tied the game to a 4-4 after 48 minutes. The Flyers scored another two goals and won the game 6-4. Mark Streit finished the week with 1 goal and 3 assists (2 assists this game)! He also had 4 blocked shots in 19:20 minutes on ice.

Vancouver Canucks

This week was a week to forget for the Vancouver Canucks. On Sunday, the Canucks faced the Los Angeles Kings in California. The game was studded with penalties and fights while it was still scoreless. The Kings scored the only goal of the game after 24 seconds in the third period. Yannick Weber had 4 shots on goal and 2 blocked shots with 14:34 of ice time. His team lost 0-1. On Wednesday, they traveled to Anaheim to play against the Ducks. This was the bitterest game for the Canucks this week. The team took too many penalties and had to accept six power play goals. They lost the game with a devastating 1-9. Yannick Weber had 2 minutes for slashing and a -1 rating with 18:10 minutes on ice. The third game of the week was against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Coyotes scored a power play goal in the first period and this remained the only goal in this game. The Canucks lost their third game of the week 0-1. Yannick Weber got 11:48 ice time with 1 blocked shot and 1 shot on goal. The last game for the Canucks this week was on Saturday against the Calgary Flames. This game will go down in the season history as the game with the most penalties. After 2 seconds both fourth lines got into a fight. It remained explosive and the penalty box was stuffed on both sides. The game ended in a shootout. Yannick Weber was the man of the game with his second goal of the season and a shootout goal. Additionally, he had 6 shot on goal, 2 blocked shots 28:22 minutes on ice and only 2 penalty minutes.