The Vancouver Canucks have been scoring goals, the Edmonton Oilers are thriving led by a two-man show and the Montreal Canadiens have twice as many wins as regulation losses.

NHL teams have played anywhere from 17 to 21 games.

With this being mid-November, the regular season is roughly 25 % complete.

One of the biggest surprises with the Canucks is their ability to put the puck in the net.

Vancouver is averaging 3.25 per game, most in the Pacific Division, even ahead of division-leading Edmonton (3.19) although the Oilers have the top two scorers and best one-two punch in the league.

After picking up five assists in Thursday’s 6-2 victory over Colorado, Leon Draisaitl has 41 points (15 goals), or nearly two per game.

His linemate, Connor McDavid, notched a career-high six points (3 G, 3 A) against the Avalanche to give him 37 points in 21 games.

There is a massive drop after that in Oilers team scoring with three players tied for third with 15 points apiece.

The Canucks have scored five or more goals in eight of their 20 games but only once in their last six.

After starting 9-3-2 after 14 games, Vancouver has cooled, going 1-4-1 in their last six, including Thursday’s 4-2 loss to Dallas.

On the bright side for the Canucks, they are sitting in a playoff spot, but the standings are so tight in the Pacific Division and Western Conference, that they could completely change on just one night.

The NHL standings are right here.

Also in the West, Winnipeg and Calgary are below their pace of a season ago but are part of a logjam where 11 teams are separated by just six points.

In the East, the (10-5-3) Habs have been consistent and it’s not all about Carey Price.

In fact, Price is just 15th in NHL save % (.916) and 21st in goals-against-average (2.65).

The Toronto Maple Leafs have only scored one more goal than they have given up (68 GF, 67 GA), a reason they are just tied for the last wild-card spot.

Not surprisingly, the Ottawa Senators are the worst of the Canadian teams and already seven points from a playoff berth.

At 7-10-1, the Senators are just a point out of being in the basement for the entire league.

Do you remember Buffalo’s great start?

The Sabres won nine of their first 12 games but since then have become the loveable losers that they are known for.

Buffalo has lost its last six, the league’s current longest losing streak.

The (14-2-4) Washington Capitals are back in their Stanley Cup form of 2017-18.

The Caps lead the President’s Trophy, in part because they lead the NHL with 79 goals or just under a whopping four per game.

It does not appear that the Caps are missing the production of Brett Connolly of Prince George, who signed with the Florida Panthers in the off-season.

Connolly has been chipping in for the Panthers with six goals, six assists for 12 points with a plus-three rating while having appeared in all 19 Florida games.

He is 6th in team scoring while averaging 14:30 of ice time per game.

Jon Cooper of Prince George, the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning likely is not pleased with his team’s 9-5-2 start, although Tampa has won its last three.

The New Jersey Devils, who always seem to beat the Canucks, are sitting at the bottom of the league standings with a 5-8-4 record, although they are just a point behind LA and Minnesota with two games in hand.

Going by recent history, one could make an argument this makes the Devils Stanley Cup favourites.

The St. Louis Blues were last overall at the midway point of the 2018-19 season and we all remember where they ended up.

#

This is season two of Hartley’s Cat Scan, a weekly podcast show that primarily features the Prince George Cougars.

My guests on the ninth Cat Scan in year two are PG Cougars Captain Josh Maser and overage defenceman Ryan Schoettler.

Both are in their fourth and final year with the team.

They talk about highlights from their junior career, leadership and where they might be a year from now.


FROM THE QUOTE RACK:  

Utah beat Mississippi Valley State 143-49 in a Division I basketball game. The good news for Mississippi Valley State is they may get scheduled next year to play the New York Knicks.

*Comedy writer Jim Barach http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.ca/

A veteran who served five tours in Iraq recently declined the New York Knicks offer to upgrade his nosebleed seats to a courtside view, saying that he had already witnessed enough carnage for one lifetime

*Contributor Marc Ragovin of New York

Evan Holyfield, after finishing off an opponent in sixteen seconds, showed that he’s a chip off the old block of his dad, Evander. A reporter asked if he’d answer a question and Evan answered, ‘I’m all ears.’

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

It took until last play of overtime, but Seattle Seahawks beat the previous undefeated San Francisco 49ers. The 1972 Miami Dolphins would be popping champagne if any of them were still awake.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

Las Vegas’ Cosmopolitan casino is suing San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane, claiming he failed to pay back $500,000 in gambling markers from April. Possible penalties range from a huge fine and restitution to two minutes for charging.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/


IN CASE YOU MISS
ED IT:

According to a recent survey, Toronto is the Canadian city most disliked across the country.
Torontonians responded with shock: “There are other cities in Canada?”

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

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Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
He also is the 94.3 radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca