Charlie McAvoy steering Bruins towards historic NHL regular season
Welcome to 10 Insights and Observations. Each week, I will use this space to cover teams, players, storylines, and general thoughts about the NHL.
This week we take a look at the impressive Devils rookie Charlie McAvoy making the last move, assists, pot passes, Showtime and more.
McAvoy turns into the ultimate double threat defender
Charlie McAvoy has always been a pretty productive defender, but this season he’s taken him to a whole new level.
Last year, he posted a career-high 0.72 points per game, and this season he made another jump – 0.91 points per game. Along the way, he became a human bright frame. That fake shot and dance around Alex DeBrinkat before passing over the ice to set the table for David Pastrnak, who will score his 40th goal, was beautiful and ridiculously creative. Can’t remember ever seeing a fake like this in an NHL game before:
A month ago, he scored that beautiful goal in a 4-on-4 against the San Jose Sharks.
McAvoy has always been considered a strong defender, able to take on the best players. He even has the physical strength and jam to his game. He is 6ft 1in tall and weighs 209lbs (which honestly sounds easy) and he is physically strong. Playing with Matt Grzelczyk, they controlled the game and dealt well with the best players. They edged out the opposition 24-9, 5-on-5. McAvoy’s latest move has been to turn into an offensive force, and he’s doing just that this season.
Fabian Zetterlund to play unsung hero in ‘Devils’
The New Jersey Devils have so many good players it’s hard to keep track of them. One such player that has been targeted is Fabian Zetterlund.
He had a cup of coffee in the league last season, including three games in November – he lost – before playing all of April and scoring eight points in 11 games. In his first full season in the league, he didn’t make it that far, but he’s got up to 20 points in 44 games and looks like a player.
To level up a bit, Zetterlund turns 24 this year and has played mostly with Tomas Tatar and Niko Hishir. If you don’t show anything at this stage, you risk being forgotten by the league. At the same time, these are difficult times. Hishir is used as a center because he is such a strong two-way player. To be close to him in your rookie season, you must have a high level of detail in your game. He’s only 5’11” but he’s brash.
It’s just a great change: chasing the puck, pushing the defender off the puck and getting the right body position, and then throwing a beautiful pass for a goal.
He only shoots 7.5%, which is not in line with how he can shoot (last week he blew Connor Hellebike’s one-shot – he can definitely sing it). He is a smart and persistent player who has only six penalty minutes this season. The Devils suddenly have a few stars, but you need support players to complete your team and Zetterlund is doing very well so far.
Return of a bank card
When the Detroit Red Wings were a dynasty, the only thing they could use as a weapon was to use planks to create an attack. The famous Joe Louis Arena inflatable boards created a real havoc due to the way the puck bounced off them. It was a pretty good standard for the Red Wings:
It’s a smart idea and we need to see teams doing more offensively. Defense now fills the house, making it harder to just get stuck in traffic. One way to counteract this is to simply not try to pass the puck by widening the shooting zone. The Anaheim Ducks recently scored this goal:
Florida actively allows Derek Grant to stand in front all alone. They focus on challenging the shooter (in this case, Kevin Shattenkirk) and completely preventing the puck from hitting the net. Whether Shattenkirk wanted to do it is another story, but there is a game here. We should see this more often.
Long live goalkeeping!
When the NHL introduced the trapeze after the 2004-05 lockout, many wondered if this was the beginning of the end for goaltenders with the puck. It’s just something the fans like. A good fake goalkeeper is magical. The goalkeeper’s exit pass is cool. Sometimes they can single-handedly break a forecheck… or concede an empty goal.
Well, it looks like goaltending passes are alive and well. This season, 32 goalkeepers have scored at least a point (up from 28 last season). Andrei Vasilevskiy and Tristan Jarry are tied for the lead in goaltending points with four assists each. Frederik Andersen has already reached that milestone in a few months, including this great outdoor pass:
Are you kidding me? That is, above the protection and on the tape. There are defenders who cannot make this pass. A good pass on the ice can burn out teams for many reasons, including bad changes, like Ilya Samsonov did against the Boston Bruins.
Who will pull the trigger on the Patrick Kane deal?
Watching Patrick Kane complain about the fact that the Rangers traded for Vladimir Tarasenko, you start to wonder who will actually be interested in the number 88, if not them. Aggravating circumstances were his decline in the game, his always uneven defense and an obvious hip injury. The Rangers traded for Tarasenko on February 9. From February 10 to 15, Kane played four matches and was pointless and lifeless all this time. If he wanted to be touched again, then he had to show something.
Fine, he did it. In four games since he apparently got rid of it, he has 10 points. That’s not counting the amazing overtime winner, who sadly didn’t count. The nickname “show time” has always been well-deserved – it violates the rules of the game. You need big offensive players to win the playoffs and he shows he can still do that.
It was sad to hear that Jonathan Toews is unwell and will not be transferred – I still believe that he could offer something remarkable to the playoff contender if he was healthy – but at least Kane is now showing that he has still have it. He’s an interesting player and the playoffs are getting better with him. Kane went above and beyond to show someone he was worth trading for. Now we are waiting for someone to do it.
Kyle Dubas and his feathers
It was a little funny to hear Kyle Dubas complaining about his players being constantly stripped of their licenses last year after trying to lure Harry Sateri out of the KHL.
“We had 11 players signed up, which I think is twice as many (for any other team in the NHL), so that’s good advertising for agents if you want your players to go where they get a lot of attention. and get claims, probably a feather in our hat,” Duba said sarcastically. “It hurts when guys claim you.”
Sateri’s claim was especially cryptic—he ended up playing six games for Arizona, had an .866 shooting percentage, and shockingly won two of those games. He is in Switzerland now. But this was not the norm. In fact, many of their waivers have actually played pretty good hockey since the application was made.
Jimmy Vesey and Travis Boyd were both signed by Vancouver, but since leaving the Canucks they have become pretty good players. Boyd scored 17 goals last season for Arizona. Veasey managed to stay in the Rangers’ top six for a long time and received a contract extension. Mike Amadio spent a career year in Las Vegas last season and is back in the lead this year. If anything, he’s a reasonable NHL player who can play every night. Flash back a few years when the Carolinas took Curtis McElhinney and then that season he played 33 games with a .912 shooting percentage. Nicolas Aube-Kubel was in demand this season and has since found a spot with the Capitals.
There were, of course, a number of players who did not work out at all: Adam Brooks, Calvin Picard, Ryan Gingel, Dmitry Timashov and many others. But it’s not all fun and games. Getting the boys out of the Leafs was a legitimate benefit, which in a way is a feather in Dubas’s hat.
The stadium series is back
Outdoor play can sometimes give them a “been there, done that” feeling. The game played in Carolina over the weekend was not like that. The stadium, the fans and the atmosphere were incredible. If you haven’t seen the introduction yet, it’s worth it.
The college band is a great touch. The NHL also benefited from ratings.
In truth, the only real problem with the game was the game itself, a 4-1 jalopy that seemed almost finished halfway through. You have to give credit where it should, however. You can’t always have a great game, but sometimes the NHL loses for lack of a great event, regardless of the outcome. It seems that all sports leagues struggle with them to some extent. It can’t just be a game, it has to be a day/night that is fun just because you’re there. This event succeeded.
Sabers wrestling at home
The Buffalo Sabers have come as a pleasant surprise this season, but there are two things that simply cannot be overlooked. First, this is their record at home. They have a stunning 11-15-2 at home, the fourth-worst home record in the league. In terms of capacityThe Sabers are last in the league.. It’s a shame because this is a fun young team that is clearly on the rise for the first time in a long time. At the same time, they didn’t play very well at home. Their last game against the Leafs lasted less than 10 minutes. It should also be noted that they didn’t perform very well against good teams. In their games against the top six teams in the East (Boston, Toronto, Tampa Bay, Carolina, New Jersey, New York…