Another week has gone by, and with the NFL officially in its offseason (congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks), the sports world shifts part of its focus to hockey, especially with the Olympics so close.
With that being said, it’s time to look back on what made news in the NHL last week.
West is (Still) Best
Who would have thought that the Western Conference would be this dominant at the start of the year?
In particular, the Central Division teams are flexing their muscles at the rest of the league. Sitting last in the division, the surging Winnipeg Jets have 59 points through 57 games. That has them with the 12th best record in the West. If they were in the East, they would be just one point out of a playoff spot. Add the powerhouses that have been Anaheim, Chicago, St. Louis, San Jose, and Colorado, and it’s almost impossible not to see a Western team hoisting the Stanley Cup at the end of the year.
The good news here for hockey fans is that this will certainly be one of the most competitive playoffs a conference has seen in quite some time.
Records Were Meant to be Broken
It’s hard to imagine that Ben Scrivens was thrilled about being traded to the worst team in the Western Conference a couple of weeks ago. I’m sure he’s enjoying himself now, and the Edmonton Oilers are for sure.
In five games since being dealt north of the border, Scrivens has compiled a save percentage of .943. On top of that, on Wednesday night he recorded a 59 save shutout. In the process he broke the NHL record for most saves in a shutout in the expansion era; a record previously held by Phoenix’s Mike Smith (54).
For the Oilers, they can only hope that Scrivens is the answer they’ve been looking for in the crease, and lead a potential franchise revival.