NHL Week in Review (January 17-23)

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Young players are beginning to take over in the NHL as more young players are having a big impact on their teams.

Many are tagged from their draft year as a player that can come in through their first year and do something for the NHL club.

Of course not all meet these expectations and are either sent back to their junior team or sent down to the AHL.

What is rarely talked about is what happens when a player gets all of that praise before entering the NHL and then doesn’t seem to pan out.

Players that have been told that they will be a big help to an NHL team and that they won’t have to wait long to make that impact yet seem to be taking the slow path.

It can make a big difference in the attitude of young players who believe they are not being used to the best of their abilities.

It can also turn a lot of people against that young player who could easily be deemed as a young player demanding something he hasn’t earned.

Right now this exact situation is happening in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization where a young star is getting impatient and having a lot of people looking sideways at him.

Jonathan Drouin had plenty of hype surrounding him coming out the CHL after being the linemate to Nathan MacKinnon.

The former Mooseheads centre was one of the best players to come along in a long time and he drew comparisons to a familiar centre from the same town in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.

Drouin was the man beside him setting him up for his years in Halifax and as a result many considered him one of the top young players in the 2013 draft.

The Lightning took Drouin with the third overall pick with fans and analysts drooling over what could be coming in Tampa.

After all the Lightning already had one of the best young goal scorers in the league in Steven Stamkos and adding a young set-up man might only make him better.hockey-sidebar

He had a slow start to his career though with an injury slowing him down in his first year and then a struggle to put up the points that many thought he could get.

Still the Lightning were giving him a shot to get on his feet throughout the end of his first season.

As this season began Drouin started on the NHL squad but an injury had the Lightning pushing him back down to the AHL where he could rehab reported nagging injuries and get back to NHL health.

Then it was revealed that Drouin had requested a trade in November in hopes of getting out of Tampa Bay.

Drouin has rarely been paired with Stamkos and usually spent time on other lines further down the depth chart.

He had also only played 19 games this season, reportedly due to injuries, and might have believed that he wasn’t being used properly.

The trade request was only the first step though as this week Drouin failed to report for a game with the Syracuse Crunch.

According to Drouin’s agent the reason being that a trade was apparently imminent and Drouin, likely along with his agent, decided that the risk of injury was too great and that he preferred to sit out.

The Lighting organization decided against it but Drouin still sat out not reporting to the team and waiting for the trade to go through.

It may have backfired though as the Lightning suspended the young forward indefinitely and the trade market has seemingly dried up.

Drouin is coming off as a crybaby to many teams and a problem that no team wants to deal with.

The worry is that he won’t be happy about his playing time and that they will now have to deal with trade requests and no-shows.

For right now a player in his second year does not want to be in a place that he believes is not using him properly.

Although he has sat for a good part of the year the fact is that to do this doesn’t make him look great and when it comes to players that have yet to prove that they can do anything in the NHL being demanding is the best way to end your NHL career before it began.

(Other News this week in hockey)

Price Extends Injury Time
The Montreal Canadiens began their season with a great start but it has all faded away with an injury to Carey Price and could continue for a while as this week the Canadiens announced that Price may be out for at least another month

All-Star Decision
John Scott has been the centre of controversy and conspiracy as any believed that the NHL organized his trade away from Arizona to avoid him captaining the Pacific Division All-Star team but this week the league announced that he will still be the captain despite playing the Atlantic

Tortorella Down
Injuries are a common occurrence in sports but rarely do the injuries happen to the men behind the bench although that is what happened this week when John Tortorella fell during practice and cracked two ribs


Key Scores:
Washington 5 – 2 New York Rangers
– The Rangers came into the game hoping to chip away at the building lead of the Capitals in the Metropolitan division but they couldn’t get it done as the Caps were able to get the win and showed why they are at the top of the division

Boston Bruins 4 – 1 Montreal Canadiens
– The last time these two rivals faced it was far colder at Gillette Stadium and the Canadiens got the easy win but this time around the Bruins got some revenge winning the game and continuing to see the Canadiens fall in the standings

St. Louis Blues 2 – 1 Detroit Red Wings
– The Blues and the Wings were great rivals when both teams were in the same conference but now they are on opposite sides and both were looking to gain some bragging rights in the limited games that they have against each other which the Blues took this time

Montreal Canadiens 3 – 2 Toronto Maple Leafs (SO)
– The Canadiens have been struggling and if there was a time to take advantage it was now for the Leafs as they hoped to get a win among their own struggles but couldn’t come through in the end as Montreal took the win in a shootout

Next Week:
St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks (Sunday January 24th; 7:00 pm ET)
– It is an old rivalry and is only getting better in the toughest division in the league as the Blackhawks try to continue their strong play to start 2016 and the Blues try to chip away at the lead built by Chicago

Buffalo Sabres vs. New York Rangers (Monday January 25th; 7:30 pm ET)
– It is not the same rivalry as the two city teams but it is still a battle for bragging rights in the state of New York as the Sabres try to climb out of the basement and the Rangers try to continue their run at the top of their division

Colorado Avalanche vs. San Jose Sharks (Tuesday January 26th; 10:00 pm ET)
– The last time Colorado travelled to San Jose the Sharks dropped yet another game at home but they hope to get some revenge with both teams looking to stay very much in the hunt for the playoffs

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (Wednesday January 27th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Leafs continue to play better than their record shows as they try to continue their season with not much more than pride to play for as they try to take on the Lightning and earn a big win to show signs of improvement

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