NHL Week in Review (November 20-26)

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Last year the NHL ran into a major issue when the All-Star voting came around as they all of a sudden saw a relatively unknown player earn the most votes.

John Scott was a journeyman who spent most of his time in the AHL rather than playing in the NHL.

He was essentially one of the few tough guys left in the league and hadn’t put up many points but somehow the fans got behind him.

They voted him into the All-Star game among the biggest stars in the game and the top scorers in the league.

It was an embarrassing moment for the league as Scott was a great person but he was not an all-star calibre player.

He should never have made the all-star team but in an attempt to get the fans involved the NHL opened voting up to the fans.

Generally, it didn’t have any major effects but last year it showed why it might not be the best idea to keep it entirely open to anyone.

The league attempted to stop Scott from attending, asking him to politely decline the invitation to the All-Star game.

The letter they sent eventually got out and the fans got upset while it seemed to only motivate Scott to attend the game.

He did just that and Scott became the superstar of the week as he everyone wanted to see him and what he could do in the game.

He scored two goals during the tournament and was named the All-Star MVP for those two goals and for his defiance against the NHL.

He was the hit of the week and fans fell in love with him but for the NHL it wasn’t what they were hoping for on a week where they were supposed to showcase the best they had.

It was clear that the league was not happy with what had happened but the only made things worse when they asked him not to attend.

It was a PR nightmare for the league as they tried to preserve something that they believed while fighting what the fans wanted.

It may not have been what they wanted but the NHL had to respect what their fans were asking for if only to keep things positive with their fans.

It is something that every league struggles with as they need the fans or there is no league and the sport is not a moneymaker without the fans watching.

The NHL knows this but they don’t always act like it as they make decisions that can sometimes anger the fans.

Some are overall good for the league and they need to be made but others seem like they make no sense.

It is a delicate balance that every league has to strike and making that decision to tell Scott not to show up at the game was one of those weird decisions.

It makes sense in that they didn’t want him representing the best of the best but when the fans choose him there is nothing that they can do.hockey-sidebar

The fact that they asked him not to go to the game is ridiculous as there was never anything that they could do and they should have left it alone.

The NHL now enters another round of all-star voting and they are hoping to prevent another issue like Scott.

They established the John Scott Rule this year as they will no longer allow anyone that is currently playing in the AHL to be voted into the All-Star Game.

It is a clear attempt to try to prevent what happened last year from happening again as Scott spent most of his time in the AHL last year.

He would not have been eligible to be voted in if this rule had been in place last season.

The NHL is looking to stop the same thing from happening but it is not likely that they will be able to stop it altogether.

The rule will prevent AHL players from entering the All-Star game but it will not prevent fans from voting for anyone they want to vote for.

Not everyone in the NHL is an all-star and there are still some tough guys that could be voted in by the fans.

All it takes is a campaign to push them into the all-star game and there are already a few names popping up.

For the NHL there is no way to fix this aside from taking the vote away from the fans and if the fans get together anyone will make it despite what the NHL wants to do.

They can make all of the rules they want but as long as they have a system that allows fans to vote they are beholden to the fans and those who vote know it despite the John Scott rule.

Overtime
(More on this week in hockey)
Welcome the Golden Knights
The NHL will welcome their newest team to the league next year when hockey goes to Las Vegas and this week the new team got their name as they announced that the Vegas Golden Knights will be the most recent addition to the NHL

Locking up Burns
He is widely considered the best defenceman in the league right now and also one of the most colourful as Brent Burns has taken over recently and the Sharks know is signing him to an 8-year contract extension this week

Scary Moment on the Ice
The hockey world got a bit of a shock this week as AHL journeyman Craig Cunningham collapsed on the ice after suffering a heart attack in a scary incident that brought well wishes from all over the NHL

standings-w7-fw

Key Scores:
Edmonton Oilers 5-0 Chicago Blackhawks
– The Blackhawks were beginning to get back to their dominant selves but the Oilers came in trying to prove that they can hang with the best and they did that in a big way with a convincing win to keep them at the top of their division

Minnesota Wild 3-1 Winnipeg Jets
– This rivalry has been getting better as the two teams meet each other much more often but so far it has been somewhat lopsided and it continued to be as the Wild took the win despite the streaking Jets

New York Rangers 3-2 Philadelphia Flyers
– It is now a tradition as the day after Thanksgiving two American teams face-off and this year it was the Flyers and the Rangers as the Rangers took the win and remained at the top of their division while the Flyers took another loss

Los Angeles Kings 2-1 Chicago Blackhawks (OT)
– this rivalry has been one of the lbest in the western confernce but it has not been the same recently as both teams are not as dominant as they were and although they still fought hard in overtime with the Kings taking the win

Next Week:
Arizona Coyotes vs. Edmonton Oilers (Sunday, November 27th; 3:00 pm ET)
– Some of the best young talent will gather in what looks like a futures game as two of the younger teams in the league face-off with the Oilers looking to remain one of the best teams in the league

Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers (Tuesday, November 29th; 7:30 pm ET)
– Two legendary American teams face-off with both not having the seasons they were hoping for but both trying to turn it around as they face each other trying to start something heading into the third month of the season

San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings (Wednesday, November 30th; 10:30 pm ET)
– These two teams have regularly fought for the Pacific division and although both are trying to get ahead of the Oilers more than anything else they will still be fighting for position all season making every game important

Dallas Stars vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (Thursday, December 1st; 7:00 pm ET)
– It could be a game full of fireworks as both teams have more than enough firepower in their lineup with some of the best offensive players in the league with Dallas trying to recapture some of the magic from a year ago

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