Monday Musings: Homecoming week in NHL | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaMonday Musings: Homecoming week in NHL

Posted: Monday, November 25, 2013 | 08:00 AM

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Former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson (11) is slated Sunday to make his first return visit to Ottawa since joining Detroit. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson (11) is slated Sunday to make his first return visit to Ottawa since joining Detroit. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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This week's Monday morning musings takes a look at the homecomings this week for Daniel Alfredsson, Vincent Lecavalier and John Tortorella as well as Cam Talbot's impressive start.

Some Monday morning musings from the NHL and the rest of the hockey world that will get you ready for a week that will see some intriguing reunions.

  • Former Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier returns to Tampa Bay for the first time as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.
  • Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella returns to Madison Square Garden to face his old team, the New York Rangers, on Saturday afternoon.
  • Daniel Alfredsson returns to Ottawa for the first time as a member of the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.

Alfie's homecoming

The Senators and Red Wings met for the second time this season this past Saturday with Ottawa departing home with two points, courtesy a much-needed 4-2 victory. But on Sunday, that win was wiped away with a 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, while Detroit visited Buffalo and came away with a 3-1 win over the Sabres.

Alfredsson did not play Saturday against his old teammates. But after five games on the sidelines with a groin injury, he returned to action in Buffalo, set up a game-tying goal from Darren Helm and then scored an empty netter. It was only the Red Wings' second win in 10 outings.

When Alfredsson made his decision to bolt the Senators as a free agent last summer, he felt he was joining a team in Detroit that had a better shot at winning the Stanley Cup. Others felt that with the additions of top-six forwards like Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur that the Senators would be better despite the loss of their long-time captain.

But the Senators have struggled this season, particularly in their own end, and need to put together a win streak to get back in the playoff picture. The Red Wings, meanwhile, currently have one of the wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference despite their recent slump.

Here are some stats to consider before Sunday's homecoming:

  • Detroit is 11-7-7 for 29 points in 25 games
  • Ottawa is 9-11-4 for 22 points in 24 games
  • Alfredsson has four goals and16 points in 20 games
  • Ryan has 11 goals and 22 points in 24 games
  • MacArthur has six goals and 17 points in 23 games

Welcome back Vinny

The 33-year-old Lecavalier is thankful to be returning to Tampa Bay in late November and not late October when Philadelphia was struggling. His Flyers have rebounded with a respectable 7-1-2 run.

Lecavalier has three goals and six points in his last seven games.

Bought out by the Lightning last summer, his eight goals with his new team this season are just two shy of the 10 he scored in 39 games with Tampa Bay last year.

Here's Johnny

For the most part, Tortorella has been a model citizen with his new team in Vancouver. His outbursts have been kept to a minimum. But what if the losses continue to mount for the struggling Canucks?

They finish a six-game homestand on Monday with another difficult game against the Los Angeles Kings. So far the Canucks have mustered only a 1-2-2 record during this stay at home. They have fallen four points behind the Phoenix Coyotes in the race for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Meanwhile, former Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault and the Rangers have overcome a slow start to climb above .500 at 12-11-0. Because they reside in the weak Metropolitan Division, the Rangers are in third spot and currently in the playoff picture.

Goals by period

As NHL general managers recently gathered in Toronto, there was plenty of discussion on how to have more games decided in overtime rather than being extended to a shootout.

One idea put forth from New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello was for teams to switch ends for OT. The longer skate to the bench for line changes could translate into more OT goals.

We looked at the goals scored in each period, but there only is a slight increase in the second period over the third period so far this season.

1st period - 542

2nd period - 658

3rd period - 634

Overtime -- 32

Milestone for Martin

When the Lightning return home to play the Rangers on Monday, captain Martin St. Louis will receive a silver stick to commemorate his 1,000th NHL game played last week.

He became the 286th NHLer to reach the milestone, but only the 16th undrafted player to perform in that many games. Here were the first 15: 

  • Wayne Gretzky, 1,487
  • Adam Oates, 1,337
  • Dino Ciccarelli, 1,232
  • Steve Thomas, 1,235
  • Jamie Macoun, 1,178
  • Mike Keane, 1,161
  • Borje Salming, 1,148
  • Steve Duchesne, 1,113
  • Joe Mullen, 1,062
  • Greg Adams, 1,056
  • Craig Berube, 1,054
  • Geoff Courtnall, 1,049
  • Grant Ledyard, 1,028
  • Donald Brashear, 1,025
  • Charlie Huddy, 1,017

Canadian Olympic goalies

Each week we rank the top contenders for the three goalkeeper spots on the Canadian Olympic team based on their play to date.

1. Josh Harding (Minnesota) - We know he's a longshot to be named, but has any Canadian goalie been better in the last few weeks than the inspirational Harding? Even though he was injured on Saturday, he's gone on a 10-1-1 run and has the best save percentage of all Canadian goalies at .939.

2. Corey Crawford (Chicago) - The Stanley Cup winner has 15 wins in 20 starts this season, but only a .908 save percentage.

3. Carey Price (Montreal) - He was solid with two wins last week. He stopped 54 of 58 shots and his .935 save percentage is almost as good as Harding's.

4. Mike Smith (Phoenix) - The Coyotes goalie struggled somewhat last week. He lost in overtime against Colorado and was pulled after two periods in a loss to Anaheim.

5. Martin Brodeur (New Jersey) - The 41-year-old goalie has been difficult to ignore. He's won five of his last six outings to turn around his season. 

By the numbers

2 - Or fewer goals surrendered by Rangers rookie goalie Cam Talbot of Caledonia, Ont., in each of his first six NHL starts. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Talbot (5-1-0) is the first since Montreal's Gerry McNeil in 1947 to accomplish that feat.

8 - Goals in six games Talbot has allowed for a .949 save percentage and 1.32 goals-against average.

57 - Consecutive saves made by the 26-year-old Talbot in his back-to-back shutouts. He will enter his next game with a 146-minute, 28-second shutout streak.

10 - Game-winning goals scored by Anaheim Ducks teammates Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. They share the league lead with five apiece.

17 - Total wins by the Ducks this season.

Follow Tim Wharnsby on Twitter @WharnsbyCBC

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