Ramblings – Carolina’s Goalie Conundrum, Weegar Without Ekblad, Calgary’s Offense, Galchenyuk Resurging? (Apr 04)



Amazingly, we are entering the final five weeks of the 2020-21 NHL season. Keep in mind that it's a condensed schedule, of course, which means that the amount of games left is equivalent to a normal six-week schedule. And with COVID (still) impacting the schedule, it makes it tough to plan. Right now, Montreal, Boston, Philly, Minnesota, Arizona, Toronto, Washington, Dallas and New Jersey play eight games in the next two weeks while Vancouver plays five. I get the sense that Vancouver will have further delays – they are getting hammered badly by the virus. I suspect their five games in the next two weeks will be rescheduled. That means that from April 25 through May 11 they will have 12 games (17 days) which will lead all teams. The Canucks currently have seven games scheduled in that window, and Boston/Montreal 'currently' lead all teams with 10 games scheduled.

You can customize our schedule planner here. It will help you for playoffs and H2H leagues in the weeks ahead.

With the schedule about to change and more of Vancouver’s games getting postponed, there is some question as to how they will fit it all in. After all, if the Canucks are sidelined for two weeks (at least!). To reschedule those games would mean playing 19 games in 23 days – pretty much impossible. But, the NHL can extend the season to May 18 – they have said this before. So it would be 19 games in 30 days, which is doable. And you may see VAN-CGY games as the final two. Those games, if they don’t have playoff implications, might get cancelled and they seed for the lottery based on win percentage. It is my understanding that the only risk of losing games is Calgary and Vancouver missing two each – and I put those odds very low (under 5% right now, my best guess).


Heading into Sunday, it was the third-worst team in the NHL up against the (tied) best team – and hammered them. Detroit hammered Tampa on the strength of a first-star outing from Thomas Greiss. Tampa actually started minor leaguer Chris Gibson, and he did keep it 1-0 halfway in. But can a 5-1 loss be blamed on the goalie?

By the way, with Jonathan Bernier sidelined, Greiss has turned his game around. Sometimes…well, okay often… a goalie just needs to be the de facto starter with nobody breathing down his neck and stealing starts, to get things rolling Since March 20, Greiss is 1-4-1, 2.57 GAA and 0.922 SV%. Five of those six starts were Quality Starts – the other one was an RBS, which dragged the overall numbers down.