NHLN Notebook: 10-0, Shea Weber’s luck, and Alex Burmistrov’s career

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The NHLN Notebook is a semi-regular feature of interesting hockey content from the past few days that doesn’t quite deserve its own article. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets beat the crap out of the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 10-0. It was probably the greatest game in franchise history, but, of course, all anybody can talk about is Shea Weber. 

This is Priceless. There’s so much going on here, where to even begin?!

Shea Weber is a topic of discussion, of course:

First and foremost, despite losing 10-0, Shea Weber managed to log 25 minutes of ice time with an even +/-! What a leader! What a guy! 

Though that is actually somewhat impressive, it’s even more incredible that the media managed to spin this nightmarishly bad game by the Canadiens into a positive for Weber. I mean, he certainly isn’t the terrible, over-the-hill piece of junk he was made out to be on Twitter this summer, but my goodness, I don’t think there’s anybody in the league who’s being given a free pass like this. I also don’t even want to begin to imagine what would have been said if this went down while P.K. Subban was on the team. Woof. 

In reality, the fact that Weber managed to exit this game with his +/- unscathed is both an indication that this stat itself is pretty useless, and it also perfectly summarizes just how lucky he’s been so far this season. After tonight’s game, Weber boasts a 109.76 PDO because his goalies are stopping 97.8 per cent of shots when he’s on the ice. 

You can say as much as you’d like that his defence, grit, determination, leadership, and masculinity are reasons why he’s affecting his goalie’s save percentage, but that simply isn’t the case. Take a seven-year sample size, and literally nobody who’s played a worthwhile amount of minutes has ever had PDO or one-ice save percentage numbers like Weber has through ten games this season. 

Al Montoya deserved better:

It’s always a good time to have a laugh at the expense of the Montreal Canadiens, who, heading into this game, were undefeated in regulation with a 9-0-1 record despite having forgettable underlying numbers that their fans love to completely reject, what happened to Al Montoya is a damn travesty. 

The Habs are playing again tomorrow, so obviously the reasoning is that they wanted to ensure Carey Price had the day off, but still, holy shit, letting your very good backup goalie get shelled like that is pretty terrible. Maybe he’ll demand a trade, get dealt to Colorado, and go on to win two Stanley Cups and then gutter the franchise in a coaching role many years later? 

Before this game, Montoya had a 0.955 save percentage, stopping 127 of 133 shots he faced through four games. After that disaster, he’s all the way down to a 0.907 save percentage. Damn. 

But this is a Blue Jackets win, not just a Canadiens loss, right?

But that’s enough from the Montreal perspective. The Columbus Blue Jackets took out 16 years of animosity of being a very, very bad NHL franchise on the Habs in what was pretty easily the greatest game in their history. They’ve scored eight goals in a game before, but last night they not only set a franchise record for most goals and largest margin of victory in a game, but they also became the first team in over a decade to pound another team 10-0. Also, they scored more goals yesterday than the Vancouver Canucks have scored in their last eight games. 

Alex Burmistrov’s NHL career summed up:

This is pretty hilarious. I mean, (according to people who watched this game) he’s stalling for time because there was a line change happening and he was waiting for the rest of his line to show up, but it’s more fun to view Alex Burmistrov dilly dallying completely out of context because it perfectly summarizes his NHL career. 

Burmistrov was the last first round pick the Atlanta Thrashers* ever had, selected eighth overall in 2010, the summer before the team packed up and moved north. He never came close to reaching his potential, but looked like a somewhat decent and effective depth player in Winnipeg before going back to Russia in 2013.

Since coming back, though, he’s been terrible. Like I said, the clip pretty much sums up what Burmistrov’s time in the NHL has been, because it’s quite literally him skating around and not really accomplishing a hell of a lot. Even at his best, the hallmark of Burmistrov’s game pre-Russia was a depth player who didn’t produce much, but had underlying numbers that suggested he was quite an effective shot suppressor

Now the Jets are actively shopping him, because, uh, maybe you can fool somebody into giving up an asset for a player based solely on their draft pedigree? I mean, hell, the Islanders managed to get two top-60 draft picks for Griffin Reinhart, so anything’s possible.  

*Reading up on Burmistrov resulted in me falling into the rabbit hole and remembering just how bad the Atlanta Thrashers actually were. Look at their draft history. Wow. The city gets a lot of flack for not being a good hockey market, obviously, but fuck, their fans really weren’t given much to work with.