Re-Post: NHL Round Up: LA makes History; Tortorella Fired; Halak Traded; NHL Conference Semi-Finals Preview
Please head over to the new site to read this and to follow that blog because starting in a week or two I will not be using this site however I want to give people proper time to adjust to the transition.
Bruins @ Wild 8 PM ET (NESN|FS-N)
This is the best game of a day full of iffy games, none of the games jump out at me as must watch games. But since these are two playoff teams (I am assuming the Wild squeeze into the playoffs since they only need one point in their next three games) playing it should be a highly competitive game, and a low scoring game since the primary focus is on defense typically for both of these clubs. I’ll predict a 2-1 Bruins shootout win.
The Boston Bruins take a 16 game points streak (including 15 of those being wins) into the Motor city when the face off against possible first round match up the Detroit Red Wings who in their own right are in need of some points as they’ve yet to clinch a playoff spot heading into the final week and a half of regular season hockey. The Red Wings are however in really good shape having two points on the ninth place Toronto Maple Leafs and two games in hand on them as well. I can see a Detroit win in regulation in this game, they historically have been better in head to head match ups against the Bruins, especially more so recently over the last few years.
Canadiens @ Bruins 7:30 PM ET (NBCSN|TSN|RDS)
The Bruins and Canadiens meet again, this is the fifth and final match up of the season. The Bruins host the Canadiens on a 12 game winning streak and they face their arch rival of 90 years, many memorable games played against each other, which is expected from two teams with such storied histories. The last couple of seasons have been sort of tame in terms of fireworks, and wildness, so don’t expect anything too crazy in terms of fights but I do expect an intense game because the Canadiens undoubtedly would love to snap the streak, whereas the Bruins would love to extend their streak to 13 in a row, which would be the longest winning streak since 1971 for the Bruins.
Kings @ Flyers 7 PM ET (FS-W|CSN-PHI)
The Flyers West (or as the old saying was back a couple years ago) come to Philadelphia and play the Flyers and it should be a good hard hitting game since both teams love to play a physical style.
Sharks @ Flames 9 PM ET (CSN-CA|SNET-W)
The Sharks can clinch a playoff berth with a win over the Flames, but it won’t be easy as the Flames have been a more respectable team over the last couple of months, it is too bad their season started so rough.
Bruins @ Avalanche 9 PM ET|6 PM PT (NESN|ALT)
The Bruins go to the Rookie Mountains with an impressive ten game winning streak which includes beating Washington, Montreal, Phoenix and Minnesota. The Avalanche themselves are having a great season and are no stranger to success themselves as they started the season 12-1 with a pair of 6 game winning streaks. The Bruins have gotten contributions everywhere during the winning streak but most notable are Jarome Iginla and Carl Soderberg as of late. The Bruins are also getting great defense and solid goaltending from Tuukka Rask. With a win the Bruins would be the first team to clinch a playoff berth in either conference.
This should be a great game between two really good teams in the NHL even though the Coyotes have faltered recently while the Bruins are on a season high six game winning streak coming into the game. The Bruins are getting contributions from a host of players recently including but not limited to Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron, and Jarome Iginla. I refuse to make any Bruins predictions, but I can see the winning streak continuing for Boston.
Oilers @ Blues 8 PM ET|5 PM PT (TSN|FS-MW)
Maple Leafs @ Kings 10:30 PM ET|7:30 PM PT (TSN|FS-W)
Kings going for win number nine in a row, they currently have the longest in the league.
Bruins @ Canadiens (NBCSN|TSN-HABS|RDS)
The best rivalry in hockey takes the ice tonight for a third time this season. The Canadiens are 2-0 this season over the Bruins and with the addition of Thomas Vanek there is little reason to believe that will slow things down because Thomas Vanek is a Bruins Killer. As it being a Bruins game I won’t put any predictions to it, but I will predict and say that it will be a wild game.
Chicago @ Colorado 9:30 PM ET|6:30 PM ET (CSN-CHI|ALT)
Penguins @ Sharks 10:30 PM|7:30 PM PT (NBCSN|ROOT-PIT|CSN-CA)
This game could provide a glimpse of a Stanley Cup Finals match up, both teams are great offensively and have solid back ends on defense. However will goaltending be the story as the playoffs unfold again? We’ll have to wait and see. Furthermore, will offenses be more powerful than defenses for the first time in several years? As far as this game goes, it is hard not to like it on paper, two offenses that can light up the scoreboard more times than the phrase is said in the song “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” by Fall Out Boy. I think this will be a 7-5 Sharks win, it is just a hunch. And as a little inspiration I leave this part of the blog with the following video:
Avalanche @ Red Wings 8 PM ET|5 PM PT (NHL-Network US|ALT|FS-DET)
Nick Lidstrom gets his #5 retired by the Red Wings tonight an what is expected to be an one hour ceremony.
Capitals @ Bruins 7 PM ET (CSN-Mid Atlantic|NESN)
A rematch from Saturday where the Capitals beat the Bruins thanks to their great work on the Power Play.
Today was the last day for the NHL to make trades, and there were some pretty good trades today that will change the face of the league moving forward going into the playoffs.
The Trades (The Short List)
- The New York Rangers acquired Martin St. Louis from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Ryan Callahan, a 2015 1st round pick, and a conditional 2014 2nd round pick.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Lee Stempniak from the Calgary Flames for a unspecified 3rd round pick.
- The Montreal Canadiens acquired Thomas Vanek and a conditional 2014 5th round pick from the New York Islanders for Sebastien Collberg and a conditional 2014 2nd round pick.
- The Minnesota Wild acquire Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick from the Buffalo Sabres for Torey Mitchell and an unspecified draft pick.
- The Washington Capitals acquire Jaroslav Halak and a 2015 3rd Round pick from the Buffalo Sabres from Rostislav Klesla and Michal Neuvirth
- The Boston Bruins acquire Andrej Meszaros from the Philadelphia Flyers for a 3rd round pick in an unspecified year.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets acquire Nick Schultz from the Edmonton Oilers for a 5th round pick in an unspecified year.
- The Dallas Stars acquire Tim Thomas from the Florida Panthers for Dan Ellis
- The Los Angeles Kings acquire Marian Gaborik from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Matt Frattin, a 2nd round pick and a conditional third round pick.
Last night also had the Vancouver Canucks trade Roberto Luongo and a minor league forward to the Florida Panthers for prospects, goalie Jakob Markstrom and forward Shawn Matthias.
Montreal Canadiens: I love the addition of Thomas Vanek for the Canadiens, they needed a piece to add to that team and they certainly got it. As an added bonus, the Canadiens got a player with decent size and a noted Boston Bruins killer. Combine this with the lack of a huge deal for the Bruins, the Canadiens really made themselves a pretender to a possible contender.
Pittsburgh Penguins: They didn’t make any major moves, but they added Marcel Goc and Lee Stempniak adding depth to an already deep line up.
Los Angeles Kings: They added a prime time player in Marion Gaborik, while Gaborik isn’t a defensive minded player, he can be a nice asset in the goal scoring department, which is what the Kings needed to a lesser extent. The Kings look poised for another deep run.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Boy did the Lightning get a steal today in the St. Louis trade. I won’t say that St. Louis isn’t worth Callahan, the real thing for me is the fact that they also picked up a 1st round pick and a conditional second round pick which could move to a first round pick if the Rangers make the Eastern Conference Finals this season.
St Louis Blues: The Blues got themselves on this list because of a move that was made last Friday when they added Ryan Miller from the Buffalo Sabres. The Blues felt like they needed to upgrade their goaltending, and getting Ryan Miller is a good way to add a stronger structure to the backbone of the team. I think they went from contender to a favorite to win the Western Conference.
Boston Bruins: The Bruins needed to do more, and while I am not down on the Andrej Meszaros deal with a good portion of Bruins fans and Boston media because I think Meszaros is a good player that was tangled in the wrong system. But they failed to get that guy who will be a sure bet for them, and they lost ground on the Canadiens and Penguins today in my opinion.
New York Islanders: The Islanders somehow managed to get very little for their trades recently that will help the team now, sure they managed to scrap together 2 second round picks and a third round pick. But looking at what they traded I feel that they could have and should have gotten more for the pieces they dealt away.
Vancouver Canucks: Look I am not going to bash Shawn Matthias or Jakob Markstrom, those are legitimate returns for the Roberto Luongo trade. However I do have the right to wonder what they’re going to do if they make the playoffs and have two rookie goalies in the mix for starting job.
I have to say in terms of the best NHL Trade Deadline Day team, it has to be the Montreal Canadiens, they added a scorer and size to their roster, a player who can make a big difference for them moving forward. I still do not think that the Canadiens are going to be front runners in the Eastern Conference, I think that the Canadiens are on their way. A defenseman and power forward from where they would ideally be in order to make a strong push for the Stanley Cup. But I can’t help but to like this move from a Canadiens perspective. As a Bruins fan it sucks seeing them add Vanek.
- This deal came on Friday night just before the Buffalo Sabres were set to take on the San Jose Sharks at First Niagra Center. The Sabres traded goalie Ryan Miller and center Steve Ott to St. Louis for goalie Jaroslav Halak, winger Chris Stewart, prospect winger William Carrier, a 2015 1st Round Pick, and a conditional draft pick.
- Rumors out of Buffalo say that the Sabres might be looking to flip Chris Stewart in a trade before the deadline which is Wednesday.
- Rumors out of Pittsburgh links them to Canucks center Ryan Kesler, one reported trade could be Brandon Sutter, a choice of either defensemen Simon Despres or Brian Dumoulin, and two draft picks which would likely be a first and a third according to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- TSN is reporting that Colorado center Paul Stastny is a potential player if the Avalanche and Stastny fail to reach an agreement by Wednesday, Stastny is a unrestricted free agent after this season, so it would make sense to move him for something before he leaves the team for nothing.
- Last night the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 at Soldier Field in Chicago. It was played in moderate to heavy snow for a good part of the event, with temps in the upper teens and the wind chills in the single digits. The game was one that was dominated by Blackhawks forwards Jonathan Toews who scored two goals and added an assist, and Patrick Sharp who scored his team leading 29th goal of the season and also added a helper. Corey Crawford was solid in the win, he had to make 31 saves.
- Today features the last outdoor event of the season being played in Vancouver as part of Tim Horton’s Heritage Classic. The Ottawa Senators will take on the Vancouver Canucks at BC Place. The game will take place at 4 PM ET|1 PM PT, and the whether calls for light snow.
Games to Watch
Bruins @ Rangers 7 PM ET|4 PM PT (NBCSN|TSN2|RDS2)
This should be a good game, both teams are coming off of losses, the Bruins lost to Washington on Saturday and the Rangers endured a rare loss to Philadelphia on Saturday. The Bruins are 0-1-1 out of the gate from the Olympic break losing to the lowly Sabres in OT on Wednesday whereas the Rangers are 1-1 with their win coming against a tough Chicago Blackhawks team on Thursday.
Other Games of Interest
Flyers @ Capitals 12:30 PM ET|9:30 AM PT (NBC)
Senators @ Canucks 4 PM ET|1 PM PT (CBC|RDS|NBCSN)
Lightning @ Avalanche 8 PM ET|5 PM PT (SUN|ALT)
Tough Road Ahead
The team with the toughest schedule this week has to be Montreal, they hit the West Coast with match ups against Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix and San Jose this week, and then coming home next week and facing the Boston Bruins their first game back in town.
Honestly tonight was not an easy night to do this segment for, there are 3 games that could have grabbed the top spot. I ultimate choose the Blues and Canucks, but I considered sliding the Kings @ Avalanche game in there or the Bruins @ Sabres game could have also made the top spot. In other words, tonight’s gonna be a good night for some NHL action no matter where you look.
Blues @ Canucks 10:30 PM ET (FS-MW|SNET-P)
A battle of two powerhouse teams out West and this rivalry has a bit of hatred mixed in. These teams always seem to have interesting and entertaining battles, which to me is a good thing since the NHL has a chance to pick up from the momentum the Olympics created for it. A lineup note for the Canucks, Henrik Sedin is in, and Ryan Kesler is out due to a hand injury. I got to admit Kesler did a hell of a job with faceoffs with Team USA considering his hand was bothering him, but he definitely showed in his play that he wasn’t up to par.
As far as predictions, I’ll predict a 5-3 Blues win.
p>Bruins @ Sabres 7:30 PM ET (NBCSN|TSN2)
Kings @ Avalanche 10 PM ET (NBCSN|TSN2)
Red Wings @ Lightning 7 PM ET (FS-D+|SUN|NHL Network US)
The NHL has this beauty of a game to wrap up its schedule before the Olympic break, and it should be a great game because two talents finesse style teams. The Red Wings are 6-2-2 in their last ten while Tampa Bay is 4-5-1 in their last ten for perhaps this break will both teams some good. The game should be fairly light on checking but should feature some solid goaltending a possibly a good amount of goals. I’ll predict a 4-3 Lightning win in this game.
Flames @ Flyers 1 PM ET (SNET-W|CSN-PHI)
Senators @ Bruins 3 PM ET (CBC|NESN|RDS)
Canucks @ Maple Leafs 6 PM ET (CBC)
Ducks @ Predators 8 PM ET (FS-PrimeTicket|FS-TN)