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.
Maple Leafs @ Flyers 7 PM ET (SNET-O|CSN-PHI|RDS)
This game should be an excellent battle between two teams trying to make the playoffs. Plus I think both teams are very much on a level playing field in terms of individual talent on the roster. The Flyers are currently in a playoff position and the Maple Leafs are on the outside looking in technically even though they are in a 4-way tie for the last two wild card positions.
Penguins @ Blue Jackets 7:30 PM (ROOT-PIT|FS-O)
Ducks @ Oilers 9:30 PM (Prime Ticket|SNET-W)
Blue Jackets-Stars game postponed over Medical Issue
The Columbus Blue Jackets @ Dallas Stars game was ended early last night because of a medical issue with Rich Peverley who collapsed on the bench during the game. The medical staff for the Stars were quick to give Peverley medical treatment in the hallway by the team bench before sending him off to the hospital. Peverley is said to be in stable condition, and it is unlikely that he will miss tonight’s game against the St. Louis Blues.
Devils @ Flyers 7 PM ET|4 PM ET (MSG+|CSN-PHI|RDS)
Both of these teams are playing well as of late, and both teams have a mild rivalry going as of late. The Devils are fighting furiously for their playoff lives and wins are at a premium.
Capitals @ Penguins 7:30 PM ET|4:30 PM PT (NBCSN|TSN2|ROOT)
Penguins @ Capitals 7 PM ET|4 PM PT (NHL Network|ROOT-PIT|CSN-MA)
This game features two pretty good offenses, which should make for an entertaining game, and one that will probably go into overtime. But the main reason I choose this is because it is the first of a home and home on back to back nights, so things could get a little testy, which is good for the NHL because they are force feeding this supposed rivalry to its US viewers so the least that can happen is it lives up to the hype.
Kings @ Flames 9 PM ET|6 PM PT (FS-W|SNET-W)
Maple Leafs @ Ducks 10 PM ET|7 PM PT (SNET-O)
Penguins @ Ducks 10 PM ET|7 PM PT (ROOT-PIT|Prime Ticket)
Coming off the heals of a 5-3 defeat to San Jose in a game of the year candidate the Penguins have to shake that off and take the trip to Anaheim who has the best home record in the NHL at 24-5-3 and try to beat them after a grueling battle with the Sharks. The Penguins were dominated in the shot department but got some excellent goaltending from back-up Jeff Zatkoff making a lot of great saves despite allowing 5 goals on 47 shots. Now the Penguins have to go into Anaheim and play a Ducks team that has already pretty much clinched a playoff spot 5 weeks from the end of the NHL regular season. I think the Ducks will win 4-2 over the Penguins, I think the combination of the Ducks being a good team combined with the Penguins playing last night is enough to help the Ducks win their 25th home game of the season.
Rangers @ Hurricanes 7 PM ET|4 PM PT (MSG2|SportSouth)
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.
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will be out six weeks after suffering a stroke last week while on the road, the Penguins and Letang do not believe that the stroke will cost him his career. Doctors also found a small hole in the wall of his heart, the hole is not uncommon for unborn babies but it usually seals up before babies are born. This hole is not expected to cost Letang his career and at this point it seems as if the doctors are not very concerned. Letang will be re-evaluated in six weeks and they team and Letang will go from there.
Rangers @ Penguins 7 PM ET (MSG-2|ROOT-PIT|NHL Network US)
A Metropolitan division battle is our featured battle, mainly because the rest of the schedule tonight is on the weaker side. Plus these two teams are playing quite well lately so it makes sense to feature these teams. Both teams are 7-3 in their last ten games and both teams would be in the playoffs if the season were to end today as 1-2 in the division but the Penguins are 1st and the Rangers and Flyers 2-3 and 17 and 18 points behind. Therefore since the Penguins are a superior team I will predict a 4-1 Pens win.
Panthers @ Hurricanes 7 PM ET (FS-FL|FS-CAR)
Blue Jackets @ Sharks 10:30 PM ET (FS-Ohio|CSN-CA|NHL Network CA)
Flyers @ Sharks 10:30 PM ET
This game features two teams who are not that great on defense so it could be one of those shootout type games. And if you ask me that is okay because who doesn’t like a good offensive game once in awhile? I know one thing, I love a rare scoring fest.
Senators @ Penguins 7 PM ET (TSN|ROOT-PIT)
Canucks @ Red Wings 7:30 PM ET (SNET-P|FS-DET+)
Blackhawks @ Kings 10:30 PM ET (WGN|FS-W)
Canadiens @ Bruins 7 PM ET
TV: NESN|TSN-HABS|NHL Network-US|RDS
What a game to put on my birthday, the Bruins and Canadiens will be playing in Boston and it should be a fantastic game. And while I won’t be there in person as a fan because the ticket prices are too high for me to afford, it won’t ruin the enjoyment for me since the game is probably going to be a dandy, and it should be a game worth watching for any hockey fan. These two teams never seem to disappoint the masses who choose to watch.
Let’s put it like this, the Bruins and Canadiens are like a circus, you might not want to see the stunts but deep inside you just have to because you know it is very entertaining. Not to mention the teams have been in the league for a combined almost 200 seasons, so there is a lot of tradition in this game along with the yearly annual rivalry on display. I am not going to predict a game like the 8-6 game a three years ago, but I do think it will be a wildly entertaining game.
Lightning @ Senators 7:30 PM ET (SUN|SNET-E)
Flyers @ Ducks 10:00 PM ET (CSN-PHI|PrimeTicket)
Penguins @ Kings 10:30 PM ET (ROOT-PIT|FS-W)