Monday, February 27, 2017
Let's look at the two that did fall, as the Tampa Bay Lightning traded impending free agent Ben Bishop to Los Angeles for Peter Budaj, Erik Cernak, and a swap of draft picks. For Los Angeles, they can ease a recently returning Jonathan Quick back into the starting role with Bishop providing more than capable goaltending and possibly providing a two-headed monster in goal as they push for the playoffs. Budaj will be backing up Andrei Vasilevsky, who proved to be ready for the starting role while Bishop had his own injury issues. Budaj can also step in as needed, as he proved this season while Quick was out with injury. The Lightning also get a defensive prospect in Cernak, as well as some cap space that could be used to re-sign Jonathan Drouin or another of their own players that are set for free-agency after the season.
Later in the day, the Minnesota Wild once again rolled the dice on a mid-season acquisition, as they picked up Martin Hanzal and Ryan White, as well as a fourth round pick this year, from Arizona. A lower end prospect (Grayson Downing), a first round pick this year, next year's second round pick, and a conditional pick in 2019 go the other way. Given that Hanzal is a free agent after this season, this is a gamble, but this year's draft isn't particularly deep, and the Wild are suddenly strong down the middle, as Hanzal joins Eric Staal and Mikko Koivu as their centers. White provides an agitating presence for a team that can use it. The Coyotes get more draft picks, and given that they need a lot of things, it works here, especially since their arena issues remain unsolved at this point in time.
As for the moves yet to be made, there are at least two teams that haven't made trades that probably should, and both are sellers. First, the Colorado Avalanche. They are clearly not going anywhere anytime soon, and there hasn't been much in the way of talk for any of their players, with Jarome Iginla and Matt Duchene being the primary targets. Gabriel Landeskog is a dark horse option, at this point, but until they do something, that rebuild isn't going anywhere and they will be stuck in the basement. The other team that needs to make a move? The Vancouver Canucks. While they aren't out of it yet, they do need to figure out a contingency plan soon, as they aren't getting any younger, and it appears that Jake Virtanen is playing his way out of top young player status, if he hasn't already. Jannik Hansen and Alex Burrows appear to be likely targets, but it is possible that Ryan Miller would be given a look at, given that Jacob Markstrom has proven that he can handle the starting duties at the very least until Thatcher Demko is ready for full-time NHL duty.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
What can Julien bring this time around? Given that the Bruins were annually mismatched in terms of their lineup the last few seasons, it was a minor miracle that Julien could at worst, get the Bruins within a point or two of a playoff spot at the end of the season. For the Canadiens, the task he'll be given is to get the Canadiens to play with the same determination that his former Bruins squads played with under his watch.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
- The seats, as pricey as they are, provide a superb view of the action and the people at the games are nice with some developing traditions that are similar to a footy match.
- Other than the second period, there was no scoring, and both goals were provided by the home team. Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Johansen scored for the Preds and Pekka Rinne was on his game tonight in goal en route to the shutout win.
- A fight broke out between Patrick Maroon and Cody McLeod, with McLeod eventually getting the better of the fight. That trade, however small it may look, has had a sizable impact on the team, and the win ignited the team moving forward in the game.
Overall, the game went well for the home fans, and the experience at Bridgestone Arena was really good. I would go back to another Preds game if given the chance.