Category: nhl

NHL Trades: Edmonton Oilers send Cam Talbot To Philadelphia, Oilers re-acquire Sam Gagner

Nothing major in the hockey world but as the trade deadline nears there two somewhat minor deals. Edmonton made two of these deals, one of them involved re-acquiring Sam Gagner and the other was receiving back up goalie Anthony Stolarz.

Flyers swap back up goalies

The Flyers sent Anthony Stolarz to Edmonton for goalie Cam Talbot. Stolarz was the Flyers 2nd round 45th overall pick in the 2012 draft. He played 19 games with the Flyers going 6-4-4 with a 2.86 GAA and .911 save percentage. The Flyers pick up veteran goaltender Cam Talbot who spent his first two seasons in New York and then was sent to Edmonton in 2015 where he has been since.

This move was more of a move for Carter Hart I think, they know that Hart is going to be their number one and they know Stolarz could possibly be a number one too. Therefore instead of causing any controversy, they add a goalie who is at the end of his prime time, can be a 25-30 game goalie therefore when Hart is 22-23-years-old he will be in a perfect situation to be a true #1 and Talbot can mentor and guide him for these next two years. The only issue with this now is that the Flyers are paying 10+ million dollars in goaltending. With still Brian Elliott and Michael Neuvirth on pay roll their 5.2 million is useless basically. Plus Talbot is a UFA in the off-season so the Flyers will need to decide what to do with Talbot come the end of this season. Overall I believe Edmonton wins this deal due to the young age and potential of Stolarz.

Spooner on the move again…

Ryan Spooner was sent to the Rangers at the middle of last trade deadline. Stayed with the Rangers for a bit then was sent to Edmonton earlier this season and now to Vancouver. He’s been bounced around to three teams within less than a year . Spooner played 25 games on Edmonton scoring  2 goals and 1 assist. This season he has 3 goals and 2 assists in 41 games. The Oilers do re-acquire their 2007 1st round selection in Sam Gagner. Gagner played 481 games with Edmonton scoring 101 goals collecting 194 assists. Gagner knows the Edmonton area very well and they know him therefore the transition should be easy for the veteran forward. As far as Vancouver they really risk nothing getting Ryan Spooner, he will be a third to fourth line guy that mixes well into their younger style of play.

 

 

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Jordan Binnington And Dylan Strome Earn NHL Stars Of The Week

The NHL releases three stars of every week and this week it happened to consist of two “unlikely” names per say. The first star was Jordan Binnington the rookie sensation in St. Louis who has surged the St. Louis Blues to a seven-game win streak and a wild card spot. Star number three was Dylan Strome the Chicago Blackhawks center, who was sent to Chicago from Arizona for Nick Schmaltz.

Binnington earns 1st star of the week 

The reason this is being reported is because it is awesome news for these two guys. First off Jordan Binnington was drafted in 2011 3rd round, 87th overall never made his way up the NHL ladder and from 2011-2018 until he was called up he spent all of his time (besides one year when he played in ECHL for the Kalamazoo in 2013-14) in the AHL, emerging as a starter in 2014-15 in the AHL and at 26-years-old Binnington finally got his shot in the NHL this season when the Blues needed some resurgence at the goaltending spot.

Binnington has started in 11 games this season with a record of 9-1-1, a 1.77 goals against (GAA), .929 save percentage and 2 shutouts in his time so far. In his last five games he has five wins, most notable win coming in shutout fashion vs the best team in the NHL (Tampa Bay), allowing seven goals in those five games. All the talk about Carter Hart and his resurrection of Philadelphia is over shadowing what this kid Binnington has done for the Blues.

Strome earns third star of the week

Dylan Strome another young player who has had his fair share of difficult stretches finally gets a chance in Chicago and has been lights out since coming to Chicago. It doesn’t hurt playing the power play with Patrick Kane and some 5 on 5 time with Kane, Jonathan Toews and Alex Debrincat, nevertheless Strome has been a major reason the Blackhawks are back in playoff contention. Since his arrival to Chicago Strome has recorded 11 goals and 19 assists, 30 points in 32 games. During his 32 games in Chicago the longest Strome has gone without a point has been three-games so far. The kid has been on fire and earned himself third star of the week (this week) recording 2 goals and 5 assists in three games.

Strome was drafted in 2015 1st round 3rd overall by the Coyotes after playing the 2015-16 season in the OHL recording 111 points in 56 games (37G, 74A) Strome headed to the NHL in 2016-17 where he only played seven games. In 2017-18 he played 50 games in the AHL and 21 games in the NHL recording 9 points that year. At the start of this season the Coyotes expected him to be a number two, borderline number three center, Strome played 20 games with Arizona recording 6 points and -10 rating before being shipped out to Chicago. The Coyotes essentially gave up on Strome after just 48 games. They did receive Nick Schmaltz in return but it was still a very questionable decision by Arizona and Strome is surely making them regret it now as he continues to roll in Chicago.

Ducks General Manager Bob Murray Steps In As Head Coach “To Find Out Problems”

The Anaheim Ducks continue to circulate the media world for all the wrong reasons though. If this is new to you the Ducks have been one of the worst teams in hockey the last two months.

Anaheim’s Last 21 Games…

Th Ducks have won just two games since December 18th 2018, went on a 12-game losing streak December 18th to January 15th after winning back to back games and their only two wins in the last 2 months. They are on a current 7-game losing streak and being out scored drastically in this 7-game span. The Ducks have scored 8 goals in seven games while allowing 37 goals against in seven games. Looking at the bigger picture of the Ducks 21-game disaster they have allowed 82 goals against, while scoring 34 goals for. The Ducks have been shutout five times, average 1.62 goals for per game over the last 21 games, 3.9 goals against per game. In this 21-game span they have a record of 2-15-4 a -48 goal differential, -105 shot difference, 12.7 percent power play and 78.9 penalty kill.

Clearly things have not been well in Anaheim and their small pre-All Star break/deadline moves did not do anything. It was inevitable that the Ducks were going to can Randy Carlyle, a head coach of his stature, Stanley Cup experience (winning one with Anaheim) etc. not getting the job done the end decision was firing him before the season ended. We are all surprised he lasted this long though, either way we all knew he was going to get fired. Stuff has been sh*tty to be blunt. I don’t think anyone expected the Ducks to have their GM Bob Murray step in and be the head coach though. Murray has no NHL coaching experience and this will be the first time we will see a GM behind the bench and making executive decisions at the same time.

Murray Feels It Is Necessary To Be Behind The Bench

In a recent article on NHL.com with Mike Zeisberger, Murray addressed a lot of concerns fans have. He said he feels as if this is the best way to figure out what is going on and get to the bottom of the problems right now. He agrees that he should be “in the trenches” with the team during this rough patch. He also said he does not think it is fair to bring someone at this point in the season and how rough it is in Anaheim right now.

Captain Ryan Getzlaf said he understands why Murray is coming to coach and supports his decision fully. He believes it may be beneficial to see what the locker room is like and hopefully give them a spark.

The Ducks play the Vancouver Canucks Wednesday night. Murray will have two and a half days to fully prepare for what his first day behind the bench will look like. Wednesday night vs Vancouver could end the Ducks dry spell, we have seen new coaches come in and be successful their first game and following weeks after it. (Ken Hitchcock in Edmonton, Doug Weight in New York) I would not be surprised to see a Ducks win Wednesday night. Things cannot get much worse for Anaheim than having tickets being sold for as low as $17 and fans wearing brown bags to games.

The Artemi Panarin Saga: What Is Going On Now?

The past two or so days has been filled with Artemi Panarin news. There doesn’t need to be much explanation as to why, Panarin is a free-agent and a franchise player. He has played 294 career NHL games with 293 points, there are not many players who have a 0.99 point per game in their career. In his four years in the league he has produced 70+ points in every year and is on pace again for a 70+ point season this year.

Further more, Panarin has been in the news a lot lately due to the trade deadline coming up and how he switched his agent to the same agent as Sergei Bobrovsky. This news of switching agents is not ground breaking honestly because all signs are pointing to Panarin testing the free agency market come the off-season.

Panarin has been involved in many media interviews regarding his future in Columbus and he has made it clear in one recent interview that he really wants to test the market and see what he is worth and see what teams are willing to go after him.

This seems clear as day to me, he wants to test free agency and see what it is all about. Now taking that into consideration that does not mean the Blue Jackets will not trade Panarin though. With this news it means the Blue Jackets should consider trading Panarin even more now.

There has been a lot of news circulating around who will and should go after Panarin but not much is concrete. The only real recent truth we have surrounding a Panarin rental deal is Nashville Predators GM David Poile has been in talks about trading for Panarin.

Also not to mention the Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello has met with Panarin’s new agent in the past couple of weeks. All of this is speculations but I would not be surprised to see Panarin moved before the deadline in light of his recent desire to peruse free agency.

Teams that can land Panarin before the deadline: 

  • Nashville Predators
  • New York Islanders
  • Carolina Hurricanes
  • Boston Bruins

Teams that can land Panarin in free-agency

  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • New York Rangers
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Vegas Golden Knights

Why Is NO ONE Talking About The Montreal Canadiens?

The biggest WAGON in the NHL right now the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens are one point behind the Maple Leafs for the second spot in the Atlantic division. They are on a three-game winning streak, 8-1-1 in their last ten games and have pushed the Bruins into the Wild Card race now with their latest win on home ice vs the Central division leading Jets. That was a dominating 5-2 Canadiens win. A win that should perhaps make you re-think this Canadiens team right now.

The Canadiens came into the season projected by many reporters to be a middle of the pack, borderline at best wild card team this season. They came out the season shocking many, putting themselves on the radar and the talk early in the season was these Canadiens are not that bad perhaps. Then they fell off everyone’s radar and it seems like no one is talking about them even though they have been extremely consistent all season.

Kevin Allen of USA Today projected the Canadiens to be 28-41-13 with 69 points, the Hockey Writers website projected the Canadiens to finish 7th in the Atlantic division. But after all is said and done and we are now 60 percent of the season played and 55 games in (for Montreal) they are 31-18-6 with 68 points. They have a 17-10-3 home record, 14-8-3 road record and a +11 goal differential. They rank 13th in goals for (167) and 20th in goals against (158), 14th in goals per game (3.04) and 22nd in goals against per game (2.87). Even despite the 30th ranked power play (13.0) and 21st penalty kill (79.0) the Canadiens have been one of the most consistent and surprising teams this season.

A lot of this success rides on a healthy Carey Price, 40 games played a 23-13-4 record a 2.52 goals against, .916 save percentage and 3 shutouts is helping the Canadiens play consistent. Along with Max Domi’s team leading 47 points in 55 games, Jonathan Drouin’s 46 points in 55 games (not to mention a four point night vs Winnipeg Thursday), Philip Danault 40 points, Tomas Tartar 39 points, Jeff Petry 37 points, Brendan Gallagher 35 points, Shea Weber return and 20 points in 31 games. Overall the Canadiens are getting much needed and consistent production from their top two players, support from the surrounding cast like Tartar, Gallagher, Danault, the rookie Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s 27 points (current 4-game goal streak).

The Canadiens are getting the production they need from the right guys. They have finally seen Drouin do what they brought him here to do, Domi’s confidence and obvious liking of the switch to Montreal is paying off. Kotkaniemi playing well his first year is big, Gallagher playing consistent, the addition of Tartar, Danault having a big year. Two defenseman that are playing like top defenseman in the league and a healthy Price is the recipe for the Canadiens success.

If the season were to end right now they would be playing Toronto first round. Not an easy match up but it is not like they cannot upset the Leafs first round. The Canadiens are going to make the playoffs and they will be a very tough first round opponent. Either way first round exit or not the Canadiens are and have exceeded expectations this season and NO ONE is talking about it. Where are the WAGON shirts for the Canadiens @SpittinChiclets ?

The Wild Card Race In The Western Conference Is A Joke

I tried to make this sound as polite as possible but what a disaster this Western Conference wild card race has been. It goes to show one of the many reasons that the last three Stanley Cup winners has come from the Eastern Conference but also this could mean that maybe these teams a top the Western Conference are not that good. But back to the main point of this article.

How can a conference have a wild card race like this, a team that is basically below .500 is in the run for the wild card right now. A team that was once 16 points out of a spot is in the run for a wild card and in the last wild card spot (Blues). I am just completely blown away by the fact that at this point in the season, 52 games in 63 percent of the season played we still have no idea what is going to happen in the Western Conference wild card.

The current wild card layout is as follows: 

Minnesota Wild (26-23-5) 57 points (1st wild card spot)

St. Louis Blues (25-22-5) 55 points (2nd wild card spot)

Vancouver Canucks (24-24-7) 55 points

Colorado Avalanche (22-22-9) 53 points

Edmonton Oilers (24-25-5) 53 points

Chicago Blackhawks (22-24-9) 53 points

The fact the Edmonton Oilers are two points out of a wild card spot is embarrassing, they have won 6 of their last 15 games a record of 6-9 in the last 15 makes you a playoff team I guess now.

The Canucks who have won 4 of their last 14 games, a 4-10 record is a playoff contending team. Just looking at this race it is a complete disaster, any team can squeak in at this point so if you are a gambling man just throw money on all six teams to make the playoffs you’ll probably walk away with some money at this point. Not to mention the Ducks who have won TWO games in their last seven and a half weeks and have been outscored 31-6 are four points out of a wild card spot. Argument closed.

The reason this race for the wild card in the West irks me a little is because any of these teams that get into the first round are going to get bounced in four to five games. Which honestly just kills NHL viewership, ratings and the growth of the game in a sense. If you are not a die hard NHL fan there is not a chance in h double hockey sticks you are watching a Blues-Flames playoff matchup.

Can anyone else shed some light here? MY prediction is that the Canucks and Blues sneak into the playoffs. Or should I say those are the two teams I would like to see make it.

Edmonton Oilers Fan Throws Jersey Onto Ice After Oilers Third Period Loss to Chicago

You have read that correctly. The Oilers fan base is basically done, they have thrown in the towel and speaking in more literal terms. Have literally thrown their jersey on the ice.

As NHL Discussion Instagram shows here:

The comments do not show many backing this fan up nor the Oilers organization. It is clear as day this fan base is frustrated and they have every right to be. The Oilers are three points out of a wild card spot, 23-25-5 with 51 points, 6th in the Pacific division and 3-5-2 in their last ten games.

They have been a disaster for the last two seasons and their only highlight comes in 2015-16 when they made that playoff run. Along with having Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid, the Oilers really have nothing else going for them.

A lot of this clubs frustration can be credited to recent General Manager Peter Chiarelli, and his poor management. Trading away Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, trading for Griffin Reinhart (using a pick to get him that would have resulted in Mat Barzal), signing bad players to bad deals. The list can go on and on. No one, players, fans, reporters nor even executives in the Oilers organization have answer right now.

The Oilers current situation is they have six picks this season, a ton of contracts expiring in the off-season and a relatively young offense with a less experienced bleu line than most teams but still not an old blue line. They have one of the best players in the world right now with Leon Draisaitl along side him.

The Oilers realistically need three things (1) consistent number one goaltending. There 2015-16 playoff run was backed by Cam Talbot’s consistent and solid goaltending. In the last two seasons goaltending has been absent for them.

(2) Two to three more top six forwards and 1-2 more role players. In 2016-17 the Oilers had Milan Lucic producing granted that has not happened but they also had, Oscar Klefbom playing well, Patrick Maroon with 42 points, Mark Letestu, Zach Kassian playing well as well, along with Andrej Sekera not injured, and their role guys, bottom six guys doing their job. The Oilers literally need Lucic to wake up, and 2-3 more 35-45 point guys.

(3) Klefbom, Sekera, Nurse to back this blue line and pick it up. Granted Sekera and Klefbom have been battling injuries on and off, Adam Larsson and the other pieces on the blue line being regulars do not help their case but if the Oilers can get a top four to produce and play consistent they would be fine.

To me it all comes down to the Oilers finding the right pieces, playing consistent all year not just for two to three weeks. Maybe I am wrong and this team is way off but, what is the solution to the Oilers issues?