Tag: arizona coyotes

What Teams Could Use Cam Talbot?

After the news of Mikko Koskinen signing a three-year extension with the Oilers, this probably means that Cam Talbot wants out in Edmonton. This is not definite but based off the age of Talbot, his history and what was said after the Koskinen signing all signs are pointing to Talbot being out in Edmonton.

After the Koskinen signing it was said that the Oilers spoke to Talbot about what they were looking to do with Koskinen therefore this likely means he is on the move. If this is true, this five teams could use Cam Talbot’s services.

1. Philadelphia Flyers: Sure signing a middle-aged goalie that has potentially three to five good years and is on the current decline has not worked out well for the Flyers in the past. BUT I think if the Flyers were to get rid of Brian Elliott, Michael Neuvirth and run with Cam Talbot and Carter Hart for a season they would be much better off than what has been their goalie situation in the past. Plus the Flyers can shed Wayne Simmonds, receive a bottom six forward and possibly Darnell Nurse.

2. Florida Panthers: Roberto Luongo is probably nearing the end of his career, he does not have much time left and the Panthers biggest issues lately have been goaltending concerns. Luongo has been on and off the IR and without a consistent number one it is hard to win in this league. Again the Panthers have a solid blue line where it would give Talbot more re-assurance then what he has dealt with in Edmonton. 

3. Chicago Blackhawks: the Blackhawks are using Colin Delia, who is not doing a bad job but I am sure once and if he ever Corey Crawford does come back healthy the Blackhawks would be a solid team with Talbot-Crawford tandem. Or even if Crawford does not come back Talbot can be a very solid fringe starter for the Blackhawks.

4. Arizona Coyotes: The Coyotes have not had a number one goalie in quite sometime. They keep filling these hot hand goalies who are on for a week then off for a week. They need some consistency and Talbot is a veteran, knows what to do and can get the job done. Plus with Arizona’s blue line Talbot will get the defense he deserves and would play better in Arizona in comparison to Edmonton (the last two years).

5. New York Rangers: For 2-3 years until Igor Shesterkin is ready to leave the KHL, Cam Talbot can be a solid number two to Henrik Lundqvist or until Lundqvist retires. Talbot has a history with the Rangers and knows them well therefore it would be a good fit for him. For the Rangers perhaps not so much due to Talbot’s 4.16 million cap hit. I am not saying this is the best option for the Rangers but it is an option for Talbot and his agent. 

Talbot led the NHL in 2016-2017 with 42 wins, and 73 starts, was 6th in the NHL in goals against(GAA) 2.39, 7th in save percentage with a .919. Yes this was 2016-17, two years ago but Talbot’s career numbers are 136-108-23 with a 2.57 GAA, .916 save percentage and 20 shutouts. In reality his decline only began last year, he has plenty of time to revive his career and any team can get four to five more solid seasons out of Talbot.

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A Look At The New York Rangers Upcoming Road Trip

The New York Rangers have touched down in Denver, Colorado to begin their three-game road trip. The Rangers are coming into this road trip having dropped three of their last ten in regulation but another four in overtime/shootout. The Rangers have won just three games in their last ten games and to make matters worse they are not a favorable road team. Posting a 6-10-2 record on the road, and of their last ten games four have come on the road, in which they have lost two and won two (Nashville, St. Louis). Despite a big win in Nashville the other week, the Rangers have not done a great job in terms of scoring. In their last ten they have averaged, 2.3 goals per game, while allowing 3.3 goals per game. Sure, Penguins scoring seven Wednesday night does not help the case but even so they still have allowed 2.89 goals per game.

The Rangers head to Colorado Friday night, a team that is struggling greatly, on a six-game skid, 2-5-3 in their last ten and not playing the Colorado hockey we saw earlier in the year. They then travel to Arizona Sunday for an afternoon game vs a team that is subpar at home (7-12-1 at the moment) and cap the trip with one of the better home teams and best team of the three in this trip, Vegas Tuesday night. Vegas has lost three games at home this season (at the moment 13-3-3) and is starting to become the team we saw go on a immaculate run last season.

The big takeaway for this Rangers team and this road trip is be better than last road trip which they lost 2 of 3 and two of those games lost were to the leagues worst. Point two, how this young team responds to a rather difficult task at hand. This is not bizarre to see a team travel for three-straight away games but they get rest and a day in between each game yet with this young line up we will see how they fair in the thick of the schedule.

I would honestly expect the Rangers to take 2 of 3 this trip, the Avalanche struggling a win Friday is possible, a win in Arizona is more than possible and a loss to Vegas is likely. But at the same time the Rangers could lose all three, get a struggling Colorado team that needs a win badly, an Arizona team that is no cake-walk and the best home team in the NHL in Vegas. It will be interesting, that is why as writers we just sit here, drink a beer, relax and let the players do the playing.

Players to watch…

Kevin Hayes, Hayes is coming off a 8-point streak that was snapped vs St. Louis December 31st but this season Hayes has been one of the Rangers overall best players. He has 10 goals, 23 assists in 39 games and has honestly been the most noticeable and all around best player for the Rangers this season.

Neal Pionk-Marc Staal combination, the Rangers number one d-pairing has been to the test this season and it has been very surprising to see Staal’s game elevated this season and Pionk rise to the occasion. Pionk has 5 goals and 14 assists on the season with a -2 plus/minus rating and 12 power play points While Staal has 3 goals and 7 assists (already surpassed his total of 8 pts from last year) with a +1 plus/minus and zero power play points.

Chris Kreider, the 20 goal scorer has been involved in every Rangers scoring play it seems this year. Kreider has finally started to use his speed and quick shot to his advantage this year and keeping his game a little simpler than he has in years past. It will be interesting to see how Kreider comes out this trip.

Dan Quinn, the Rangers new head coach and former college coach has taken this team above expectations thus far, posting a 17-15-7 (41 points) record, eight points behind the last wild card spot and not dead last in the division or conference. He has head-scratching moments when he constantly shifts lines, dresses Cody McLeod more often than not, plays Filip Chytil on the fourth line, etc. But overall he has done a good job but this road trip will be a nice test for the young head coach and we’ll see how he can rally the troops to play on the road for three-straight.

Rangers upcoming schedule after road trip before All-Star break: 

New York Islanders @ MSG

New York Islanders @ Coliseum

Columbus Blue Jackets @ Nation Wide Arena

Carolina Hurricanes @ MSG

Chicago Blackhawks @ MSG

Boston Bruins @ TD Garden

 

 

Antti Raanta has not lived up to Arizona’s expectations…

It was summer of 2017, when the Arizona Coyotes finally decided to shake up things a little bit and so they traded number one goaltender Mike Smith, who led them to 2012 Western Conference finals, and went a little bit younger, with trading for Antti Raanta.

His later signing was not the same as Scott Darling´s one. He was good enough not to just stay as a back-up goalie in his current team, so a needy team like the Coyotes gave him that opportunity to be the starter. Raanta has been solid and in terms of goaltending, John Chayka, GM of the Coyotes, is not regretting making him a number one goaltender.

In his first year in the desert, Raanta played just 47 games, while missing several weeks with many injuries. Raanta has posted a .093 save percentage and allowed just 2,24 goals against per game. That was good enough to convince Arizona to extend his contract until 2021 and paying Raanta $4,250,000 per season.

His first year was good, but Raanta and his whole team showed up when it mattered the least, at the end of the year, when the Coyotes were playing just for the pride. Well, Raanta was playing for a bigger contract and he got it.

Goaltending situation in Arizona: not solved at all

What about his first year since the new contract? Raanta recently underwent a procedure on lower-body injury that revealed more damage than originally thought. So just after playing 12 games this season, he might be done for the remainder of the campaign.

And that is not ideal, not at all. The Coyotes have picked up Calvin Pickard off the waiver list, as they have their former back-up netminder Darcy Kuemper injured as well. Good news for the Yotes is that Kuemper should be back really soon and Adin Hill has been terrific so far, althought Arizona lost last two games with giving up 9 goals against in total.

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Antti Raanta during his time with the Rangers

It may not be that much important to try to solve current goaltending situation of the Coyotes. Let´s look at the overall overview. Being Arizona, you traded away Mike Smith in order to change the momentum for him and for yourself as well, signed Raanta in search of a stable number one goaltender and he is going to play just 59 games throughout his first two years? I will repeat myself, but that is not ideal!

Surely it seems like the goaltending woes have not been solved yet. When Raanta comes back for next season, he will already be 30 years old. I will speculate now, but if gets injured once again after his return, Arizona may hit the panic button (nothing to do with their forward Richard Panik) and redo that 2017 summer all over again.

Blackhawks send Nick Schmaltz to Arizona for Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini

This was a late night deal that occured around 11:30 PM (EST) between the Coyotes and Blackhawks. Which certainly woke people up out of their sound sleep or probably was the last thing we all saw before our head hit the pillow Sunday night. This trade leaves us all a little confused. What was the objective of this trade?

Dylan Strome the Coyotes 2015 1st round third overall was quickly shipped out of Arizona only playing 48 total games with the Coyotes in the 2.5 years he was called up and down. The Coyotes may have moved on too quickly from the potential top-six forward but, Coyotes General Manager John Chayka said following the trade “There is a difference between patience and hope. The latter is not a way to build your organization”.

We can all agree this is hinted at Strome, Chayka clearly felt that there was hope for Strome to be good and they felt it was time to stop being patient with the player and move on from him.

They also part ways with 2014 1st round 12th overall pick Brendan Perlini. Perlini played 153 games with the Coyotes tallying 33 goals and 24 assists for 57 points. Perlini’s best season came last year where he tallied 30 points in 74 games. Perlini was another player not developing as quickly as the Coyotes would have liked.

With that acquire another 22 year old forward, Nick Schmaltz the Blackhawks 2014 1st round 20th overall pick. Schmaltz has played 162 games in the NHL scoring 29 goals and 91 points. He is coming off a 50 point season and 20 goal year. Yet on the year Schmaltz only has 2 goals and 9 assists in 23 games. 

Who won the trade? 

I think both make out well. The Blackhawks needed some depth it would have been nice to get a defenseman for the Blackhawks but with Strome and Perlini it makes the Blackhawks a bit deeper on the front end. The Coyotes now slate Schmaltz with his old teammate in Chicago Vinnie Hinostroza who has been buzzing this season. Plus Alex Galchenyuk, this is a solid second line and now the Coyotes have two very competitive lines that can score vs 1.5 lines that can score. In addition to the third line of Michael Grabner Brad Richardson and Christian Fischer, the Coyotes have a lot more depth now and balance in their line up. Either way more so better for the Coyotes right now could be better for Blackhawks long term. 

Arizona Coyotes short handed magic continues on as Michael Grabner scores another short handed goal vs Nashville

It surely seemed like the Arizona Coyotes were solely working on their penalty kill(PK) in the summer. Their numbers on the PK are absolutely unbelievable. It is not like they scored three shorthanded goals all season long and someone is impressed by that. The Coyotes are on historical run right here.

Best Penalty Kill team in the league

If you look at the stats of NHL, Arizona Coyotes posses the best penalty kill in the league. They killed 91.4% of their penalties, which is the best in NHL. Second team on that list is San Jose. The Sharks are also impressive, they are 88.9% and third team in that matter are the Lightning with PK success of 85.7%.

Even if you are not a fan of the Coyotes, if you watched the highlights from their games. You may have noticed how many times they scored a shortie(short handed goal). Arizona has scored a shorthanded goal 10 times this season in the 18 games played. That is nearly every other game scoring a shorthanded goal. If your team plays Arizona and you do not allow a shorthanded that’s a plus. Some teams should pray to not to get a power play!

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And it is not a joke, not even by close. Only one team in NHL history (counting since 1933/34 season) has scored 10 shorthanded goals in its first 18 games of the year, the Blues in 1975. Just two teams have scored more shorthanded goals throughout first 18 games of the campaign, it has been Philadelphia in 1973 and the Oilers in 1988. Those two clubs mentioned scored 11 shorthanded goals, all year.

What the Coyotes are doing is something you have not seen in the last 30 years! And Arizona is +5 on their penalty kill. Seven teams currently have less power play goals than Arizona has shorthanded goals. That is totally crazy, even more when you realize it is already second half of November! Flyers are +4 and Ducks are +3 on their PP, Coyotes are +5 on their PK. Just for comparison, the reigning Stanley Cup champions, Washington Capitals, gave up 19 goals on their PK and have not scored a shortie so far.

Impressive special teams highlight Arizona´s season

Just to mention, Coyotes have 9 power play goals and have not yet allowed a shorthanded goal. They have 10 goals scored and 5 goals given up on their penalty kill. Sharks, the second best PK team in NHL, have 7 goals allowed and 4 goals scored while being shorthanded.

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Last night the magic work by the Yotes continued, this time against the Predators. The Preds had 5 power plays, no one shall be surprised with the fact that they did not score on those chances and they gave up a shorthanded goal. That goal was scored by Michael Grabner, a PK legend, who has 5 goals this campaign, four of them are shorthanded. Grabner became just 17th player in NHL history, who scored four shorties in his first 18 games of the season. Just two players have scored more shorthanded goals in that time span.

What´s next for the Coyotes? The Bruins are coming to Glendale on Saturday night. Boston scored 10 power play goals in its last five games. The Bruins are currently the second best power play team in the NHL. It would be very interesting to see if the Coyotes can work their magic once again!

NHL Power Rankings: From 31 on up…

As the season comes around and we get started on predicting how teams will finish at the end of this season. Around this time is always a perfect time to go into some power rankings and team preview talk. For starters we will go over 5 teams each day until every team is covered. Therefore we will be starting with the 31st ranked team to the 26th.

31. Ottawa Senators: 

NHL Ottawa Senators

This team is a mess, they have very little going for them this season. Besides Brady Tkachuk who is still unknown if he is going to play major juniors or crack the roster, the Senators summer has been a disaster. Between the Mike Hoffman and Erik Karlsson tirade, Hoffman getting shipped out of Ottawa, Mark Stone contract issues, Cody Ceci contract issues, Craig Anderson saying he basically does not care for drama, essentially saying the team is all drama. And the worst of it all the future of Karlsson being clear as day that he does not want to remain a Senator. I would be surprised if the Senators finish anywhere higher than 29th place, I am going with 31st for Ottawa because based off their forward and offensive depth along with an aging goaltender. You cannot win games with the roster Ottawa has.

Their key acquisitions: Signed Paul Carey and acquired Mikkel Boedeker in trade.

30. Montreal Canadiens: 

Much like the Senators the Canadiens have nothing going for them. Shea Weber is out for 4-6 weeks, Max Pacioretty situation only seems to be getting worse. They lack a ton of depth on the wings and their draft pick this year raises some concern. Without Weber, this teams number one d-man is Jeff Petry. On top of that, Carey Price has been battling injuries for forever now, whatever it is, it seems the superstar goaltender just can’t fight it. Without Price 100 percent, Weber out for an extended period of time and Pacioretty seemingly on the way out, what does this team have going for them? Brendan Gallagher, Jonathan Drouin and Max Domi? They traded away Alex Galchenyuk this offseason for Domi so it is not like they upgraded by any means. They have very little offensive weapons and an aging blue line. This team is destined for an even worse finish than last year.

Key acquisitions: Xavier Ouellet signed, signed back Tomas Plekanec, signed Joel Armia.

29. Vancouver Canucks: 

NHL Vancouver CanucksThey are a young team, there is nothing to be worried about right now they have some of the best prospects in the league and plenty of talent on the roster right now. Due to the division they are in, their depth across the board and age level/experience the Canucks are just not there yet. They have a lot to look forward to in Brock Boeser, Elias Pettersson, Quinton Hughes, Jonathan Dahlen and if their number one goalie prospect Thatcher Demko pans out they should be fine. The Canucks also have Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi, Markus Granlund and Sam Gagner. They have a lot of depth honestly it’s that their scorers and top guys are young, they have no goaltending and their defense is very weak.

Key acquisitions: Jay Beagle, Tim Schaller, Antoine Roussel.

28. Detroit Red Wings: 

The Red Wings are much like the Canucks they have a lot of young talent but, their defense is weak and their goaltending is too inconsistent. They have a ton of prospects ready to emerge in the league, with already some established young forwards in Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin, Matrin Frk, with Filip Zadina and Evgeny Svechnikov on the up the Red Wings just need to figure out their goaltending and defense. Niklas Kronwall has expressed this is his last year, they lost a defenseman to free agency this offseason and also Henrik Zetterberg will be out for this entire season and possibly forever it seems like. The Red Wings are 3-4 years away from being a solid team again.

Key acquisitions: Tomas Vanek signed, Jonathan Brenier signed, Chris Terry signed.

27. Arizona Coyotes: 

NHLImproving, but not there just yet, the Coyotes finished 29th last season, not the usual 30, 31st, which is good! They made a serious push at the end of the season last year and could possibly carry that momentum into this year. The Coyotes have a very young and inexperienced team on the front end, their back end is more veteran, solid guys who have been around awhile. The Coyotes have a lot to look forward to in Barrett Hayton, Pierre-Oliver Joseph, Lawson Crouse and goalie Adin Hill. As well hoping Dylan Strome can finally crack the roster this year and be on the team for good. With Strome, Clayton Keller, Alex Galchenyuk, Derek Stepan, Michael Grabner, Brad Richardson, Richard Panik, Vinnie Hinostroza the Coyotes have talent on the front end. With Oliver Ekman Larsson, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jakub Chychurn, Alex Goligoski they have the depth all around they just need a goaltender and some consistency.

Key acquisitions: Michael Grabner, Alex Galchenyuk, Vinnie Hinostroza.

26. New York Islanders: 

The Islanders are going to be without their captain and superstar for the first time in 9 -years that is going to be difficult to adjust to, we cannot expect this team to look to Matthew Barzal the same way they did in John Tavares. Tavares was the mold to this team and without him the first season will be rough. Plus the Islanders lack a great deal of defensive depth and goaltending consistency. They took a gamble on Robin Lehner but who knows with him. They have talent upfront and in the system but I just think anytime a top player and one of the best players in the league leaves his home the team struggles a bit. Barzal, Josh Bailey, Anthony Beauvillier, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Andrew Ladd will have a ton more responsibilities. Luckily the Islanders did get a new coach in Barry Trotz and new General Manager in Lou Lamoriello, whom have signed a ton of veteran depth like Tom Kuhnhackl, Vlatteri Filppula, Matt Martin and Leo Komarov it will help but with little goaltending and Nick Leddy, Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock holding down the blue the Islanders are in for a different type of season.

Key acquisitions: Leo Komarov, Vlatteri Filppula, Tom Kuhnhackl, Robin Lehner, Matt Martin.

Phil Kessel likely to waive no-movement clause to play for Arizona, Artem Panarin out in Columbus?

This is relatively VERY new news, and shocking. Phil Kessel has said to likely waive his no-movement clause and a modified no-trade clause to play for Arizona. As odd as that seems, the reason behind it all is because Phil wants to play under former coach, and now assistant coach of Arizona, Rick Tocchet. Phil has had his fair share of friction and conflict with head coach Mike Sullivan, although it was said Phil was going to be traded than not traded, this is Phil saying he WOULD likely waive his no-movement clause if Pittsburgh were interested in trading him. This is not saying it will happen but if Pittsburgh were to move forward and part ways with Phil Kessel he is open to going to Arizona.

Phil Kessel the 12-year, 30-year-old veteran comes with a price though due to his 741 points in 941 games, 2-time Stanley Cup champ, 6-time 30 goal scorer, 7-time 60 point player and coming off his best year of his career tallying 92 points in 82 games with a career high 58 assists. Kessel will not be cheap and it seems as if the Coyotes are not willing to bite on Kessel. It is still early in the trade talk but right now the Coyotes have come out and said they are not biting just yet, persumably because the Penguins probably want their 1st round pick this year and with the Coyotes slotted 5th overall to get Bouchard, Hughes, Zadina, Doboson, or others they are not willing to move just yet. We will see this move more after the draf or on draft day I assume.

Panarin out in Columbus? 

The 26-year-old superstar winger is coming off his best year during his 3-year career thus far tallying 82 points in 81 games with a career high 55 assists. Panarin has yet to record under 74 points in his 3 years in the NHL. Well recently it came out that Panarin does not want to talk contract negotations with the Blue Jackets and will test the market. Panarin is entering the final year of his 6 million dollar contract and will become a UFA at the end of 2018-19 season. Therefore this will be a trade and sign deal for whatever team does end up getting Panarin if Columbus does not end up keeping the “breadman”. The intersting part is that Chicago came out a couple weeks ago and said they are willing to trade their 1st round pick for an NHL ready player. Could that mean a reunion of Kane and Panarin? Very unlikely as the Blackhawks have 4.75 mil in cap space at the moment and still have 5 contracts to be signed. This news is still very fresh and not much has come out yet but the Blue Jackets are probably livid that Panarin will not talk with them yet until Panarin gets to test the market. But what we are all not understanding is that Panarin is a free agent next seaosn, it seems as if he wants to see what other teams are willing to bite at him and what they would be willing to throw his way money wise. This could be mean that Panarin hears a few offers and realizes he is better off in Columbus, and could end up staying in Columbus and signing a long term deal in the upcoming season.