NHL Trade Rumors

Colorado Avalanche Lack Of Depth Scoring Proves They Need To Make A Trade…

The Colorado Avalanche currently sit in the first wild-card spot by one point. They are one point ahead of Minnesota, Anaheim and Vancouver and just three points ahead of Edmonton. They have lost 7 of their last 10 games, are on a current three-game losing streak and to put it lightly have stunk over the last month and a half. It is bizarre because the Avalanche were nearly a top-three divisional team and looking like another shoe-in to the playoffs just a little over a month ago. Now, they have won only 5 games in their last 18 games (over December and now into January). What has been the Avalanche’s biggest issue, well aside from Semyon Varlamov going down with an injury, their depth scoring has been nearly non-existent.

Avalanche lack of depth scoring

Looking at the Avalanche’s top scorers, Mikko Rantanen (68) , Nathan MacKinnon (66) and Gabriel Landeskog (51) the Avalanche’s next top scoring forward is Carl Soderberg with 25 points. After Soderberg the next in line is Alexander Kerfoot with 24 points. Therefore from the top Rantanen’s 68 points to Soberberg’s 25 points there is a 43 point difference. From Landeskog to Soderberg there is a 26 point drop off. That will for sure cause some loses and a rough period of hockey for any team. Anyways not to highlight only Soderberg here (which 25 points for him is not too shabby) but guys like Tyson Jost, with 15 points in 41 games, Matt Nieto with 14 points in 41 games, Colin Wilson 13 points in 36 games and Matt Calvert with 14 points in 45 games is a major reason the Avalanche have struggled greatly. All the players mentioned above are either second liners or third liners, lines that should produce. The Avalanche have a major depth scoring issue and it is not only apparent on the front end, it is apparent on the back end as well. Aside from Tyson Barrie’s 32 points in 41 games the next defenseman up is Erik Johnson with 14 points in 45 games, Samuel Girard with 13 points in 45 games, the Avalanche’s top-three have not been all that productive as well.

Avalanche need to find a top-6 forward ASAP!

Which leaves us to the only solution for the Avalanche go out and get a forward. The Rangers are looking to move, Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes, Vladislav Namestikov, three guys that will be in your top six right away plus if you add one of those three you move MacKinnon or Rantanen down and even out the production a little. Or even go after Wayne Simmonds someone who can play with MacKinnon so Landeskog and Rantanen can play together or Gustav Nyquist, or Michael Ferland, Tyler Toffoli their are players out there that can be added to add some depth and the Avalanche need to do something sooner or later before they are really out of it. They need to break up MacKinnon and Rantanen or add another top-six winger as soon as possible!

NHL Point Leaders 2018-19

NHL Point Leaders; Goals, Assists, Points

Points:

  • 1. Mikko Rantanen; 45 points
  • 2. Nathan MacKinnon; 43 points
  • 3. Nikita Kucherov; 42 points
  • 4. Mitchell Marner; 38 points
  • 5. Brayden Point; 37 points
  • 6. Connor McDavid; 35 points
  • 7. Blake Wheeler; 34 points
  • 8. Matt Duchene; 33 points
  • 9. Nicklas Backstrom; 33 points
  • 10. Alex Ovechkin; 32 points
  • T-10. Mark Scheifele; 32 points
  • T-10. Jack Eichel; 32 points

Goals: 

  • 1. Patrik Laine; 21 goals
  • 2. Jeff Skinner; 20 goals
  • T-2. Brayden Point; 20 goals
  • 3. David Pastrnak; 19 goals
  • T-3. Alex Ovechkin; 19 goals
  • T-3. Nathan MacKinnon; 19 goals
  • 4. Joe Pavelski; 17 goals
  • T-4. John Tavares; 17 goals
  • 5. Cam Atkinson; 16 goals
  • T-5. Gabriel Landeskog; 16 goals
  • T-5. Mark Scheifele; 16 goals
  • 6. Sean Monahan; 15 goals
  • 7. Filip Forsberg; 14 goals
  • T-7. Chris Kreider; 14 goals
  • T-7. Sidney Crosby; 14 goals
  • T-7. Connor McDavid; 14 goals
  • 8. Auston Matthews; 13 goals (five others tied at 13)
  • 9. Zach Praise; 12 goals (twelve others tied at 12)
  • 10. Alex Chiasson: 11 goals (eleven tied at 11)

Assists

  • 1. Mikko Rantanen; 34 assists
  • 2. Mitch Marner; 32 assists
  • 3. Blake Wheeler; 30 assists
  • T-3 Nikita Kucherov; 30 assists
  • 4. Jack Eichel; 27 assists
  • 5. Brent Burns; 25 assists
  • 6. John Carlson; 24 assists
  • T-6. Thomas Chabot; 24 assists
  • T-6. Nathan MacKinnon; 24 assists
  • 7. Nicklas Backstrom; 23 assists
  • 8. Jonathan Huberdeau; 22 assists
  • 9. Mark Giordano; 21 assists (five tied at 21)
  • 10. Artemi Panarin; 20 assists

 

FREE NHL picks

Must Keep Fantasy Hockey CENTERS for the 2018-19 season

How does your fantasy league run? 2 keepers of any position? Perhaps you get five? Probably a little too much in my opinion. Must keep a goalie? However your fantasy keeper league works this article will be useful for you!

First we will start with Fantasy Hockey Centers all owners MUST keep. Centers come a dime a dozen usually you have a ton of them on the waiver wire and roster, but a GOOD center is not easy to come by in the NHL. Here are the top 10 Fantasy Hockey centers you should keep!

  1. Nathan MacKinnon: A nor brainer obviously the guy had more than a point per game last year almost 40 goals(38) and 58 assists, the Avalanche’s clear number one guy, you would have to be on every drug in the world to skip this guy.
  2. Evgeni Malkin: Does his value ever decrease? This guy does it all too, power play, penalty kill, scoring, assists and is always consistent.
  3. Connor McDavid: Top point scorer in the NHL two years in a row and only 21. Sure why not! Enough said.
  4. Sidney Crosby: Do we have to say anymore besides he will be a 90 point scorer next year and is the best player in the NHL.
  5. Tyler Seguin: If Seguin does not ink a contract extension soon, this may be a John Tavares 2.0 situation all over again the Stanley Cup winning and glorified scoring center has emerged into an elite level center quickly since coming into the league. Seguin has scored 30 plus four times in his career with a career high of 40 goals last season. Not much will slow this guy down!
  6. Anze Kopitar: He actually was not on my keeper list last year but he proved his worth and did not let the $900000 million contract get to his head. After a 72 point season and 35 goal year, Kopitar is viable fantasy keeper.
  7. Blake Wheeler: After inking a 5-year extension, Wheeler is going to be hitting his stride over the next few years, after a slow start in the first few years of his career, Wheeler has emerged into an elite level center. Tallying 91 point last season a 17 point increase from his 2016-17 season!
  8. Steven Stamkos: For some reason a lot of people are weary on the whole Stamkos situation, due to injuries, a lot of pieces in the line up producing, some may actually not keep Stamkos this year. Coming off a an 86 point year, his best season since 2011-12, I wonder what some think about Stamkos now? Definitely keep the elite center.
  9. Claude Giroux: I would have not kept Giroux coming into the 17-18 year but after the pieces the Flyers added on the offensive side and coming off a MVP caliber season, Giroux is a solid fantasy keeper. After a 102 point season and 34 goals, it would be silly to pass on Giroux.
  10. John Tavares: Heading back home to Toronto now and playing with that great young talent in Toronto, it will only make Tavares better. Lined up with Mitch Marner and Connor Brown the veteran center has a lot of tools to use and more freedom to his game. He will be targeted the same probably but having Auston Matthews on a different line will leave Tavares with some great defensive match ups.

 

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Recap: Wild ADVANCE, Hamburglar steals the night, Flyers head back to Philly

Winnipeg advances with a blowout win 

First, we can address the one that will take no time to talk about really as my opinion and thoughts on this are exactly how this series went. The Jets pump the Wild for a 5-0 win and advance to the second round. As they await the Predators(who should have been there after last night) or the Avalanche. The Jets came out FLYING, scoring four goals in the first period, eventually sending Devan Dubynk out of his crease. The first shot of the game went in for Winnipeg, off a Jacob Trouba wrister above the faceoff circle, one Dubynk should have had. As Trouba’s shot barely left the ice and snuck under Dubynk’s pad. 4 and a half minutes later Bryan Little scores on a ridiculous deflection from a Dustin Byfuglien point shot, 2-0. Six minutes later Brandon Tanev scores on a Wild turnover, shot through the defenseman’s legs, 3-0. One Dubynk should have too probably. 49 seconds later, another deflection this time from Joel Arimia and the Jets win in just one period of hockey. Mark Scheifele buried the lone goal in the third, 32 seconds in on the power play. Jets advance and they are ROLLING. The Jets scored 16 goals in five games. This is going to be interesting to see who they play.

Flyers stay alive off a late third-period goal 

The Flyers stay alive off a Sean Couturier late third-period goal. A game that was back and forth for the most part, and left Penguins fans on the edge of their seat, turned out to be a Flyers win, heading back to Philly. It all started with a Claude Giroux from Jakub Voracek goal in the first, something we did not see all series, finally comes. Giroux was just fed with a beauty pass and sent it home off a one-tee shot, goal. Flyers up 1-0. The second period was filled with action as the Penguins scored twice and Flyers scored once. The Penguins tied the game up with a Bryan Rust wraparound goal(something we have seen too often this series), tie game 1-1. After the goal, a little scrum ensued, by Derek Brassard taunting Robert Hagg, all good fun and something we love to see during this time of year. Penguins next goal came off a Crosby feed to Guentzel who just fires it home from about the faceoff dot, one Neuvirth should have had probably but it is now 2-1 Pens. The Flyers game-tying goal came off the stick of veteran Valtteri Filppula on the penalty kill, nothing less. Filppula just gets down low, crashes the net and bangs it home for a tie game at two. The game would remain tied at two for the rest of the second and third until about 1:31 left in the third, the Penguins have trouble chipping the puck out lands on Couturier stick, shot from just inside the blue line, sneaks past Matt Murray for a 3-2 Flyers lead. The goal did change directions on Murray after it hit off Brian Dumoulin’s leg, but hey a bounce is a bounce and the Flyers buried an empty-netter and now head back to Philly for another chance to stay alive.

Hamburglar STEALS the night

Holy sh*t, people, Andrew Hammond has not played in a playoff game in three years and that was his first start in 100 games or something. Either way the guy has been a third string/back up since his hamurglar days in Ottawa came to an end. And look at what he does here, comes into one of the toughest barns to play at and makes 44 saves on 45 shots to keep Colorado alive for a 2-1 win and now head back to Colorado to hopefully force a game seven. Who else but Hammond had a night? Yup, you guessed it, Nathan MacKinnon, the kid is a freak. Anyways well touch on it later. But the Predators opened the scoring in the third period with 9:46 to go after a borderline no goal call due to Nick Bonino scoring from the puck hitting his skate. The officials did get together and it was a good goal, Nashville 1-0. 4 and a half minutes later, the MacKinnon shows comes to town to give Colorado some hope as they tie the game at one. The goalscorer was Landeskog but literally, my 85-year-old grandmother could have scored this goal. MacKinnon made Norris trophy finalist PK Subban look like a fish out of after waiting him out, holding onto the puck, drawing all the attention to him, faking the shot, for a pass to Landeskog in front for a tap-in goal, tie game 1-1. The Avalanche would score with just 1:28 left to play JT Compher catches the Subban down low, out come the Avalanche on the rush, Compher shot low blocker, Andrighetto buries the rebound, just like that the Avalanche don’t give up and now stay alive with a 2-1 win.

https://www.trendsmap.com/twitter/tweet/987546899275304960

Please click on the link above for a great end to the Colorado game…

Fantasy Hockey Rankings

Nathan MacKinnon case for the Hart trophy

If this Colorado team gets into the playoffs, is Nathan MacKinnon a shoe-in for the Hart?

How could he not be. Or at least be someone that is in EXTREMELY high consideration. If we think about what MacKinnon has done for this Colorado team, it is hard to not give credit where credit is due.

After Colorado posting a 22-56-4 record of 48 points one of the worst records in the NHL over the last 17 years. The last team to have a worse record were the Atlanta Thrashers in 1999-2000, they recorded 39 points in 82 games. Mind you this was the Thrashers first year as a franchise. The Thrashers never were able to turn it around from that season as they quickly merged to be the Winnipeg Jets. A season so bad, made a team vanished. Now the last time to do that not in their first year as a franchise were the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1997-1998, posting a 17-55-10 record with 41 points. Keep in mind this was the Lightning’s sixth year in the NHL.

Well, fast forward a year and the Avalanche are now ranked 15th in the NHL with a 42-29-9 with 93 points, battling for a wild card spot. All while dealing with starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov missing 32 games, Eric Johnson missing 20 games, Tyson Barrie missing 16 games and Nathan McKinnon himself missing 10-games. Let’s also remember how terrible of a locker room/team the Avalanche were when Matt Duchene was around and MacKinnon had to deal with that for 14 games this season. Plus all of last season. To turn it around that quickly and take this team by storm to lead them into a playoff spot is unreal.

(Look what this guy dealt with this year, for a short time, but still)

Also, the Avalanche did not start out being a top-15 team, they only picked up their play around the month of mid-January. They were only 18-15-5 until they went on their 8-game win streak, which propelled them to 26-15-5. Then to begin the month of March at 33-23-7(if my math is correct, not a numbers guy) and the rest is history. A new found Colorado team and playoff team after one of the worst years in NHL history.

MacKinnon not only has 94 points in 72 games but has done it with a line up consisting of Tyson Jost(20), Mikko Rantanen(21), J.T. Compher(22), Gabriel Borque(27, career total points of 89 points in 309 games), Matt Nieto(25, career total of 105 points in 336 games), are we getting the pattern here. Guys next to MacKinnon either lack experience or have not had a storied career at all.

MacKinnon has been one of the least talked about Hart trophy finalists I feel like because well it is Colorado and they are not really a threat. Sure, they are not as good as New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay or Philadelphia but, the only reason this team is above .500 and within a playoff spot is because of MacKinnon. If you truly believe other wise you my friend are biased. The only player within MacKinnon for points on Colorado is Rantanen(82) a 12 point difference but after Rantanen the next player is Landeskog with 59. Therefore a 35-point difference. The only team with that scenario is the Devils, with Hall and Hischier being a 42 point difference. Mind you, Hischier is also a rookie, did we expect a 70 point season from him? No.

The facts are there, the data is there, the Avalanche clinch a playoff spot tonight, this should not be too hard for those to decide. Credit to Taylor Hall for his career year and unbelievable season but this guy has some better pieces slated next to him, Travis Zajac, Brian Boyle, Patrick Maroon(for short but still), Michael Grabner(yes, I know), Kyle Palmieri, Jesper Brett(you Devils tooted this guys horn so don’t even), Brian Gibbons(same here, don’t even say you didn’t).

(Enjoy (: ) 

NHL News

Hart Trophy race: Give everyone an award

Hart Trophy race: Who’s the favorite? 

Is the Hart trophy this year going to be one of those awards that literally not one person can agree on. Definitely feels like it. Claude Giroux, no Nathan MacKinnon, no Taylor Hall, no Nikita Kcuherov, no Connor McDavid, no Evgeni Malkin. Make up your mind this isn’t pee-wee soccer not everyone gets a trophy here people. The Hart has to go to someone who is the most valuable player to their team. Yes, Hall is certainly the most valuable to the Devils and without him, that day would be a basement team. Same goes for Claude Giroux although Voracek, Konecny, Ghost, Couturier, and Simmonds are there Giroux really is the mold of this Flyers team. He is a great leader and one hell of a player that the Flyers rely on pretty consistently for a lot of things. For example, Giroux had one of his worst seasons in 2016-17 and the Flyers missed the playoffs, now the guy has a career year and the Flyers are a playoff team. Coincidence? Probably not. Kucherov is the same scenario as Giroux but Stamkos also plays a major role in that team’s success so I could see him not winning it. Malkin in the same sense as Kucherov because without Kessel and Crosby and Malkin performing like this the Penguins would not be as good, the fact that all three chip in and are top 15 players in the league is the main reason the Penguins are successful.

Nathan MacKinnon and Taylor Hall are probably my favorites for the Hart, based on value to a team, these two make or break their teams. Without these two the Avalanche and Devils would be nothing. MacKinnon is posting 1.33 points per game, 92 points in 69 games. Perhaps this guy did not miss 7 games during that time he was posting unreal numbers he may be a lock for the Hart. But, then again Taylor Hall with 86 points in 72 games having a career year and tallying the most wins for the Devils in five years is pretty big. Hall has not only gave hope to the Devils but also to all their fans, this guy is definitely the heart and soul of this organization and without him, the train won’t run. He missed some time this year too, not much but factor in his historic point streak this season and career-high goals and the Devils being a playoff team now, it is tough to not choose this guy. There are still some games left and I think a major component to winning the Hart is if your team is a playoff team or not. That is why I cannot see McDavid winning it, and if the Av’s don’t make the playoffs or Devils don’t make it, it has to go to Giroux. Until then it is a race, people.