Tag: new jersey devils

NHL Trade Deadline Deals: Nyquist to SJS, Montour to Buffalo, Kinkaid to Columbus

To keep this short and concise due to the amount of trades that can happen. I will do a bigger over view after the deadline is over for now. Just the details.

Columbus made another trade this time for New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid.

Columbus received Keith Kinkaid and devils received a 2022 5th round pick.

The Sharks made a great deal for a premier passer, veteran and top-six forward. Gustav Nyquist was sent to San Jose for a 2nd and 3rd round pick.

The Sabres made a surprising deal that caught some of us off guard for Ducks young defenseman, Brandon Montour. Buffalo picked up Montour and Ducks received a 1st rounder (San Jose 1st round from Kane deal) and prospect Brandon Guhle.

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New Jersey Devils F Marcus Johansson Is A Name To Watch At The Trade Deadline

It has been a bit of a rough stretch in New Jersey for the once hopeful and highly sought out forward. But Johansson played just 29 games last season due to injuries and has missed 12 games this season. Johansson spent 6.5 years in Washington where he recorded five 40+ point seasons and never really lived up to that expectation in New Jersey. Now as the Devils go from a playoff team to a re-tooling situation, Johansson is one of those players that has not been spoken about much this trade deadline. He is a UFA (unrestricted free agent) at the end of this year, on a 4.8 million dollar deal and probably will not get much more than that due to his lack of production/presence in New Jersey. Plus he is 28-years-old and definitely a player that can be very valuable on a contending playoff team.

Although the price for Johansson may not be as much as Ray Shero and Devils fans except they can still receive a 2nd round pick and prospect for Johansson, or possibly a borderline top-four defenseman and pick. The price will vary depending on how desperate a team is.

Johansson is showing his worth more now as he continues to stay healthy and produce. In his last 11 games he has 5 goals and 5 assists, and in his last 25 games he has 8 goals and 9 assists. Johansson has 25 points in 46 games (11G, 14A, 9PPP, 94 SOG). He is not a name we have heard thrown around much but Ray Shero is at a cross road, re-sign the unpredictable and injury prone forward or trade him to a contending team to at least get something in return. I would have to guess if Johansson does not get traded this deadline he will not re-sign in New Jersey. Shero is not the type of GM to wait until the last second to make a deal either. I would not be surprised to see Johansson’s name thrown around more so over the next 3-4 days.

David Backes hit on Blake Coleman worthy of a suspension or not?

We are back on the suspension train talk here. This one deserves some attention though. In Thursday nights game of the Boston Bruins vs New Jersey Devils, David Backes of the Bruins came in pretty high on a defenseless Devils Blake Coleman. With the way the league has ruled these types of hits it seems it is inevitable that Backes is going to be suspended for at least one game, maximum two. The NHL Player Safety Department did in fact say that Backes will have a hearing for his hit on Coleman. After what happened to Erik Karlsson before Christmas break, Backes is probably getting two games for the hit alone and an additional tax onto that because he is considered a repeat offender for being suspended in March 2018.

As it seems here Backes will have a hearing and more will be announced either later tonight or tomorrow. At most we can see probably 5-6 games the Bruins go without Backes for this hit. Until we hear an official ruling here is the play live. What’s your call?

NHL Around The Boards; Here Come The Penguins, The Flames year? The Devils and Wild Struggles…

This is an edition called around the boards, essentially giving you the top five headlines from the last weekend of play. This will be playoff talk, individual team talk, player talk, whatever is the most important news.

Here Come The Penguins…

First off, the Penguins, people do not look now. But, they are going to probably win the Metropolitan division, ok maybe not the Metro but the Penguins have propelled from below .500 to 18-12-6 now with 42 points and five points behind Washington. The Penguins are 7-2-1 in their last ten games and on a three-game win streak. This short break could be detrimental or monumental for the Penguins. Looking at their schedule up until the All-Star break, of their 11 remaining games they play three playoff teams, one Metropolitan division team and two Eastern Conference teams. The Penguins can very easily head into the All-Star break a top of the Metropolitan division. The Penguins are back, great.

Flames Year?

Is this Calgary’s year? The Flames have been consistently a top the Pacific division for about two months now. Even with a two-goalie tandem the Flames have made it work and a lot of it comes because of their tremendous scoring and great play of Art Ross nominee Johnny Gaudreau. The Flames are a top the Pacific by two points with one game in hand on San Jose. The Flames have won six of their last ten games and top-four team in the NHL right now. The Flames have the fourth most goals scored in the NHL (127) and score around 3.43 goals per game. Over their last week of six wins even though the Flames only out scored their opponent’s 20 to 19 of their six wins four of them they scored 5+ goals in. the Flames are coming into what everyone expected them to be. If Mike Smith can be more consistent and the Flames can continue this scoring surge they will have a nice first round opponent come April. 

There Have Been WILD Struggles 

What happened to Minnesota? This is not good news for the Wild, after starting out the year on the right foot and being one of the best teams in the NHL, the Wild have fell drastically out of a playoff spot now. They have just 37 points on the year, have dropped 6 of their last ten games and have a slim chance of even making a divisional top-three finish. The Wild are two games above .500 luckily they are still within a Wild Card spot but it has been a slow and painful slump for the Wild. They have seen very little depth scoring the Wild have seven of their top 9 forwards with 20 points or less, five with 15 points or less. Players like Eric Staal, Mikael Granlund, Jason Zucker and Nino Niederreiter have 12 goals or less, with just one player with 15 goals on the year the Wild have struggled greatly on the offensive side of things. I would not be surprised if Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter get moved before the deadline this year.

Put The Fork In Them…

The Devils are probably done right? The surprising playoff team from last year seem to be the complete opposite of what they were. The Devils are ranked 30th in the NHL, last in the Metropolitan division and last in the Eastern Conference. They have a -23 goal differential, have dropped five of their ten games, only picking up three wins in their last ten games. During the month of November the Devils won just three of their 15 games during that month. the Devils have been so bad this year for multiple reasons. (1) They score just 102 goals on the year (21st) while allowing 123 goals (4th). They score 2.91 goals per game while allowing 3.51 goals per game. (2) The players like Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier are not the same players as they were last year. Bratt has 13 points in 21 games (2 goals), Hischier has 23 points in 31 games (9 goals), other players though like Will Butcher have 11 points in 34 games (2 goals). Aside from Taylor Hall (37 points) and Kyle Palmieri (33 points) the next top scorer is Hischier with 23 points. Their has been no depth on the Devils line up and those role guys are just not performing like they were last season. The Devils will at least get a good draft pick because they are not turning this around anytime soon.

Was last year a fluke for the New Jersey Devils? Or will they turn it around?

It has certainly be a rough start for the Devils. They are 9-10-3 with 21 points, they sit 8th in the Metropolitan division, 14th in the Eastern Conference and 26th in the NHL. They rank 23rd in goals for (65),  11th in goals against (72), 13th in power play percentage (20.8), 18th in shots against per game (30.8) and it seems like things are not getting any better for the Devils. 

In the last ten games the Devils are 4-3-2, scoring 29 goals and allowing 32 goals. Of those 29 goals the Devils have scored they have had 12 different goal scorers. Taylor Hall scored 6 of the 29 goals, Brian Boyle had four, Kyle Palmieri had three, Pavel Zacha had four, Travis Zajac had four. The point behind this is the big reason the Devils are struggling is because of depth scoring and defensive scoring. Of the 29 goals there was only two goals by defenseman. Will Butcher and Damon Severson, as well Nico Hischier only had one goal, Marcus Johansson had only one goal. The heroic story of Jesper Bratt has seemed to slow down, Hischier has only 4 goals in 18 games this year, Johansson has just 3 goals in 21 games, Miles Wood has been near irrelevant with just 5 points in 21 games. The Devils are lacking depth scoring and back end scoring. 

Devils lacking defensive contribution 

Of the Devils 65 goals this season the defense has contributed 5 goals to that 65 total. The Devils have two defenseman leading the way essentially are Butcher with 8 points in 22 games and Severson with 14 points in 22 games. Yet, Butcher’s 8 points is a major drop off to what he was last year at this point, being almost a point per game player and an impactful force. Unless Butcher is on the power play he is not going to produce it seems, as he has just 2 points this season five on five. Sami Vatanen has only 9 points in 19 games, they did bring this guy in to be more of an offensive defenseman who can be a solid power play two option as well as help lead the play out of the defensive end. Vatanen has not lived up to much in New Jersey. After the three mentioned above, Andy Greene has only 5 points in 22 games, sure he is not a production type player but with Butcher struggling, Vatanen slow to start and Ben Lovejoy and Egor Yakovlev only producing a combined 4 points. The Devils defense contribution struggles and it is hurting the team early on here. 

Scoring depth absence for New Jersey 

You may be saying but Blake Coleman is chipping in, Brian Boyle too, Pavel Zacha came back hot they are going to be fine. How realistic is it to imagine Brian Boyle scoring 25 plus this season? Slim. Zacha can be at least a 20-goal player but consistency has killed the young forward and Blake Coleman will probably be the only one to actually consistently produce month by month. Anyways when looking at the Devil’s top six scorers, Taylor Hall (23), Kyle Palmieri (21), Travis Zajac (14), Demon Severson (14) Blake Coleman (13), Nico Hischier (13) after those six there is a major drop off, to players with 8 points, 6 points and 5 points, they lack depth scoring and there has been very little offensive production besides Hall and Pals this season. The Devils other 10 forwards have a combined 23 goals. Without Brian Boyle’s 7 goals that would make it 16 goals between nine forwards. This is a clear suggestion that the Devils need to either shake lines up or talk to their struggling forwards like Bratt, Woods, Johansson and Hischier to get on the board more and consistently. The Devils do not get some depth scoring in the coming months they will be finding themselves looking out sooner than later and it could be a long off season for New Jersey fans.  

NHL News; Will the Devils, Blues, Vegas and Florida stay at the bottom of the pack all year?

I figured this would be a great time to freak some Devils, Blues, Vegas and Florida fans out, upset, anger and annoy them with a great article! Seriously though, what is going on with the Golden Knights, Panthers and Blues? The Devils I am giving a half pass because they have played 2-3 less games then some teams but either way they just lost to Ottawa 7-3, not a good look.

(26) New Jersey Devils: 6-6-1; 13 points

New Jersey Devils 2018-19 season startVery early in the year and the Devils just played a back to back but it is not a start many Devil fans would like to see especially since they came storming out the gate 4-0-1 and have since as you can tell cooled off. The Devils had a miraculous year last season, a surprise season for many fans. But, now since they have been successful they are expected to do the same thing again. Should we expect that from them though? Apart from their top line of Palmieri-Hischier-Hall they do not have a lot of scoring depth those three produce around 85% of the teams points and lead team in scoring. After those three’s 16, 15 and 12 point totals the next in line is Travis Zajac with 10 points who honestly we can be realistic here will be good for 40 points at most. After that is Demon Severson and Will Butcher with 8 points, Brian Boyle with 7 points(3 coming the other night), Sami Vatanen with 7 points and Blake Coleman with 5 points. Therefore out of these top guys, four forwards clearly do the heavy lifting, three defenseman chip in every once in a while and then after that there is a dramatic fall off. Not to mention Will Butcher has 7 power play points of his 8 points, therefore 5 on 5 Butcher is nearly irrelevant besides playing defensively. So, unless the Devils bank on 2-3 power plays a game Butcher is not good for much production. Hall will have to produce 90+ again, Palmieri will need to continue on this trend while his career high is 57 points, Hischier will need to also break his last season total and be in the 60 point range. Keith Kinkaid will need to continue his unbelievable play, there is a lot of moving parts here for this Devils team but there is also a lot of what ifs. They play in a relatively weaker Metropolitan division therefore it should not be too hard for the team, but I could see the Devils missing the playoffs this season.

(27) St. Louis Blues: 5-5-3; 13 points

The Blues certainly had different expectations for this season, after acquiring Ryan O’Reilly, Tyler Bozak, Patrick Maroon and David Perron and now Robby Fabbri back healthy the Blues should definitely be higher in the standings. Yet, they find themselves looking up from the bottom. The biggest crutch to this team has been their goaltending. Jake Allen has a 3.99 goals against, .879 save percentage. Plus their back up, not taking credit away from the guy but it’s Chad Johnson can he be the same player as Carter Hutton? I don’t think so. On the year he has two starts a 2.47 GAA and .919 save percentage. Yes, it is early but the worse you start out the harder it is to climb yourself out come the All-Star break. The Blues have seen a different type of Ryan O’Reilly to start the year leading the team with 19 points and 12 assists but also they do get secondary scoring (how could they not?), Tarasenko has 13 points, Schenn has 9 points, Perron has 12 points, two players have 8 points and 3 players have seven points. They get depth scoring but if they do not find something to do with Jake Allen and get some help in the goaltending department it will be a disappointing year for the Blues. I think with how competitive the Central is it will be near impossible for the Blues to crack a top three spot, wild card is their only option come playoff time.

(28) Vegas Golden Knights 6-8-1; 13 points

Vegas Golden Knights 2018-19 seaosn start Not how the Golden Knights expected this season to start, maybe they are coming down to earth and playing at the level many thought they were going to be at. I mean they have Jonathan Marchessault, Max Pacioretty, Paul Statsny, William Karlsson, Reilly Smith, Alex Tuch and Erik Haula. But injuries have been the major problem for this team. They have dealt with Pacioretty, Statsny and Tuch on the IR and now Haula got hurt Tuesday vs Toronto and the Golden Knights continue dig a deep hole. Like I said before once you dig the hole deeper and deeper it is hard to get out come All-Star break time. The Golden Knights will need to a surge of production once they have everyone healthy and not playing five-road games. Marchessault and Karlsson are the only ones with 10+ points on the team which concerning. Like I said the hole is getting deeper and deeper, and in a Pacific division right now with a hot Edmonton team and Calgary team it will be catch up time for Vegas if they do not come out of this road trip either splitting it or taking 3 of 4 games. They already dropped one… I think the Golden Knights will be playing catch up all season and will miss the playoffs.

(31) Florida Panthers: 3-5-3; 9 points

What the heck happened with Florida? Although they did something like this last year, 31st? That is bad and not easy to bounce out of. When you are in a funk it is tough to get out of that funk, it feels endlessly and that’s how the Panthers feel right now. They have played just 9 games cause of the Global Series games but they head home for three games then hit the road for 2-weeks (6 games). This is going to be a good test for Florida. They may do the same thing they did last year, chase all year and be a borderline playoff team come April. They should be much better considering who is in their division but with a hot Montreal and Buffalo team the Panthers have some work to do and do it quick. They need to walk away with 2 of 3 wins on this homestand to get some confidence back, they have the scoring and forwards upfront to be a top contender but it is tough after playing two Global Series games in different countries and all that traveling. I predict the Panthers wake up in mid-November and chase all year.

NHL Power Rankings: From 20th on up…

20. Dallas Stars: 38-36-8

The Division is too competitive right now, sure the Stars have a lot of good options on their front end, they have two superstars in Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn but lack offensive depth Martin Hanzal has been a bust and Jason Spezza is on the way out. Past the Stars top 3 forwards who else is chipping in? Jason Klingberg is a now solidified number one d option, losing Dan Hamihus is a blow and they have not gained much offensive depth this offseason and their defense is very young. Ben Bishop is a solid goaltender but seems to not be himself since his departure in Tampa Bay. Missing the playoffs is reasonable for Dallas.

Key acquisitions: Valeri Nichuskin, Blake Comeau, Marc Methot, Miro Heiskanen

19. Calgary Flames: 40-33-8

Calgary Flames 18-19 previewThe Flames definitely improved in the offseason and this may come back to bite me but taking a look at the Pacific division it is going to be a dog fight once again the Golden Knights, Sharks and Ducks did not get worse, the Kings got better and the Flames are the team battling for that final wild card spot at the moment. The Flames have James Neal to add some insurance in the goal scoring department, with already Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, but after Matthew Tkachuk and the second line what are the Flames going to do? Same on the back end, losing your top scoring defenseman is tough luckily adding Noah Hanafin is a plus but Hanafin and Hamilton are at different points in their career where Hamilton may have the upper hand right now. Flames have to hope Travis Hamonic finds his way this season and Mike Smith stays healthy and remains a solid number one option. For me I don’t see the Flames ending anywhere that much better than last year.

Key acquisitions: James Neal, Noah Hanafin, Elias Lindholm, Troy Bouwer

18. Colorado Avalanche: 45-30-7

The Av’s finished way above and beyond than what anyone thought they were going to, but with St. Louis has done this offseason there is a slight chance the Avalanche finish above St. Louis this season. The Avalanche and Flames will be the two battling for that final wild card spot in the West, or even missing it. The Avalanche have a superstar in Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Ratanen coming off an unbelievable year with a ton of young talent surrounding these two with Tyson Jost, Alex Kerfoot, Sven Andrighetto and some other solid veterans in Matt Calvert, Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Nieto. With a solid back end in Tyson Barrie and Erik Johsnon with some great tools in Ian Cole, Nikita Zadorov and Samuel Girad this won’t be the end of the Avalanches playoff years but like I said St. Louis has improved drastically they won’t miss the playoffs this season.

Key acquisitions: Matt Calvert, Ian Cole, Phillip Grubauer

17. New Jersey Devils: 39-33-10

New Jersey Devils 18-19 previewThe Devils had a fantastic and unimaginable run last season sparked by Taylor Hall and some small additions in some young forwards but to do it again will be very difficult for the Devils. With an aging goalie in Corey Schneider, Keith Kinkaid not being a viable number one option and losing John Moore on the back end the Devils have a lot of holes in their line up. Without the same year by Taylor Hall, the Devils will be missing the playoffs in my opinion. The Devils do not have much forward depth nor do they have a study blue line. The Devils could possibly make a run at the wild card with the Islanders, Rangers and Hurricanes not being great but I think Florida bumps them for that final wild card spot.

Key acquisitions:

16. Florida Panthers: 45-30-7

The Panthers have now Mike Hoffman a 30-goal scorer, on top of Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Evegnii Dadanov, Vincent Trocheck and Nick Bjugstad with a solid number four defenseman and the only question mark remains in the crease for the Panthers sure, Roberto Luongo is a solid goaltender but at this age what can he do more? Jonathan Reimer going to be able to withstand the pressure and be a solid 1-2 option for the Panthers. The two will split time for most of the year but the Panthers had a hot run at the end of the year last season and with the addition of Mike Hoffman it will give a ton of fire power to this already solid Panthers defense. If the Panthers back end and Luongo can stay healthy they will make a playoff run, a short lived one but a run at least.