Tag: nhl

NHL PICKS: Connor McDavid vs Sidney Crosby, Bob Murray First Game As A Head Coach

Edmonton Oilers vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Not an exciting night in terms of games for the NHL tonight. Only two on and this is one of them. Pittsburgh at home this year are 15-10-2, they are 4-5-1 in their last ten but coming off a big win vs the Flyers two nights ago. The Oilers on the other hand are 12-11-4 on the road, 3-5-2 in their last ten coming off a loss to San Jose. The Oilers have not played since Saturday night, as the Penguins last game came Monday. The Oilers should be well-rested and prepared for this game. The Penguins go with Matt Murray who is essentially impossible to get a read on this season. He played unbelievable vs the Flyers Monday but who knows what he can do tonight. Murray is 2-3 in his last five starts allowing 15 goals over that span. The Oilers go with Mikko Koskinen who has been very subpar since his signing. Koskinen is 1-3-1 in his last five starts allowing 17 goals in that span, he has allowed 3+ in four of these five starts. The Penguins are currently one point ahead of the Hurricanes for the final wild card spot and have no time to waste right now with the way the Hurricanes are playing. They need these two points desperately. We will see what they can do after a big win and no Evgeni Malkin tonight. Going Penguins.

Vancouver Canucks vs Anaheim Ducks

This is a rough match up. The Ducks are still spiraling out of control it feels like, they have their GM as their new head coach, they can barely score goals and things are not looking good. Chad Johnson is a probable in net for tonight as John Gibson either is hurt or has given up on the Ducks. Johnson is 2-11-0 on the year with a 3.63 GAA but is 0-5 in his last five starts allowing 15 goals in that span. The Ducks are on a seven-game skid and 2-8-0 in their last ten but 10-8 at home. The Canucks are 12-14-4 on the road, 4-4-2 in their last ten and coming off a loss vs San Jose. The Canucks are currently two points out of a playoff spot right now. They are a hopeful team just playing the season and taking whatever comes their way. They are a very young, competitive team that can sneak into the post season and a win tonight helps those chances. The Canucks go with Jacob Markstrom (probable), who is 2-2-1 in his last five starts allowing 13 goals in that span. I like the Canucks tonight but something tells me that with Bob Murray behind the bench for his first game, the Ducks pull this one out and end their skid. Going Ducks.

 

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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.

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

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?

 

The Ottawa Senators Should DEFINITELY Sign Mark Stone Over Matt Duchene

This a major issue for Ottawa right now. Duchene or Stone? Stone is 26-years-old, an elite scoring winger, perhaps not a franchise level talent but he ranks among the top-20 for players 26-years-old or younger. Duchene is 28-years-old and again an elite forward, can we say franchise talent, sure but he is 28-years-old now so I do not know if I am building a franchise around him right now.

Duchene has played 697 games in the NHL collecting a respectable 525 points (222G, 303A), a 0.75 point per game player in his career. Not too shabby. On the year he has 48 points in 41 games (21G, 27A), has recorded six 50+ point seasons in his career and is a player that skates extremely well, can score goals and play with just about anyone. He is playing Bobby Ryan and Ryan Dzingel and producing quite well.

Stone has played 359 NHL games recording a very respectable 300 career NHL points (117G, 183A), a 0.83 point per game player. On the year Stone has 51 points in 52 games (22G, 29A). Over his career he has recorded over 50 points every year he has been in the NHL despite 2012-13 when he played 4 games and 2013-14 when he played 19 games (in which he had 8 points). Stone is playing with two very young players this year Colin White and Brady Tkachuk and at almost a point per game (0.98).

In my opinion the Senators should move on from Matt Duchene for two reasons, for Duchene to stay they are going to need to over pay him a ton, he is going to ask for 10.5-11 million dollars a year and while Duchene is good he is not worth that money. Reason two, while he seems to be fitting in well with Ottawa right now, when he gets his contract, signs and gets comfortable there, he may not be the same player. Players always play well going into a contract year or on the verge of free agency. He is clearly not a great team/locker room guy with the incident in Ottawa this year in Colorado two years ago. I think Stone fits the Senators way better than Duchene, Stone was drafted in Ottawa has made a name for himself in Ottawa, has a history here, you know what you are going to get from him, his teammates love him and overall Stone just seems like a more secure and suitable option for Ottawa.

As well Stone will probably cost around 7.5-8.5, comparable to a Ryan O’Reilly player who is on a sheet of 7.5 million a year. Stone may cost a little more than O’Reilly per say just because Stone would be their guy and Ottawa is not in a great situation therefore throw him an extra 1-1.5 million a year just because it may not be too great for the first 3-4 years of his contract. Duchene is going to ask for 10+ million for five to six years, money wise, Stone will be cheaper and looking at their career numbers and what they bring to the table it is not like Duchene is head over heels a better player than Stone.

Keep Stone in Ottawa, get a ton of assets for Duchene and move on. With Duchene’s last statement regarding his contract extension talk.

“If I had a gut feeling I’d probably go with it right now but at this point we’re not at that point.” Duchene said after speaking about his contract extension.

This quote alone would make me want to not sign Duchene. What does this even mean? He is just delaying the inevitable of alluding to the fact that he is not going to re-sign in Ottawa. I feel as if Ottawa and Duchene’s agent are way off and it would make no sense to try and work out a deal when you can save the money and get a ton of assets for Duchene.

Fantasy Hockey News: Are Nick Bjugstad, Jared McCann worth adds? Sam Reinhart back on top line, Nolan Patrick production and more

Jared McCann/Nick Bjugstad: We are all aware of the trade I am assuming if not (here) but Nick Bjugstad played two games now with the Penguins, in those two games he skated along Bryan Rust and Evgeni Malkin, with Malkin day to day, Phil Kessel is going to be on that wing. Bjugstad has logged roughly 15:30 minutes per game, has had a handful of chances and recorded an assist in his first game. On the other hand Jared McCann is playing with Tanner Pearson and Patric Hornqvist, two veteran players who are strong in front and work down low, with may increase McCann’s stock. McCann has logged around 11:20 minutes per game, recording two shots on goal. This is a player I could potentially see on the second power play, and possibly making a case for a depth winger. I would definitely go out and add Bjugstad right now and be patient with him.

Sam Reinhart: Reinhart has been around the line up this season, from one to three and everything in between. For now though with the Sabres “pushing” for the playoffs and switching things up. Reinhart is back with Jack Eichel and also Jeff Skinner along with that. Reinhart has 12 goals and 33 assists on the season let’s see if this line is to stay tonight.

Nolan Patrick: It is about time we see Patrick being a consistent player in the Flyers line up Patrick has been a huge factor for the Flyers 8-game win streak, in this frame he has 5 goals and 3 assists. Logging around 14:30 minutes per game. He is a third line center right now that plays power play though too. Patrick is definitely a player you keep your eye on in the coming weeks.

Anthony Beauvillier: This kid has been in the line up consistently which is a good thing to see with the way Josh Ho-Sang and Michael Dal Colle have not lasted. Beauvillier is playing line two with Mat Barzal and Josh Bailey. On the year he has 12 goals and 7 assists and despite his 11 minutes vs LA last game he does usually play 16-18 minutes. A player that can be useful if you need an add for the day/week.

Blake Coleman: We can argue that he has been the Devils most consistent forward all year. Coleman has 18 goals on the year, six goals in his last 10 games and three assists. Coleman is a power play two player and a top six forward playing with Travis Zajac and Miles Wood. Coleman is surely worth the look and could be a possible consistent fantasy player for you.

Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Mats Zuccarello line: All three of these guys have to be added in all fantasy leagues. This number could be incorrect, but I believe the MSG broadcast said this line has scored 11 of the Rangers last 13 goals (not including Monday nights game). Zuccarello has 5 goals and 10 assists in his last 11 games, Kreider has (24 goals on the year), 4 goals and 5 assists in his last 11 games, Zibanejad has 10 goals and 8 assists in his last 11 games.

Colin White back/Ryan Dzingel worth: Colin White was absent for a few games but he is back and playing normal minutes again. He played the last two games logging 15+ minutes per game, but not much else. He is centering the second line of Mark Stone and Brady Tkachuk therefore his value is there and could be a solid add. Ryan Dzingel plays with Matt Duchene and Bobby Ryan on line one and is a very under valued guy. Dzingel has 4 goals and 5 assists in his last 10 games. Playing the minutes he does with the players he does makes him an automatic valuable fantasy player.

Mathieu Joseph: Joseph has received a promotion it seems like in Tampa as he is playing line two with Tyler Johnson and Yanni Gourde, Joseph is a monitor the situation type of guy. I doubt he stays here for long but for right now he could be of use. He has 12 goals and 6 assists on the year.

Jack Roslovic: With Nikolaj Ehlers hurt, Roslovic has finally got the promotion to line two and power play two. It goes without saying that Patrik Laine and Bryan Little are on that line and two very good players but Laine has been in a funk but Roslovic does have 5 goals and one assist in his last four games. Roslovic is worth adding until Ehlers gets back in a week or less.