Tag: washington capitals

Carl Haglin Sent To Washington For A Third & Fourth Round Pick

The Los Angeles Kings were again involved in a trade this season. This time it was sending one of their recently acquired players Carl Hagelin to the Washington Capitals for a 2019 3rd and 4th round pick.

The Kings now have two 1st round picks, two 3rd round picks and two 4th round picks. With their acquisition of these picks this season they now have 10 draft picks this year.

Hagelin played 22 games with the Kings tallying 5 points, in 38 games split between the Kings and Penguins Hagelin has 8 points. Since going to Anaheim in 2015-16 Hagelin has been on four different clubs in 4 years, three different clubs in a year. Hagelin has collected 100 points in 260 games played since 2015-16. The Capitals will more than likely slot Hagelin on their third or fourth line. With the waiving of Devante Smith-Pelley, Hagelin is essentially coming in to fill Devante-Smith Pelley’s role but just add some speed on the wing and change things up for the Capitals offensive bottom-six make up.

Who won the trade?

L.A. by far. They are in no need for Hagelin he is not a long term player you build around. He is a prototypical bottom six winger that is easily replaceable. With the trading of Hagelin the Kings have ten draft picks. For a team that amongst a re-tool situation ten picks, two first rounders and four picks within the third and fourth round is pretty nice. Plus what is Hagelin going to bring to the Capitals that will make them that much of a better team? Speed the occasional point and perhaps a big-time goal here and there in the playoffs. Will Hagelin provide the Capitals with depth sure but will he be able to be the same player he was in Pittsburgh during their cup run? Probably not. Therefore the Kings getting a 3rd and 4th for Hagelin and Capitals giving away those picks for a player that is probably not going to be re-signed at the end of this season as he is a UFA seems like a little much. The Kings win this trade for sure.

 

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Are The New York Islanders For Real?

I said this about three weeks ago when I wrote about how the Islanders will make the playoffs in the wild card spot. Although I do believe the Islanders are a solid team, I was not under the impression they would be the metropolitan divisions first place team at the moment.

With their win in Washington Friday night. Not just any win, a shutout win for Thomas Greiss and a 2-0 Islanders victory. The Islanders jumped the Capitals for first place with 60 points. Barry Trotz made his return to Washington a sweet one, perhaps not so sweet in the eyes of Capitals fans. While the Islanders lead the Metropolitan with 60 points and tied with the Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference as well. The more shocking piece of news to me is that the Islanders are (1) doing this all without John Tavares, (2) doing this all without a forward paid over 6 million a year, (3) have seven forwards with 20 plus points (4) have the least goals against in the NHL with a defense consisting of four first to second year players.

The Islanders have been on a ridiculous tear as of late, winning 8 of their last 10 on a four-game winning streak, posting a record of 15-6-2 between December and January. Their last two games are Anaheim and Chicago to finish off January until the All-Star break.

The Barry Trotz affect…

It is tough to say if the Islanders are for real, they definitely deserve a lot of recognition right now, after being projected to be a bottom of the barrel team, multiple acquisitions of the team being nothing without Tavares and having low expectations to now be 47 games in and in first place with 60 points is outstanding. Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello have certainly used their wisdom and years of experience to the betterment of this Islanders team but all coaching and management aside. The Islanders players from top to bottom are all chipping in.

From top to bottom the Islanders are getting it done…

Jordan Eberle is starting to turn a corner, Brock Nelson is having a great year, Anders Lee is stepping into some big shoes quite well, Matt Barzal turned the reporters who said he was not going to be the same player this year into chumps, Valtteri Filppula is having a surprising year, Casey Cizkas is the best fourth line player in hockey, along with Cal Clutterbuck. Ryan Pulock, Nick Leddy and that Islanders blue line is not the same as last year. Thomas Greiss and Robin Lehner have looked unbelievable. There are a lot of factors that go into the Islanders success, yes we have 35 games left but the Islanders are going to be in the playoffs in my opinion. In a top-three Metro spot, I don’t know but either way they will be there. It should not come as a major surprise to many but Barry Trotz could go down as one of the best modern day coaches if he manages to make this Islanders team into a consistent playoff team and more.

Islanders month of February looks like, Tampa Bay, Kings, at Boston, at Devils, Colorado, at Minnesota (back to back COL, MIN), at Buffalo, at Columbus, Edmonton, at Calgary, at Edmonton (back to back), at Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto.

Right now they need to worry about their last two January games but if the Islanders can come out of the All-Star break and take February away with a record of 9-5 they will put themselves in a perfect spot for the playoffs and pretty comfortable heading into the last full month of action.

NHL Eastern Conference Playoff Predictions; Metropolitan, Atlantic and Wild Card Teams…

This may be the year the Eastern Conference is officially weaker than the Western Conference. For years the Rangers, Canadiens and Islanders were top 15 teams in the NHL, but this year the Western Conference seems to be a little tougher and tighter in terms of the playoff race.

Taking a look at the Eastern Conference Metropolitan Division it is heavily dominated by three teams the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals. It has been a major shock to the East that the Pittsburgh Penguins are a non playoff team right now as well as the Flyers being out of contention and struggling this season. Another big surprise is the Canadiens start, coming out now 35 games into the season and being in the second wild card spot and six points out from the three seed in the Atlantic.

The Atlantic division playoff teams 

The Buffalo Sabres are off to a surprising start, yet after going on their win streak, they dropped six straight and now are 3-4-3 in their last ten. Are we sure the Sabres are legitimate playoff contenders? Or will they be out of the race come March? Personally after seeing what the Sabres have done and are capable of, they can easily be a playoff team. Realistically they need to stay above .500 for the next month or so to stay in the race and when it continues to tighten up and get closer, they will pull a few games out of their back pocket and make a push. With that, I don’t think they stay #3 in the Atlantic though, the Bruins are five points behind and have yet to hit their full stride this season. If the Bruins get healthy soon, they will knock the Sabres out of three, but this means Bruins stay three and Leafs stay two it will be another Bruins vs Leafs first round match up. The Leafs are not catching the Lighting (54), the Lightning have essentially clinched first place and will have an easier first round than other teams. Out of the Atlantic I think we see Lightning (1), Leafs (2), Bruins (3), Sabres (4), Canadiens get bumped out of the playoffs by either the Penguins or Islanders. Which brings me to the second part of this article.

The weak Metropolitan playoff teams

The Metropolitan is extremely weak, of the four divisions in the NHL the Metropolitan is by far the weakest. The Capitals with 43 points lead the Metro, yet in any other division would be third in the division. The Metro is basically run by the Capitals who lead the division by just four points but I do not see the Capitals dropping out of that one spot. The Blue Jackets come in at number two (39 points) and they have been very inconsistent this season, they struggle to stay consistent and string together wins over multiple games and number three is the Islanders (38 points) who are on  three-game win streak and surprising a lot of people right now. Based off what we have in front of us right now, I would have to assume the Islanders get knocked out of three by the Penguins and top three in the Metropolitan are Capitals (1), Penguins (2), Blue Jackets (3), the Metro is so weak that the Penguins can start of the season below .500 and still be in contention for a playoff spot. Out of the Metro it will probably be Capitals (1), Penguins (2), Blue Jackets (3), Islanders (4).

Playoff prediction in the Eastern Conference: 

Tampa Bay Lightning (1) vs New York Islanders (WC2) 

Washington Capitals (1) vs Buffalo Sabres (WC1) 

Pittsburgh Penguins (2) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (3) 

Toronto Maple Leafs (2) vs Boston Bruins (3) 

Moment to remember: Alex Ovechkin paid tribute to Carey Price and it was truly WONDERFUL!

Yesterday we might have seen something, that is pretty rare in the NHL nowadays. In the current mode of fans complaining about lack of battles and fights, it is important to recognize that terrific games and moments are here thanks to great personality and character of the players.

We saw that yesterday and even watching ten times myself since it happened, I may probably never regret watching it over and over again. Alexander Ovechkin had the corner picked with just few seconds to go in a tie-game and Carey Price just stone cold, robbed him, maybe even more than that. No one could believe it.

Ovechkin just realized, that he should pay respect where it’s due and simply clapped his hands towards Price and tapped Canadiens goaltender on his way by. What an outstanding moment. Main star of the NHL claps his hands towards another star. Something that is probably seen just in tennis, which is a sport of gentlemen.

Hockey is definitely not a sport for gentlemen, hockey without contact would not be hockey anymore. But only if everyone showed that kind of respect and recognition just like “Great 8” did last night. NHL would be much more respectable and nicer. Great moment from Ovechkin too, who did not break his stick of showed his frustration, but offered an amazing reaction, which leads the way all around the globe today.

It is the month of November, when every NHL team joins the campaign of NHL fights cancer. It is also a very genuine moment, when the fans should not complain about lack of fights, because that is not the most important thing. And Ovechkin – Price moment only justified the need for more respect in this league. We all know and feel that moments like one from Bell Centre yesterday are well needed in the world of hockey.

Tom Wilson returns vs Minnesota Tuesday night with a splash

The Capitals have surely missed the pot-stirring, on the edge, hard nosed forward in Tom Wilson. Coming into Tuesday’s game the Capitals were 7-6-3, certainly not playing their best hockey and looking like a Stanley Cup hungover team. Tom Wilson was suppose to be suspended for 20 games due to his hit on Oskar Sundqvist, it was reduced to 14-games though making it effective for him to play in Tuesday nights game. 

Wilson returned with a bang, the Wild were on a four-game win streak and one of the hottest teams in the NHL. The Capitals were coming into Minnesota with many doubting their ability to win this game. Wilson answered the bell early scoring the Capitals second goal, earning a 2-minute penalty for goalie interference and fighting Marcus Foligno. Debatable who won but Wilson ended the game with 1 goal, 7 penalty minutes, 1 shot and one hit. 

The energizing forward now brings a big dynamic back to the roster that the Capitals were missing not to mention it adds a little more depth to their roster as Wilson usually plays with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznestov it really evens out the Capitals top-six.

Is Wilson really that much of a component to this team though? 

It seems as if the Capitals did miss Wilson, clearly it is one game but there are very few players in the league like Wilson who can score a goal, take a hit, give a hit, fight and just a bring a unique level of energy and attention to opposing teams. Wilson being back makes opponents grip their sticks a little tighter, keep their head up a little extra and realize they will not get away with many free liberties that they would have if he was out. Wilson is a huge component to the Capitals roster he did not sign a 5+ million dollar deal for nothing. The Capitals do gain a great power-forward and a much needed edge to their roster again. 

Offseason outlook for Nashville, Vegas, Washington

Washington Capitals

Additions: Nic Dowd, Jayson Megna

Subtractions: Jay Beagle, Tyler Grovac, Phillip Grubauer, Barry Trotz

Offseason outlook: The Capitals are coming off a Eastern Conference finals win, Stanley Cup win and the best year in team history. The Capitals were notorious for their second round exits, playoff failures and constantly losing to the Penguins. The Capitals got the better end of the stick this year and when they eliminated the Penguins in the second round this year, a lot of people sensed it was going to be a different year for Washington. Which we all know was. Well now after a month and a half since the Stanley Cup win the Capitals had to address some offseason concerns. Luckily they signed back all star defenseman John Carlson to a nice $8 million AAV, Devante Smith Pelly back and in discussion with Tom Wilson. With the Capitals relatively staying put for the year so far, the loss of Trotz is big but luckily the Capitals have the right veteran leadership to help deal with that loss. The Capitals compete in a tough division, but with the Penguins not adding much, the Blue Jackets possibly losing Artem Panarin and the rest of the division either getting worse or staying put has made it quite easy for the Capitals to stay afloat that division. The Capitals are heading into the 2018-19 season with relatively the same three forward lines and same three defensive pairings from their cup win. It is fair to say the Capitals will be just fine without the presence of hall of fame coach Barry Trotz. Where do we see the Capitals finishing? Without doubt within the top three in the Metropolitan division.

To note the Capitals still need to sign one small, yet big piece in Alex Chiasson.

Vegas Goldlen Knighs 2018 offseason

Vegas Golden Knights

Additions: Paul Statsny, Alex Gallant, Daniel Carr, Zach Fucale, Curtis McKenzie, Nick Holden

Subtractions: Paul Thompson, James Neal, David Perron

Offseason outlook: The Vegas Golden Knights had the most successful first year of any sports team among professional sports. The Golden Knights finished Western Conference champs and played in a tough six-game Stanley cup series. Despite losing the Golden Knights have a lot to keep their heads high about. The only concern right now is the loss of James Neal and David Perron as well as still needing to sign William Karlsson, Shea Theodore and Lucas Sbisa. Luckily they extended the contract of Marc Andre Fleury and added veteran Paul Statsny and veteran defenseman Nick Holden. With keeping their roster some what in check still the Golden Knights have a lot to look forward to, stealing conference rivals veteran forward was a big move. But the Golden Knights have to hope Tomas Tartar can find some life in Vegas and turn it around as of now Tartar is slotted on the second line. The Golden Knights have to really worry about the Sharks, Kings and Ducks who have all been pretty aggressive this offseason. The Sharks have locked up some key pieces to their roster, Kings adding KHL star Ilya Kovalchuk, and Ducks who are always in the mix. It is tough to come back and stay consistent in the NHL we have seen time and time again teams fall off the radar after a successful season. The Knights have a huge challenge ahead but luckily with 13.8 mil remaining in cap space the Golden Knightss can make a push for some solid free agents.

Note the Golden Knights still need to sign, William Karlsson, Lucas Sbisa, Clyaton Stoner, Shea Theodore

Nashville Predators 2018 offseason

Nashville Predators

Additions: Jarred Tinordi, Rocco Grimadli, Connor Brickley, Dan Hamhuis

Subtractions: John Ramage, Mark McNeil, Harry Zolnierczyk

Offseason outlook: The Predators some would say had a disappointing playoff run after coming out of the Central with 117 points and ranking first among the NHL the Predators fell short of their goal with a loss to Winnipeg in the second round. Due to some poor goaltending in the playoffs and a lack of forward scoring the Predators had to go back to the drawing board. The Predators have not been so active this offseason beside a recent move adding Dan Hamhuis to their already loaded defensive roster. The Predators now have Ryan Ellis, PK Subban, Roman Josi, Dan Hamhuis and Mattias Ekholm on their backend. A great defensive upgrade but nothing added on the front end. Luckily they did not lose anyone important the Predators. Their roster remains the same as it did last year as of now with about a month and a half until training camp. The Predators hope for prospect sensation Eeli Tolvanen to crack the opening day roster and be a solid top 9 forward for the Predators. The Predators have now made it to the Stanley Cup to the second round and only have so much time until teams like Minnesota, Winnipeg and even Colorado start catching their tail. Some could even say the Predators have a few more years left at this whole Stanley Cup aspiration until the teams top players start to fade off. For now the Predators will stay put in the #1, #2 spot for the Central division. Perhaps this is Nashville’s year…

 

 

Noteable Forward Free Agents: Yakupov, Smith-Pelly, Reider, Duclair

Tobias Reider: Reider was sent over to L.A. during the deadline from Arizona. Spending 3.5 years with Arizona before being sent to L.A., Reider posted 92 points in 234 games (43G, 49A) and in 20 games with LA he posted 6 points (4G, 2A). Reider is 25-years-old his best year being in 2016-17 posting 37 points in 82 games. Reider was drafted in 2011 in the 4th round by Edmonton. Reider is a bottom six forward that can be of service to many teams, the thing with Reider is also his services are cheap as he could be a 1 to 1.5 million AAV.

Anthony Duclair: The 22-year-old, 3rd round draft pick is set to free agency very soon. Duclair spent one season in New York after being sent over to Arizona in 2015 where he spent three seasons until he was sent to Chicago at the deadline this season. Duclair has played in 213 games scoring 37 goals and 52 assists. Duclair is a very young, speedy left winger that can be used on any team, for the sole reason that he is extremely young and has a ton of upside. Duclair has received some interest from the Penguins. Until free agency hits, Duclair will probably be receiving many calls from many teams around the league.

Nail Yakupov: Again we see the 24-year-old on the move. Yakupov the 1st round 1st overall pick is on the move again as free agency is set to begin soon. Yakupov spent four seasons in Edmonton playing 252 games with 111 points (50G, 61A). Being sent to St. Louis which he failed only playing in 40 games tallying 9 points. Spending his most recent season in Colorado getting off to an extremely hot start, to eventually cool down dramatically only tallying 16 points in 58 games. Yakupov is 24, with the 1st overall pressure still hanging over his head. Yakupov has said to be getting interest from Nashville but until we hear more Yakupov will be on the hunt for a new team yet again.

Devante Smith-Pelly: Smith Pelly is coming off a Stanley Cup win, scoring some clutch goals during the Capitals Stanley Cup run. Smith Pelly is a solid bottom-six forward that can be a very good fourth liner, and a borderline third liner. Smith Pelly has been all over the league, only being 26-year-old and being on four different teams tells us a lot about Smith Pelly. He is a journeyman, to say the least. Smith Pelly spending 4 years in Anaheim, 2 in Montreal, 2 in New Jersey and the 75 games in Washington and winning a cup. Smith Pelly is an experienced winger at just 26 years old. If he does not end back in Washington, he will land a spot somewhere in the NHL as he has proved his worth in the league now winning a cup and performing in the playoffs.