Tag: winnipeg jets

Five Teams That Could Use Derick Brassard

Derick Brassard has been under performing a bit since coming to Pittsburgh, but his two years in Pittsburgh are not indicative of who Brassard is as a player nor what he can bring to a team. Brassard is center/left winger, not the fastest player but he holds his own in the quick nature of the game today. At 31-years-old Brassard has 90 playoff games and some Stanley Cup playoff experience.

Brassard started his career in Columbus where he played in 304 games with 169 points until he was shipped to the New York Rangers in 2012 where he made his name in the league. Brassard played 254 games with the Rangers collecting 174 points. Brassard had three seasons in a row with 45+ points until he was sent to Ottawa where he played 139 games with 77 points. Now he is in Pittsburgh bouncing back and forth between the third, second and fourth line. Brassard has spent 1.5 seasons with Pittsburgh 51 games and 22 points later and the Penguins are ready to move on from the aging forward.

Despite his struggles in Pittsburgh Brassard is still a potential 35-40 point player. The pressure in Pittsburgh has been a lot for the forward to handle and he is surrounded by so many great players that he may feel as if he is not getting his fair share. His confidence is surely low, he needs a shake up some new scenery to perhaps give his career one more shot until teams really start giving up on the tenured forward. At 31, 753 regular season games and 90 playoff games, these five teams could use Brassard.

  1. Edmonton Oilers: The Oilers are on a full-court press to make the playoffs. Brassard is not exactly what they are looking for but look at him as a piece to a puzzle, he will fit but they still need one more guy. The Oilers lack forward depth and scoring depth, plus anyone who plays with Connor McDavid is sure to revive their career. Brassard can still score, he has a good shot and is more of a grinding, defensive forward. Which he can come to Edmonton and probably score 25 points along side McDavid. Edmonton would also only need to give up Alex Petrovic, Matthew Benning or a Kyle Brodizak/Zach Kassian type player (one or two of these guys) The Penguins need defense and forward depth.
  2. Columbus Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets are familiar with Brassard and so is John Tortorella. Not to mention the Blue Jackets could certainly use another left winger or center, they have a pretty deep line up but Brassard could slide in with Alex Wennberg/Anthony Duclair or Boone Jenner and Nick Foligno. Columbus could send Anthony Duclair or Josh Anderson over.
  3. Boston Bruins: The Bruins dealt with some injury issues early in the year and could have used Brassard down the middle in November. Still the Bruins are so solid in their top-three but their next two lines are not consistently productive. They have to do a lot of line-swapping to make things work. But Brassard can slide in on the second or third line easily in Boston. Boston can send over one of their bottom six forwards and a pick, the issue is the Bruins are probably weary to get another veteran winger after Rick Nash last year plus they only have 3.8 million in cap space.
  4. Winnipeg Jets: The Jets are a playoff team and a team on the cusp of a Stanley Cup run they need more depth and consistency on their line up. Plus a veteran like Brassard never hurts, his experience goes a long way in the locker room. Brassard can slide in on line three at center with Mathieu Perreault and Branden Tanev. The Jets have a slew of forwards to send, or maybe even Tyler Myers…
  5. Nashville Predators: Much like Winnipeg, Nashville’s is a Stanley Cup team. They are right there, and there time is fading away in my eyes. The Predators have very solid forwards, a good line one and amazing back end but from forward six to nine they could use some work. Brassard can fill in at line two to center Kevin Fiala and Craig Smith. Penguins could get Ryan Hartman or Colton Sissons in return as well.

 

 

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What A Trade Between The Flyers And Nashville/Winnipeg Would Look Like For Wayne Simmonds

It came out just a little under 24 hours ago that the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets have inquired about Wayne Simmonds. The Flyers made it public that they were interested in trading forward Wayne Simmonds. In return they want a top-five defenseman, top-six forward or a goalie. Therefore let’s look at a possible trade scenario for both teams.

Winnipeg Jets: Receive Wayne Simmonds, New Jersey Devils 3rd Round Pick

Philadelphia Flyers: Receive Tyler Myers

This seems realistic, no? Both are up for new contracts, Myers cost a little cheaper than Simmonds, the Jets have Josh Morrisey, Jacob Trouba, Ben Chariot and Dustin Byfuglien already on their back end. Plus the Jets are probably not willingly to resign Myers if Trouba is going to want 6.5-7 million for a long term deal. Myers is a former first round, 12th overall pick, 28-years-old, has years under his belt and a top-four defenseman in the NHL. The Flyers get what they want and they already have a third round pick so why not sweeten the deal with a third and Simmonds for Myers. Possibly even a second.

Nashville Predators: Receive Wayne Simmonds

Philadelphia Flyers: Receive  Craig Smith and Matt Irwin

Another realistic trade option. The Predators have Smith to a 4.25 million dollar deal ending in 2020-2021 the same year Roman Josi’s 4 million dollar deal ends and we know he is going to get upwards of 8 million therefore it would be in the Predators best interest to get rid of Smith while his price is relatively high, take Simmonds for a cup run and then let him walk in free agency next year. Matt Irwin is no Ryan Ellis but he would honestly fit well in Philadelphia plus that is the only Nashville defenseman you are touching besides Dan Hamhuis who is too older to bother for. This trade gives the Flyers a top-six forward, a borderline top-five defenseman and frees up cap space.

 

My Top Three Picks To Be Crowned Stanley Cup Champions 2018-2019

Based off the odds of Vegas, what teams have a legitimate shot at the Stanley Cup?

Tampa Bay Lightning +300

Toronto Maple Leafs +550

Calgary Flames: +1000

Nashville Predators:  +1200

San Jose Sharks: +1200

Winnipeg Jets +1200

Washington Capitals +1400

Pittsburgh Penguins +1700

Boston Bruins +1700

Columbus Blue Jackets: +1800

New York Islanders +2200

All betting odds aside, my top three choices for a Stanley Cup this season.

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning: Is there any need to get into much of a discussion about this? From line one to four they produce, their back end is strong with plenty of experience and mobility and the icing on the cake. A healthy, solid number one goalie, Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Lightning are 34-8-2 with 70 points, they lost a combination of 10 games all year and only EIGHT in regulation. With a +67 goal differential.
  2. Calgary Flames: In all honesty the Western Conference does not look to difficult this year. The Flames have played well in their division and if the season were to end today they would have to go through Minnesota, Vegas or San Jose then Nashville or Winnipeg. The Flames have been a great team on both sides of the puck if they can figure out their goaltending, between Mike Smith and David Rittich they are a top-pick for the West Conference finals. The Flames are 28-13-4 with 60 points but a point ahead of San Jose for the divisional lead.
  3. Winnipeg Jets: The Jets have to get through the Predators again one more time to get to the Conference finals and from there if you come out alive in the West it is a possibility. The Jets will need Connor Hellebuyck to wake up and play a big role in their success from here until June. The Jets will need to see Patrik Laine step up big time as well, along with more depth players and a solid game from their backend.

Those are my top-three choices for the Stanley Cup Champions 2018-2019, what are yours?

 

Where Paul Stastny may land come July 1st, Ryan O’Reilly seeing interest from numerous teams

Paul Stastny was sent to Winnipeg during the trade deadline, where he spent 19 games recording 13 points, but during the 2017-18 season, Statnsy recorded 53 points in 82 games. Even as Stastny has reached his mid-thirties he is still a very reliable number two center among most NHL teams and after spending the last 3.5 years in St. Louis and playing in two playoff rounds with Winnipeg. Statsny may be returning to the team that drafted him back in 2005. It has been rumored that Colorado is the destination for Statsny. With Colorado’s 22 mil in cap space and Statsny’s projected 6.5-7 mil contract, the Avalanche would be able to afford him. But the other teams interested like Montreal(14 mil cap space), Winnipeg(20 mil cap space) and St. Louis(12 mil cap space) do not appeal to Statsny as much as Colorado does. Colorado is a familiar home for Statsny,  and he knows he has a top two role in Colorado. I think we see Statsny return to Colorado and play it out there, he will be put in a great situation to be a veteran face for a young team, earn a solid amount AAV wise as well as still be of contribution on the top six and help this Colorado team out.

O’Reilly out in Buffalo? 

Some other shocking news is that Ryan O’Reilly has gained some serious interest from the Blues, Hurricanes, and Canadiens. It is clear the Blues and Canadiens need a center(stated above their desire in Statsny). Anyways Ryan O’Reilly did come out later in the year and say how he was unhappy in Buffalo and was not enjoying the game because they were doing so poorly. O’Reilly has spent the last three years in Buffalo after coming over from Colorado in 2015, where he spent 6 years with the Avalanche who drafted him in 2009. O’Reilly despite not “enjoying” the game tallied 61 points in 82 games this season with 37 assists and 24 goals. O’Reilly has been a CONSISTENT 55 plus point player since the 2011-12 season, proving to be a sure top two center on any NHL roster. The tricky part for teams interested in O’Reilly is that one it will cost a 2nd round pick or 1st, an NHL ready player and a prospect, along with the fact O’Reilly still has 5 years at 7.5 mil left on his contract. Therefore a team will for sure have to eat at least half or more of that contract. O’Reilly is a solid center that can play on any top line with any two people lined up next to him, his better fit would probably be in Carolina or St. Louis. The situation is not great in Montreal right now, this news is still new, so well wait and see what comes out on the 27-year-old established center.

Vegas takes 2-1 series lead off Fleury wet willy

The Jets defense was TERRIBLE last night. Going to waste no time getting into this one (#InOne),. But the Jets defense was actually horrendous. Jocob Trouba got burnt on two goals, the first from Johnathan the forehand backhand god Marchessault. Trouba literally could not keep up he fell over and made a last ditch slash effort that clearly was not going to work, that gave Vegas the lead 1-0 within the first 35 seconds of the game.

The Jets answered back eventually in the 2nd with 14 to play off a Blake Wheeler shot towards the net and Scheifele tip-in his 13th of the playoffs. Vegas took a 2-1 lead off a James Neal goal immediately following the Jets goal, a bad play by Connor Hellebycuk mishandles the puck and Erik Haula just throws the puck to the front right on Neal’s stick 2-1. Vegas scored yet again to make it 3-1 off  lead off yet another terrible Jets defensive play, James Neal came flying up the wing and Tobas Enstrom,not even transitioning to try and catch Neal, just slashed Neal’s stick easy access, shot, save Neal followed his rebound and goal 3-1.

That was game from there, Scheifele eventually scored to make it 3-2 before the third ended for his 14th goal of the playoffs. Not to mention the only other player to tally these numbers, 14 goals in 15 games was Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche when the Av’s won the cup in 1996.

Hope the game summary was fun, but there are three things I want to touch on now.

(1) Marc Andre Fluery is a character. Guy makes 33 saves in one of the biggest games of the series, closes the door late in the game with two unreal saves, back to back on Scheifele and is just unreal. Burt before that, when the scrum of the Jets Vegas was going on Fleury went up to Blake Wheeler and gave him a wet willy. From that moment on the game was over , no shot Vegas was losing. He’s also rubbing posts when the Jets hit the bar on a shot. Absolute character, have to love it.

(2) The Jets defense lost them this game. They looked slow, lost and completely out of it. The Golden Knights were hungrier and not afraid to go in the dirty areas, they don’t ratchet it up and come out to play or look alive at least they are done this team.

(3) Mark Scheifele can’t do everything, Bryan Little, Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, Paul Stastny yeah you are playing in the Western Conference finals, 3 wins away from a Stanley Cup appearance, let’s show up here.

I’m done, be on the lookout for the Lightning vs Capitals preview!

Vegas Golden Knights vs Winnipeg Jets: The Unexcpted Western Conference Finals

The Winnipeg Jets toppled the Predators game seven in Nashville, marking three of four wins on Nashville’s home ice and now move on to play Vegas in the Conference finals. The winner moves onto the Stanley Cup. The Jets record thus far is 8-4 through two rounds, as Vegas is 8-2 through two rounds.

By The Numbers…

Winnipeg seems to have the upper hand on Vegas.

Goals for through 12 playoff games Winnipeg has 43, second among all playoff teams. While Vegas has 29 goals for through 10 playoff games, ranked 8th among all playoff teams and 4th among active playoff teams(therefore last). Winnipeg averages 3.5 goals for per game while Vegas averages 2.9 per game.

Goals against Vegas has allowed 17 compared to Winnipeg’s 28. Vegas ranks first among all active playoff teams for goals against, while Winnipeg ranks second.

Winnipeg’s power play is ranked third among active teams performing at a 25 percent rate, while Vegas is performing at a 17.5 percent. The penalty kill though Vegas has the upper hand at 85 percent while Winnipeg is performing at a74.5 percent.

The top scorers for Vegas and Winnipeg though, Mark Scheifle leads the team with 16 points through 12 games, while Vegas’s Jonathan Marchessault has 11 points through 10 games. The Jets has four players performing at more than a point per game, with Blake Wheeler(15), Paul Statsny(14) and Dustin Byfuglien(13). While Vegas has Riley Smith and William Karlsson at just above a point per game.

Goaltending for Vegas is the upper-hand for them, probably the only upper hand they have besides being unpredictable and hard to figure out. The Jets goaltender Connor Hellebyuck is 8-4 with a 2.25 GAA and .927 SV %, while the MVP of the playoffs and arguably the reason Vegas has made it this far, Marc Andre Fleury. Fleury is 8-2 with a 1.53 GAA and .951 SV %. If Vegas wins this series it will be because of the guy in between the pipes. As Byfuglien even said “throw pucks on net and hope they go in.” when asked about scoring on Fleury.

Winnipeg: 5 Vegas: 3 

Verdict…

The Jets have the home-ice advantage here, the first time Vegas will not four games at home this playoff, and quite frankly could be the difference maker. The Jets have been good on home ice and so have the Golden Knights which is why the home-ice will play a huge advantage to the Jets.

The Jets most certainly played tougher opponents than Vegas, not to discredit the Kings or Sharks but the Wild and Predators are no easy first two opponents. The Jets knocking off Nashville in seven games, and taking three in Nashville that series is a huge confidence booster. While Vegas is a tough place to play they will essentially need to take just one in Vegas to have the upper hand in this series. If they can take three in Nashville, Vegas can’t be too hard. If Winnipeg takes care of business and does their job on home-ice there will be no worries for them. This will for sure be a hard-fought series, one no one expected perhaps, but with a powerhouse of an offense and the unpredictable Knights. These two will make the Conference finals interesting for all viewers. And will definitely be boosting the NHL television ratings this time around. At the end of it all, I am going Winnipeg in six games.

 

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Capitals advance? Nashville force a game seven?

What is more likely to happen the Capitals winning tonight or Nashville forcing a game seven? I think the Capitals take it tonight and do not give the Penguins any breathing room or fighting chance. The Capitals have a chance to finally end this series and finally advance to the Conference Finals for the first time in forever. I don’t know what would be more heartbreaking for NHL fans though the Penguins winning tonight or the Predators losing tonight. Because if the Penguins win tonight they are winning the series, and the Predators are just so much fun to watch and now if they lose no one can go to Broadway to watch games.

Capitals finally beat Pittsburgh to advance to the Conference Finals? 

Can the Capitals advance though? As I said above, yes they can. The reason I think so, one Braden Holtby, two, they are not going to let history repeat itself and let this opportunity they have go to waste. The Capitals all series have been either better and or staying right along the Penguins every game. Every game for the Capitals has been either a one or two goal lose, and the games they have won have been 3 or more goal wins. The Capitals when scoring 3 or more goals has won every game. Therefore the key for tonight is to score early and often. Matt Murray has allowed 17 goals in 5 games thus far and in the playoffs has 2.49 goals against and .905 save percentage. Essentially what is thrown on net has a good chance to go in, so keep firing on net. The Capitals have to take advantage of Murray early get traffic and pressure early and do not give the Penguins room to breathe or move. The reason I think the Capitals can do this and am being optimistic is that they seem a little different this year and no way the Penguins can go onto beat the Capitals two games and then make it three years in a row beating the Capitals. Capitals tonight, I’m feeling it!

Can Pekka Rinne bounce back in game six for the Predators? 

This one is more difficult, can Nashville force a game seven? I mean PK Subban came out and said they will win in Winnipeg and come back to Nashville after a game five loss. Subban is channeling his inner John Tortella, which didn’t work out for Columbus and Mark Messier, but I understand the confidence Subban has. I mean Nashville has been the best team in the NHL and they have the weapons to do it. The biggest what if is Pekka Rinne here as he has been yanked in two games this series now and has been the Predators biggest thorn over the last two years now. Rinne a Vezina goalie during the regular season for some reason cannot handle the playoff atmosphere. Who knows whether it is the sea of white in Winnipeg or just the big stage, but Rinne has been a blunder for the Predators yet again. This year Rinne is posting a 6-5 record, 3.22 goals against and .898 save percentage. These numbers speak for themsleves and there have been rumors that Juuse Saros may get the nod in game six tonight but I am not sure what is more worrying if you are a Preds fan a young, cold, inexperienced goalie or a fragile goaltender in Rinne. Either way that is the only question here tonight, as the Predators have the depth upfront and back end power to get this done. It all comes down to the battle between the pipes. Connor Hellbyuck another Vezina goalie vs Pekka Rinne, can Rinne bounce back here or will he crumble under the Winnipeg madness. Game six, tonight!