*

 

My thoughts on re-signing Higgins and Lapierre for the Canucks.

 

*

 

One defenseman who I have my eye on for keeper leagues is Tyson Barrie. He has been very good in Colorado this season, but the team has been hesitant to give him ice time (he did have an assist in 20 minutes last night).

 

Kudos to the Avs for doing their homework on PA Parenteau – most expected his scoring to fall off without Tavares and Moulson, but he has been arguably even better this season in Colorado.

 

Without Iginla, the Flames got two goals from Mike Cammalleri. It is only a matter of days until Calgary moves a few veterans, and that will open up some ice time and offensive opportunities for other players. And this will give poolies some great depth/waiver wire options for the final few weeks of the season.

 

I’d expect Calgary to take a look at some young guys (Cervenka – on a one year deal, as well as Backlund and Bartschi).

 

Calgary has started the rebuild (if they are indeed starting it) about two or three years late… but better late than never I suppose.

 

*

 

The Phoenix Coyotes could be on the move very, very soon.

 

*

 

Calgary has traded Jarome Iginla to Boston for prospects Alex Khokhlachev, Matt Bartkowski, and Boston’s 1st rounder this year (apparently that pick may come with some conditions).

 

I am going to wait for the dust to settle on this one a bit before writing up a trade analysis – will be on the way later this morning. I want to see where Iginla fits in with the Bruins, and so on.


Um... Iginla to Pittsburgh? I'll have updates in the morning....

 

*

 

Montreal/Boston played a very, very exciting game last night. Some thoughts:

 

PK Subban will be a Norris finalist this year if he keeps this kind of play up. He scored his 10th of the season (a 30-goal pace over a full campaign) and he is dominating all over the ice. Boston fans absolutely loathe him – a healthy hatred/respect thing going on.

 

Subban had two points and logged over 30 minutes.

 

Michael Ryder scored twice and had a great game – his deadly shot opens up a lot of ice on the power play – it really helps with Montreal spacing out their point men – no team in the league can match the Subban-Andrei Markov combination.

 

Patrice Bergeron’s line – four points and 22 faceoff wins. After Crosby and Datsyuk, is there a more complete player in the league right now?

 

Tyler Seguin (three points) and Brad Marchand (two points) also had great games.

 

The defensive coverage in this one was… spotty (as you would expect from a 6-5 finish).

 

*

 

Nicklas Jensen with a dirty dangle in the AHL last night:

 

 

*

 

Another 29 minute performance for Ryan Suter last night – and a goal to boot. The best defensemen this season have been Suter and Subban (in the games I have watched/followed, at least). Who am I missing?

A big reason for Suter’s play – Jonas Brodin (25 minutes and a helper). He’d be my Calder pick.

 

Zach Parise had an assist and a team-leading seven shots on goal.

 

Phoenix forward Rob Kinkhammer has three points in his last two games. He is already a member of the all-name team, that much I know. He did have 44 points in 53 AHL games this year, so there is some offensive skill there.

 

I thought David Moss would  be more productive in Phoenix (although his production isn’t terrible for a third line forward). I guess I expected him to play a bigger role with the ‘Yotes – he is a responsible two-way player, and Dave Tippett loves those kind of players. Could be a nice second half sleeper.

 

*

 

San Jose shut out the Ducks last night – I didn’t catch any of this game, so I can’t offer too much in the way of insights.

 

Tommy Wingels with a rare three point game. Aside from that, it was the usual suspects bringing the offense for the Sharks (Couture, Marleau, and Pavelski).

 

Brent Burns also scored a goal – in only 15 minutes of ice time. Did Burns play wing again tonight? Interesting that two long-time defensemen (Ballard the other) have seen extended time on the wing in 2013.

 

*

 

I don’t get to watch all 30 NHL teams play (trust me, I try my hardest to do so), and sometimes players slip through my radar.

 

One of those players is Nashville defenseman Victor Bartley, who has quietly earned a spot on the team’s second pairing with Kevin Klein. Bartley doesn’t have a ton of upside, but he has been a productive defenseman in the AHL (a great sign), and the points will soon follow in the NHL (as long as he keeps logging solid minutes).

 

Bartley — an undrafted free agent signee two years ago — turned into an all-star in the minors, with 26 points in 54 games this season for the Admirals. He was also a plus-4.


Coach Barry Trotz said Bartley was cut from the Predator-type mold, mostly because of the long, hard road he took to the NHL. He had also played professionally in the East Coast Hockey League, as well as Sweden.

Although Bartley is a first-year NHL player, Klein hasn’t seen much of a learning curve for his 25-year-old partner.


*

 

I am glad that Kent Wilson is on board with the Sunday ramblings. He will learn the ropes with what goes into the ramblings (formatting and the like), but I did like his take. It is good to get different perspectives, and I think the reader benefits tremendously. Kent is a really smart dude and a fantastic writer – I look forward to his perspective on the world of fantasy hockey (and he gets the busiest day of the week, as Saturday’s are usually jam-packed).

 

*

 

Shea Weber sure has turned things around.

 

Weber has six goals and 13 assists for a total of 19 points. That’s an average of .58 points per game, which is actually ahead of his .55/game career average. He’s just .05/game off his pace from 2010-11 and .01/game off of 2011-12, the two years when he was runner-up for the Norris Trophy.


*


Love speaking with interesting and knowledgeable fitness/strength coaches. Andy O’Brien is one of the best in the hockey biz – I interviewed him last summer about Sidney Crosby (they have worked together for over 10 years).

 

O’Brien took on Matt Duchene as a client last year, and their work is paying off in spades. It is amazing to see the difference between a healthy and functional player (Duchene in 2013) compared to one playing with nagging injuries and trying to work around them (Duchene in 2011-12).

 

Here is the link to our interview, which also touched on supplements for hockey players, and nutrition as well.

 

For all of Matt’s fans out there, one thing that makes him stand out for me is his intense love for the game of hockey and a true passion for playing the game.  He’s a very special player and I think his upside is much greater than many people realize.


I have a hunch that Duchene is going to flirt with the 50-goal mark – that won’t come until the Avs find a way to get some defensemen in the fold who can actually move the puck, but that is the kind of dynamic ability that Duchene possesses.

 

*

 

Thomas Vanek left the Sabres/Lightning game on Tuesday night with an upper body injury. He has had a few nagging issues over the past few weeks, and I would speculate that they are related to each other.

Sticking with Buffalo – are their new line combinations working?

 

In Montreal Ron Rolston broke up Cody Hodgson, Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville for the first time to start a game.


Ott went to left wing with Hodgson and Pominville while Vanek joined Tyler Ennis and Ville Leino.


In the three games Ott has two goals and an assist. Hodgson has four assists and Pominville has just one goal.


*

A great interview for fans of NHL 94.

 

I logged some serious time on the NHL 94 – first, as a kid growing up, and again in university after I picked up an old Super Nintendo. Obviously Chicago and Pittsburgh were the great teams to play with, but I also liked playing with the Whalers and Canucks (Ronning and Bure could fly).

 

What was your team of choice?

 

*

 

One of my favourite defensive prospects in hockey, Jon Merrill, inked a rookie deal and turned pro with the Devils. Merrill has been a standout at Michigan during his time there, and he won’t need much in the way of AHL experience before he makes the jump to the NHL. He is a physical two-way defenseman who can play in all situations.

 

He has had to overcome adversity (a suspension and a serious neck injury), which will ultimately help him in the long run.

 

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Oklahoma City native finished his career with the Wolverines with 11 goals and 36 assists in 82 games, but was limited to just 40 games over the last two seasons. He sat out the first half of last season while serving a suspension for breaking a team rule.


*

 

As the 2013 draft approaches, I start doing more research for my keepers. Curtis Lazar is definitely on my radar, and he should be on yours too.

 

Following an inauspicious start this season, when he had eight goals and 17 points in 27 games, Lazar finished strong, totaling 30 goals and 44 points in his final 45 games. His 38 goals led the team, and his 61 points were fifth.


"He had a dry spell for a while, but when he was on, he was around the puck and creating stuff all game," NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards told NHL.com. "He can certainly take advantage of his opportunities."


*


Kris Letang broke his toe, and the Penguins have recalled Simon Despres from the AHL. Letang has had rotten injury luck this season. I use the word luck because none of his injuries have been related to each other. He is probably inching towards band-aid boy territory at this point, but I’d hold off on naming him to the committee just yet.

 

*

 

Mike Ribeiro gets very “Zen” when discussing his future in Washington.

 

“If it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen,” Ribeiro said of a possible extension in Washington.


Ribeiro is no fool – he can take one look at the UFA market for centers this summer and see the $$$$ headed his way. He is the best center available, ahead of Derek Roy and Stephen Weiss. He will probably have to take a cut to stay in Washington – if he wants the most money possible, it won’t come from the Capitals.

 

The Capitals are playing good hockey lately, and Ribeiro has been their most consistent (and best) player all season. It will be a tough decision to make either way (keep or trade).

 

*

 

Trying to make sense of the NHL disciplinary committee.

 

PB

 

*

 

Jordan Schroeder looks great for the Canucks, and the “speed” line with him, Jannik Hansen, and Mason Raymond has been dominant over the past few games. Vancouver would love to be able to throw them out as a third scoring unit during the playoffs, but with injuries the are the second line right now.

 

The “third” line features a defenseman and Andrew Ebbett on it. Keith Ballard has actually looked good on the left wing. He is getting chances, forechecking and hitting, and of course skating well (his best attribute as a player). It will be interesting to see if/when he gets dual eligibility – could have some value as a defenseman in deeper leagues – he will get more scoring opportunities as a forward than as a 5/6 defenseman.

 

*

 

Sergei Bobrovsky was sensational against the Canucks – he reminded me a lot of Carey Price with his fluidity and efficiency of movement. Arguably the most impressive goalie I have seen face Vancouver in 2013.

 

*

 

My latest for DefendingBigD – what do the Stars have in Joe Morrow?

 

I saw Joe Morrow play a bit during his WHL days with the dominant Portland Winterhawks. He played on teams that featured the likes of Ryan Johansen (Columbus), Nino Niederreiter (New York Islanders), and Sven Bartschi (Calgary). He was a slick puck mover at that level, and he is currently playing his first season of pro hockey in the AHL.


Morrow is known for his skating and offense, but he isn't afraid to play physical hockey, and he has good size for a defenseman, too. And he has an absolute bomb from the point.


*


A great finish from Mr. Eberle:

 


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Comments (20)add comment

hockey said:

hockey
... You missed the point
March 29, 2013
Votes: +0

Anze said:

Anze
... Thomas isn't a Bruin anymore, he quit on them.
Anyway, glad you could make a list as long with 29 teams, as I did with the Bruins. Never mind you had to include fans ( once from 50 years ago ! ) to make your list.

Who will refuse to play for Boston today ?

Have a great day !
March 29, 2013
Votes: +0

hockey said:

hockey
Little late First off, @sanstanya everybody Boston fan hates Jacobs as much as anyone, unfortunately the employees don't get to pick the boss, not sure what your point is? Haha everyone loves Patrice and they should, spoiler alert...hes a bruin! Let see if i can point out some hypocrisy below...

@Anze last time i checked Thomas wasn't a bruin and was traded for literally nothing (assuming he doesn't play for the isle) God bless him for that playoff run but that white house fiasco has nothing to do with the bruin organization...really?

So your telling me you couldn't put a similar list together for every single team in the NHL? Get over it man, everyone is a homer for their team. Bruins at least seem to embrace that reality.
off the top of my head...

Cooke (actually) ending savards career,
Edlers hit on smith(PHX),
The islanders host of 6-5 250 lb goons who get brought in from the AHL but can barely skate. Scott, incidentally, is a good example of a player I think you'd hate.
Alex burrows (Marchand would be loved by the home team on any team he was on, don't lie), They also gave Milbury a job you know, that moment was great, how much fun would that have been. but for the sake of argument, i seem to recall Vancouver burning their city down after a loss and i think the Richard riots were pretty bad too if you want a period piece.

Classlessness is HOCKEY! and I love it!

I just can't stand the holier than thou attitude.
March 29, 2013
Votes: +0

sanstanya said:

sanstanya
@Anze And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I would raise the bar from "the coach down" to the owner down. The captain of that ship is one of the biggest d-bags in the pro sports world, and he has created a culture in his likeness. I have no problem with them playing tough physical hockey, but they wrap it in a veneer of absolute bullshit shenanigans and cry about everybody else in the league. Their hypocritical shitshow is facking embarrassing to the entire sport. Shout out to P Bergeron though. That guy is awesome.
March 28, 2013
Votes: +0

Anze said:

Anze
Classlessness Classlessness is running into a 170 lbs goalie on purpose, when there is no traffic around and you have another path.
Classessness is sending fighters to beat Tom Pyatt and Jaro Spacek with a minute to play in a game you're winning by 5-6 goals.
Classlessness is trying to end a guy's career in the glass because he gave you a little push after an OT goal a month ago. It's not like Paciorretty ended your best player's career and refused to stand up.
Classlessness is your coach whining after a loss that the other team is embellishing when you have the league top embellisher in your line-up in Brad Marchand. Classlessness is defining your team as tough but systematically refusing to fight bigger opponents, no matter the score or the circumstances - Thornton on Scott is the exception and it didn't ended very well for him.
Classlessness is having one of your franchise defining moment being a player beating a fan with a shoe in the stands.
Classlessness is refusing to show up at the White House, even if I agree with Thomas on his political positions.
Classlessness is the Bruins.
March 28, 2013
Votes: +0

hockey said:

hockey
Semantic? example of classlessness as you define it please? I think there are a few teams out there that can't figure out why they are getting beat in the tough games and in the playoffs so the blame someone else. The league doesn't seem to have a problem with the way the bruins carry themselves so those teams should spend more of their energy learning to float than telling other teams how to play the game.

I wondered the same thing about Iginla. If he wins a cup does he just go retire in calgary?
March 28, 2013
Votes: +0

Anze said:

Anze
... @hockey
Rough is one thing. Classless is something else. Cooke was a dirty player who may have changed, I still don't know what to think of Karlsson's injury. But the B's are classless, from the coach down.
March 28, 2013
Votes: +0

Anze said:

Anze
Iginla I'm wondering if the Flames agreed to so little because they know Iginla will go back to Calgary in July. It's so hard to see how Pittsburgh can fit him under the cap next year...
March 28, 2013
Votes: +0

TangerineDreamTeam said:

TangerineDreamTeam
Sharks players
" it was the usual suspects bringing the offense for the Sharks (Couture, Marleau, and Pavelski)."

I know what u mean by they are the best players, but do you remember those guys having 14 points in 6 games???
Marleau had something like 10 in 24 going in and Pavelski (a favorite of mine) had 4 in 17!!! If that's a regular i would hate to see the irregular scorers! Sorry Tommy.
March 28, 2013
Votes: +0

hockey said:

hockey
Iginla @Anze ...go back to russia if you dont like the north american brand...cooke is a real classy player too...

The big loser of the iginla trade? Calgary, better be a pretty damn good pick cause the "prospects" may never play for the flames.
March 28, 2013
Votes: +0

rob2kx said:

rob2kx
... Well I guess the Iginla move ruins the Trade Deadline Day Banner on your front page...
March 28, 2013
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... @ Stu

The Penguins acquired three stars? Huh?
March 28, 2013
Votes: +0

phatrat said:

phatrat
NHL 94 love it! Why can't they make a new version of this game? smilies/smiley.gif
Keep it simple, and easy to score.
March 28, 2013
Votes: -1

Baron Von Snipeski said:

Baron Von Snipeski
Sunday... Maybe I'm late to the party, but what happened to Nichols?? He did an amazing job....
March 28, 2013
Votes: +0

Leafsin2030 said:

Leafsin2030
NHL 94 I can't begin to explain how much of my university years were spent having NHL 94 tourneys!! Still the greatest. Roenick and Dougie were untouchable in that game - you could plow through any center in the league with them on the draw. Mogilny could fly, and "The Chief" Iafrate had a cannon from the point! As an overall team, the Bruins were awesome to play until you got "Mooged".
March 28, 2013
Votes: +1

Dobber said:

Dobber
... NHL 94
Caps were my team too. Probably the best team to go with along with the Rangers (or am I thinking NHL 93 for the Rangers?). The Wings and Sabres were deadly in the right hands, too
March 28, 2013
Votes: +0

Anze said:

Anze
Iginla So happy he chose the Pens. A classy player like him don't belong on the classless Bruins. That's as sweet as the Habs win last night.
Now Bergeron is a heck of player. He was the 1st, 2nd and 3rd star last night. Besides his 4 points and face-off wins, he was blocking shots and cutting passes. He was dominant at both ends.
Subban is definitely in Norris contention. He is becoming Letang with size, that is scary.
March 28, 2013
Votes: +0

Gaborlick said:

Gaborlick
94 I always played with the Red Wings. I think I might still have a copy of the game. Easter Sunday will be full of NHL94 if my super nintendo is there!
March 28, 2013
Votes: +0

Stu Neft said:

Disco Stu
... 2013 Penguins = 1927 Yankees

Ray Shero just wrote the book on how to acquire three stars and not give up one active roster player
March 28, 2013
Votes: +0

New Nhlers said:

New Nhlers
NHL'94 Washington Capitals
Kevin Hatcher and Al Iafrate were dominant (especially when defence ctrl was: ON), and Bondra provided more than enough offence. Mike Ridley and Dale Hunter rounded out my starting lineup.
March 28, 2013
Votes: +0
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