Marc-Andre Gragnani is playing on the second PP unit tonight for the Canucks. Chris Tanev is coming out of the lineup.
My weekly Canucks Army piece is up - I spoke with Merrimack reporter who gave me some great stuff on Joe Cannata, one of the best goalies in the NCAA.
I didn't catch the end of the Buffalo/Anaheim game, but a ton of penalty minutes were assessed at the 20 minute mark of period three. I am going to guess that Patrick Kaleta had something to do with it...
Ryan Miller played great for the Sabres - arguably his best game of the season, as he posted a 43 save shutout.
Cody Hodgson had no points, but he played over 16 minutes, including four on the power play. He also won five of eight faceoffs.
The Nuge has points in three straight since returning from injury. Gagner has no points over that span.
Shattenkirk had three points and five shots on goal for the Blues. Such a good young defenseman.
McDonald scored twice and played over 20 minutes - great to see, as he's had a tough road back from his concussion. A great buy low (probably not as much as he was last week) for the rest of the season.
Chris Stewart has three goals in his last five games. Turning a corner, perhaps?
Watched most of the Dallas/Pittsburgh game – was a great contest, both teams were skating really hard.
Amazing what Pittsburgh continues to do without Crosby. Staal is looking dominant also every shift, and Malkin and Neal continued their strong play, combining for nine shots on goal.
Dallas liked Souray’s size and physical presence last night – he played over 25 minutes, scoring a goal and adding four shots on goal.
Kris Letang left the game with a likely concussion after a very suspect hit from Eric Nystrom.
What’s wrong with Toronto? Lack of confidence in goaltending, which leads to players not playing their proper roles.
Lupul was one of the few good Leafs in Chicago, finishing with two points and three shots on goal.
Jake Gardiner has been really solid all season, but he was far from it last night. One of his worst games in the NHL.
Marian Hossa had two goals and could have had another few. One of those games where he goes into “beast mode” when he has the puck.
Nick Leddy looks more and more like Keith – skating, passing, etc – every time I watch Chicago play.
Pat Kane had his best game in a long time – two points, six shots on goal. Took a few faceoffs, too, with Toews still out.
Another awful start from Crawford - Emery got the win in relief and will be given a chance to run with the starting gig (once again).
Oduya was pointless in 20 minutes of ice time, and he saw time on both the PP and PK.
I thought both Vancouver and San Jose did excellent jobs at the deadline at creating more defined roles for their clubs. The Canucks added defensive stalwart Sami Pahlsson, while the Sharks picked up an elite checking winger in Daniel Winnik, and a very good one in TJ Galiardi. Fantasy relevance is indirect, but it is worth noting.
Ryan Kesler is the big winner of the trade, as Pahlsson takes a lot of his defensive responsibilities away (won’t happen overnight, though). In San Jose, the team now has two clear scoring lines and two clear checking lines.
Bryzgalov allowed a goal about a minute into his start on Tuesday night, but he played great the rest of the way – an encouraging sign for all of the frustrated poolies out there who own him.
Defending Big D takes a look at the James Neal-for-Alex Goligoski swap from last season.
“For Neal, he found the perfect situation for his offensive abilities. Playing with the best player in the NHL and finally getting significant power play time, Neal has 30 goals in 62 games and will likely finish with nearly a point per game this season. He's scored 13 goals on the power play and with a Pittsburgh system that allows Neal to flourish offensively, he's shaken off the inconsistency of last season and found the scoring touch we new he'd always had.
Goligoski, on the other hand, recovered from a slow start to the season and now has 26 points in 52 games. He has 16 points in the last 26 games for the Stars, however, and has quickly become the cornerstone on defense that the Stars needed him to be. He leads the Stars in ice time per game and sees significant time on the power play and nearly every situation during games, showing better defensive capability than he was given credit for coming out of Pittsburgh.”
Just as it did at the time, the deal looks like a potential win-win for both clubs. Neal is the big sniper that the Penguins have coveted for a while, and Goligoski is looking like the puck mover the Stars have missed since Sergei Zubov retired.
I was really impressed with how Robin Lehner responded to the Ben Bishop a trade (a direct challenge to his game, in my estimation). Shutting out the Bruins (struggling or not, still impressive) on the road as a rookie goalie is no easy feat. The Sens are set up quite nicely for the future, as Bishop will push Lehner for the ice time for both this season and next.
A big loss for the Devils – Henrik Tallinder is out for up to two months with a blood clot that has affected him since late January.
I was surprised the Leafs were able to land a prospect like Carter Ashton for Keith Aulie. At this point, Aulie isn’t looking all too promising as a prospect. Great size, and that is about it. The knock on Ashton has been compete level/effort and consistency, but he possesses a great combination of skill and size. I saw him a few times in the WHL and was impressed with how good he could be when he was giving a full effort. An astute move by Burke.
Ryan Miller complaining again, this time about Paul Gaustad being traded away. Hey Ryan, your GM just nabbed a 1st round pick for a checking line player who wasn’t going to re-sign. In some circles that is called “good asset management.”
Colorado picked up a few interesting prospects in the trade with San Jose – one of them is Mike Connolly.
Connolly was an offensive star while at University, and he is having a very strong rookie season in the AHL. He’s on the small side, and will likely have to play in a scoring role to contribute at the NHL level.
The other prospect acquired by Colorado, Michael Sgarbossa, is having a fantastic season in the OHL. San Jose has good depth among forward prospects, and they used it to shore up a few weaknesses on the roster.
Zack Kassian displaced David Booth on the second line by the end of the game in Phoenix. The Canucks were skating in mud for much of the game – a brutal road trip in terms of travel, and it had affected them. I liked Kassian’s game – physical, good speed, made some good plays with the puck. He even saw a shift with the Sedin twins.
I’d expect him to be on the roster come playoffs, and to bounce around from line two to line four, depending on the play of Booth (who is struggling a bit lately) and Raymond (who is struggling a lot lately).
The trade stunned me a lot, and I still haven’t really formed a solid opinion on it. Rare to see two so highly touted prospects traded for each other. I wouldn’t sleep on Gragnani either – there area few in the Canucks organization who are really high on him. He has had a really poor season for Buffalo – turnovers, lack of physical play, and so on, but Vancouver (on paper) could be a great fit for him for the next few years.
For Hodgson, Buffalo will give him a look centering the second line. In the long term, he could become the top center, there. Lots of parallels to both Derek Roy (slower, better shot) and Chris Drury, both successful and undersized Sabre centers. Hodgson’s a lot quicker than he was last season, but his foot speed still affects him from time to time.
Why did the Oilers trade Tom Gilbert? Jim Matheson asks the question. Schultz is a good defenseman and will bring a calming presence on a back end that desperately needs one, but who does Edmonton expect will step in and take Gilbert’s offensive minutes? Is Jeff Petry ready? Perhaps the Oilers have something in the works for the summer, moving someone like Gagner or Paajarvi for a young defenseman…
The hit reminds me of Moore on Naslund – leaning in for the puck and vulnerable: