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February 28, 2012
A few notes - in Montreal all concern tonight is for NHL legend Jean
Beliveau, 80, who was admitted to hospital Monday night after he apparently
suffered a stroke...see what you're doing over there Mr. Gauthier, you're
killing a legend...
Wishing Mr. Beliveau and family all
the best and a speedy recovery...
The unfortunate news didn't do much
to rally the Habs, though - they dropped a 2-1 decision in Tampa Bay...for some
reason right now all I hear is Lucy from "A Charlie Brown Christmas"..."you're
hopeless, Charlie Brown...completely hopeless..."...I'm pretty sure Randy
Cunneyworth feels the same way about his team...only he can't say it, or at
least it would be ill advised of him to do so...but I can...
Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators went
into Boston tonight and Robin Lehner posted his first career NHL shutout, in a
1-0 win...huge win for the Sens...Erik Karlsson does it again with his 15th, the
only goal to beat Tim Thomas...Sens are now a point back on the Bruins, but the
Bruins have four games at hand...Winnipeg and Ottawa have both played 65 games,
more than any other team...
It doesn't get any better for
Toronto...after a vote of confidence from Brian Burke yesterday at the deadline,
they lost 5-3 to Florida on home ice, making them 1-8 in their last 9...wasn't
it just a few short weeks ago they looked like they might make some noise in the
Eastern Conference!? So much for that...
And remember what I said about
Carolina? They beat Nashville 4-3 tonight...Bryan Allen with his 1st of
the season to win the game...with Winnipeg losing last
night to Edmonton and Washington getting back in the win column tonight, there
is quite the log jam...even Tampa won again tonight...look out!!
Speaking of Washington...looks like
Ovi might be slowly coming back to life...the Caps were actually down by 2 goals
late to the Islanders, when Troy Brouwer got two to tie it, and Ovechkin in
OT...Washington stuns the Islanders 3-2...somehow, amid all the criticism and
sideshows, Alex still has 26...should be able to finish with 30 to salvage
somewhat of a respectable season...by what we've seen before from him, nowhere
near his potential, but Washington isn't the run and gun team they used to be
anymore, either...people seem to forget that...
So right now Washington leads
Winnipeg by a point for the 8th spot...Florida is now 3 clear of both of
them...Toronto is now 4 points out of 8th...Tampa Bay 5 back...Carolina and the
Islanders 8 back...even Buffalo is in the mix as they are 7 back...surely one of
them has to get hot?
back...good enough for 15th in the East...if it wasn't for Columbus and Edmonton
they'd be last overall...the rest of the teams in the West not in the playoffs
right now are better than Montreal...
No wonder poor Mr. Beliveau had a
February 27, 2012
8:34 PM: Now it's time to play hockey!!!
Oilers are in Winnipeg for the first and
only time this season...oddly enough, they aren't giving Nikolai Khabibulin the
start...back where it all began for him...
Five on the sched tonight...1-0
Nashville after 1 against L.A., and it's 1-0 Rangers over NJ in the 2nd...St.
Louis-Calgary and Anaheim-Colorado are 9:00 starts...
4:10 PM: Canucks with one more small
F Andrew Gordon from the Anaheim Ducks for
D Sebastian Erixon...
San Jose may be without Couture, but
could be getting Douglas Murray and Martin Havlat back in their lineup very
Washington officially put Nick
Backstrom on long term IR...nothing out of them at the deadline, either...
So, unless something else gets
announced, which is unlikely, we had 15 trades involving 31 players and 11
picks...last year's deadline had 16 trades involving 35 players and 12
picks...pretty scary similarities...but still nowhere close to the record
breaking 32 deals from way back when...
3:48 PM: In the final analysis of last
year's Stanley Cup Final,
the biggest criticism of Vancouver was they
couldn't stand up to the grit of the Boston Bruins (probably didn't help that
they woke them up with the hit on Horton in Game 3 either)...with Kassian and
Gragnani, they think they've addressed that...Hodgson's future was often in
doubt...still no guarantees, but the Canucks have just given themselves a better
shot...we'll find out...still 15 other teams that will have something to say...
3:42 PM: The deal gets bigger...Canucks
also get Marc-Andre Gragnani, and Alexander Sulzer heads to the Sabres...
3:35 PM: It is indeed Hodgson going to
Buffalo for Kassian...there
could still be more to come...this arguably is the biggest one of the day...
Ray Ferraro on Kassian "You're
getting a rumbling bull"...
3:33 PM: Zach Kassian
heading to Vancouver from
Buffalo...speculation is this could be big...Cody Hodgson? More details to
3:27 PM: Now they're
saying it's a 4th round pick instead of a
5th round pick heading to Nashville in the Gaustad deal...guess there were no
chicken wings available?
Toronto gets in another minor
deal...D Mark Fraser heads to Anaheim for F Dale Mitchell...
3:24 PM: The complete Boston-Islanders
deal...Brian Rolston and Mike
Mottau in exchange for prospects Yannick Riendeau and Mark Cantin...
3:21 PM: Nashville did
indeed give up a 1st round pick for Gaustad...Buffalo
sends a 5th round pick along with him...like I said, throw in some chicken wings
while they're at it...
3:19 PM: Calgary re-ups Tim Jackman, 2
years, $612,500 per...and
evidently Vancouver still has something in queue...
3:14 PM: Steve Kampfer
goes to Minny in the Zanon deal...
The New York Rangers acquire D John
Scott from Chicago for a 5th round pick...
3:11 PM: Another Wild defenseman
on the move - Greg Zanon to Boston...still
waiting to hear the other halves of the last 3 deals announced...
3:06 PM: More on the Boston-Islanders deal
Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau both go to
3:05 PM: Not surprisingly,
no Rick Nash deal...or Steve Ott for that
3:01 PM: Buffalo sends Paul Gaustad to Nashville...a high
draft pick is evidently heading back to
Buffalo...maybe some chicken wings were part of the deal...
2:58 PM: Boston gets Brian Rolston from the
Islanders...2nd stint with the
Bruins for Rolston, and not the first time he's been involved in a deadline deal
- you'll recall he was part of the Ray Bourque deal back in the day...
2:38 PM: Calm before the deadline storm...all
networks reviewing what has happened so far (and paying the bills - TSN has just
taken two commercial breaks in like 10 minutes)...22 minutes left...but there
will no doubt be last minute deals announced right up until 4 or so...
2:31 PM: T-minus 29 minutes...
2:17 PM: Chicago paid
both a 2nd and 3rd round pick for Oduya...both
picks in 2013...Vancouver sent two 4th round picks for Pahlsson...
The complete Colorado-San Jose deal
- Daniel Winnik, T.J. Galiardi and a 7th round pick go to San Jose...heading
back to Colorado, Jamie McGinn, Mike Connolly and Michael Sgarbossa...
No word yet on how badly hurt Logan
Couture is...but evidently the Sharks wanted a little protection for him...
2:07 PM: Johnny Oduya to
2:02 PM: Columbus sends Samuel Pahlsson to
Vancouver...evidently for a
player and draft pick TBA...
have finally opened...and it seems Sportsnet is starting to break the news
faster than TSN...
2:00 PM: T-minus 1 hour...Darren
Dreger saying Rick Nash is still in play...
1:59 PM: Ottawa has sent
D Brian Lee to Tampa Bay for D Matt
1:57 PM: Daniel Winnik and T.J. Galiardi
both going to San Jose...unclear yet what
is going back to Denver...
1:53 PM: TSN's Bob MacKenzie is reporting
San Jose may be close to acquiring LW Daniel Winnik from Colorado...not a done
Grant Clitsome tweeted his
excitement at becoming a Winnipeg Jet and thanked Columbus for the
opportunity...staying with Winnipeg, there's talk Johnny Oduya could be moved,
but nothing happening on that front yet...
Looking more and more like Columbus
will be keeping Rick Nash...for now - asking price is way too high...look for
that one to go down at the draft...
F Carter Ashton heads to Toronto...he was a first round pick of Tampa in
2009...presently playing in Norfolk of the AHL...so, Keith Aulie for Carter
Ashton...basically a swap of futures...Toronto gives up defensive depth for
depth on forward...the Leafs are going to have some big guys on their team in
years to come...
1:37 PM: Toronto has
sent Keith Aulie to Tampa Bay, unknown for
what or whom...you'll recall Aulie was part of the Dion Phaneuf deal...TSN is
unsure as to if the player coming back from Tampa is even on their roster or a
1:36 PM: T-minus 1 hour, 23 minutes...
1:19 PM: Pierre McGuire
reported that Minnesota getting Tom Gilbert
could be long term strategy - Nashville's Ryan Suter is a UFA on July 1 -
Gilbert and Suter are former team mates at the University Of Wisconsin...hmmmm...
Call this one about even...
12:58 PM: Edmonton sends
D Tom Gilbert to Minnesota for D Nick
Schultz...somewhat of an upgrade...Oilers save about 1/2 a million in cap
space...Schultz is more of a stay at home defenseman...Gilbert is more
offensively oriented...Schultz is Canadian, Gilbert is American, from
Not too sure how I feel about this
one...but, if I do know one thing, the Oilers need to keep the puck out of their
end...Darren Pang mentioned if they pair him with Ladislav Smid, it should help
their cause tremendously...they're fine up front, and fine in net...it's my view
they'll be better without Khabibulin, if they can ever trade him or simply not
renew his contract...Dubnyk is ready to be the #1 guy, IMO...
I guess a bigger question is how
many former Oilers are now with the Wild?!
12:48 PM: You can tell
everybody's hitting TSN's website over
their lunch hour...it's unresponsive and/or slow...they seem to be having all
sorts of technical difficulties today...only 2 deals so far, folks...boy am I
glad I didn't get up at 7 AM...
12:45 PM: Detroit sends D Mike Commodore
to Tampa Bay for a conditional 7th round pick...
As I've traded my Chock Full O' Nuts
coffee for Maxwell House...well, actually...today it's a mixture of Maxwell
House and this Hawaiian coffee I picked up yesterday...must get to the U.S.
sometime soon...just a few more weeks...hopefully...
12:29 PM: NHL 3 Stars
of the week: #1 - Erik Karlsson, Ottawa; #2
Teddy Purcell, Tampa Bay; #3 Kari Lehtonen, Dallas...
12:23 PM: 2 hrs, 37 minutes
until the deadline...still stuck on 1
12:05 PM: Montreal claims
Brad Staubitz off re-entry waivers from Minnesota...and for half of his salary
...and...Winnipeg claims Grant
Clitsome from Columbus...everybody else I mentioned Friday cleared waivers...
Waiver deadline of noon has passed...after
today, if a team claims a player on waivers, they aren't eligible to play in the
11:44 AM: Should hear about a 2nd trade
soon...Brian Burke was just on
Sportsnet saying it doesn't look like he will do much at all...
11:33 AM: Very similar
deadline to last year...first trade last
year was just after 10:30...second trade was around 11:45...
TSN's thing right now is they're
monitoring team practices to see if any players are missing...
11:32 AM: Another one..."prof
cancelled class today"...and another one "almost got my phone taken away in
class while watching TSN TradeCentre"...
11:15 AM: Seeing a lot
of tweets from people about trade deadline
- "supposed to be at work", or "supposed to be at school", or "not going to be a
very productive day today"...yeah - this is why I took today off...
10:52 AM: First trade of the day...
Andrei Kostitsyn is reunited with his
brother Sergei in Nashville...Montreal gets back the conditional 2013 5th
round pick they sent to
Nashville in the Hal Gill trade, as well as a 2nd round pick...
9:01 AM: Nothing happening yet...TSN
and Sportsnet have already been on air for an hour...
Unlike Jay Onrait, who's at home
again in front of the computer with his coffee mug, I'm here with the Satellite
Radio checking out NHL Home Ice until the first trade is announced...
The calm before the
I always wonder what the reaction
would be if all of a sudden there were no trades on deadline day...I always
envison Gary Bettman (or whoever is commissioner) getting in front of a podium
at 3 PM and saying "um, well, yeah - there were no deals - everybody can go
home"...executives over at TSN and Sportsnet would be pissed!!
1:38 AM: So, everybody's on the air at 8
AM...even HNIC Radio goes for 6
hours instead of 3...they start up at noon...
A couple of small ones that nobody
seemed to notice...on Friday, Florida got Jarred Smithson from Nashville for a
6th round pick...all eyes on Nashville...both at the deadline and at the
And last week, right around when the
Steve Downie-Kyle Quincey deal went down, Tampa Bay got Brendon Segal from
Chicago for what is still being reported as "future considerations"...
If you're not near a T.V., and if
the various trade reporting websites are slowing you down...keep it right here
in this blog...I'll be tuning in probably around 9-ish...who knows, maybe I'll
even be up with Sportsnet and TSN...
February 26, 2012
4:10 PM: Ottawa traded
a 2013 2nd round pick to St. Louis for
seldom used goaltender Ben Bishop...a little bit of insurance, I guess...reports
are Bishop is excited about the opportunity...
Hey, well, at least it's not Pavol
Demitra (may he R.I.P.) for Christer Olsson...
February 25, 2012
9:46 PM: So this evening while
all the talk is about a potential Rick Nash
trade, L.A.'s Dustin Brown gave his team management four reasons, perhaps, to not
trade him...3G 1A...and there's still a period left in that game between the
Kings and Chicago Blackhawks...4-0 is the score...my oh my how the mighty Hawks
The New York Rangers made a trade
with Florida - last year's pre-deadline acquisition (I believe it was sometime
in January 2011), Wojtek Wolski goes to the Cats for a third round pick in 2013
and minor league defenseman Mike Vernace...
And I wonder if anybody noticed the
NY Islanders put Brian Rolston on waivers...
More from the waiver wire - Columbus
claimed Darryl Boyce from Toronto, and placed two players, Ryan Russell and
Grant Clitsome on waivers...New Jersey's Eric Boulton, Minnesota's Brad Staubitz
(re-entry), and Calgary's Krys Kolanos, are all available to any team willing to
take them on...
Out of the 11 games on today's
schedule, everybody's buzzing about the 1st one...an 8-1 blowout by Pittsburgh
over Tampa Bay...Evgeni Malkin keeps it going, with a hat trick, another player
today with 3G 1A...one of the goals they're comparing to Mario Lemieux' infamous
deke against Minnesota in 1991 in the Stanley Cup Final...ESPN's Pierre Lebrun
described it as Malkin "beating 19 guys and scoring"...put simply - the Penguins
are going to be scary...with or without Crosby...
February 24, 2012
9:56 PM: The "Potvin Sucks"
chants will be out in full force tonight in Manhattan...Islanders win the
shootout...win the game 4-3...they've still got a slim shot...then again, we've
seen this movie before...
Canucks win back to back games...2-1
was the final...Canucks are in Dallas Sunday afternoon, Devils host the Bolts,
also Sunday afternoon...
Bruins and Sabres are in OT now,
9:48 PM: You've gotta love The Ottawa Sun
for getting everybody all up in
arms over something other than the weather...HNIC Radio this afternoon reported
that the Craig Anderson self-inflicted accidental injury is not as bad as
originally reported...indications are he could miss 7-10 days...so what happens,
now, if Lehner comes up and plays lights out?
Edmonton has come to terms on a 2
year deal with Ales Hemsky - 2 years, $10 million - now, stop moping and earn
it...as they to shout at le Centre Bell "Shoot da puck, Tabernac!!"...
Up until I learned of the signing I
was going to start a rumor that Hemsky may go to L.A. for Dustin Brown...but
evidently that's not going to happen...Brown is still apparently on the block,
though...maybe send Eric Belanger and all 3 of his goals back there for
him...Oilers won't need to do much with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins expected back
Los Angeles also re-signed Willie
Mitchell to a 2 year, $7 million extension...
The New Jersey Devils honored
legendary announcer Doc Emrick before their game against Vancouver tonight, and
served notice during the game they are looking to make a long playoff run...they
acquired veteran D Marek Zidlicky from Minnesota, in exchange for three players
- D Kurtis Foster, F Nick Palmieri and F Stephane Veilleux...the Devils will
also give up a 2nd rounder in 2012, and possibly a 3rd rounder in 2013 -
conditional if the Devils make it to the Conference Finals...Foster and Veilleux
go back to where their NHL careers began...
The game itself sees Vancouver
holding on to a 2-1 lead late in the 3rd period...
I dunno - Marek Zidlicky is good,
but is he worth 3 players and 2 prospects? You have to wonder what getting
rid of Foster's bomb on the point is going to do...then again...Zidlicky is good
in shootouts?...I guess time will tell...
Washington seems to have gotten off
the schneid, posting a 4-1 win against Montreal...the Colorado Avalanche
continue to help their playoff hopes as they blanked Columbus 5-0...Dallas,
fresh off a win last night in Chicago, is up 3-0 on Minnesota in the
2nd...Boston-Buffalo are tied 1-1 in the 3rd, and the Rangers and Islanders are
in OT...tied 3-3, actually heading to a shootout...
9:29 AM: Ottawa Senators fans,
hold your breath...you could be without goalie Craig Anderson anywhere from 6-8
weeks, after he cut his hand badly while preparing food after Thursday night's
win against Washington...I double checked the calendar - it is not April 1st...
Reminds me of the time I almost
chopped the top of my index finger off in 2006, while trying to make a sandwich
just prior to Team Canada's loss to Team Russia in the Men's Hockey medal round
of the Olympics...talk about a bad omen...that took at least a month to
heal...if not longer...and because it's one of the most commonly used fingers, I
could feel it every time (in fact, even these days, on rare occasions if I hit
it the wrong way on something I can feel it)...I've stayed away from crusty
kaiser rolls ever since...at least ones that aren't already cut in half...
Robin Lehner is expected up from
Binghamton...and Alex Auld has barely played...so does Bryan Murray look for a
goalie before Monday's deadline?
February 23, 2012
11:40 PM: Olli Jokinen tied it 3-3, late...OT
solved nothing...the Coyotes come out on top in the shootout...1 less shootout win, but 2
more shootout losses than Dallas...call it even...Calgary has a total of 10 OT
losses...Dallas only 4...so the Stars stay in 8th...Phoenix is only 6 clear of
5th...and only 2 behind Chicago...
It's going to be a dogfight, as
11:10 PM: Well, Claude Noel will be happy
with the win,
but will not be happy with the ending...the
Bolts actually got it to 4-3, and had 2 late second attempts to try and tie
it...didn't happen...Jets win 4-3 and move into 3rd...Florida moves into
8th...and Toronto into 9th...if the playoffs started tomorrow - the Jets would
play their Hockey Day In Canada opponents...Pittsburgh...
Dallas finishes the night 8th in the
West...for now...Phoenix leads Calgary 3-2 in the 3rd...if the Coyotes hang on,
the Stars stay in 8th...if Calgary comes back to win, they will be in 8th...OT
would still give Dallas the tie breaker advantage...
Repeat after me..."how tight is
10:57 PM: Michael Ryder gives Dallas some
minutes left in the Windy City...
2 minute warning in Winnipeg...
10:48 PM: Identical finish to the
Minnesota-Florida game in Nashville...St.
Louis' shooters score, Nashville's, do not...3-2, in a shootout...big win for
St. Louis as they look to solidify 4th...or even make a run at Detroit...
Jordan Eberle has his 27th...2-0
Dallas has tied Chicago 1-1, as OT
looms at the Madhouse...and Martin St. Louis busted the Winnipeg shutout...4-1
now...5 minutes left before the Jets shift the standings...
It's actually 2-1 for Dallas
now...Loui Eriksson with his 19th...Stars need a win to knock L.A. out of
8th...they'll be tied in points and games played...the shootout wins won't be a
factor here, as both have 4 wins in the shootout...that's going to be an
interesting tie breaker if it ever comes into play...
10:38 PM: Taylor Hall
with the ice breaker - 22nd of the
season...as they do indeed go to a shootout in Nashville...you know, if it
wasn't for shootouts, maybe 14 points wouldn't seem so insurmountable...just
10:26 PM: Minnesota wins 3-2 in a
shootout...Erik Christensen and
Matt Cullen both scored, Kris Versteeg and Sean Bergenheim, did not...Winnipeg
still leads Tampa Bay 4-0, 3rd is just underway...
In Detroit - the home streak is
over...the Wings led 3-2, but with the goalie pulled, the Canucks sent it to OT,
then won it in the shootout...Roberto Luongo stopped Jiri Hudler, Henrik
Zetterberg, and Todd Bertuzzi (on Bertuzzi bobble head night, no less)...the
only player to score in the shootout was Alex Burrows...Canucks win 4-3 and end
the streak...I wonder if that bobblehead comes with a removable head...you
know...oh never mind...
Scoreless after 1 in Edmonton
against Philadelphia...shots 14-9, Flyers...
And congratulations to Ryan Smyth
for getting himself within one of the 800 point milestone with 1G 1A against Calgary last game, on his
36th birthday...his next goal or assist will give him 800...Oilers cruised to a rare 6-1 win against their bitter provincial
rivals...they're only 14 points back with 2 games at hand on L.A. and 6 teams to
leap frog...I know...they're not going to make it...but perhaps a .500 season
isn't totally out of the question...
St. Louis and Nashville are in OT
too...will they go to a shootout?
Two more tonight...Phoenix just tied
up Calgary 2-2, in the 2nd...and Chicago is up 1-0 on Dallas in the 3rd...
9:53 PM: As long as he passes a physical
with team doctors,
Jeff Carter to Los Angeles is a done
deal...Columbus will get D Jack Johnson in return...word is he too, will need to
pass a physical...a conditional 1st round pick in either 2012 or 2013 is also
headed Columbus' way (most likely depends on how far the Kings get in the
playoffs, assuming they get in)...
Southeast update - Florida is tied
2-2 late against Minnesota...so they will have at least 66 points, assuming they
go to OT...Winnipeg is up 4-0 on Tampa...if they win, and if Minnesota wins in
OT, the Jets will go to 67 points and will be 1st overall in the Southeast,
which will move them from 9th into 3rd...
Anaheim just beat Carolina 3-2, in a
shootout...so the Canes go to 58 points...baby steps...but I still have a
Oh yeah...and Toronto lost
again...in regulation this time...2-1 against San Jose...depending on what else
happens tonight, the Leafs could take Winnipeg's place on the outside looking
Now, time to see who has the Philly
Flu in Edmonton...
February 22, 2012
4:21 PM: You can scratch
Tuomo Ruutu's name off the trade rumours list - he's been inked to a 4 year
contract extension...or at least at this point it's unlikely he will be
traded...but you never know...$19 million is the reported figure...not bad for a
somewhat reliable forward...
I don't recall hearing Todd
Bertuzzi's name in the rumour mill, but Detroit is expected to extend him for 2
Columbus made a trade today - not
involving Rick Nash or Jeff Carter...Antoine Vermette goes to Phoenix for a 2nd
round pick in 2012, a 5th rounder in 2013, and journeyman G Curtis
McElhinney...and there are sure to be more deals coming out of Ohio before
Monday at 3 PM...
Talk today is San Jose are the
frontrunners in the Rick Nash sweepstakes...L.A. still appears they would be the
team most likely to pull off a deal for Jeff Carter...
Speaking of L.A. - Mike
Richards is expected to be the next player profiled in the NHL 36 series...
February 21, 2012
4:33 PM: ...and...then
Tampa sends Quincey back to where he started...Detroit...for a 1st round draft
pick and minor league D Sebastien Piche...who says you can't go home?...
Looks like I'd better keep my hand
on the trade pulse...it's on!!
4:15 PM: TSN is reporting
that Steve Downie is on the move again...Tampa sends him to Colorado for D Kyle
Quincey...as the Bolts' house cleaning continues...somewhere between my Saturday
blog and now, they actually did trade Pavel Kubina to Philadelphia...for a 2nd
and 4th rounder, along with LW Jon Kalinski...Quincey, who now hasn't been able
to stick on two teams, gives Tampa about the same kind of defenseman, for a lot
cheaper...Yzerman knows him briefly from his playing days, so no surprise that
he'd go for him...
Anybody else notice Ty Conklin
clearing waivers yesterday?
Apparently somebody was trying to
impose as TSN's Gord Miller on Twitter, and was sending out fake trade news...to
which Miller quickly pointed out that his Twitter account is verified...further
to that, he pointed out that Pierre McGuire is not on the service - so
@VSPierreMcGuire and @espn_mcguire are both fake (doesn't McGuire work for NBC
these days?)...so now we have to verify that Tweets and Twitter accounts are
verified?! Who knew?
February 20, 2012
9:50 PM: OK, so happy
Family Day, Louis Riel Day, Heritage Day,
Islander Day, or President's Day, depending on what province or state you
live...some of you may have actually had a normal day back to work...even though
in Ontario it's the provincial holiday "Family Day", I actually opted to work so
that I could use the time another time (like next Monday, for
Only 2 games on the schedule
today...one of them was played this afternoon on Long Island...where evidently
the New York Islanders were celebrating President's Day...the Ottawa Senators
went in and blanked them, 6-0...the fishsticks will have an opportunity at fast
redemption, however - they invade the Bank on Sunday afternoon at 5 PM...
The Washington Capitals?
Clearly they are on holiday too...the Carolina Hurricanes? Up 5-0 in the
3rd...Eric Staal has 2...
Is it just me, or are the Canes not
out of this race yet? A win tonight, and it's certainly looking that way,
and they still end up in last in the Southeast with 57 points, one behind Tampa,
who have more or less thrown in the towel...that would put them 6 points behind
Washington, 7 points behind Winnipeg, 8 points behind Florida...they still have
one game left against Washington, 2 against Tampa...and four games each
against Winnipeg and Florida...the only problem is except for Winnipeg,
everybody else has at least a game at hand...that race keeps getting tighter and
tighter...give the home ice advantage to Winnipeg...gear up for a Southeast
As for Ottawa, they may now sit 2
points behind Boston again, but the Bruins have four games at hand...the
Senators, however, are heating up at the right time...and as we saw last week,
the team chasing them, Toronto, has fallen backwards a little bit...
11 games tomorrow night...6 out of 7
Canadian teams in action...including yet another Battle of Alberta...
February 18, 2012
1:25 PM: Heading into action for the
big story is the huge 4-2 win by Winnipeg
over the defending champions...they may have lost sniper Nik Antropov in the
process, but have served notice they are in the race...if any team has a more
favorable schedule down the stretch, it's the Jets...14 of their final 22 games
will be at home...last night started an 8 game home stand...because they still
play in the Southeast Division, they finally get Edmonton on their schedule on
Trade Deadline day, Feb 27...last night's win put them 2 points out of 8th in
the conference, and if they can't knock Ottawa or Toronto out, they might be
able to make some ground in the division - they're only 3 points out of 1st in
the Southeast Division...Washington and Florida are separated by 2 points...
With a division so tight, Tampa Bay,
seven points behind Washington, has more or less announced they're out of it,
and are sellers at the deadline...they already shipped Dominic Moore to San Jose
for a draft pick, and they'll be shopping Pavel Kubina to the highest
bidder...again...and who knows who else...you telling me the Bolts don't miss
The other team making ground last
night was Colorado...after Wednesday's heartbreaking (and I do mean
heartbreaking) OT loss to Toronto, the Edmonton Oilers came out flat against an
Avalanche team that they've had a lot of home success against of late...the Avs
won 3-1 on the strength of another multi point night from Ryan O'Reilly...Ryan
Jones, the only tally for the Oil...Avalanche are now 3 points out of a playoff
As for the game against Toronto -
you haven't seen as back and forth a game all season long...the Leafs took a 3-2
lead into the 3rd period, but Jordan Eberle, like he's done many times, found a
way to tie it (sooner or later he's going to find a way to win those
games)...Dion Phaneuf should probably get Norris trophy consideration on the
defensive play he made on Ryan Whitney alone...the Oilers were 3 on 1 in
OT...got his stick across at the last second and stole the puck and sent the
Leafs on a 3 on 1 of their own...sooner or later, when you're 4 on 4, those
advantages are going to work...Joffrey Lupul fed Tim Connolly for a
beauty...never EVER thought I'd say that about a Leaf goal...up next Vancouver
on Sunday...thank you Mr. Schedule Maker...
And Detroit...they once again
continue to roll...they broke, and then extended the home wins record...another
highlight reel goal for Pavel Datsyuk against the NY Rangers (Stanley Cup Final
preview, anyone?)...the Red Wings will try and extend the streak to 23 Sunday
against San Jose...
Getting back to trade deadline for a
minute...there were a few minor trades this week, which would indicate the
floodgates could start opening...starting in Winnipeg, they got F Maxime
Macenauer from Anaheim for F Riley Holzapel...Anaheim got little used F Ryan
O'Marra from Edmonton for D Bryan Rodney...Oilers shore up on defensive depth...
Philadelphia, who everybody knows is
looking for D, got Niklas Grossman out of Dallas for a 2nd rounder in 2012 and a
3rd rounder in 2013...keep an eye on who Dallas drafts with those...Grossman is
no Chris Pronger, but he will help...
I mentioned Dominic Moore to San
Jose...a 2012 7th rounder goes along with him...speaking of keeping an eye on
who becomes that pick...something tells me the Sharks will pick somebody from
the Ottawa 67s...just saying...heading back to Tampa, a 2nd round pick, also in
The biggest move, so far, however
(aside from last month's Cammalleri-Bourque deal that is), has to be yesterday's
deal between Nashville and Montreal (and how did Montreal figure out a way to
get involved in both?)...D Hal Gill and a 5th round draft pick in 2013, go to
the Predators in exchange for F Robert Slaney...a 2nd round draft pick in
2012...and...wait for it...none other than F Blake Geoffrion...now how did I
know this kid would end up with the Habs at some point in his career? It
was inevitable...grandfather Boom Boom, wherever he is, is a happy man
today...I'll tell you who will be a happier man - Pierre Gauthier, if and when
he can ever dump the Scott Gomez contract...Habs are 5 points back...how, I
don't know...still way too many teams in front of them, though...
February 14, 2012
11:05 AM: Well, first and foremost,
a happy Valentine's Day to you and yours...
If you're one of these people (like me)
who procrastinates with getting your
significant other a little something...if that significant other happens to be a
hockey fan - the NHL online store is offering a 14% discount all day
I don't know why I thought he had
already retired, but I guess not officially - Mike Comrie officially signed
retirement papers yesterday and his NHL career is over...no doubt his recent hip
problems factored heavily into his decision...definitely had a rocky road at
times throughout his career, which I'm sure in hindsight the highlight will be
the run to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final with the Ottawa Senators...I still
remember him driving out of the Ottawa Airport in his Land Rover...high fives
all around...I hope anyone that lives in or close to an NHL City gets the
opportunity at least once to savour in a conference victory...was the most
surreal thing I've ever experienced in all my years in Ottawa...that, and the
All Star weekend...
Looks like Andy Sutton will not be a
trade deadline acquisition for anybody again this year - the Oilers inked him to
a 1 year contract extension yesterday...often in the news for the wrong reasons
- watching the games on TV don't do this guy justice...the broadcast follows the
puck, but getting a chance to see him play live on Saturday, the man is a
rock...definitely a different perspective for sure (although, he was out of
postion on the Karlsson goal)...I figure Sutton must really like what he sees in
the up and coming youngsters and wants to be around to see where it goes...can't
blame him really...
Zac Rinaldo, fined $5000 just last
week, got a 2 game suspension for an incident in the Philly-Detroit game...
Speaking of Detroit - they can break
the home wins record tonight...an asterisk, possibly, given they did it in the
shootout era, but quite frankly, a win is a win...
February 11, 2012
10:12 PM: So we started
the day celebrating Chris Phillips' 1,000
game milestone...then in Toronto, Mats Sundin's banner went up...and now in
Calgary they celebrate a 300 win milestone for goalie Miikka Kiprusoff...both
visiting teams won so far...4-3 overtime win for Edmonton...and a 5-0 shutout
rout of the Leafs from Carey Price and the Habs...
Must mean the Canucks-Flames will go
to a shootout...we'll see...
Still can't figure out why they
couldn't have scheduled Winnipeg up against either Phoenix or Colorado...they
got to play Pittsburgh...and it was the Evgeni Malkin show again, plus Jordan
Staal returned to the lineup...Pens won that one 8-5...now if they could ever
get Sid back...yowsa!!
Noticed a trailer for another Don
Cherry Movie..."The Wrath Of Grapes - The Don Cherry Story II" (play on movie
titles? "Star Trek, The Wrath of Khan", anyone?)...premieres on CBC March
4...and just like "Keep Your Head Up, Kid", it's a 2 part miniseries...Jared
Keeso reprises his role as Don Cherry...even though it took me until last year
to actually watch it, I thought the first movie was very well done...
8:14 PM: Word is just coming down
the news wire that another 80s icon is
gone...Whitney Houston has apparently left us...they're saying drug overdose,
but details are sketchy...she had been in and out of rehab over the last several
years...tragic...ironic, actually - I've been converting a bunch of my Uncle's
45s to MP3, and just last week, one of them was "One Moment In Time"...Whitney
was only 48...and was supposedly scheduled to attend a Clive Davis celebration
8:04 PM: Gotta love Hockey Day In Canada...it's
been a long time since I've been to such a lively atmosphere at Scotiabank
Place...could have heard a pin drop there the last Sens game I went to last
year, I think it was against Pittsburgh or something...amazing what a rebuild
and an All Star game will do...
Today a contigent of about 2,000
fans or so from Quebec City made the trip to Ottawa and invaded the 300 level of
Scotiabank Place, to hopefully send a message to Gary Bettman that they want
their team back...dubbed "Nordique Nation", the group organized by Eric Grenier
has already seen games in Long Island and Newark, but arguably their biggest
stage yet was this afternoon on national TV, Hockey Day In Canada...the Ottawa
Sun's Bruce Garrioch reported 22 busloads were expected, as well as countless
others making the five hour drive by car (I thought there were a few more Quebec
plates on the 417)...every 16 minutes, the group would count down from 16 to 1
and then stand and cheer - the significance? This year marks 16 years
since the Nordiques moved from Quebec to Colorado to become the Avalanche...gee,
has it REALLY been that long?!? It created quite a bit of a buzz...don't
know what there were more of, Oilers fans, or Nordiques fans...oddly enough,
somewhere in the crowd I saw a Sharks sweater (probably for Milan Michalek)...
But Oilers fans, myself included,
got the last cheer of the day, as Taylor Hall scored on a backhand rebound 17
seconds into overtime to win the game 4-3...Senators came out the gate flying
but looked gassed by the end of the game...
February 10, 2012
2:06 PM: So yesterday,
once again the worst kept secret in hockey
was revealed - Detroit is going to host the next Winter Classic...the Red Wings
and Toronto Maple Leafs will hook up in Ann Arbor, Michigan at the infamous
Michigan Stadium - but forget the game and festivities surrounding it - I'm
already looking more forward to the next HBO 24-7 series...imagine Brian Burke
giving his editorial comments? Gold...
It seems obvious to me the NHL is
looking to once again break the outdoor game attendance record...barring a
global weather catastrophe, no question they will...
Wonder how much longer we'll have to
wait to see Winnipeg play the next Heritage Classic in the Blue Bombers'
stadium...get either Vancouver or Ottawa in there, give another team a chance to
play outdoors...of course, Edmonton wouldn't be a bad opponent either...
11:01 AM: Getting to that time of year
where if you blink, you could miss
the Ottawa Senators, who seemed like their
All Star Hangover might cost them a playoff spot, finally got their first win in
about 7 tries, with a 4-3 squeaker against Nashville...Jason Spezza and Chris
Phillips both ended point droughts...question now is can they keep it going
But down the highway in Montreal...a
hat trick for one Max Pacioretty, and, he shoots, he scores - first time in just
over a year for Scott Gomez...how much does he make a year? That's an
Also a big streak for Phoenix of
late...4 straight now after last nights OT win...and Winnipeg has served notice
they're not going out without a fight...
It's been a great week for the New
York-New Jersey rivalry...staged fights or not, it's a vicious rivalry, always
So tomorrow - Hockey Day In
Canada...I'll be at Scotiabank Place for the Oilers-Sens game...and I may check
in here a couple of times...gonna be a great weekend - the weather is nice (much
to the chagrin of Winterlude organizers)...I've almost lost all the snow/ice in
February 4, 2012
11:14 PM: So after Ty Conklin
allowed 3 goals in the 1st period, Joey
MacDonald gets the Detroit call for the second period...it's 3-1...only blemish
for the Oil was a shorthanded goal against, helped along by a Ryan Whitney skate
deflection...this after they killed off a full 2 minute 5 on 3, and a 4 minute
double minor...I have a feeling Niklas Kronwall may be getting a phone call from
Sheriff Shanahan, though...
Just looked at it...Kovalchuk threw
down with Brayden Schenn...
11:11 PM: Sam Gagner is at it again...3
more points in the first period against Detroit (2G 1A)...that's 11
straight...even HNIC is scrambling to find out if this has happened before...
Meanwhile, back here in Ottawa, the
Senators skid continues...tonight a 5-0 loss against their provincial rivals
from Toronto...last night a 2-1 overtime loss to the Islanders...6 straight
losses...7 if you count the Team Alfredsson loss in the All Star Game...as for
the Leafs - 6th career shutout for Jason Reimer, and 2nd in as many games...
And am I reading and hearing this
right? Ilya Kovalchuk got a Gordie Howe hat trick today? Really?
Kovalchuk got in a fight?! Devils win 6-4 against Philadelphia, avenging a
4-1 loss against the Flyers last weekend...
February 3, 2012
2:26 PM: I knew from the very second it was
announced that the All Star
Weekend here in Ottawa would be special - but I don't think anybody ever
expected the kind of numbers that were released today - the Fan Fair, over three
days, attracted 29,289 visitors...there were 5 in my group alone...I'm pretty
sure at least 10,000 of these people were at the event on Saturday...
Ratings-wise - it was reported 17.7
million viewers tuned in across North America, while the CBC reported its
highest viewer rating ever for an All Star weekend...TSN reported 1.64 million
viewers for the Fantasy Draft alone...RDS another 254,000...
Online - NHL.com reported an
increase of 600,000 to well over 1 million views of either event (as compared to
last year's event in Carolina)...on the mobile platform - not surprisingly, a
48% increase in page views...with more and more people going wireless, they
could have probably held the game in Alaska and still enjoyed a mobile increase
of that much...
Maybe Ottawa won't have to wait 30
years to host another one...I can only hope because even though I didn't
actually get to the rink for the event live, just the buzz it created here was
outstanding...like I said last week, it was like Canada Day in the middle of
winter...I dare say even Winterlude won't be able to top those numbers...and
that's a 17 day long festival (starting today, by the way)!!
As I said - get ready Columbus, but
good luck with those numbers...I've never been even to Ohio, but I can't imagine
the fans there embracing the event like they did here...especially if the
Jackets don't improve in the standings...
A few more tidbits from today...
A small trade today involving the NY
Rangers and Minnesota Wild - Rangers send Erik Christensen and a conditional 7th
round pick in 2013 to the Wild in exchange for minor league forward Casey
Wellman...Christensen, who hasn't played an NHL game since Dec 17 (and if you
watched the HBO 24-7 series, you know why!!), may not do much short term to help
Minny, but the Rangers shed some cap space, and who knows, may end up giving up
a real gem of a player with the 7th rounder...Wellman, for now, will report to
the Connecticut Whale...
Ty Conklin will see some action for
Detroit for the next couple of weeks or so, as it was announced All Star goalie
Jimmy Howard broke a pinkie finger during last night's game in Vancouver...
And he wasn't suspended, but New
Jersey Devils' forward Patrik Elias was fined $2500 for an illegal boarding play
on Montreal's Mike Blunden in last night's 5-3 Devils' win...the Habs blew a 3-1
lead in that one, as the Devils scored 3 in the 3rd to take the game...Montreal
is running out of games...
10:42 AM: We wake up this morning
to see Detroit atop the Western Conference with now a 4 point spread between
them and Vancouver...that could have been a 1 point spread had the Canucks been
able to win in Regulation...it was probably a miracle they escaped with a
point...Mason Raymond tied the game 3-3 late, overtime solved nothing...Pavel
Datsyuk and Jiri Hudler scored in the shootout, and the Canucks...they did
not...Red Wings win 4-3 and are a perfect 6-0 in the shootout this season...
So, as of right now - can we please
stop predicting a rematch of last year's Stanley Cup Final? Boston, by all
accounts, could very well be there (but 7 other teams will have something to say
about that) - I can't imagine Vancouver getting there if they put up many more
efforts like last night...the Twins, at times, appeared as though they were
still in Ottawa looking to set up Daniel Alfredsson...Detroit, on the other hand...they just keep getting it
And what is it with Boston and
Carolina? Hurricanes are a perfect 4-0 against the Bruins this season...too
bad for them, it seems to be the only team whose number they have...
February 2, 2012
12:12 AM: 4 goals...4 assists...Gagner
is named 1st, 2nd and 3rd star and ties a franchise points record - only Wayne
Gretzky and Paul Coffey before him had accomplished the feat - Oilers win
8-4...Corey Crawford started the game...Ray Emery finished it...Hawks outshot
the Oilers 47-41...Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle both had 1 goal, 3 assists
each...that would have been enough to tie the game 4-4...Eberle has 20, Hall has
Daryl Sittler's 10 point record is
still safe...for now...
The last time a player had 8 points
in a game you may ask? That was back in, get this...1989 - the year Sam
Gagner was born...Mario Lemieux did it...motivation for Sid whenever he gets
I think we can safely say who the
NHL 1st star of the week is going to be...if he has any more nights like this,
you can take his name off the trade block...if he's not already off...
Oilers love playing Chicago...
11:57 PM: Sam Gagner
is having himself a night...hadn't scored in 11 games, had only 2 in 21 games, scored his 6th
tonight...and then has scored 3 more and assisted on 3 more...4 goals, 3
assists...what'd this guy hang out with Gretzky over the All-Star Break?!?
Gagner has points on every Oiler
goal...it's 7-4...what is it about Chicago?! Either they get blown out or
they blow them out...been that way forever it seems...
If this game was on Sportsnet,
somebody would be crossing their fingers right now that Gagner gets a 5th...they
have that Million Dollar giveaway if any Oilers player scores 5
goals...unfortunately, this one is on TSN...
Now I know they're 12 points out,
and have to leapfrog 6 teams, including their nemesis Minnesota...but the Oilers
are getting healthy again...Cam Barker and Ryan Whitney are back...Tom Gilbert
and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins should be back soon...look out...
11:17 PM: Been going thru
somewhat of an All Star hangover this week,
as I'm sure a lot of people in Ottawa have...
So much so, that I didn't even
notice that the Calgary Flames had traded Brendan Morrison to Chicago...last
Friday, while I was making arrangements for Saturday's Fan Fair, Morrison was
sent to Chicago for prospect defenseman Brian Connelly...a little depth, or,
perhaps the Hawks didn't expect Jonathan Toews back so soon?
Was a really nice touch by Calgary
the other night to honor Brad McCrimmon before taking to the ice against
Detroit...McCrimmon, of course, wasn't just a defenseman, but also an assistant
coach on both teams...
Even the Ottawa Senators couldn't
avenge a Team Chara win in Boston on Tuesday night, they had a 3-1 lead but
watched it evaporate...and as if ordered by the Hockey Gods, Dennis Seidenberg
shot a puck from centre ice, and scored...the Sens never recovered...Bruins won
4-3...Chara trumped Alfie...again, but this time for 2 points...Sens could have
been within 2 points of the Bruins, but now are 6 points behind them...they'll
be happy to learn, however, that the Bruins laid an egg tonight against
Carolina...3-0, Canes win...
Toronto and Pittsburgh split a home
and home with both teams winning at home...
The big story on the ice this week,
though, has to be Winnipeg...they appeared out of it about a week before the All
Star break, but all of a sudden now after putting together two straight wins in
OT against Philadelphia and tonight against Tampa Bay, all of a sudden they're only 4 points
back of Toronto for 8th...still plenty of time...wouldn't that add insult to
And controversy in Los Angeles last
night, in a game between the Kings and Columbus Blue Jackets...a back and forth
affair, tied 2-2 late, Drew Doughty got one by Curtis Sanford, with about 0.4
seconds left...or did he!? Replays clearly showed the clock delayed for
about a half second or longer, meaning the clock would have actually expired as
the puck crossed the line...they reviewed it, and the goal stood...but Gary
Bettman announced on his NHL Hour show today that the NHL is
investigating...hard to predict what might happen there...the Kings play
Columbus again on Mar 8...some are suggesting the right thing for the NHL to do
would be to allow the two teams to play overtime to decide if L.A. keeps two
points, or 1...would be interesting to see...
Speaking of Satellite Radio...Sirius
in Canada has quietly turned NHL Home Ice back on - CH 207...don't know how long
it will last this time, but my Stiletto now shows a background picture of some
arena seats with the NHL Logo...if it wasn't staying put, can't imagine why
they'd go thru all the trouble...I dozed off last night to the Anaheim-Dallas
game...call me crazy, but even in the HD and 3D age, I still enjoy listening to
games on radio...I always have...
Couple of good late games
tonight...Detroit is in Vancouver in a battle for tops in the West, and leading
2-1...and Chicago is in Edmonton, and tied 3-3 after 40 minutes...Hawks were up
2-0 in this one...
you what - after last weekend, this weekend coming up seems like it will be
boring by comparison...looking ahead, we have Hockey Day In Canada on Feb
11...Sens host the Oilers at 2 PM...I'm there...
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