Phoenix Coyotes exchanged frustrating forward Peter Mueller (along with prospect Kevin Porter) to the Colorado Avalanche for the productive but often-critiqued Wojtek Wolski. The NHL doesn’t often see two high-level young players change teams very often, but that is exactly what happened in this trade.
Mueller might be the bigger name (and not just for Ben Stein jokes) since he was the eighth overall pick in the 2006 draft and occasionally shows a dazzling amount of skill. Much like another underwhelming (but highly touted) Coyotes forward Kyle Turris, Mueller’s output has been disappointing since his solid rookie season. In his first three seasons, Mueller’s numbers have plummeted from 54 to 34 to 17 points this year.
Wolski could ultimately be the true “prize” of this trade, though. He’s steadily produced between 40 and 50 points per year since his sophomore campaign and is projected to hit a career-high 62 points this season. That being said, Wolski brings his own problems to the table.
Adrian Dater wrote about the possibility of Wolski being traded today and shared this negative story:
“His play was just awful Monday night, and the Avs’ coaches weren’t happy about it.
I didn’t report this last night, because I don’t like to write a lot about what goes on in hallways right after games and feel like a snoop or a snitch. But I think it’s fair of me to say that Wolski walked out of the Pepsi Center last night looking mighty surly, not in the usual way of a player who just lost a game in the regular season, but of a guy who looked upset at more than that.
We’ve all seen Wolski get into the coach’s doghouse before, going back to Joel Quenneville and Tony Granato, and I think we might have seen it again Monday night with Joe Sacco. Nobody was happy at all with his play, and haven’t for a little while now.”
So, ultimately, it’s the exchange of a fairly productive but limited player who perplexes many (Wolski) for a guy whose “upside” tantalizes but whose results are less than impressive (Mueller). The Avalanche also received prospect Kevin Porter who is considered a fairly solid prospect himself
. This season he’s produced 15 goals and 40 points for the San Antonio Rampage in the AHL.
The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.
Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.
With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.
It was a thrilling, sometimes nasty contest, from Sidney Crosby shaking off an Alex Ovechkin slash, to Evgeni Malkin delivering a hit some thought was over the line and plenty of typical playoff skirmishes.
Ultimately, Matt Murray played another strong game and Patric Hornqvist scored the overtime-winner to put the Capitals in a tough spot.
The Penguins lost their previous eight playoff overtime games, so maybe it was just a matter of time before such a game went their way?
Then again, the history between the two teams is a little different:
If the Capitals want to advance beyond the second round for the first time in the Ovechkin era, they’ll need to accomplish quite the feat against arguably the hottest team in the NHL.
Sidney Crosby is known to get fiery, but even for his feisty standards, he was furious during the third period of Game 4.
An Alex Ovechkin slash caught Crosby on the hand, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins star shaking his mitt and pleading for a call.
After that, Crosby left to get his hand looked at … but not before flipping out and destroying his stick.
You can watch it happen in the GIF and the videos above.
Crosby was able to return not that long after that moment, although we can only speculate regarding how his overall game will be affected if his hand isn’t 100 percent.
Tensions seem to rise with every passing game in the playoffs, particularly in a series with bad blood like the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.
Kris Letang was suspended for his hit in Game 3, and some wonder if Evgeni Malkin should suffer a similar fate for his check on Daniel Winnik on Wednesday.
Winnik left the contest and has not yet returned during the third period.
Take a look at the hit in the video above and decide for yourself.
Fires devastated the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, and the St. Louis Blues are doing their part to help those who were affected.
Here’s what the team is doing to raise money during Game 4 against the Dallas Stars:
Proceeds raised through the team’s 50/50 raffle and the Blues for Kids silent auction will benefit families who have been misplaced by the fires.
Blues forward Scottie Upshall shared his thoughts with the Associated Press regarding several family members being among those evacuated from the area.
“It’s been a great city, a city that’s survived for many years through some tough times and for me, growing up there doesn’t seem too long ago,” Upshall said. “Places that probably aren’t standing anymore will be really, really tough to take. But as long as everyone’s OK, that’s the main thing.”
Other people from around the hockey world weighed in on the scary scene, including Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who told the Ottawa Citizen that “it hurts a lot.”
People shared some scary sights from the evacuation.