Tonight's games: Mickey Mouse organizations

After some robust NBC Game of the Week coverage (thanks for stopping by for the live chat, by the way), let’s take a look at the games that have yet to start. If you kids are good, I might even put together a recap of today’s early games. Now get your feet off the couch!

Buffalo Sabres (34-20-9, 77 pts) at New York Rangers (29-28-8, 66 pts) 7:00 PM ET

Both teams are in need of some shaping up in this one. For the Rangers, they need to stop the bleeding or they’ll slip even further out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. It’s also safe to say that the 09-10 Sabres would rather not be the first team in franchise history to lose nine straight road games, either.

Toronto Maple Leafs (20-32-12, 52 pts) at Philadelphia Flyers (33-26-4, 70 pts) 7:00 PM ET

Michael Leighton played pretty well in a losing effort against the Sabres Friday night, but every loss fuels the goaltending anxiety that much more.

New Jersey Devils (38-22-3, 79 pts) at Edmonton Oilers (20-38-6, 46 pts) 8:00 PM ET

Well, who’s the “Mickey Mouse” organization now? (I know that even with ownership changes, the answer is probably still the Ducks, but work with me here) If I had a time machine I’d do a million other things first, but then I’d ask ’80s era Gretzky to explain this situation.

Montreal Canadiens (31-29-6, 68 pts) at Anaheim Ducks (30-27-7, 67 pts) 8:00 PM ET

When you look at all the talent on this Ducks team, it’s really difficult to explain their profound struggles. Do they miss Chris Pronger’s elbows? Could it be that their coach’s Caesar-style haircut is demoralizing? I don’t know the root of their struggles, but if they want to surge their way to the playoffs again, they better get moving.

Scroll Down For:

    BREAKING: Phaneuf traded to Senators

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 07:  Jordan Nolan #71 of the Los Angeles Kings is knocked off balance by Dion Phaneuf #3 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at Staples Center on January 7, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Getty
    1 Comment

    And this is why we listen when Bob McKenzie says something.

    The Ottawa Senators have acquired defenceman Dion Phaneuf, forwards Matt Frattin, Casey Bailey, and Ryan Rupert and defenseman Cody Donaghey from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for defenseman Jared Cowen, forwards Colin Greening, Milan Michalek and Tobias Lindberg, plus Ottawa’s second-round pick in the 2017 draft.

    No salary will be retained by either team.

    More to come.

    Report: ‘Lots of Dion Phaneuf trade chatter’

    Dion Phaneuf
    Getty
    3 Comments

    This isn’t the first time Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf has come up in trade rumors — far from it — but since it’s TSN’s Bob McKenzie putting it out there, we should probably listen.

    “Hearing lots of Dion Phaneuf trade chatter,” McKenzie tweeted this morning. “Starting to think he could actually be dealt before the deadline.”

    Phaneuf has three goals and 21 assists in 51 games this season, while logging an average of 22:02 in ice time. The big factor in trading the 30-year-old is his contract — he’s signed through 2020-21 for a cap hit of $7 million. 

    Responding to McKenzie on Twitter, TSN’s Darren Dreger seemed to suggest Ottawa as a potential landing spot. The Sens, as we’ve noted recently, have had all sorts of defensive issues this season.

    In the past, Detroit has come up as a potential destination for Phaneuf, though the Wings reportedly withdrew their interest in June.

    NHL on NBCSN: Slumping Wild look to get back on track against Stars

    Dallas Stars left wing Antoine Roussel (21), from France, scores a goal past Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk (40) in the third period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Dec. 21, 2015, in St. Paul, Minn. The Stars won 6-3. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)
    Associated Press
    Leave a comment

    NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Minnesota Wild host the Dallas Stars at 8:00 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.

    If you’re a fan of the Minnesota Wild, the last few weeks probably haven’t been pleasant.

    The team has been slumping badly since the beginning of the new year, and late January/early February has been no different.

    The Wild come into tonight’s game having dropped five straight decisions to the Sharks, Coyotes, Islanders, Rangers and Blues.

    Minnesota has just 10 goals during the losing streak, which means their top offensive players aren’t producing.

    Head coach Mike Yeo tried to shake things up on Saturday night by scratching Thomas Vanek and Jason Zucker, but that didn’t work. The Wild were thumped, 4-1, by the St. Louis Blues.

    After playing their last three games on the road, Minnesota hopes to get a boost from their home crowd.

    “One thing for sure, [there are] mixed feelings about coming back home,” Yeo said on Monday, per the Star-Tribune. “Right now, obviously, a little home cooking would be nice for us. But I’d be lying if I wasn’t a little nervous for tomorrow. Certainly I think our fan base is a little restless — more than a little restless right now. And they expect more from us. And they deserve more of us.”

    Things haven’t been as bad in Dallas, but the Stars are coming off an embarrassing 5-1 home loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

    “It was a huge game,” forward Vernon Fiddler said, per the Morning News. “We talked about it before the game, what it means, and then we lay an egg. It’s unacceptable. There’s a lot of disappointed guys in here.

    “After a big loss like that, you want to respond. We all have to be better and take a look in the mirror and expect more of ourselves.”

    Prior to Saturday’s loss, the Stars had won three straight games.

    Could this be a trap game for Dallas?

    They won’t have to wait long to get another crack at the Blackhawks, as they’ll be shipping out to the United Center on Thursday, but they have to take care of business in Minnesota first.

    The Stars are five points behind Chicago for top spot in the Central Division. Dallas has three games in hand.

    Habs lose Petry to lower-body injury

    Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three
    Leave a comment

    The Montreal Canadiens will be without a key piece of their defense on Tuesday when they take on the Lightning.

    Jeff Petry, who sits tied with P.K. Subban for the lead in d-man goals this year (with five), has suffered a lower-body injury and won’t be in the lineup tonight.

    Petry missed the last half of the third period of Montreal’s win over Carolina on Sunday, which could be related to the injury in question. He finished with just 16:03 TOI, well off the 21:21 he averages per game.

    The loss could be a big one for the Habs, who’ve won two straight for the first time since November. Petry often played on a pairing with Alexei Emelin and was on the club’s second power-play unit.

    With Petry out, it’s possible that Nathan Beaulieu could draw back into the lineup.