Checking up on the East's free agents to watch

Thumbnail image for backstromandtheo.jpgA couple weeks ago, I broke down the pending free agents (unrestricted and restricted alike) for each conference. (East hereWest here)

Let’s take a gander at how some of the most noteworthy free-agents-to-be fared so far. Obviously, for players on half the teams, they won’t get another chance to show off their skills. Now let’s move on to the East. This might not be a comprehensive list, so apologies if your favorite pending free agent is left out.

Washington

Nicklas Backstrom – Loss or not, Backstrom was very effective at times with 9 points – trailing only Alex Ovechkin.

Jose Theodore – Didn’t make it very far in the playoffs. His regular season helped his career, but this didn’t.

Montreal

Have you heard of that Jaroslav Halak guy? He might make himself a bit of cash this summer.

Carey Price didn’t do much to improve his value, but Tomas Plekanec had some nice moments as a pending free agent forward.

New Jersey

Ilya Kovalchuk’s career 1-8 playoff record must give some teams at least a little doubt. Unlike Kovalchuk, the steady Paul Martin will likely return to the Devils … but I could be guessing wrong there.

Philadelphia

Not much to talk about with the Flyers, free agent wise.

Buffalo

Raffi Torres struggled to the point of being a healthy scratch, so that didn’t go well for him.

Boston

Mark Recchi has had a fantastic playoff run for a guy from prehistoric times.

Pittsburgh

Sergei Gonchar – 6 points and big ice time make Gonchar about as appealing a free agent defenseman as there is this year.

Alexei Ponikarovsky and Bill Guerin are serviceable but unspectacular.

Ottawa

Anton Volchenkov might see a pretty nice payday. Will it be with Ottawa?

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    ‘He has earned the opportunity’ — Coyotes recall 2014 first-round pick Perlini

    Brendan Perlini
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    Brendan Perlini is off to an impressive start this season with the Tuscon Roadrunners in the American Hockey League. The scoring has been there. The production has been there.

    Averaging a point per game with 11 goals through 16 contests in the minors, Perlini is on his way to the NHL. The Arizona Coyotes officially recalled the 20-year-old forward — selected 12th overall in the 2014 draft — from Tuscon on Sunday.

    The rebuilding, youthful Coyotes are last in the Pacific Division right now, stuck with eight wins through 23 games.

    They gave up 60 shots to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday but managed to earn a single point thanks to the play of their goalie Mike Smith.

    The Coyotes are on the road Monday and Tuesday this week. They’ll open this quick trip against Columbus, although it hasn’t been determined when Perlini will get into the lineup.

    But with a back-to-back situation on the road, it seems likely he’ll make his NHL debut at some point in the next two days.

    “Brendan possesses elite speed and goal scoring ability,” said general manager John Chayka. “He has led the AHL in scoring early on and we believe he has earned the opportunity to show what he can do at the NHL level.”

    Video: Tootoo and Thorburn drop the gloves early as Blackhawks, Jets clash

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    Not much in the way of pleasantries between the Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets on Sunday.

    It started with Jordin Tootoo and Chris Thorburn dropping the gloves just 2:22 into this Central Division contest, with the Jets forward earning the takedown at the end of the scrap.

    Bit of a size mismatch. Tootoo is listed at five-foot-nine-inches and 195 pounds, while Thorburn is six-foot-three-inches tall and 235 pounds.

    Both teams are missing key players in this one.

    Jonathan Toews is once again out of the Chicago lineup — and, it was revealed before Sunday’s game, that he won’t skate for the next few days — while Mark Scheifele misses this game for the Jets.

    Video: Flyers’ Read (upper-body injury) will not return versus Predators

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    Philadelphia Flyers forward Matt Read is done for the night with an upper-body injury, the team announced.

    Read, who only played three shifts today, was hit into the net by Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg during the first period. Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced the veteran forward suffered an upper-body injury.

    There was no call on the play.

    In 26 games this season, Read has six goals and 10 points.

    Video: Radulov goes top shelf in the shootout and it’s pretty sweet

    MONTREAL, QC - NOVEMBER 08:  Alexander Radulov #47 of the Montreal Canadiens looks on during the warmup prior to the NHL game against the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre on November 8, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
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    Alexander Radulov has been a pretty good acquisition for the Montreal Canadiens, and he continued to prove that Sunday against the L.A. Kings.

    Radulov scored in the shootout against the Kings, helping the Canadiens to a 5-4 victory. He also scored in the second period and had two assists for a three-point night. Not bad.

    But his shootout goal was sweet. Just made it look easy, as he went to the backhand, top shelf on Peter Budaj.

    With reported tension between coach Michel Therrien and Max Pacioretty, the Habs captain scored twice and had an assist. Another three-point night.

    So, the Habs got offensive contributions from their best players.

    That said, one of their best players, Alex Galchenyuk left the game late in the third period after a collision with Anze Kopitar away from the puck.

    Galchenyuk didn’t return for the overtime. In 25 games, he has nine goals and 23 points, emerging as the No. 1 center in Montreal when the season began.