Checking up on the West's free agents to watch

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

So let’s take a gander at how some of the most noteworthy free-agents-to-be fared up to this point. Obviously, for players on half the teams, they won’t get another chance to show off their skills. I’ll begin with the West in this post and then discuss the East later on. This might not be a comprehensive list, so apologies if your favorite pending free agent is left out.

San Jose

Joe Pavelski – 11 points/becoming the Sharks’ American hero.

Evgeni Nabokov – a 1.93 GAA and 91.9% save percentage. Not bad at all.

Devin Setoguchi – 7 points in 7 games played. Not bad, either.

Patrick Marleau – 3 points. Not so good.

Colorado

Peter Mueller’s concussion issues kept him from making an impact, but Chris Stewart and Kyle Quincey were solid in the playoffs.

Chicago

Antti Niemi – probably pricing himself out of Chicago with a fabulous (92.1 save percentage) playoff run so far.

Nashville

Patric Hornqvist had health problems so he gets an “Incomplete” while Dan Hamhuis had quite the checkered post-season, most notably being the victim of what should have been a more beneficial boarding penalty from Marian Hossa …

Vancouver

Pavol Demitra’s been nicely productive (5 points) but Willie Mitchell has been injured.

Los Angeles

Alex Frolov produced a decent (1 goal, 3 assists) but unspectacular post-season. It seems likely that he’ll be wearing a different sweater next year.

Phoenix

Lee Stempniak – a rough playoffs with just 2 points and a -4 rating.

Wojtek Wolski – The team’s second leading scorer with 5 points, including 4 goals.

Detroit

Nicklas Lidstrom – 6 points in 8 games for the superhuman Swede.

Todd Bertuzzi – 5 points for the surprisingly effective brute.

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    NHL on NBCSN: Rangers, Penguins renew acquaintances on Rivalry Night

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    Tonight, there’s a big Metropolitan Division showdown at Consol as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the New York Rangers. You can catch the game on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET), or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

    Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:

    Rangers ‘are doing a lot of good things’

    ‘I wonder if that’s Crosby, what happens?’ — AV upset after McDonagh concussed by Simmonds

    Malkin (lower body) to miss rest of week

    Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week

     

     

    PHT Morning Skate: It’s not like they robbed a bank

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    PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

    Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley seems pretty chill about healthy-scratching Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Lance Bouma. That goes for Monahan and Gaudreau in particular, noting that they’re “great kids.”

    Besides … it’s not like they robbed a bank. (NHL.com)

    Uh oh, did Nazem Kadri make the throat-slashing gesture to Mark Giordano? See for yourself in the video above. (Puck Daddy)

    What should the New York Islanders do with unrestricted free agent Kyle Okposo, who’s enjoying a productive contract year? (The Hockey News)

    What a playoff berth would mean to the Florida Panthers. (Sportsnet)

    Checking in with various teams as the trade deadline looms. (NHL Numbers)

    On the Canucks using those Pavel Bure-era jerseys. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

    Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

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    The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.

    Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.

    (The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)

    Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.

    Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.

    As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.

    Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

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    The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

    You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

    Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

    Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

    This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.