One of the better team blogs on the internet poses an interesting
question tonight, as the guys at On
The Forecheck ask whether the Nashville Predators should take the
captaincy away from Jason Arnott. In the wake of yet another
disappointing postseason for the Predators, despite their continued
regular season success, it’s understandable to start looking what
exactly needs to change for the Predators to take that next step.
cues from a Barry Trotz press conference in which he speaks of how
giving Arnott the captaincy was basically a move out of necessity and
not one that was made because of his natural leadership. Here are a few
of the reason Chris Burton gives to make the move:
– Arnott’s on ice
leadership seems to be lacking. He doesn’t always give 100%, gets angry
when a call or play doesn’t go his way, and seems to sulk when he goes
through a rough patch.
the sake of
the young players. Arnott doesn’t assimilate with young line mates and
has gotten upset when not paired with Steve Sullivan or J.P. Dumont. Players like Colin Wilson and Patric Hornqvist need leadership and
encouragement, not discouragement.
reason he gives, the lack of a consistent effort, is exactly why Arnott
should never have been given the “C” to begin with. He’s just not a
player that screams “team leader” and the Predators have yet to really
take that next step with Arnott leading the way. OTF asks a number of
other bloggers who’s teams have made similar moves, including looking at
the changes the Sharks and Stars have made in changing their captains
between two current players on the team.
This is an example that
just because a player is the most talented guy on a team it doesn’t
exactly mean they deserve the captaincy. Mike Modano was long the best
player on the Stars and while it wasn’t exactly handled the right way,
there’s no doubt making the switch to Brenden Morrow was the right one.
It’s said that variety is the spice of life, yet it seems to be the spite of the Minnesota Wild.
As head coach Mike Yeo said, this struggling team appears to find a new way to lose virtually every night. That couldn’t have happened once again on Saturday, when they fell 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues, could it?
If you ask Jarret Stoll, the latest problem was the penalty kill.
Honestly, Stoll may have been too specific, likely trying to throw his own unit under the bus. Instead, it might be more accurate to say that Minnesota’s special teams let them down.
Indeed, the Wild struggled to limit the Blues’ power play, which went an unsettling 3-for-6. That said, Minnesota had a chance to trade blows with St. Louis. Instead, the Wild managed one power-play goal on seven opportunities.
The silver lining is that the Wild believe that they showed more fight than this fragile bunch had been generating before.
On the other hand, with Jonas Brodin on IR and Jared Spurgeon apparently hurt, that silver lining may not be so easy to see.
Worry (if you’re pulling for the Stars) or gloat (if you’re a Blackhawks fan) all you want, but the bottom line is that the Central Division’s No.1 spot is clearly in Chicago’s control after Saturday night.
The Blackhawks earned a decisive 5-1 win against the Dallas Stars, giving them a five-point standings lead over Dallas for the Central Division lead.
You may feel like that’s more of the same, but consider this: things would look a lot closer if Dallas won or gained points, as they hold three games in hand on the ‘Hawks.
At least one Blackhawks player admits this game means a little more than your average W.
Indeed, while Antti Niemi was pulled from the game and Kari Lehtonen faced his own struggles in Dallas’ net, Corey Crawford ranked as one of the big reasons why the score was so lopsided.
(Artem Anisimov had a big say in that, too.)
As a wise coach with 1,000+ games of experience would do, Joel Quenneville didn’t go overboard in assessing the victory.
Was this a statement game? Who knows, but a certain statement is that the Blackhawks now have a five-point standings lead.
Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.
Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.
Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:
That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.
Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.
For quite some time, it looked like the Florida Panthers would keep the Pittsburgh Penguins under wraps.
Florida nursed a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 margin almost halfway through the third period, looking to win its sixth consecutive game. That looked great … and then Sidney Crosby + Kris Letang happened.
Let’s put it this way: this GIF of Crosby being frustrated is amusing, yet it doesn’t exactly tell the story of Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win for the Penguins:
Instead, Crosby grabbed his 900th point assisting on a Letang goal, and finished the night with 902 by collecting the game-tying goal and grabbing a helper on Letang’s overtime game-winner.
Crosby crossing that barrier is indeed special, even if it prompts “What if?” questions about No. 87’s health.
The resurgence of Crosby and Letang already played a big role in the Penguins going from disjointed and frustrating to sneaky and scary, so it shouldn’t be that surprising to see them play so well. Doing so in such brisk order is a little bewildering, however.