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.
Raanta rewards Rangers for starts over Lundqvist by blanking Blackhawks
If someone told you that the New York Rangers started a goalie on back-to-back nights, and that goalie wasn’t Henrik Lundqvist, you’d probably wonder if he was hurt or retired.
Nope. It just so happens that Antti Raanta is playing at an incredibly high level, Alain Vigneault noticed, and that decision paid dividends on Friday night. Raanta won both nights of a back-to-back, allowing a single goal (with the Rangers protecting him, being that he only needed to stop 43 of 44 shots during that span).
Raanta and the Rangers blanked the Chicago Blackhawks with a 1-0 overtime win, at least briefly climbing to first place in the massively competitive Metro Division:
1. Rangers – 39 points in 29 games played
2. Penguins- 37 points in 27 GP
3. Blue Jackets – 36 points in 25 GP
4. Capitals – 35 points in 26 GP
5. Flyers – 35 points in 29 GP
Nick Holden ended up scoring the only goal of the game:
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks lost but at least salvaged a standings point and it seems like Patrick Kane is OK after this injury scare:
Raanta improved to 7-1-0 on the season, allowing two goals or less in all but one of his appearances so far this season. That’s the kind of work you’d expect to see if you’re going sit a guy who’s, you know, a living legend.
Blue Jackets remain in thick of things in Metro on tough night for Red Wings
As the Columbus Blue Jackets keep rolling, the Detroit Red Wings are probably just happy to get Friday behind them.
For the second straight game, the Blue Jackets beat their opponent 4-1.
They’re now on a five-game winning streak, and like the climbing St. Louis Blues, things look great if you go back a little further. They’re 10-1-2 in their last 13 games and 13-2-3 since November began.
The New Jersey Devils have been incredibly difficult to beat at home. Lately, the St. Louis Blues have been on a roll just about anywhere.
On Friday night, the Blues were the hotter team, handing the Devils their first home loss in regulation in 2016-17. And it wasn’t particularly close, with St. Louis winning 4-1.
It’s a convenient time to note that the Blues rank among the hottest teams in the NHL. Most recently, they’re 5-1-1 in their last seven games, but they’ve been especially impressive since they flirted with .500 at 7-6-3. Beginning with a 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 15, the Blues are on a 8-2-1 tear.
This leaves them second in the Central with a 16-8-4 record.
That’s impressive stuff.
This 4-1 win was quite the showcase for Robby Fabbri and Vladimir Tarasenko, in particular. Tarasenko collected three assists while Fabbri scored two goals on Friday night. His second goal was particularly slick:
The Blues are right in saying that this was a pretty fitting opportunity to drop a “Holy Jumpin.”
Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk has been the most difficult goalies to score against this season. Leave it to a high-level player like Leon Draisaitl to make it look this, well, “easy.”
Draisaitl scored his 13th goal of 2016-17 by capping this pretty give-and-go play with Benoit Pouliot. You can see the frustration from Dubnyk at the end of the tally, as if he was saying “How was I supposed to stop that?” (though probably with more colorful language).
Draisaitl came into Friday with five goals and three assists in his last five games, so he’s been almost unstoppable lately.