2010 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 3: Flyers taking aim at Antti Niemi

The Philadelphia Flyers were able to put significant pressure on the
Blackhawks and Antti Niemi in the third period, getting one goal off of
15 shots. Yet after the game, the Flyers didn’t feel as if they truly
tested Niemi and that while his play was good they never forced him to
make truly miraculous saves.

That’s a sentiment I agreed with as
well. The San Jose Sharks stated during their series against the
Blackhawks that they needed to get the puck up high on Niemi, to test
him and force him to make blocker and glove saves. He’s at his best down
low, using his butterfly and size to cover the bottom part of the net.

Inexplicably,
the Flyers continuously fired pucks at Niemi’s pads in the third
period. Granted, things happen in the game that force certain shots but
you have to wonder if the Flyers will be focusing on going high on Niemi
after scoring just one goal in Game 2.

After two games against
Niemi and the Hawks, coach Peter Laviolette agrees that the Flyers need
to be taking better shots.

“We didn’t do a very good job of
picking our spots last game,” Laviolette said after the Flyers morning
skate. “We need to do a better job of picking our spots.”

One
thing the Blackhawks did a great job of was keeping the Flyers attack to
the perimeter, and not allowing the top line of Mike Richards, Simon
Gagne and Jeff Carter to get interior penetration and get to those
rebound chances around the crease. The Flyers certainly need to take
better shots, but Laviolette says they’re also going to be focusing on
creating more traffic in front of Niemi.

“I’m a big believer in
traffic, I thought we could do a better job of getting to that area.
Always makes life a little bit more difficult for a goaltender. Tonight
we’re going to look at getting to those areas if we can, and fine tune
our shots a little bit.”

While the Flyers certainly are aiming to
create more havoc in front of Niemi, they did a pretty good job of that
in Game 2. Niemi was just too confident, too comfortable in his crease
and was covering his net perfectly, with several shots making their way
through traffic and finding Niemi’s pads.

The Flyers have played
well, with certainly plenty of room for improvement. Yet they’re a
confident bunch, and will be aiming to find the spots that Niemi tends
to leave open. Especially up high.

“There’s room there, I
think there’s other room as well,” Laviolette said when asked about
aiming high. “Things that we’ve talked about that we’ve tried to show on
video. We’ll get there.”

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    PHT’s 2017 Trade Deadline Tracker

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    Here’s the full list of deals made prior to the Wednesday, March 1 3 p.m. EST trade deadline..

    Mar. 1

    To Nashville: F P.A. Parenteau
    To New Jersey: 6th-round draft pick (link)

    To Tampa Bay: D Mark Streit
    To Philadelphia: F Valtteri Filppula, ’17 4th-round pick, ’17 conditional 7th-round pick (link)

    To Montreal: F Andreas Martinsen
    To Colorado: F Sven Andrighetto (link)

    To Columbus: D Kyle Quincey
    To New Jersey: D Dalton Prout (link)

    To New York Rangers: F Taylor Beck
    To Edmonton Oilers: F Justin Fontaine (link)

    To Tampa Bay: G Mike McKenna
    To Florida: G Adam Wilcox (link)

    To Los Angeles: F Jarome Iginla
    To Colorado: ’18 conditional 4th-round pick (link)

    To Montreal: F Dwight King
    To Los Angeles: ’18 4th-round pick (link)

    To Florida: F Thomas Vanek
    To Detroit: ’17 3rd-round pick, D Dylan McIlrath (link)

    To Colorado: G Joe Cannata
    To Washington: D Cody Corbett (link)

    To Colorado: F Brendan Ranford
    To Arizona: F Joe Whitney (link)

    Feb. 28

    To Montreal: F Steve Ott
    To Detroit: ’18 6th-round pick (link)

    To San Jose: F Jannik Hansen
    To Vancouver: F Nikolay Goldobin, ’17 conditional 4th-round pick (link)

    To Edmonton: F David Desharnais
    To Montreal: D Brandon Davidson (link)

    To Chicago: D Johnny Oduya
    To Dallas: F Mark McNeill, ’18 conditional 4th-round pick (link)

    To New York Rangers: F Daniel Catenacci
    To Buffalo: D Mat Bodie (link)

    To Ottawa: F Viktor Stalberg
    To Carolina: ’17 3rd-round pick (link)

    To New York Rangers: D Brendan Smith
    To Detroit: ’17 3rd-round pick, ’18 2nd-round pick (link)

    Feb. 27

    To Washington: D Kevin Shattenkirk, G Pheonix Copley
    To St. Louis: F Zach Sanford, F Brad Malone, ’17 1st-round pick, ’19 conditional 2nd-round pick (link)

    To Ottawa: F Alex Burrows
    To Vancouver: F Jonathan Dahlen (link)

    To Montreal: D Jordie Benn
    To Dallas: D Greg Pateryn, ’17 4th-round pick (link)

    To Toronto: F Brian Boyle
    To Tampa Bay: F Byron Froese, ’17 2nd-round pick (link)

    To Arizona: F Teemu Pulkkinen
    To Minnesota: Future considerations (link)

    Feb. 26

    To Minnesota: F Martin Hanzal, F Ryan White, ’17 4th-round pick
    To Arizona: ’17 1st-round pick, ’18 2nd-round pick, ’19 conditional 4th-round pick, F Grayson Downing (link)

    To Los Angeles: G Ben Bishop, ’17 5th-round pick
    To Tampa Bay: G Peter Budaj, D Erik Cernak, ’17 7th-round pick, ’17 conditional pick (link)

    Feb. 24

    To Anaheim: F Patrick Eaves
    To Dallas: ’17 conditional 2nd-round pick (link)

    To Chicago: F Tomas Jurco
    To Detroit: ’17 3rd-round pick (link)

    Feb. 23

    To Pittsburgh: D Ron Hainsey
    To Carolina: F Danny Kristo, ’17 2nd-round pick (link)

    Feb. 20

    To Calgary: D Michael Stone
    To Arizona: ’18 3rd-round pick, ’18 conditional 5th-round pick (link)

    Feb. 18

    To Toronto: F Sergey Kalinin
    To New Jersey: D Viktor Loov (link)

    Feb. 15

    To Washington: D Tom Gilbert
    To Los Angeles: ’17 conditional 5th-round pick (link)

    Feb. 4

    To Nashville: F Vernon Fiddler
    To New Jersey: ’17 4th-round pick (link)

    Preds add some scoring, get Parenteau from Devils

    NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 12:  PA Parenteau #11 of the New Jersey Devils in action against the Buffalo Sabres at the Prudential Center on November 12, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Sabres 4-2.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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    New Jersey and Nashville got together on a trade for the second time this month, with the Preds acquiring veteran winger P.A. Parenteau in exchange for a sixth-round pick, per TSN.

    Earlier, the Devils sent veteran center Vernon Fiddler to the Preds for a fourth-rounder.

    Parenteau, 33, joined the Devils after getting scooped off waivers from the Isles at the start of the campaign. He’s produced well, with 14 goals and 33 points in 55 games, but there have been ups and downs in New Jersey, including a healthy scratch in mid-December.

    Parenteau carries a modest $1.3 million cap hit, so it’s a minimal financial commitment for the Preds. He’s also got a bit of playoff experience — 15 games, split between Montreal and Colorado — which will help a Nashville club currently sitting third in the Central Division.

    Lightning keep dealing, send Filppula to Flyers for Mark Streit

    TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 18:  Valtteri Filppula #51 of the Tampa Bay Lightning backhands a shot against Florida Panthers during the overtime period at the Amalie Arena on October 18, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
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    With the Tampa Bay Lightning mired in a disappointing season, general manager Steve Yzerman has spent the past couple of days selling off his upcoming free agents, including Ben Bishop to Los Angeles and Brian Boyle to Toronto.

    On Wednesday, he managed to clear a significant amount of salary cap space for next season.

    That is when the Lightning sent forward Valtteri Filppula, a 2017 fourth-round pick, and a conditional 2017 seventh-round pick, to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Mark Streit.

    Both players had no-trade clauses in their contracts and had to OK the deal. It came after it was reported that Filppula had rejected a trade to Toronto. Streit is an unrestricted free agent after this season. The Flyers are also picking up 10 percent of Streit’s remaining contract for this season.

    The key to this deal for Tampa Bay should seem pretty obvious: Clearing salary cap space in the future.

    He is having a nice enough season for the Lightning offensively with 34 points in 59 games, but he still carries a $5 million salary cap hit for next season. That presented a significant problem for a Lightning team that has a ton of key players in need of new contracts — including restricted free agents Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Jonathan Drouin — and not a lot of cap space to take care of them all. The Lightning needed to find a way to shed some salary to ensure they can keep them.

    With Streit’s contract expiring after this season, the Lightning just opened up $5 million in cap space for next season and all Yzerman had to do was give up a couple of late round draft picks to do it.

    The Flyers, meanwhile, have spent their deadline day adding a lot of salary to next year’s cap. Along with picking up Filppula’s deal, they also re-signed forward Piere-Edouard Bellemare and goalie Michal Neuvirth to two-year contract extensions.

    Hansen adds more speed to Sharks, who were already faster

    RALEIGH, NC - JANUARY 16: Jannick Hansen #36 of the Vancouver Canucks carries a puck during their NHL game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on January 16, 2015 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
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    The San Jose Sharks couldn’t handle the Pittsburgh Penguins’ speed.

    And so, after losing the Stanley Cup Final in six games, the Sharks decided they had to get faster.

    First came the signing of winger Mikkel Boedker, whose “tremendous speed is his best attribute,” said GM Doug Wilson on July 1.

    The Sharks also signed defenseman David Schlemko, who brought “puck-movement speed” to the third pairing, in the words of head coach Pete DeBoer. 

    Then, when the season started, there was a quasi-youth movement, as players like Kevin Labanc and Timo Meier received opportunities with the big club.

    And finally, last night, the Sharks acquired right winger Jannik Hansen in a trade that sent Nikolay Goldobin to Vancouver.

    “Jannik is a versatile, gritty player who plays with speed and is talented on both sides of the puck,” said Wilson. “We think he is a perfect fit for the style of our team, which has earned the right for us to make this move and add to our NHL roster as we push towards the playoffs.”

    Wilson probably undersold Hansen’s speed a touch. Even at 30 years old, Hansen is still very fast.

    Where DeBoer puts his newest player remains to be seen. On the third line with Tomas Hertl is one possibility. That could bump Joel Ward down to the fourth line, which may be a better spot for the 36-year-old who’s struggled offensively this season.

    The thing about Hansen is that he’s versatile enough to play up and down the lineup. In Vancouver, he started out as a checker. Eventually, he was skating with the Sedins on the top scoring line.

    The Sharks’ next game is tomorrow at home against, of all teams, the Vancouver Canucks.

    Related: The Penguins played great defense their own way