When the Pittsburgh Penguins traded peanuts/a bag of hockey pucks/some other phrase that indicates very little to the New York Islanders for Bill Guerin, I cannot say that I was wildly impressed. After all, Guerin was no spring chicken and didn’t exactly flourish after an earlier trade deadline deal brought him to San Jose.
Yet Guerin absolutely flourished on a line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz. Sure, he wasn’t a 40 or 50-goal scorer during his two seasons in Pittsburgh, but his veteran presence, right handed shot and solid size made him a nice (and cheap) compliment to Crosby. Despite winning a Stanley Cup way back when he was with the New Jersey Devils, skating alongside Crosby helped the salt and pepper bearded Guerin put up the best postseason of his 15 appearances. (He scored 15 points in 24 games.)
Guerin is currently in Long Island, New York with his wife and four kids just hanging out and enjoying life. Once the Philadelphia Flyers released him it was only a matter of time before Guerin would have to come to terms on his future as a professional hockey player. While no official announcement has been made I’m told we can probably expect one in the next two to three weeks. Obviously a team could always suffer a key injury and place a last second call but that doesn’t seem likely. It’s not like Guerin is skating everyday in anticipation of playing again this season.
This guy will go down as one of the best American born years ever. He was truly an integral part of a cast of U.S. born players that helped put American hockey back on the map.
Well, that’s disappointing. Like Strickland, I find it hard to believe that someone with Guerin’s skill set couldn’t land a job somewhere although Guerin might have been a little picky as far as playing with a contender. I recommended that the St. Louis Blues sign him for his right-handed shot and experience, but perhaps playing with the under construction Blues would be too much of an uphill battle for the aging veteran.
It’s important to note that this is far from official, though. We’ll pass along word if he actually goes through with, though.
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.