After a brief lull, the trade floodgates seem to be opening on the Night Before Trade Christmas. The Buffalo Sabres acquired streaky goal scorer Brad Boyes from the St. Louis Blues for their 2011 second round pick.
It’s tough to argue with Joe’s assessment that adding Boyes might be more of the same, as the team features a variety of hot-and-cold snipers who aren’t particularly useful in their own end. Boyes scored as many as 43 goals one season, yet he only has 12 so far in 2010-11. His streaky shooting tendencies make jokes about his aim (or lack thereof) fairly commonplace among Blues fans.
On one hand, some will say that Boyes is a bit redundant in the Sabres offense (I lean in that direction). That being said, perhaps coach Lindy Ruff can ride the hot hand between Boyes, Jason Pominville, Thomas Vanek and other streaky scorers to emulate the varied attack the team used during the all-too-brief Daniel Briere/Chris Drury days.
If nothing else, it’s nice to see the Sabres showing some aggressiveness since they’re only four games behind the eighth place Carolina Hurricanes (with two games in hand).
From the Blues’ perspective, they shed some salary and a player who might not fit in very well with a young and aggressive offense propelled by the likes of Chris Stewart and David Backes. The second round pick is a nice cherry on top, even if this draft is supposed to be pretty weak.
We’ll be up late to keep track of deals, which might be a good thing considering the fact that the dominoes are starting to fall already.
Milbury, Jones: Tkachuk walked the walk; Kings’ response was embarrassing
The Los Angeles Kings got revenge on Matthew Tkachuk and the Calgary Flames on the scoreboard on Wednesday. But was that 4-1 win enough?
Mike Milbury and Keith Jones provided a lengthy “overtime” segment on NBCSN that brought about some really fascinating takes on the situation between Tkachuk and the Flames versus Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings.
Watch the full video above, as it’s worth your time.
A few interesting lines if you’re (tsk tsk) skipping it:
Milbury: Believes that Doughty didn’t “do enough,” noting that star players sometimes have to stick up for themselves. On the other hand, Tkachuk showed that he can “walk the walk.”
He also gave the Kings a “C-, D+ if not worse” for their overall response. “Fight your own battles,” Milbury said of Doughty.
Jones disagreed to some extent, believing that Kings teammates won’t look at Doughty differently. But Jake Muzzin? He believes that Muzzin’s frequent defensive partner (at least over the years, maybe not this season) backing down from a fight was an embarrassment.
"I don't think the Kings look at Doughty differently…Muzzin to back down from that fight on 1st shift is an embarrassment." – Keith Jones https://t.co/KI9dx8Rirx
For what it’s worth, Drew Doughty has one career fight (against Joe Thornton [!] in 2011-2) while Jake Muzzin’s lone bout came against Andrew Desjardins in 2012-13, according to Hockey Fights. Does that mean they shouldn’t have dropped the gloves on Wednesday? Milbury and Jones seem to believe that they should have answered the bell.
Deep down, the Los Angeles Kings probably realize that their season will end on game 82. Still, they kept their slim playoff hopes alive on Wednesday night … and managed to spite a team they’re growing to hate.
OK, maybe the hate is almost totally focused upon Matthew Tkachuk, yet the disdain for that talented-but-tormenting rookie was palpable.
It didn’t feel like the Kings exacted physical revenge on Tkachuk, but beating his team 4-1 ranked as classic scoreboard vengeance. With that, the Calgary Flames (and by extension the St. Louis Blues) will need to wait to clinch a playoff berth.
Now, as much as tonight was about Tkachuk, the focus was also on a pugnacious player who once dazzled for the Flames: Jarome Iginla.
In what might be Iginla’s final visit to Calgary – at least as an active NHL player – he was one of the best players on the ice. His fitting curtain call included a “Gordie Howe hat trick” with a spirited fight, an assist and a goal.
It’s official: the NHL will hold preseason games in China before next season.
The league made the announcement on Wednesday night: the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks will play two exhibitions: one on Sept. 21 (Shanghai) and Sept. 23 (Beijing). How cool is that?
“It is a privilege and an honor for the L.A. Kings to represent the National Hockey League in China as part of these two games against the Vancouver Canucks,” Kings president Luc Robitaille said. “Growing the game of hockey is something we take great pride in and it is a big priority for our hockey club and AEG as a whole. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our players and our staff, and we are looking forward to the games taking place in two tremendous facilities in two remarkable cities.”