Zach Bogosian

Safe landing: Jets sign RFA Zach Bogosian to two-year, $5 million deal

Who knew that today was “get your restricted free agents signed” day in the NHL? Earlier, Brad Marchand got locked in on a two year deal with Boston and potential RFA next season John Tavares is set to sign a six-year deal with the Islanders. Now it’s Zach Bogosian’s turn and his deal looks eerily similar to that of the one Marchand signed to stay in Boston.

Bogosian signed a two-year deal with the Jets worth $5 million to stay with Winnipeg. The $2.5 million cap hit over the next two seasons gives the Jets a nice, manageable contract to have and for Bogosian, this deal works as a “show me” deal. The length and terms of the deal are exactly the same as the contract Marchand signed today but considering where each guy was drafted, Marchand’s deal looks more like a reward for a job well done while Bogosian’s deal is a dangling carrot to chase after.

When Bogosian made his NHL debut with the Atlanta Thrashers two seasons ago, he came in as one of the most highly-touted defensemen in the 2008 NHL Draft going third overall. His first year in the league in 2009-2010 saw him play strong in 47 games for the Thrashers scoring nine goals and adding ten assists. The following season, his minutes went up and he scored 10 goals and 13 assists, but last season he struggled. Bogosian scored just five goals and added 12 assists last season and ended the year with career lows in points, goals, and plus/minus finishing the year as a -27.

With a new two-year deal in his hands, he’ll need to show Jets coach Claude Noel and GM Kevin Cheveldayoff that’s he’s the prospect the Thrashers felt he was and can be a more efficient player strong both offensively and defensively. If he can’t show that over the next two seasons, he could end up being one of the bigger disappointments from the 2008 draft. Having him be the third overall pick will only help highlight some of the problems the Thrashers organization had in assessing talent.

Bogosian has the talent to be a solid power play guy and an offensive defenseman but working with his third different coach in four years is going to make matters hard for the 21 year-old. Different coaches mean different systems and for a kid as young as Bogosian playing a position that often takes time to grow into and excel at, that hurts. Here’s to hoping that Claude Noel is the guy that can help Bogosian settle in and live up to his potential on the blue line.

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record

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When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.

Price paid: Devils come back against Condon, Canadiens

Mike Condon, John Moore,
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If nothing else, the New Jersey Devils seem like they won’t be the sort of team a contender can essentially mark off as a “W” on their calendars.

The Montreal Canadiens may not be in a position to take opponents lightly with Carey Price on the shelf, but whatever the case may be, they saw their four-game winning streak end in frustrating fashion on Saturday.

After falling behind 2-0, the Devils scrapped their way back into it, eventually riding a John Moore overtime goal to a 3-2 OT win.

If Montreal needs an obvious bright side to look on considering this hiccup, Alex Galchenyuk‘s hot weekend may be a good thing to look at.

Tonight’s loss may smart a bit anyway, however.

Metro’s best? Capitals keep winning, pass Rangers for division lead

Jonathan Bernier; Matt Niskanen; Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau

If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:

“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”

The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.

Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:

With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.

Measuring stick stretch begins

Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.

This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.

It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.

In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.