Braydon Coburn

Weekend Watch: Five games you need to see

This is the Weekend Watch. It’s a guide of what to watch this weekend.

Saturday: Tampa Bay at Philadelphia, 7pm ET

This one has all the makings of…

/puts on sunglasses

A trap game.


Saturday: Anaheim at Nashville, 8pm ET

Lingering beef alert! These two have mad history, yo.

There was that time Jarkko Ruutu KOed Martin Erat. Then that time when Bobby Ryan stomped on Jonathan Blum. And we can’t forget about Corey Perry spearing Pekka Rinne, or when Ducks GM Bob Murray said the Preds were “diving left and right” during the playoffs.

Remember the time Ryan Getzlaf fought Mike Fisher? Or when Francois Beauchemin KOed Fisher? That was also that fight between Brian McGrattan and George Parros. Shortly after that, Getzlaf called Jordin Tootoo an embarrassment and then Barry Trotz told Getzlaf to take care of business on the ice, not complain through the newspapers.

Best part? This will be Tootoo’s first game back after getting suspended for running Ryan Miller. Hoo boy.

Saturday: Vancouver at Ottawa, 7pm ET

Lingering beef alert (again)! The last time these two met, Canucks forward Alex Burrows either intentionally or unintentionally opened the bench door as Maxim Lapierre was hitting Jesse Winchester, resulting in this:

Winchester didn’t like it, the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch didn’t like it and Burrows pleaded innocence (on the pretense he wouldn’t hurt a fellow Quebec guy, even though Winchester’s from Ontario.)

Saturday: San Jose at St. Louis, 8pm ET

Lingering beef alert (yes, again)! This will mark the first time that David Perron will square off against Joe Thornton since the infamous hit that cost Perron 97 games with a concussion:

The two appeared to have buried the hatchet when Thornton texted Perron prior to the Blues LW making his season debut against Chicago on Dec. 3, but maybe another St. Louis player takes a run at Thornton. Maybe that guy is the diminutive Scott Nichol, who gamely fought Thornton back in 2008.

Sunday: Florida at New York Rangers, 7pm ET

Yeah yeah, lingering beef alert. The last time these two played, Rangers forward Andre Deveaux received a 10-minute match penalty for deliberate injury after elbowing Tomas Fleischmann in the head:

Deveaux received a three-game suspension for the hit, one that drew the ire of Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen.

“The refs certainly got the right call calling a match penalty,” Dineed said. “That’s the kind of thing, again at the end of the year, you put together tapes of what’s really wrong with the game, that hit would be one of them.”

Enjoy the weekend, everyone.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.