During his three years in Florida, Peter DeBoer watched the Panthers sell off assets at the trade dealine.
But now, leading a Devils team two points out of second in the East, DeBoer’s finally experiencing what it’s like to be a buyer.
And guess what? He likes it.
“I can tell you it’s nicer going into this time of year in a playoff spot than where I’ve been in previous years,” DeBoer told the Star-Ledger. “Scratching from the outside looking in, trying to sell the hope if we can get on a run this time of year maybe we won’t be dumping salary, we might be adding.
“Those were tough situations to be in the last couple of years (in Florida) prior to getting here.”
During his time in Florida, DeBoer watched management unload the likes of Jordan Leopold, Dennis Seidenberg, Michael Frolik, Bryan McCabe and Cory Stillman at or near the deadline. Now, it appears his Devils are in the mix for Minnesota defenseman Marek Zidlicky — this after acquiring Alexei Ponikarovsky in late January.
DeBoer’s not the only person excited about the prospect of adding Zidlicky. Devils captain Patrik Elias is good friends with his fellow Czech countryman and would love to see him come to New Jersey.
“I’ve liked him ever since I was 14, 15 years old,” Elias said in an unfortunately worded statement. “We played on the national team together. He’s a good player. Offensively, he’s very good. He plays mean when he has to. He can be a little (agitator).
“But all that said, he’s not here yet.”
You’d think the reaction to taking a skate to the face would be something like “Not coming back to that game, getting some ice and maybe do some soul-searching.”
Nope, not in the NHL, at least.
In this league, the real reaction is almost always to come back to the same game … and barely miss a beat.
Ottawa Senators Mark Stone provides the latest example of hockey toughness, as he bounced back almost immediately from this.
What did he do? He scored a nice goal in the Senators’ 6-1 blowout of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It’s said that variety is the spice of life, yet it seems to be the spite of the Minnesota Wild.
As head coach Mike Yeo said, this struggling team appears to find a new way to lose virtually every night. That couldn’t have happened once again on Saturday, when they fell 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues, could it?
If you ask Jarret Stoll, the latest problem was the penalty kill.
Honestly, Stoll may have been too specific, likely trying to throw his own unit under the bus. Instead, it might be more accurate to say that Minnesota’s special teams let them down.
Indeed, the Wild struggled to limit the Blues’ power play, which went an unsettling 3-for-6. That said, Minnesota had a chance to trade blows with St. Louis. Instead, the Wild managed one power-play goal on seven opportunities.
The silver lining is that the Wild believe that they showed more fight than this fragile bunch had been generating before.
On the other hand, with Jonas Brodin on IR and Jared Spurgeon apparently hurt, that silver lining may not be so easy to see.
Worry (if you’re pulling for the Stars) or gloat (if you’re a Blackhawks fan) all you want, but the bottom line is that the Central Division’s No.1 spot is clearly in Chicago’s control after Saturday night.
The Blackhawks earned a decisive 5-1 win against the Dallas Stars, giving them a five-point standings lead over Dallas for the Central Division lead.
You may feel like that’s more of the same, but consider this: things would look a lot closer if Dallas won or gained points, as they hold three games in hand on the ‘Hawks.
At least one Blackhawks player admits this game means a little more than your average W.
Indeed, while Antti Niemi was pulled from the game and Kari Lehtonen faced his own struggles in Dallas’ net, Corey Crawford ranked as one of the big reasons why the score was so lopsided.
(Artem Anisimov had a big say in that, too.)
As a wise coach with 1,000+ games of experience would do, Joel Quenneville didn’t go overboard in assessing the victory.
Was this a statement game? Who knows, but a certain statement is that the Blackhawks now have a five-point standings lead.
Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.
Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.
Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:
That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.
Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.