After years of chasing a playoff berth and falling short, the Flames seem to have embraced the rebuilding process. So while other teams threw a lot of money around on Friday, GM Jay Feaster stayed relatively quiet.
“At our meeting with ownership on May 9, we presented a preliminary list of unrestricted free agents at that time,” Feaster said, according to the team’s website. “One of the things we said to ownership was that we didn’t believe the answers to our problems, our situations, our needs were necessarily going to found in unrestricted free agency.”
The Flames did have the cap space necessary to chase just about any free agent if they wanted, but Feaster insists he’s happy with the way things turned out.
“Our cap space was not and is not burning a hole in my pocket,” he said.
“The one thing we didn’t do, and I think it’s something we have done in the past … we’ve given a lot of money for a long period of time. It puts you in a tough situation because typically when you’re doing these deals today, you end up having to give full no-trade, no-moves or partial no-trade, no-moves and it makes the job a lot tougher.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean that the team will go into the 2013-14 campaign largely unchanged. Feaster is still interested in players on the trade market and what he does on that end will be another indication of their new philosophy. Still, for now it seems like they’re exercising much more discipline than they have in the past.
The Boston Bruins keep flipping the script.
In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).
Here’s his first goal of the night:
While this is his overtime game-winner:
It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.
The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.
October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.
November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.
Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.
More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.
Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.
Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:
… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.
(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)
Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.
You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.
Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.
Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.
You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.
It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.
Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.
Update: The fight may have inspired the Islanders more than the Flyers, as they bested Philly 3-1 on Wednesday.
Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.
Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:
Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.
If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.
Check out this incredible shot of that moment:
Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.