The Winnipeg Free Press pointed something interesting out on Saturday: the Winnipeg Jets finally approach a “normal” season in 2013-14.
After all, the 2011 offseason included being uprooted from Atlanta to Winnipeg while the 2012 summer was marred by the lockout. One could say that this is the first truly business-as-usual lead-up to a season since the Jets were rejuvenated.
Newly re-signed defenseman Zach Bogosian acknowledges the expectations the Jets carry into 2013-14.
“Now we have a full year where you kinda know what to expect,” Bogosian said. “We know where we’re at. We know who we signed, and how we’re gonna play. It’s just our job now to go out and accomplish our goal.”
Of course, even next season poses some interesting changes.
The Jets are part of a revamped Central Division in the Western Conference. That will likely make for tougher competition than they experienced in the discontinued Southeast Division, yet with more reasonable travel parameters, things continue to point more toward “normal.”
One cannot help but wonder if this means that the “honeymoon” is over in Winnipeg, however.
The St. Louis Blues will look to improve their cushion in the Western Conference playoff race when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.
You can catch the game on NBCSN (7:30 p.m. ET) or online with the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
NHL On NBCSN: Blues look to slow down Blackhawks
Blues extend Berglund — five years, $19.25 million
Blackhawks’ Hjalmarsson ‘day-to-day,’ will not play on Sunday
The L.A. Kings have made a move aimed at bolstering their goaltending for the stretch drive, acquiring goalie Ben Bishop from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
That is according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie on Sunday. The Kings have since officially announced the deal. Also going to the Kings is a fifth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Meanwhile, going back to the Lightning is goalie Peter Budaj, defenseman Erik Cernak, a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft and a conditional pick this year, as well.
Per hockey insider Pierre LeBrun, the Bolts will retain some of Bishop’s salary in the move, although there wasn’t a specific amount in the report. Bishop, who was injured in last year’s Eastern Conference Final, is a pending unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, in the final year of a two-year, $11.9 million contract.
Despite impressive play in each of the last three seasons for Tampa Bay, his future with that organization had been uncertain for a while. This season, Bishop has a record of 16-12-3 with a .911 save percentage.
The news comes one day after Jonathan Quick returned to the Kings crease after a 59-game absence due to a groin injury and was solid in a big win versus the Anaheim Ducks.
The Kings are, at least right now, three points out of the final wild card spot in the West.
Meanwhile, Budaj has been solid in net for the Kings, having taken over the starting duties when Quick was injured in October. He has a 27-20-3 record and a .917 save percentage. The Bolts are seven points out of the final wild card spot in the East.
Connor McDavid once again had that blazing speed of his on display. The latest victims? The Nashville Predators on Sunday.
The sophomore star scored his 21st goal of the season and league-leading 70th point thanks to a beautiful individual effort, putting his Oilers back into a tie game at the time.
McDavid picked up the puck just outside his blue line, accelerated to beat Roman Josi in the neutral zone, beat Ryan Ellis with a move and immediately snapped his shot home for the goal.
There was good news and bad news for the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, as the club deals with an outbreak of the mumps.
First, the bad news: Head coach Willie Desjardins confirmed that forward Anton Rodin, defenseman Ben Hutton and trainer Brian Hamilton are now experiencing symptoms of the mumps.
Initially, five players — Troy Stecher, Chris Tanev, Nikita Tryamkin, Mike Chaput and Markus Granlund — had been affected.
The good news? Stecher, who had the first confirmed case of the mumps, was back on the ice Sunday for an optional practice, per the Canucks.
The Canucks, nine points out of a playoff spot in the West, host the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.
The following day is the trade deadline, and the Canucks could be busy, with at least three players — Alex Burrows, Jannik Hansen and Ryan Miller — all mentioned as possible targets for other teams.
Speaking to TSN 1040 radio on Friday, GM Jim Benning didn’t believe the mumps outbreak would impact his plans leading up to the deadline.