The biggest goaltending domino in the trade deadline fell when Ryan Miller was traded on Friday, but the Carolina Hurricanes are probably hopeful that this beefs up what might have been a tepid market at the position. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that they’re willing to trade any one of three goalies Cam Ward, Anton Khudobin and Justin Peters by the trade deadline.
The three goalies present some very different value propositions.
Ward, 29: The big name of the three, Ward carries a $6.3 million cap hit that runs through the 2015-16 season. The last two campaigns have been particularly difficult for the netminder, as he’s dealt with injuries and inconsistency while Carolina floundered.
His recent play might damper his value (especially with that hefty contract), but Carolina can also ask for a little more value in return for a guy who has a Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup on his resume … even if that happened many moons ago.
Khudobin, 27: The Hurricanes grabbed him as he was one of the league’s best-kept secrets (9-4-1 with a .920 save percentage in Boston last season) and onlookers have seen him play well even without Zdeno Chara patrolling his blueline. He’s likely to get a nice raise from his expiring $800K salary, although a team might target him as a Ben Bishop-type buy-low candidate.
At the same time, Khudobin echoes Bishop last season in having limited NHL experience, so GMs might be weary of paying whatever Carolina’s price may be for him.
Peters, 27: He’s quietly put together a very nice season after some up-and-down years as a Hurricanes goaltending prospect. Teams that focus on his nice .919 save percentage instead of his 7-9-4 record could very well grab a sneaky-good backup. Like Khudobin, Peters has an expiring contract.
As you can see, you can make an argument for or against each one of the Hurricanes’ potential trade target goalies. It may come down to what GM Jim Rutherford is asking for and which goalie(s) he truly wants to keep.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have spoken out against a late, high hit that Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik threw on Olli Maatta early in the first period of an eventful Game 2 on Saturday.
Maatta left and didn’t return. He played only 31 seconds, and the Penguins were reduced to five defensemen for a large portion of the game. Orpik was given a minor penalty on the play, but the league’s Department of Player Safety may see it differently.
The hit occurred well after Maatta had gotten rid of the puck. He struggled on his way to the dressing room for further evaluation.
Based on multiple reports, Orpik wasn’t made available to the media following the game, which went to the Penguins as they earned the split on the road.
But the Penguins have taken issue with the hit.
“I thought it was a late hit,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, as per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I thought it was a target to his head. I think it’s the type of hit everyone in hockey is trying to remove from the game.”
The Pittsburgh Penguins will head back home with a split of their second-round series with the rival Washington Capitals.
Former Capitals forward Eric Fehr came back to burn his hold team, as he scored with under five minutes remaining in regulation to help lift the Penguins over Washington with a 2-1 victory in an eventful Game 2 on Saturday. Evgeni Malkin threw the puck toward the net and Fehr was able to re-direct it by Braden Holtby.
Oh, this was an eventful game, indeed.
It started early in the first period with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik catching Penguins blue liner Olli Maatta with a late and high hit that warranted — at least for now — only a minor penalty for interference. Maatta, clearly in distress following the hit, didn’t play another shift and saw only 31 seconds of ice time in total, as Pittsburgh was reduced to five defensemen for the remainder of the game.
It continued in the third period. Kris Letang was furious after getting called for a trip on Justin Williams, and even more ticked off when the Capitals tied the game on the ensuing power play.
For two periods, the Capitals couldn’t get much going. Only four of their players had registered a shot on goal through 40 minutes, while the Penguins held the edge in that department and held the lead.
Washington came out with more jump in the third period, testing rookie netminder Matt Murray with 14 shots in the final 20 minutes. But the Penguins got the late goal to break the deadlock.
Kris Letang watched from the penalty box as the Washington Capitals tied up Game 2 with a power play goal in the third period. The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman was called for tripping after he appeared to muscle Justin Williams off the puck as he entered the zone.
Letang let his disagreement with the call be known at the time, and was furious after the Capitals capitalized on a goal from Marcus Johansson.
The Capitals started the period down a goal and being outshot 28-10 by the Penguins, who need a win to even the series.
Also, it seems this is worth mentioning:
In their quest to even the series, the Pittsburgh Penguins had done a nice job through two periods of suffocating the Washington Capitals, while gaining the lead on a beautiful goal.
Carl Hagelin took advantage of a vast amount of space that opened up in front of the Washington net, finishing off a nice pass from Nick Bonino, burying his shot just under the cross bar on the glove side of Braden Holtby.
Through two periods, the Penguins were outshooting Washington 28-10. Only four Capitals players — Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen — had registered shots on goal.