–Many would argue that the Metropolitan Division is the best in the league right now. Here’s a team-by-team breakdown of what each squad could look to acquire between now and the trade deadline. Interestingly enough, the Washington Capitals have the room to make a significant move if they want to. (NHL.com)
–The San Jose Sharks had a 4-1 lead over the Buffalo Sabres in the third period of last night’s game, but they let it slip away and eventually lost in OT. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said the loss had him feeling like Falcons head coach Dan Quinn on Super Bowl Sunday. (CSN Bay Area)
–Boston University and Providence College both added female coaches to their staff last month. Brittany Miller was named BU’s director of hockey operations, while Theresa Feaster, who is Jay Feaster’s daughter, serves as Providence College’s coordinator of hockey operations. “I feel like every day I’m learning more,” Feaster said. “One of the rewarding parts of this job is you come to the rink every day and you know that you’re going to learn and you’re going to get better. I find that incredibly rewarding.” (New York Times)
—Ben Bishop has struggled in his contract year, but he was finally able to record his first shutout of the 2016-17 season in last night’s 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings. You can watch the highlights from that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.
–Sportsnet’s Sean McIndoe is hoping to spice up the trade deadline by creating (fake) betting odds for that day. For example, he set the over/under on the number of trades on March 1st at 21.5. He also set the odds for which Canadian team will make the highest number of trades between now and the deadline. (Sportsnet)
–Blue Jackets defenseman and Michigan native Zach Werenski played his final game at Joe Louis Arena last night. Before the game, Werenski wrote a letter to the rink he fell in love with. “I first played at The Joe when I was young. Like, really young. The Grosse Pointe Bulldogs were my squirt team when I was maybe nine years old, and we got the chance to play a game on the ice a few hours before the Red Wings played. There was nothing like it, and looking back on it now, it was so much better as a kid because I feel like I appreciated it more. I soaked up every second.” (BlueJackets.com)
–Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher played the role of flight attendant for his teammates. As you can tell from the video below, Stecher should probably just stick to hockey:
New Sabres GM Jason Botterill has been on the job for less than a month, but with the draft around the corner, he’s got to start filling some holes in his front office.
Botterill, who came over from Pittsburgh, is allowed to bring former Pens colleagues of his over to Buffalo, but only if they’re given promotions by the Sabres (no lateral moves).
According to a report by Chuck Gormley, one person who could move from Pittsburgh to Buffalo is Randy Sexton, who currently serves as the Penguins’ directer of amateur scouting.
Sexton would bring plenty of experience to the Sabres’ front office, as he’s been a general manager with both the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers.
Having someone with that kind of experience could be beneficial for a rookie GM like Botterill, so the move would make a lot of sense from that point of view.
—Botterill has “no problem” with Lehner as No. 1
—Botterill to use Pens’ NHL-AHL relationship as model for Sabres
–Prior to last night’s game between Ottawa and Pittsburgh, the Senators held a moment of silence for those affected by the attacks in Manchester. A very touching moment. (The Score)
–Speaking of that game, the Senators managed to win it 2-1 thanks to some incredible goaltending from Craig Anderson. You can check out the highlights from the game by clicking the video at the top of the page.
–Sportsnet’s Andrew Berkshire takes a deeper look at P.K. Subban‘s contribution to Nashville’s run to the Stanley Cup Final. Despite dealing with a herniated disc, Subban has really been a key part of the Predators’ success both offensively and defensively. (Sportsnet)
–Many hockey fans thought Pekka Rinne‘s better days were behind him after he struggled during the regular season, but his playoff numbers have been incredible. From the start of his career, Rinne has always been underrated, so being underestimated is nothing new to him. (Yahoo)
–The Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs made a couple of trades last offseason. First, the Leafs got Frederik Andersen from the Ducks. Then, it was Toronto that shipped Jonathan Bernier to Anaheim. Could the two clubs make another huge deal this summer? The Leafs need a right-handed defenseman, and with the expansion draft coming up, the Ducks may have some blue liners to move. (The Hockey News)
–Former NHLer Manny Maholtra held a part time role with the Canucks last season, and he’s hoping for a larger one next year. “We’ve started discussions and it’s something I would definitely like to do. Obviously, a lot has to do with how (Travis) Green feels and how he wants to build his staff.” (Vancouver Province)
–We know that Brendan Smith wants to re-sign with the New York Rangers, but what will it take to get him under contract? According to the New York Post, Smith will likely fetch a four or five-year deal worth north of $4 million. (New York Post)
If you didn’t know that the Stanley Cup Playoffs can be awfully cruel, then the last week or so of action should make it pretty clear.
The Nashville Predators lost top center Ryan Johansen to a scary ailment few would have seen coming. The Anaheim Ducks fell in both games to the Johansen-less Predators, even after dominating significant chunks of Game 6. At least one Ducks player wondered if the better team won.
Much like in life, “fair” and “deserve” only matter so much. Sports have a scoreboard to serve as the ultimate deciding factor.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have similar thoughts after falling 2-1 to the Ottawa Senators tonight, extending the Eastern Conference Final to a decisive Game 7. You can nitpick questionable penalties and missed chances, but really, how negative can you be after Craig Anderson puts forth a blazing 45-save performance (with no overtime)?
Mike Sullivan and others echoed such thoughts.
” … Obviously, we’re disappointed in the result, but I don’t think we can get discouraged by that,” Sullivan said. “I think we’ve got to take the positives from it, and we’ve got to build on it, and we’ve got to become a more determined team for Game 7.
That’s not the sort of take that’s going to make the Senators angry in Game 7. The tone of the Senators’ discussions was likely very different after they lost Game 5 by a 7-0 score, yet maybe there was similar self belief.
Who could blame fans for chanting “Andy” tonight?
The Ottawa Senators said they would choose to fight in Game 6, and Craig Anderson truly battled in this one, refusing to allow this unlikely run to an end on Tuesday. They wouldn’t roll over, even after a 7-0 humiliation in Game 5.
The underrated goalie continued his memorable (and emotional) 2016-17 season with a brilliant performance, making 45 saves to help Ottawa manage a gutsy 2-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
With that, hockey fans get a true treat: the Eastern Conference will go to a Game 7 on Thursday.
The Senators opted for a “bend but don’t break” strategy for much of the contest, possibly to Guy Boucher’s preference. Even so, the Penguins managed to grind their way to a 1-0 win thanks to another hard-work goal from Evgeni Malkin.
Mistakes would come back to haunt the Penguins, however, as Bobby Ryan broke Ottawa’s lengthy power-play drought to tie things up on a 5-on-3.
With their season in question thanks to a 1-1 tie in the third period, Mike Hoffman sent a booming shot by Matt Murray, and that ended up being all the Senators needed to tie the series 3-3.
Anderson was the standout, but Erik Karlsson was a hero in the way his detractors might not expect.
You can watch Game 7 on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday. The game is also available to stream via the NBC Sports App.