–The Hockey News looks at five “hockey trades” that were made during past deadline days. Who can forget the deal between Pittsburgh and Hartford that saw Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings go to the Penguins for John Cullen, Zarley Zalapski and Jeff Parker. (The Hockey News)
–Ilya Bryzgalov took part in Sportsnet’s trade deadline coverage and he had a few classic lines when it was all said and done. Sportsnet put together his best 25 moments from yesterday’s appearance. Here’s a sample: “Guys! A question! Is chicken meat? Or is it a bird?” Ahhhh vintage Bryz. (Sportsnet)
–The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Marcus Hayes argues that the Flyers should have traded Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek when they had the chance back in 2015. During that summer, they replaced Craig Berube with Dave Hakstol and Hayes says it was the perfect time to get rid of the two faces of the franchise. Now, he suggests it might be too late. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
—Patrick Kane scored his second hat trick in three games, as the Chicago Blackhawks took down the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Wednesday night. You can watch the highlights from that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.
–Tonight will mark the first time P.K. Subban returns to Montreal since the Canadiens traded him to the Predators over the summer. Unlike most players who seem to be forgotten by their old city after they’re traded away, the people of Montreal still feel a deep connection with Subban. The Preds defenseman has done a lot of great work for the Montreal Children’s Hospital and it certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed. (The Tennessean)
–The Colorado Avalanche may have held on to Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog, but that doesn’t mean their trade deadline day was a total failure. Writes Matt Larkin: “If we could all kickstart the perfect rebuild instantly, we would. But the simple truth is Duchene is under contract two more seasons at a $6-millon cap hit and Landeskog four more at a $5.57 million per. Neither player was a rental. Waiting until the summer and, more specifically, draft day to pursue trades shouldn’t hurt Sakic.” (The Hockey News)
–The Chicago Blackhawks made a 13-year-old fan’s dream come true by allowing him to participate in the team’s morning skate. The young fan even got to go in nets while some of his favorite players took shots on him. That’s just awesome. (BarDown)
–With only a few weeks remaining in the regular season, we’re starting to get a better idea of who will be in and out of the playoffs. With that being said, The Hockey News put together a list of five players that could benefit from playing on another team. Devils goalie Cory Schneider is at the top of the list. Schneider’s been solid since joining New Jersey, but the team hasn’t had much success. (The Hockey News)
—Erik Karlsson has always been known as an offensive defenseman, but this year, he’s made several defensive improvements to his game. The changes have made him so effective that his head coach, Guy Boucher, believes he should be in the running for a Hart Trophy. (Canadian Press)
–The Washington Capitals will be hosting a Russian Heritage Night tonight. During the pre-game warmup, Alex Ovechkin will be rocking these custom skates honoring his home land and his American home. He’ll be auctioning off the skates too. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)
–The New York Islanders trailed the Rangers 2-1 heading into the third period, but thanks to goals by Nikolay Kulemin and Andrew Ladd, they were able to come out on top. You can watch the highlights from last night’s “Battle of New York” by clicking the video at the top of the page.
–Vegas GM George McPhee chatted with Sportsnet’s Gene Principe about being able to build a team from scratch. McPhee called the experience “fantastic” and “really neat”. He also discussed his vision for the team and how he’s approaching the expansion draft. (Sportsnet)
–The Detroit Red Wings have been a model franchise for quite some time, but they’ve on the verge of going through some pretty big changes. First, Joe Louis Arena will be closing its doors and secondly, their long playoff streak will be coming to an end this season. Sports Illustrated takes a deeper look at the old barn and the third-longest playoff streak in pro sports. (Sports Illustrated)
–Many people feel like the Calder Trophy race will come down to Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine, but Bob McKenzie says there’s more than two worthy candidates because Zach Werenski has been equally good this season. But who is McKenzie leaning toward?
Connor McDavid was fantastic on Wednesday, but the Anaheim Ducks overcame his strong showing for a significant win in the Pacific.
McDavid scored a goal and two assists, yet Ryan Getzlaf was right there with him with three assists, helping the Ducks win 4-3.
With that, Anaheim is clearly ahead of Edmonton for second in the Pacific. The Ducks would hold home-ice over the Oilers if the playoffs began today, and better yet for them, a division title isn’t out of the question:
1. Sharks – 91 points in 73 games played
2. Ducks – 89 points in 73 GP
3. Oilers – 87 points in 73 GP
4. Flames – 86 points in 73 GP
As you can see, the Oilers aren’t exactly far ahead of the Flames for third, either.
Going forward, the Oilers have an interesting schedule: a mix of games against cellar dwellers (two apiece against the Canucks and Avalanche) plus two games apiece versus the Kings and Sharks.
The Ducks’ schedule includes two matches against the Flames, one against the Kings and one more match at Edmonton on April 1.
Long story short, the jockeying for position is far from over, but this was a pretty significant win for the Ducks.
Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.
Maybe more than sheer speed, this tally is a reminder that McDavid could do impressive things while losing little or no momentum. It’s one thing to have straight-line speed, but he has the hands and hockey IQ to take advantage of his swift skating.
McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).
The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.
They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.
The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.
Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.
The Islanders now have 80 standings points, placing them two behind the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot.
The Rangers’ hold over the first wild card seems quite secure, but they do have to worry ever so slightly about their play at home. With this defeat, they’ve now lost seven straight (0-5-2) at Madison Square Garden.