Craig Anderson and the Ottawa Senators provided a great gesture before their eventual 5-3 win against the Florida Panthers on Monday, meeting with all 60 members of Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ hockey team.
Anderson took care of tickets for the entire team, and before the game, Senators players met with them and provided autographs.
“It’s big for our family,” Anderson said. “We live here in Parkland, we’re raising our kids here. We’re living through (the tragedy) just like everyone else in the community.”
The Senators shared some images from that uplifting gesture:
Prior to tonight's game the entire #Sens team had the chance to meet the Marjory Stoneman Douglas hockey team. Their group of 60 will watch tonight's game with tickets courtesy of hometown hero Craig Anderson. pic.twitter.com/LHvYl0TivW
There likely won’t be a more wild trade before the deadline than the one that took the better part of Friday to finally be completed.
The Pittsburgh Penguins had Ottawa Senators forward Derick Brassard in their grasp, then lost him, and then snatched him up again.
Penguins defenseman Ian Cole was headed to a bad team, then he wasn’t, and then he was again.
And somehow Ryan Reaves is now with the Vegas Golden Knights and the NHL’s newest team is retaining a bunch of salary.
The first trade: Penguins receive Derick Brassard; Senators get a first-round pick, Ian Cole and intriguing goalie prospect Filip Gustavsson.
This deal was rejected by the NHL for “improper use of salary retention,” so it was back to the drawing board for all involved.
The second (and actual) trade: Penguins receive Derick Brassard; Senators get a first-round pick, Ian Cole and intriguing goalie prospect Filip Gustavsson. This didn’t change.
Penguins also acquire a 2018 third round draft pick and prospect forward Vincent Dunn from the Senators; and they also get prospect forward Tobias Lindberg from the Golden Knights.
Vegas receives Ryan Reaves and a 2018 fourth-rounder (Vancouver’s) from the Penguins and also retains 40 percent of Brassard’s salary.
Why the Penguins made the trade: It’s been no secret that the Penguins have been looking for center help since losing Matt Cullen and Nick Bonino. Brassard fits that bill, and honestly, stands as a nice upgrade.
At 30, Brassard is still at or near his prime. The Penguins get Brassard for two playoff runs, as his $5 million cap hit runs through 2018-19.
Brassard’s quietly enjoyed a strong season in Ottawa, as he has 18 goals and 38 points in 58 games. He’s just one point shy of tying his 2016-17 total, even though that came in 81 contests. The former Rangers forward is battle-tested in the postseason, too.
Derick Brassard has 55 points on 22 goals and 33 assists in 78 career playoff games. He has scored 4 game-winning goals. He has played into the Conference Final three times, once into the Cup Final.
Why the Senators made the trade: The Senators are in liquidation mode, and to start, this trade helps Ottawa get a first-rounder back after giving one up in the Matt Duchene trade. Granted, the Penguins’ first-rounder could be very low – they’d love it to be the 31st selection – but it’s a key return for the rebuilding Sens.
Gustavsson, 19, isn’t just a throw-in, either. He was a second-round pick (55th overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft. With Craig Anderson already 36, the Senators need to look to the future, and Gustavsson has a chance to be a part of the picture in net.
Filip Gustavsson led Sweden to a silver medal at the World Junior last month, and was named the tournament’s top goalie with a 1.81 GAA and a .924 save % in 6 games. #Sens
This is also worth noting from a Senators perspective:
With what might still be on the horizon, not retaining any of Brassard’s salary is worth noting (Vegas is on the hook for 40%). Teams are only allowed to retain the salaries of 3 players in any given season. The Sens have already done it once (Phaneuf).
Vegas gets some grit in Reaves and a pick, but get roped into 40 percent of Brassard’s salary for some reason or another.
Who won the trade?
Senators fans are unlikely to be happy with the team cleaning house, particularly with players who helped them make a deep playoff run remarkably recently. Still, they’re diving in with a reset, if not a rebuild, and this is a decent return. Getting a bit more for Cole could help, and Gustavsson’s development will play a significant role in how this move is viewed in hindsight.
The Penguins are going for it, as they have been for some time. Brassard fills a serious need, and while defense is an issue for Pittsburgh, Cole found himself as a healthy scratch and obviously on the way out at times.
This is all about the present for Pittsburgh, and it’s easy to justify such a thought process. Let’s not forget that Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, and Phil Kessel are 30 while Evgeni Malkin is 31. You never know when the championship window might slam shut.
Since Jan. 5, the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions are 15-3-1, the best record in the NHL in terms of point percentage (.815). Evgeni Malkin (32 points) and Sidney Crosby (30) are Nos. 1 and 2 in scoring. Yeah, you go for it aggressively.
On Tuesday night the Ottawa Senators were getting blown out by the Chicago Blackhawks in a game that saw Craig Anderson give up four goals on 26 shots in less than 30 minutes of action.
He still gave up three goals on Wednesday night and the Senators could have very easily been blown out again, but thanks to Anderson’s 45 saves they were able to leave Toronto with a 4-3 win over the Maple Leafs. The Senators were not particularly good on Wednesday, but Anderson was a game-changer and was able to keep his team in the game long enough to wait for Toronto to make a couple of crucial defensive mistakes that helped Ottawa pull off the win.
It is the second time in his past three starts that Anderson has had to make at least 45 saves in a Senators win (more on that in a minute), also doing it on Saturday in a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
While Anderson was stealing a game in Toronto for the Senators, Devan Dubnyk was having a similar night for the Minnesota Wild in Chicago. He only had to stop 34 out of 35 shots to help lead his team to a much-needed 2-1 win over the Blackhawks, but he played an equally big role in the result. Especially during the first period when the Blackhawk were skating circles around the Wild and Dubnyk did everything he could to keep his team in the game.
Welcome Back, Brent
You just had to know that when Brent Seabrook drew back into the Chicago Blackhawks lineup on Wednesday night after being a healthy scratch the night before that he was going to play some sort of a role in the game or make some kind of an impact. He did not waste much time. He scored the game’s opening goal 12:24 into the first period to give Chicago an early 1-0 lead.
The play had to withstand a coach’s challenge from Minnesota for a potential offside play, but there was not enough evidence to overturn. For Seabrook it was his second goal of the season and his first since the team’s 10-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the season opener all the way back on October 5. He had three points (one goal, two assists) that night. Before Wednesday’s game he had zero goals and eight assists in the 40 games that followed.
Highlight Of The Night
It came in a loss, and it did not result in a goal, but take a look at the stickhandling of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews.
One win, even in the frosty outdoors for the NHL 100 Classic, only means so much.
Still, the Ottawa Senators probably experienced some ice-cold relief on Saturday, beating the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 during a tightly defended outdoor bout.
It was 0-0 for much of the game until Jean-Gabriel Pageau tipped an Erik Karlsson shot for the first goal with about five minutes remaining in the second period. Bobby Ryan then capitalized on a rough Jonathan Drouin turnover to make it 2-0, while an empty-netter iced the icy evening for Ottawa.
For a night, it was a fun time, and Karlsson reminded us what all the fuss is about, as he logged a ridiculous 32:55 of ice time. And he seemed to be having a good time doing it.
This night laid the “Canadian” on thick, with Bryan Adams performing during the event, and Gary Bettman posing for photos with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Carey Price generated some nice saves of his own, but couldn’t will Montreal to win in his 10th consecutive start. The Habs rarely got things going against the Senators, seen most easily in Ottawa’s 38-28 advantage in shots on goal.
Nights like these make a bigger impact on fans’ memories and bottom lines, but this marks consecutive wins for the Senators either way. Considering the fact that the Senators hadn’t put back-to-back wins together since they faced the Avalanche in two contests in Sweden, it might not be a big deal, yet it’s far better than the nothing they’ve been coming up with far too often lately.
In other news from the event, Mario Lemieux’s “five goals, five different ways” was named as the NHL’s greatest moment, voted by fans: