Dion Phaneuf‘s first home game as a member of the Ottawa Senators is going more smoothly than his debut did on Wednesday.
Ottawa fell 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings last night, and they need another goal to tie up the Colorado Avalanche. Still, Phaneuf’s making a bigger impact on Thursday, collecting two assists … his first two points in a Sens’ sweater.
You can see his crowd-pleasing first helper above.
Here’s his second assist for good measure:
Update: The Avalanche held on, taking a 4-3 edge. Even so, Phaneuf’s getting a warm welcome in his new hockey city.
Phaneuf on the Ottawa crowd reaction: "It gave me chills."
If Dallas can hold on for a regulation win, the Stars would end the night just one standings point behind Chicago with two games in hand. Then again, as this race has shown, it’s rarely safe to make too many assumptions.
Update: Dallas ended up beating Chicago 4-2.
Connor McDavid’s best game yet: Five points vs. Maple Leafs
The Oilers could be a big seller during the trade deadline, but that’s not the only reason to keep an eye on Edmonton.
Connor McDavid is making up for lost time from his freak injury, scoring highlight reel goals often enough that he’s almost doing so at will.
In many cases, he’s used his speed to leave opposing defenses helpless. In this case against his hometown team in the Toronto Maple Leafs, McDavid took advantage of a nice Benoit Pouliot pass. Check out that nice tally in the video above.
Update: It turned out to be special night for McDavid in more ways than just that one goal. With five points in Edmonton’s 5-2 win against Toronto, he set a new career-high in his young career.
Remarkable stuff … and likely just the beginning for the NHL’s latest wunderkind.
To reiterate, the video’s worth watching in full, but here are some highlights:
The Edmonton Oilers shine as one of the most obvious “sellers.” Teddy Purcell could be a nice supplementary piece, yet Pierre LeBrun rightly points to Justin Schultz as the most interesting name.
He’s really received just about every chance you can ask for in Edmonton, but LeBrun notes that his confidence is “shot.” Schultz is a pricey guy to take on thanks to his qualifying rights; still, some team might believe that they can make that reclamation project work.
Andrew Ladd seems to be in limbo with the Winnipeg Jets, as it sounds like there’s the possibility of an extension or a trade.
Eric Staal‘s situation is murky, too. Bob McKenzie points out that Staal has control of his situation with no-trade/no-movement clauses, so he can dictate his future with (or without) the Carolina Hurricanes.
An interesting opinion raised by LeBrun: Mikkel Boedker‘s maybe the No. 1 rental forward.
Darren Dreger reports that Boedker is looking for a six-year deal with a $5.5 million cap hit (which would be $33 million), whether that comes from the Arizona Coyotes or someone else.
Again, watch the full video, as a lot of names and teams are discussed. Plenty of things can happen, but we’ll ultimately need to wait and see.