Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan already made some interesting comments about free agents who might leave town, but what about players who might join the fold?
The still-fairly-new-GM shared some interesting thoughts on the development of forwards such as Tom Wilson (he’s hoping to see the brutish winger become a top-six guy some day) and Andre Burakovsky, yet the position that tops his free-agent shopping list is awfully interesting. As he told the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt, the Capitals are hoping to sign a first-line right wing.
Capitals fans are all-too-familiar with a revolving cast of linemates for the dynamic duo of Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin. It’s actually been a theme even before the Capitals changed their management combo.
Sometimes, the Capitals have rolled with a power forward-type such as Joel Ward or Wilson. Other times, a “finesse” player would compliment them, such as Burakovsky or Marcus Johansson. (These “With or Without You” stats show how erratic things got for Ovechkin + Backstrom.)
Naturally, there are plenty of questions that arise, including “are you sure there’s even a suitable right win out there?” As you can see from this list, the choices fall off fast after Justin Williams and Martin St. Louis, two players who could conceivably stick with their current teams.
Still, plenty of things can change, and you can’t blame MacLellan for pointing out an obvious hope.
Speaking of hoping, Japers’ Rink did an amusing job of cobbling together Prewitt’s findings into what would seem to be MacLellan’s ideal top-six scenario:
Oh man, Dude Not On Roster can play.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Are the Chicago Blackhawks going to regret the fact that they didn’t add defense at the deadline beyond Kimmo Timonen? (Bleacher Report)
Too bad this possible Chicago signing can’t jump right in then, assuming he chooses the Blackhawks, huh?
Some of these troubles are just pure bad luck, really. (The Hockey News)
How to know you’ve made it in the NHL: people at least try to learn how to pronounce your name. (Greatest Hockey Legends)
It hasn’t been made official from the San Jose Sharks, but all signs point to them landing Joonas Donskoi:
It’s believed that the Oilers will confirm rumors of hiring Todd McLellan this afternoon.
This 8-Bit playoff bracket is pretty cute. (BarDown by way of Reddit Hockey)
The New York Post’s back page was devoted to the Rangers’ Game 2 loss (and Martin St. Louis’ reaction to that pun):
Conversely, Tyler Johnson gets some front-page love in Tampa:
The New York Rangers allowed six goals in their worst showing of the 2015 playoffs
, but that wasn’t due to a failing in five-on-five play. Tampa Bay did get two even strength goals and that shouldn’t be ignored, but the Rangers were the better team in terms of five-on-five shots and scoring chances, per War on Ice
Instead, the Rangers’ biggest issue was penalties as they gave Tampa Bay six opportunities tonight and the Lightning converted on three of them. The fact that a lack of discipline played a significant role in the Rangers’ blowout loss wasn’t lost on captain Ryan McDonagh.
“Our guys better figure it out quickly here and realize that stupid, selfish penalties are going to cost us against this team,” McDonagh said, per the New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard.
The Rangers are up to 44 minor penalties in 14 playoff games, but Tampa Bay has been significantly worse with 68 minors in 15 contests. Even in this game, Tampa Bay also had a tough time staying out of the sin bin. It wouldn’t have taken a lot for this story to be reversed and the discussion to be about Tampa Bay’s penalty troubles. If the Lightning aren’t careful, perhaps that will be the plot line in Game 3 on Wednesday.