Ottawa Senators defenseman Marc Methot may get in a trade rumor or three, but he doesn’t make it onto the scoresheet very often. That’s kind of what made his play in Ottawa’s 7-2 romp against the Arizona Coyotes so special.
Really, it all comes down to this: will it be more difficult for him to top this absurd hip check, which the Senators deem “the hip check to end all hip checks”?
Or will it be the three assists he collected in that win?
To provide a little bit of context, the 29-year-old came into Saturday with two points (all assists) in an injury-ravaged 2014-15 campaign. Scanning some of Methot’s gamelogs, he generated one multi-assist output last season and a pair of two-assist contests in 2012-13.
Long story short, it’s pretty fair to label Saturday’s performance as one of the best games of Methot’s career or the best one.
If nothing else, it’s tough to imagine Methot landing a more ridiculous hip check.
All the latest from the blue paint…
Smith seeks better showing against Ottawa
Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith surrendered five goals on 33 shots on Jan. 10 against the Senators, but he’ll be back between the pipes tonight in Ottawa. Smith has started in every game since Devan Dubnyk was traded to Minnesota.
Smith has struggled mightily this season, posting a 3.41 GAA and .890 save percentage in 33 contests, but he held Toronto to a single goal on Thursday, so this is an opportunity for him to string a couple good games together.
Ottawa will counter with Robin Lehner.
Islanders at Red Wings: Chad Johnson vs. Petr Mrazek
Kings at Bruins: Jonathan Quick is the probable goaltender against Tuukka Rask.
Panthers at Devils: Roberto Luongo vs. Keith Kinkaid
Canes at Rangers: Neither goaltender is confirmed, but it will probably be Cam Ward facing Henrik Lundqvist.
Leafs at Flyers: James Reimer vs. Steve Mason
Stars at Jets: It’s believed that Kari Lehtonen will play against Michael Hutchinson.
Blue Jackets at Lightning: Curtis McElhinney and Ben Bishop are both considered probable.
Oilers at Flames: No word on who Edmonton will go with, but Calgary will send out Jonas Hiller.
Hawks at Sharks: Chicago will start Antti Raanta. San Jose’s starter remains a mystery, although odds are it will end up being Antti Niemi.
All the latest from the blue paint…
All Devan, all the time
Devan Dubnyk has been the goalie of record for Minnesota since coming over from Arizona two weeks ago, and that won’t change tonight when the Wild face the Flames in Calgary.
Dubnyk, who’s posted a .911 save percentage and 2.04 GAA in five games, is coming off a 2-1 win over Edmonton in which he stopped 23 of 24 shots. He’ll need a similar performance tonight if the 12th-place Wild want to stay within striking distance of the eighth-place Flames, who are currently seven points up in the standings:
For Calgary, Jonas Hiller starts in goal.
Bruins at Isles: Jaroslav Halak for New York, Tuukka Rask likely for Boston.
Habs at Rangers: Carey Price vs. Henrik Lundqvist
Jets at Flyers: Michael Hutchinson vs. Steve Mason
Jackets at Panthers: Curtis McElhinney vs. Roberto Luongo
Wings at Bolts: Petr Mrazek vs. Ben Bishop
Stars at Sens: Robin Lehner for Ottawa, Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas.
Coyotes at Leafs: Mike Smith vs. Jonathan Bernier
Preds at Blues: Carter Hutton vs. Brian Elliott
Sabres at Oilers: Jhonas Enroth vs. Ben Scrivens
Ducks at Sharks: Ilya Bryzgalov likely for Anaheim, Antti Niemi likely for San Jose.
Looks like David Legwand has been deemed expendable in Ottawa.
The veteran center, healthy scratched for the first time this year in the last game (a 4-3 win over Toronto) prior to the All-Star break, will sit again tonight when the Sens host the Stars in Jason Spezza’s return to the Canadian capital.
Legwand, 34, joined Ottawa last summer on a two-year deal worth $6 million. While he had a relatively decent first half of the season — he posted five-game point streaks in both December and January — it’s clear he’s not one of Cameron’s favorites and has seen a significant reduction in ice time after the Sens turfed Paul MacLean in early December.
(In his two games prior to the healthy scratch vs. Toronto, Legwand played just 9:55 and 8:33.)
All told, Legwand has decent numbers this year: seven goals and 19 points in 45 games. It’s possible another team could look at this situation and take a flier come trade deadline day; centers are in demand across the league and, what’s more, Sens GM Bryan Murray acknowledged Legwand is available.
Per the Ottawa Citizen:
Senators general manager Bryan Murray told the Citizen Wednesday that if another NHL team is interested in adding the veteran centre for the stretch run to the playoffs, the Senators would be open to trade discussions.
Worth noting that Legwand has been moved at the deadline before — last year, he was flipped from Nashville to Detroit and went on to play 21 regular season games for the Wings, and five playoff contests.
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.
Former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson will meet Ottawa mayor Jim Watson to receive the key to the city. Upon hearing that, current captain Erik Karlsson said, “I’m changing my locks.” (Sportsnet)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting an $25,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday night’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Thursday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Johnny Gaudreau reportedly got a big payday over his late addition to the All-Star Game. (Calgary Sun)
Here are the highlights from Los Angeles’ 4-3 win against Chicago:
Martin Brodeur, who is expected to officially retire this morning, will drop the puck in tonight’s game between the St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators. (Blues.nhl.com)
Tomas Hertl’s sophomore campaign hasn’t gone as planned, but he thinks playing in the minors during the All-Star break was a good experience. (CSN Bay Area)
Here are the highlights from Washington’s 4-0 victory over Pittsburgh:
Adam Larsson is rewarding the New Jersey Devils for trusting him in the post-Pete DeBoer era. (NJ.com)
Tyler Kennedy hasn’t had any luck this season as on Wednesday it was revealed he’ll be sidelined for a fourth time. (CSN Bay Area)