Tag: Toronto Maple Leafs

Philipp Grubauer

Goalie nods: Caps set to give Grubauer season debut


All the latest from the blue paint…

Interesting times in D.C.

Curious situation in Washington — after Braden Holtby stopped 25 of 26 shots in a 2-1 win over Ottawa last night, the Caps look like they’re turning to Philipp Grubauer, not Justin Peters, in the second of a back-to-back tonight against Anaheim.

Grubauer, who has spent all of this season in AHL Hershey, hasn’t played in the NHL since March of last season but has shown well in the past — posting a .925 save percentage and 2.38 GAA last year.

Peters, meanwhile, has struggled in his first year in Washington, going 2-5-1 with a 3.58 GAA and .870 save percentage. The 28-year-old has only played twice since the calendar turned to 2015, allowing five goals on 26 shots in a loss to Dallas and four goals on 40 shots in a loss to the Blues on Sunday.

As for Anaheim, no word yet on who gets the start tonight.


Leafs at Devils: James Reimer vs. Cory Schneider

Blues at Blue Jackets: Brian Elliott vs. Curtis McElhinney

‘Hawks at Jets: Corey Crawford vs. Michael Hutchinson

Pens at Flames: Jonas Hiller for Calgary, Marc-Andre Fleury likely for Pittsburgh.

Bruins’ second D pair of Seidenberg-McQuaid is an issue

Boston Bruins Vs. New Tampa Bay Lightning At TD Garden

From CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty, writing about the Bruins’ 3-2 loss to the Rangers last night:

The soft spot in the B’s defense picked on Wednesday night was the pairing of Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid. The duo relies on rugged physicality to make up for a lack of foot speed as Boston’s middle defensive pairing, but it wasn’t working vs. the Rangers as they finished minus-2 in the loss, and were routinely on their heels vs. speedy Rangers forwards like Nash, Derick Brassard, Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin among others.

McQuaid, of course, has been asked to do a lot more since Johnny Boychuk was traded to the Islanders. The 28-year-old has been playing 18 or 19 minutes a game this season, whereas he averaged 13:02 during the 2011 playoffs and 14:47 in the 2013 postseason.

This isn’t meant to pick on McQuaid. He’s just no Boychuk. The Kings are experiencing similar issues without Slava Voynov playing the right side on the second pair, with Alec Martinez being asked to do more.

And just like that’s a challenge for GM Dean Lombardi in Los Angeles, it’s a challenge for Peter Chiarelli in Boston. The Bruins don’t have a ton of cap space; that’s why they traded Boychuk in the first place. And they’ll be hesitant to give up significant assets for a rental (like, say, Cody Franson) they may not be able to re-sign.

Holland: We don’t need a right-shot defenseman for the power play anymore

Colorado Avalanche v Detroit Red Wings

Ken Holland is right — there has been “a lot of talk about” the Red Wings “looking for a right-shot defenseman.”

For example, yesterday on PHT, when we listed three candidates — Mike Green, Jeff Petry, and Cody Franson — that could feasibly interest Holland.

Tyler Myers is another right-shot d-man that’s come up in Wings-related rumors.

But in a radio interview today on TSN 1040 (per Nichols on Hockey), Holland clarified that the Wings’ needs have changed since the summer when they were looking for a right shot to help the power play.

“As we speak today, I think we’re No. 1 in the league on the power play,” said Holland. “Mike Babcock puts out four forwards on each unit. Danny DeKeyser, a defenseman, on one unit. [Niklas] Kronwall on another unit.”

Which is to say, giving up assets to bring in a power-play expert like Green may not be something the Wings are dying to do.

That being said, if he can, Holland would still like to add a right-shot defenseman prior to the March 2 deadline.

It just has to be the “right right-shot defenseman.”

Whoever that may be.

If the Wings still want a right-shooting d-man, Franson, Petry and Green are probably available

Detroit Red Wings v Dallas Stars

According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Toronto Maple Leafs are likely to trade Cody Franson prior to the March 2 deadline and the Edmonton Oilers are likely to deal Jeff Petry.

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Washington Capitals are likely to do the same with Mike Green.

What do Franson, Petry and Green all have in common?

All three are right-shooting defensemen.

And what team has been talking for what seems like forever about adding a right-shooting defenseman?

That would be the Detroit Red Wings, who only have one of those on their active roster — rookie Alexey Marchenko, .

“We knew he’d (be) here eventually,” said coach Mike Babcock of Marchenko, per the Detroit News. “He’s a steady, big man, right-hand shot, who knows how to play without the puck.”

But Marchenko is still in the audition stage. And even if he passes, Babcock would probably prefer another righty or two anyway.

“I just think it’s so much easier when you have a right and lefty on every pair,” he said in June. “All you got to do is look at L.A. (Stanley Cup champion Kings), a right and lefty on every pair. Makes it easier to get through the neutral zone, easier off D-zone faceoffs to execute. You have the puck more. You can get it off the wall and shoot it in the offensive zone. To me it just makes sense.”

Which also makes you wonder if the Kings, without right-shooting Slava Voynov indefinitely, will take a run at Franson, Petry or Green.

As for the Wings, the argument against adding one of those three, or some other righty D, is that the Wings are doing just fine the way they are, so why give up an asset to make a change?

That’s for GM Ken Holland to decide.

Franson, Petry and Green are all pending unrestricted free agents.

Three reasons the Rangers could be deadline players

2014 NHL Draft - Round 2-7

1. Everybody’s already discussing it. Brough alluded to the Rangers’ interest in welcoming Mike Santorelli to the trade rumor mill, and over the weekend all the local rags — Post, Daily News and Record — had some variation of the same story, playing off this quote from head coach Alain Vigneault:

“If we can improve ourselves and become a better team, we’re gonna do that. We’re no different than any other team now. But so far, I’ve liked the way our team has progressed. I’ve liked how certain individuals have progressed.

“We’ve got a little bit of time here to sort things out, and that’s what we’re gonna do.”

The talk, primarily, is about strengthening New York’s center position, specifically the third-line role currently filled by rookie Kevin Hayes. Depth down the middle has been an issue for this club this season, especially after losing Brad Richards and Brian Boyle during the summer, though it’s fair to suggest the Rangers could be primed to do more than add a bottom-six center. Why? Because…

2. GM Glen Sather has a history of big deadline deals. Last year Slats co-orchestrated the Martin St. Louis-for-Ryan Callahan blockbuster, which continued in his string of significant moves; the year prior, he flipped Marian Gaborik to Columbus for a trio of players that included Derick Brassard, and also acquired Ryane Clowe from San Jose.

Sather also has a few assets to deal. Teams looking to acquire young defensemen might look the way of Brady Skjei or Dylan McIlrath (though it’s tough to gauge the latter’s market value, given he’s yet to establish himself at the NHL level.)

3. The Rangers are in go-for-it mode. The window is now, and it’s open. The reigning Eastern Conference champs are probably more aware than anyone that the east is up for grabs; last season, the Rangers made it to the Stanley Cup Final despite heading into the playoffs as the “five” seed (Boston, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Montreal all finished with more points) and parity appears to be almost equal this season.

So, who are the Blueshirts going to target?

One would have to think Coyotes center Antoine Vermette is at the top of their wist list. He’d be an ideal addition down the middle and would have some chemistry with Brassard and Rick Nash, his former Blue Jackets teammates (from 2009-12). The Vermette bidding war is expected to be high, however, and the Rangers are at a disadvantage without a first-round pick at the ’15 Entry draft, sent to Tampa Bay in the St. Louis deal.

David Legwand could be another name to keep an eye on. The veteran center seems to have fallen out of favor with new Ottawa head coach Dave Cameron, and Sens GM Bryan Murray admitted Legwand could be on the move. At 34, Legwand has the veteran experience Vigneault likes; Vigneault would also be familiar with the ex-Predator from his coaching days in Vancouver (most notably the ’11 playoffs, when the Canucks ousted Nashville in Round 2.)