3 Stars for Trade Deadline Monday in the NHL
1. Anthony Stolarz, Anaheim Ducks
Big former Flyers goalie Anthony Stolarz has only been used sparingly in the NHL, but as he showed for the Ducks on Monday, he has a knack for making the most of his sporadic opportunities. Or, at least, when he’s keyed-in, Stolarz can be quite effective.
With 46 saves in a shutout on NHL Trade Deadline Monday, Anthony Stolarz set a new Ducks franchise record for saves in a shutout. (Jonas Hiller tied Dominic Roussel for the previous Ducks shutout-saves record with 45.)
In just his 30th NHL game, Stolarz now owns three shutouts. That’s a 10-percent shutout rate, which (gets out calculator) is a lot.
Judging by Stolarz’s recent AHL numbers (most notably a .922 save percentage in 39 games for the San Diego Gulls in 2019-20), he probably deserves some chances to prove this wasn’t a fluke.
Really, if the Ducks acknowledged the obvious reality that they should be rebuilding, maybe they’d even trade someone like John Gibson at the deadline, but instead they … barely did anything.
That said, the Ducks weren’t totally asleep during the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline week, and one of their newest additions is in the mix as one of the three stars for Monday. That would be Alexander Volkov, who scored two goals in this Ducks win.
But Stolarz stood out the most, frustrating a Sharks team that must have been especially annoyed on the power play (0-for-5). Generally speaking, it was a fairly spoiler-heavy Trade Deadline Monday in the NHL.
2. Jonathan Bernier, Detroit Red Wings
Unlike the Ducks, the Red Wings were busy, creative, and ultimately very productive in accelerating their rebuild during the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline.
Even so, they didn’t trade Jonathan Bernier, who instead helped the Red Wings play spoiler against a Hurricanes team that must be frustrated by a Detroit team that’s been a bit friskier lately. (Relatively speaking.)
In Monday’s case, Bernier authored probably the best non-Stolarz performance of any goalie on the night following the NHL Trade Deadline, stopping 37 out of 38 shots to power that upset defeat of Carolina. It’s the second time in a row that the Red Wings thwarted the Hurricanes.
3. Brady Tkachuk, Ottawa Senators
In trying to name Monday’s top three stars across the NHL, you can make a case for many two-goal (and two-point) performances. If you want two-goal outputs in upsets, you could choose Volkov over Brady Tkachuk (and Tomas Tatar with his two, too, though that’s a smaller upset). If grabbing a win doesn’t matter as much, Patrik Laine enjoyed an unfortunately rare strong Blue Jackets performance with two goals (including a beauty we’ll get to later), although Columbus fell beyond regulation.
Things only get muddier if you’re looking at two-point performances.
But let’s go with the scoring scamp, Brady Tkachuk. Tkachuk helped the Senators spoil things for the Jets, who opened their game with a 2-0 lead. The first of Tkachuk’s two goals cut Winnipeg’s lead to 2-1, then Tkachuk’s second one gave Ottawa key insurance at 4-2. (By the way, 4-2 scores were something close to a common theme for NHL Trade Deadline Monday, too.)
As you’d expect from Brady Tkachuk, it wasn’t just about the goals. Tkachuk delivered five shots on goal, six hits, and a blocked shot. Naturally, he annoyed opponents in ways that don’t always show up in the box score, as well.
2021 NHL Trade Deadline passes on Monday with big Mantha trade
No doubt about it, the flat salary cap (and other concerns) forced teams to get creative during the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline. But there were still significant names moving around at the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline. Some were expected, others were surprises.
- The biggest surprise revolved around the Capitals sending the Red Wings a significant trade package for Anthony Mantha late in the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline. For the Red Wings’ trouble, they landed a slightly younger and very-much-comparable Jakub Vrana, plus substantial draft picks.
- As Adam Gretz noted in the winners and losers of the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline, the Sabres couldn’t get a whole lot for Taylor Hall. At least compared to what the Blue Jackets garnered for Nick Foligno and David Savard.
- Not every team bought or sold during the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline. Some, like the Kings, decided to hold onto players like Alex Iafallo.
[Keep track of every move from the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline with PHT’s Trade Tracker.]
Highlight of the night for Trade Deadline Monday in the NHL:
Again, these haven’t been easy times for Patrik Laine. And, as we’ve seen from John Tortorella, scoring won’t just wave away all problems. Even so, this was a tremendous goal by Laine, and a reminder that he’s probably putting out more effort than many believe.
Monday’s NHL scores
Red Wings 3, Hurricanes 1
Blackhawks 4, Blue Jackets 3 (OT)
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 2
Senators 4, Jets 2
Avalanche 4, Coyotes 2
Golden Knights 4, Kings 2
Ducks 4, Sharks 0
The Wild ranked among Minnesota-area sports teams who postponed their games following a police shooting.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.