February 20 2017 11:00AM
The Nation Network Notebook is a regular feature that rounds up interesting news, stories, and rumours from around the NHL that don't quite deserve their own article.
Where have all the trades gone? By this time last year, we had already seen multiple deals happen. Also, Sidney Crosby scored his 1000th point in just his 757th career game, prompting debate as to whether he's been under-appreciated as a generational talent.
February 20 2017 10:00AM
The recent signing of Matt Bartkowski by the Calgary Flames has shone the light on June's expansion draft once again. As general manager Brad Treliving has confirmed, the team absolutely signed Bartkowksi with the expansion draft in mind as he meets the criteria of a blueliner they'd have to expose. So, it got me thinking: who would Vegas most likely target from the Flames roster come June? I came up with my top three.
February 20 2017 09:00AM
For Edmonton Oilers fans long since embittered by their team’s lengthy playoff drought, the club’s performance this season has been a welcome change. Now, in mid-February, the club is in such a good position that it would take a historic collapse to miss the playoffs.
February 18 2017 02:30PM
On Jan. 24, Elliotte Friedman offered up some thoughts about shift lengths in his 30 Thoughts column. Specifically, it was about how much time Erik Karlsson spends on the ice over the course of a single shift (#17):
A year ago, Karlsson played the most in the NHL (2,375:55) and had the longest shift length (1:04). But he was tied for 72nd in shifts per game and 34th in overall shifts taken. It’s not like he’s stapled to the bench, as his overall time is eighth. But he’s now second in the NHL in shifts per game, going from 27.1 to 32.2 per night. His length has dropped to 0:50, which is 38th. He’s agreed to stay out a little less, but the trade-off is minimal as they put him out there more.
What does this have to do with the Flames? Well, shorter shifts generally result in more effective shifts. And Johnny Gaudreau has gone from being tied for 64th among all forwards in average shift time in 2015-16 to fourth this season.
That's quite a jump, wouldn't you say?
February 18 2017 01:00PM
Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports
When the Canucks face the Calgary Flames on Saturday, they'll have played 22 games since the turn of the calendar. Jacob Markstrom's been their netminder for five.
The obvious story therein is the number of starts Miller -- a 36-year-old netminder who's raised concerns in each of his two previous seasons in Vancouver about his workload -- received in that stretch, and with good reason. It's neither to the team nor the player's benefit to do so, and nothing suggests they're changing their ways in the second leg of this most important stretch of their season.
I wonder, though, if that's equal parts faith in Miller as it is skepticism of Markstrom's ability to so much as hold the fort. That's idle speculation on my part, but for posterity's sake, I wanted to see whether the Canucks are justified in their reticence to commit to Markstrom in any meaningful way.