February 25 2017 10:00AM
Through three quarters of the season, it's tough to argue against Mikael Backlund being Calgary's most valuable player. In the midst of a career season, Backlund will be eligible for a contract extension starting July 1 and there's plenty to suggest the Flames should lock him up as soon as they can. While it's still a little ways out, I think we can start to get a pretty good picture of what Backlund's next deal might look like.
February 24 2017 05:40PM
The Toronto Maple Leafs need points wherever they can get them right now. The Atlantic Division race is very, very night right now; with six or so weeks to go in the season, the blue and white can very well win the whole thing or drop out of the playoff picture. If it's the latter, one of the things that will surely be pointed at is how they've done in the shootout.
Specifically, they have a 1-7 record this year in the skills competition; the worst in the league. Washington and Buffalo both have somewhat similarly gaudy 1-5 records, but after that, its no contest. Let's make no mistake either; those seven points could go a long way.
February 24 2017 03:34PM
Photo Credit: Lindsay A. Mogle / Utica Comets
NOTE: This was written before Jim Benning revealed today that Evan McEneny would be called up to the Vancouver Canucks in response to several players being diagnosed or tested for the mumps. I was going to advocate for McEneny being a late season call up, but now that that's already happened, you can consider this a primer on him instead.
Once a forgotten member of the Canucks prospect pool, Evan McEneny is suddenly putting up numbers in his first full season with the Utica Comets. Struggling to remain in the lineup just a few months ago, McEneny is now an all-situations player for Comets coach Travis Green, and is seemingly resistant to the rotating healthy scratches.
Is this simply a blip of the radar, or do the Canucks still have something in McEneny?
February 24 2017 01:25PM
© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
How good or bad are the Winnipeg Jets? Where are their weakest links? Where are they strongest? Where are they dragging behind?
It's easy for someone to say a losing team falls short but it becomes difficult to actually say where and by how much. Metrics like WAR do not tell the whole story, but they start to give scale to where a team is performing poorly or well.
Let's start by looking at the Jets' blue-line.
February 24 2017 01:00PM
Photo Credit: Billy Hurst - USA TODAY Sports
When one compares how the Vancouver Canucks season's played out to date to what most expected, you can count theirs among the more compelling seasons in recent memory. Many fans expected the Canucks to fight to the end for a playoff spot; others expected them to compete for draft lottery prominence.
No matter one's hopes or perspective of the season, it's always worthwhile to take stock of where the team is at and which end of the spectrum it aligns with closest. As we await the Canucks first game on other side of the bye week against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, the league's afforded us the opportunity to do just that.