February 09 2017 08:00AM
The Calgary Flames are aware they have a problem on defence.
Considering how Dennis Wideman is regularly playing over 20 minutes a game, you'd hope that would be the case. And, at least according to a drive-by mention on Sportsnet, they absolutely are looking to upgrade their top four.
The Flames only have three defencemen - Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie, and Dougie Hamilton - signed beyond this season, so they're going to have to do something at the position no matter what. Complicating things, however, is the expansion draft; there's a pretty decent chance the Flames won't even be able to protect their new asset, lest they want to risk giving up, say, Michael Frolik.
Which is probably not going to happen.
That said, the Flames have both a short- and long-term need for a defensive upgrade. They're a playoff bubble team; they're not good enough to give up assets for a rental at this point in time. Whoever they target should be able to play for years down the line, and we should hope he's on the team next season, too.
February 09 2017 06:37AM
Photo Credit: Raj Mehta/USA TODAY SPORTS
After every month of hockey (and sorry we're late on this), it's good practice to take a look back and assess what happens. That's my goal here with these posts analyzing the Leafs Game Score for each player for every month. You can find October's here, November's here and December's here.
For those unfamiliar with Game Score, it's a single number stat meant to measure single game productivity and player value that I developed over the summer. It basically combines the most important box-score stats and weights them by their relevance to goals. It's not perfect and there's much that is unaccounted for, but it does pretty well for something that is relatively simple to compute and comprehend.
The sample is still incredibly small, but I figure taking a look at the team on a monthly basis could provide some insight into how the team is doing. So without further ado, here's how the Leafs January looked through the eyes of Game Score and some thoughts on it.
February 08 2017 11:00AM
Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports
This deadline was shaping up to be one of the least compelling in recent memory for the Vancouver Canucks. That was the original game plan, anyways.
Going as far back as December, Canucks General Manager Jim Benning indicated to The Province's Jason Botchford that he wanted the market aware he has no desire to ask players to waive their no-trade clauses to facilitate trades for the March 1st deadline. Taking Benning at his word (which we generally can), that indicated the Canucks would forego selling assets at this year's deadline.
The Canucks also made public their desire to not part with picks at this year's deadline, assuaging the concerns of a fan base biting their nails amidst the possibility of a mortgaged future for two home playoff games. If they're not trading draft picks, they haven't much else in their quiver to bring in secondary scoring for the home stretch.
February 08 2017 07:30AM
The Boston Bruins fired head coach Claude Julien and did so in a way that made the organization look as classless as possible. On the other side of that coin, the Islanders have gone on fire since firing Jack Capuano and replacing him with Doug Weight.
February 07 2017 07:13PM
It's time for your weekly dose of the NHL Numbers power rankings. I'll look at the five best and worst NHL teams thus far in the season, as well as the three best and worst players in the last week.
Note: All use of Corsi For and Expected Goals For are Score and Venue Adjusted, and at even strength. All stats come from Corsica Hockey, and NHL.com (don't worry, it's only the standings).