And so it begins. Despite hoping against hope and trying to save the ship, it appears Buffalo Sabres GM Kevyn Adams will give up the ghost of keeping star center Jack Eichel. The NHL trade market is about to get a big fish. The Montreal Canadiens clogged the zones and squeezed the Vegas Golden Knights for a Game 2 win, and we analyze the Pittsburgh Penguins options for an experienced backup goalie with playoff experience.
Obstruction is out of control in the NHL. Get a lead, tackle the opposition, win a game. The hockey played before a team gets a two-goal lead is great. Afterward, the hockey is like watching a Floyd Mayweather fight; the excitement comes from watching one side try to mount offense.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: If (IF) the Pittsburgh Penguins hit the NHL trade market or the free-agent lists for an experienced backup goalie with playoff chops, these are the Penguins’ options and the “no-go” list.
Bleacher Report: The Buffalo Sabres leaked the idea they may hire a coach who suits star center, Jack Eichel. That doesn’t seem to have quelled Eichel’s distrust and desire to play somewhere else. TSN analyst Pierre LeBrun broke the news, but TSN only allows Canadians to view the video report, so here’s the aggregation from Bleacher Report — The Eichel trade sweepstakes are getting warm. The NHL trade rumors are just beginning.
I don’t know why TSN won’t let us Americans watch news reports. I’m sure it’s a contractual issue somewhere, but it’s silly.
NHL Playoff Coverage
Vegas: The Golden Knights pushed hard in the final 30 minutes but couldn’t get that third goal. The down and dirty postgame wrap with quick analysis: Montreal wins Game 2.
NYI: Now this is interesting–Barry Trotz said his team’s reluctance to take a penalty allowed Tampa Bay to dish some extra shots. The New York Saints won’t get much sympathy, but it an amusing read.
Trotz successfully worked the officials in Round Two and had Patrice Bergeron tossed out of several faceoffs.
NHL.com: Jason Spezza signed a one-year deal at a hometown discount to stay with the Leafs.
More NHL Trade Rumors & National Hockey Now:
Philly: Jack Eichel with the Philadelphia Flyers? “It makes sense.” Uh oh…That would certainly alter the Metro Division and make the Pittsburgh Penguins road a little tougher. Can the Flyers pull it off?
Via Twitter, Buffalo Sabres beat reporter Lance Lysowksi reports the New Jersey Devils have an interest in Sabres D-man Rasmus Ristolainen.
So, too, should the Penguins. I really liked Ristolainen’s physical game, at least against the Penguins, this season. He was in Crosby or Malkin’s sweater with malice. He can also move the puck. As a general rule, if Tom Fitzgerald likes a player, he’s worth considering.
Boston: The Boston Bruins are going to take one more shot at glory with an aging core. Sound familiar? They’re also looking for a reliable LHD, “who chews up minutes.”
Colorado: Adrian Dater broke the news–after some public questions, the Colorado Avalanche will indeed bring back coach Jared Bednar next season.
Stick tap to Adrian for a tough week. There was lots of piling on for his press conference whoops, and lots of stones from glass houses. So, the guy goes and gets the biggest story in Avalanche land. That’s a pro. And my friend.
San Jose: If you want some San Jose Sharks chatter and some armchair GM NHL trade talk (Brent Burns for Seth Jones?), the Locked on Sharks podcast is worth a listen.
Florida: Jonathan Huberdeau wins NHL Best Assist. Check it out.
*And here’s a fable about keeping your draft picks and making good picks beyond the first round. Every GM should take note, and fans who want ammo to criticize their GM should read:
Detroit: Want to know why the Tampa Bay Lightning are in the Stanley Cup discussion every year? Steve Yzerman batted .545 in the NHL Draft. Yeah, that’s really good–here are the details.