Despite being dead last in the Eastern Conference and going 3-6-1 in their last 10, the Montreal Canadiens just completed a roadtrip that saw them earn 5 out of a possible 8 points. One could even say they've opened up and started to (dare I say it?) have fun with one month left to go in the regular season, now that less pressure is weighed on their shoulders.
Near-Comeback: Tuesday, March 6th, 2012
The Calgary Flames outscored the Canadiens 4-2 through the first two periods, and Curtis Glencross added an unassisted marker to start the third, but the momentum switched over quickly as Lars Eller and Max Pacioretty each...
Thomas Vanek and Tyler Myers both scored and Ryan Miller made 30 saves as the Sabres spoiled interim head coach Doug Weight’s coaching debut 2-1 on Tuesday Night.
Weight was appointed interim head coach for the game as head coach Jack Capuano dealt with a flu that has ravaged his lineup in the past three games. Evgeni Nabokov missed his third straight game dealing with the illness.
An all too similar start to the game forced the Islanders into an early 1-0 hole. Tyler Myers opened the scoring just 1:21 into the game. After a initial stop on Derek Roy, Myers found the rebound and snapped it over a prone Kevin Poulin. For the second straight game, the Islanders fell behind within the first 90 seconds.
Despite the period known universally as "free agent frenzy," passing weeks ago, there was still some unfinished free agent business left. As training camps approached around the league several high-profile RFA's remained unsigned and dangerously close to "holding out." No one benefits from holding out. The player can damage his reputation among his peers, clubs are usually left without one (or more) of their better players, and fans are left bewildered at all parties. In a perfect world all RFA's would be signed ahead of camp. This week several of them did reach new accords while a couple still remain unsigned. Let's take a look.
When the season starts, the Sabres will boast one of the best defensive corps in the NHL. Newcomers Robyn Regehr and Christian Ehrhoff will bolster the top two defensive pairings. Defense is at a premium in the "new NHL" and adding players of the caliber of a Regehr or an Ehrhoff will provide immediate dividends. With talents like Tyler Myers, Andrej Sekera, Jordan Leopold and Marc Andre Gragnani already in place, Ryan Miller will feel very secure in net.
With the talent in place on the back end, it creates many options when it comes to defensive pairings. Let's take a look at some likely pairings.
I read this article the other night and began thinking about the Dion Phaneuf trade. The fact that Brian Burke was able to acquire his cornerstone player and eventual Leaf captain for basically nothing still boggles my mind. Burke unloaded an underachieving pending UFA in Matt Stajan; a small, tweener defender having a career year (who was also a pending RFA looking to cash in) in Ian White; a streaky, run of the mill winger in Niklas Hagman; and a journeyman fourth line winger in Jamal Mayers. In addition to Phaneuf the Leafs also obtained well thought of at the time Flames prospect Keith Aulie and veteran winger Fredrick Sjostrom.