The St. Louis Blues are the hottest
team in the NHL, notching their 11th victory in a row over the
Toronto Maple Leafs last night in OT. I’m trying to make a joke about Jordan “Clearance”
Binnington but it just kinda makes him sound like a low rent backup. What I’m
trying to say is that he’s the Waiver Wire pickup of the year! I know he has
been for me. Vladimir Tarasenko has woken up after being lulled into a horrible
first half by his incompetent teammates. Really all the blame in St. Louis has
to be dropped on Jake Allen.
Tampa Bay has rolled up a 7 game win
streak, with Boston behind them riding a 6 game streak. That said, Tampa is sitting
comfortably atop the east, scoffing at mere mortals as Nikita Kucherov openly
disrespects league averages for scoring.
On the flipside, Calgary is atop the
Western Conference with a precarious lead over rivals like Nashville, Winnipeg
and the upstart Blues. The race to the top isn’t the real fun in the west
though, that’s the Wild Card race – and it is wild folks. Right now the Stars
have the high Wild Card with 63 points and have lost 3 in a row. The Wild have
the low wild card and have lost 5 in a row. And then? Chicago, Colorado,
Phoenix and Vancouver are all tied with 59 points. Anaheim who have been a
league buzzword for futility of late have 57 points. Edmonton’s not even quite
out of the hunt with 54 points! That’s gonna be insane as it comes down to the
wire. I’m calling Dallas and Chicago, but I wouldn’t be surprised by any of
those teams. Well, Edmonton, yeah.
Sorry Oilers fans, but it has to be
said. What’s with the terrible trades? Getting Sam Gagner back , demoting
Brandon Manning? Manning’s getting paid over 2 million to go to the minors and Drake
Caggiula’s doing fine in his new location. You’re out both money and the better
players in that deal. WTF?
I’ve regularly accused John
Tortorella of being more of the problem than the solution in Columbus, and he
has continually tried to prove me right. This week he’s bizarrely tried to bury
Anthony Duclair’s career and openly told media that Artemi Panarin was a
scratch for being so stomach sick he shit his pants. Did we need to know these
things John? I see where he’s going with both of these issues, and I don’t
doubt he’s right. However, this isn’t going to help Duclair right the ship or
Panarin stay in Columbus. It’s also not great for Panarin’s trade value. I know
we live in the 24 hour news cycle and camera phone era, but is tasteful discretion
really that out of style?