Wednesday NHL Roundup!

  • 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?