Skipped our AHL stats pack update last week on account of trade deadline madness and my distinct inability to catch up. Ah, well… Onward and upward.
To get us as up-to-date as possible, we’ll take it back to last Monday and account for everything on the AHL slate for the Southeast affiliates through yesterday.
Click for individual box scores
Tuesday, 3/1/11: Peoria Rivermen 6, Chicago Wolves 5 (OT)
Chicago goal-scorers: Darren Haydar (23), Andre Deveaux (18), Kip Brennan (1), Arturs Kulda (3), Noah Welch (2)
Chicago goaltenders (saves/shots): Chris Carrozzi (21/27)
Three stars of the game: 1 – Ian Cole, PEO; 2 – Mark Cundari, PEO; 3 – Brett Sonne, PEO
Wednesday, 3/2/11: Norfolk Admirals 6, Hershey Bears 1
Norfolk goal-scorers: Mattias Ritola 2 (2), Blair Jones 2 (20), Marc-Antoine Pouliot (18), Chris Durno (15)
Hershey goal-scorers: Steve Pinizzotto (16)
Norfolk goaltenders (saves/shots): Dustin Tokarski (28/29)
Hershey goaltenders (saves/shots): Jared DeMichiel (19/24), Shane Owen (9/10)
Three stars of the game: 1 – Blair Jones, NOR; 2 – Marc-Antoine Pouliot, NOR; 3 – Mattias Ritola, NOR
Direct playoff implications are at hand for three of the five Southeast Division clubs in action tonight and, for another, their post-season chances hang more and more in the balance with each passing day.
In rapid-fire fashion today, here’s a quick look at what’s on tap:
Lightning at Bruins
After a frustrating 2-1 loss in New Jersey last night, the Tampa Bay Lightning suddenly find themselves tied for the second seed in the East with tonight’s opponent, the Boston Bruins. Technically, Boston holds the tiebreaker over Tampa Bay with an even amount of games played (63) and fewer shootout wins on their record.
The Lightning face the stiff challenge of having to rebound tonight without the services of captain Vincent Lecavalier, who has been outstanding since the all-star break, thanks to a mid-body injury that will keep him out at least for this game and possibly longer. Lecavalier reportedly suffered the injury late last night against the Devils while checking center David Steckel.
Four Southeast Division teams are in action tonight, with two of them facing each other, after a trade deadline day that was significantly less frantic than in recent years but still had plenty of movement as far as this particular division was concerned.
Let’s kick things off today with a pair of clubs who dealt with each other yesterday, getting the awkwardness of swapping dressing rooms for the first time out of the way immediately for a couple of players…
Panthers at Hurricanes
Florida was busy early and often yesterday, making four separate deals, including three with other Southeast teams. General manager Dale Tallon hooked up with his Hurricanes counterpart, Jim Rutherford, for a second deal in five days, sending defenseman Bryan Allen Raleigh-way in exchange for forward Sergei Samsonov after last week’s swap of Cory Stillman for Ryan Carter and a fifth-round pick.
In Allen, the ‘Canes get the defensive help they’d sought as they try to keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Carolina, as of this morning, is just two points up on Buffalo for the eighth seed and the Sabres have two games in hand.
[Update: At it again! Although a few teams that actually don’t play in the Southeast have now made moves as well, the Panthers strike again within their own division, moving defenseman Bryan Allen to Carolina in exchange for forward Sergei Samsonov. Florida’s tearin’ it down alright and, if they didn’t simply need enough bodies to ice a full roster from this point forward, I’d wonder aloud as to whether or not they might actually try to flip Samsonov again in the next 35 minutes… -JJ]
All Southeast, all day?
So far, we’ve had two separate trades between Southeast Division clubs (Florida moving Radek Dvorak to Atlanta and Dennis Wideman to Washington) and three waiver claims, all involving – yep – teams from the Southeast.
Carolina defenseman Brett Carson was picked up by Calgary, Curtis McElhinney’s Tampa Bay Lightning career is over before it starts as he is claimed by Ottawa and the Thrashers get a little more forward help by plucking Rob Schremp from the New York Islanders.
The guess here is that the Hurricanes will get aggressive in trying to land some defense help now with Carson gone, even if that just means adding some lower level depth. Lookin’ a little thin on the back end down the organizational depth chart now.
[Update: As per Mike Vogel via Twitter, that team Florida was talking d-man with was the Caps indeed. Florida sends Dennis Wideman to Washington for Jake Hauswirth and a third-round pick.]
Southeast Division counterparts Rick Dudley and Dale Tallon hook up to get this trade deadline day going finally, with Niclas Bergfors and Patrick Rissmiller going from Atlanta to Florida and Radek Dvorak and a fifth-round pick headed back the other way.
Dvorak brings a wealth of experience to the Atlanta lineup, including that of four post-season berths in his 15 NHL campaigns. Bergfors, a key component in last year’s Ilya Kovalchuk deal, never really worked out for the Thrashers and was in and out of the lineup and reportedly on the trade block all year. Rissmiller made his Atlanta debut last week after splitting time this season between AHL Chicago and Lake Erie.
I suspect that Florida is just getting started today and this might not be the only time two GMs from the Southeast Division get together on a deal. Rumors of Tampa Bay and Carolina working on a deal involving defenseman Randy Jones have been tossed about today, though nothing there has been completed and well-traveled broadcaster Billy Jaffe tweeted word of Florida talking with another Southeast club about moving a defenseman. (Might that team be Washington? Just a hunch.)
The fun begins…
Seize the day, right?
Several NHL GMs will look to pounce on the opportunities that present themselves today but it remains to be seen what, if any, affect the steady stream of deals leading up to this year’s deadline will have on today’s action.
I have a few questions to answer from yesterday’s mailbag post but we’ll get to those in a moment.
First, a spattering of thoughts running through my head this morning:
*For starters, I’m expecting (though not betting too heavily either way) that the Tampa Bay Lightning will be relatively quiet today. The additions of Dwayne Roloson, Marc-Andre Bergeron and Eric Brewer have filled some specific needs already and, though some veteran forward depth would be nice, the question of which of the Lightning’s very effective, very consistent role players would be pulled from the lineup to make room for an import has always stood in the way. Point being, while some depth for injury protection would be nice, it isn’t necessary. And, with Ryan Malone now expected back in early April, as per the St. Pete Times, the Bolts can look at his return as a late-season addition as well.
Filed in: Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | Beasts of the Southeast | Permalink
Thanks to those that hung out today and chatted a bit. The (modest) crowd has motivated me to solicit emails/comments/tweets to be answered in the first edition of JJ’s Mailbag since coming aboard here at KK and now’s a good time for that sort of thing.
So, fire away (via email at email@example.com, tweet @JonJordan or comment) with questions/comments/theories/suggestions on anything related to the deadline, Southeast Division or otherwise. I’ll publish and answer as many as possible tomorrow morning before zeroing in on the madness that will surely ensue as the day progresses.
Speaking of Twitter, naturally, I’ll be all over that tomorrow with any news that lands in my lap and reaction to the day’s maneuvers…
Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford spoke with Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer and confirmed what I’ve long suspected: If they are to make any further moves, it will be to fortify their defense corps.
“If we’re going to add anything, it would be in that area, and adding depth to our defense,” Rutherford said. “We’re like a lot of other teams. If we see a chance to add another defenseman to add to our depth, we will consider that offer.”
All five Southeast clubs are in action tonight, with four games on the docket, including a division matchup between the Panthers and Thrashers. All Southeasterners, save for Washington, have been busy already in the trade market and I don’t expect that will cease any time before it has to on Monday afternoon.
Now then, to tonight’s schedule…
Pittsburgh at Carolina
They’re gettin’ the band back together in Raleigh (again), as GM Jim Rutherford hooked up with his Florida Panthers counterpart, Dale Tallon, to bring Cory Stillman back to Carolina. Heading Florida-way is forward Ryan Carter and a fifth round draft pick for the Panthers, who most expect are only getting started on the trade front.
Stillman managed seven goals and 23 points in 44 games for Florida this year and the Hurricane hope is that he’ll give a lift to the power play and provide an overall spark to the offense.
The thinking here is that the addition of Stillman also gives Carolina a little more flexibility, in terms of moving any one (or more) of his forwards on expiring contracts for a little help on the blueline, if they so choose (or, perhaps, something bigger?) Rutherford told the Raleigh News & Observer he may not be done indeed but that he was not planning on peddling any of his top prospects.
Filed in: Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | Beasts of the Southeast | Permalink
With the trade deadline approaching, might a Southeast team or two peddle one or more of their AHL prospects for some immediate help? We’ll know in five short days. For now, let’s take our latest look (a belated one this week – apologies…) at results and stats for the Southeast Division’s AHL affiliates from the week gone by:
Click for individual box scores
Tuesday, 2/15/11: Albany Devils 3, Charlotte Checkers 0
Charlotte goal-scorers: none
Charlotte goaltenders (saves/shots): Justin Pogge (25/28)
Three stars of the game: 1 – Dave Caruso, ALB; 2 – Adam Henrique, ALB; 3 – Brad Mills, ALB