Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/04/12 at 11:39 AM ET
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
• A first-round draft pick was a hefty price the Nashville Predators paid for Paul Gaustad. They better hope he checks well in the playoffs (he’s a good penalty-killer and also strong on faceoffs), because he never scored a single goal in 38 career post-season games for the Buffalo Sabres. The Preds feel he can be a No. 3 centre, but No. 3 centres have to provide some offence, too.
• I can’t find one NHL general manager who likes having games on trade deadline day, with players having to scurry to get to their new teams if traded, sometimes to play that night. There were five games this year. It’s as uncaring as having teams play on Hall of Fame induction night in November, the night where they greatest players of the past and present are celebrated.
• The Blues can live without being the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference if the Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings out-point them, but they’re hungry to be no worse than No. 4 because that will guarantee them home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs, probably against Nashville. The Blues are a juggernaut at home (26-4-4) and a .500 team (14-14-3) on the road. The Predators are almost as good in Music City (21-7-5, fourth-best in the league).
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