* Evgeni Nabokov had a 22-save shutout against the Capitals to help the Isles to a 1-0 (trade-bait Andrew MacDonald had the goal). That wasn’t quite as impressive as Carey Price’s 27-save goose egg. Guy’s been pretty good lately.
* Mid-contract negotiation, Ryan Callahan posted a two-goal, one-assist performance in the Rangers beatdown of the Avs. The Rangers would be bummed, but given that they might see him as someone to trade before the deadline, who knows.
* Milan Lucic had a goal and an assist as the B’s beat the Canucks 3-1.
* Jason Spezza had a goal and two assists as the Sens topped the Blues in a shootout 5-4.
Nice goal by Ryan Callahan, but all I can think watching this goal is “Holy s#*t Carl Hagelin is fast.”
You scratch my back, etc?
Earlier this week Milan Lucic made some comments about Roberto Luongo getting too much flack for any/all of the Canucks failings. Then he got the puck in the slot, and buried it behind the guy. Hard.
Vision and skill
Spezza’s assist on Karlsson’s goal was amazing. (From Reddit Hockey)
Tuukka Rask is, for my money, the best goalie in the world. There’s not really any way to deny he’s among the best even if you disagree with that extreme opinion – at 26 his career has started out on Hall of Fame pace. Check out the last column on the right. That’s his save percentage since he’s started playing a decent amount of games each season.
I’m no goalie analyst, but I saw him make a save today that I’ve seen him make before, and I’m thinking it might be part of the reason why he’s so good: his low crouch seems built to fall into shooter’s sweet spots. I know all goalies think their style does the same, but shooters love two spots: low blocker and high glove. Rask has a great glove, but his stop on Kassian (at 11:11 of the second period, I can’t find it readily online unfortunately) demonstrated how well he’s able to take away an otherwise go-to shooting spot, particularly for lefties.
Playing behind the Bruins might help, but I think he’s a bigger part of that team than he’s given credit for. In that spirit: knowing Rask’s temper and how important he is to the B’s, if I’m coaching against them he’s getting a few more curious bumps and not-so-curious chirps starting in game one.
* The Wild and Capitals could be after Ryan Miller. But maybe they’re not! Stay tuned for more news (rumors) below.
* Thomas Vanek could be moved by the end of the week. What the hell’s the cost for a rental that talented? I’m gonna guess “one that not a lot of teams who can afford to take on his salary will be willing to pay,” so that should push his cost down. Most teams that’d be willing to part with assets to get him would likely need some salary to go back the other way.
* This is kinda fun: the Canucks don’t think they’re one of the Cup elite contending teams (according to a report), meaning they won’t be buyers at the deadline to make a push. Because why give up assets if you don’t believe you have a real chance to win?
* Who wants P.A. Parenteau? He’s up for grabs.
* Things are pretty good for David Bolland. Traded home, hot start, injury happens so there’s no time to statistically regress, and now it’s time to talk contract before the trade deadline. Cha-ching.
* C’mon now, Florida.
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) February 4, 2014
* If you missed this yesterday, it’s not a joke:
One of rooms Canada men’s hockey team will stay in pic.twitter.com/7OJQd2m4bq
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) February 4, 2014