Gravel, 27, has appeared in eight games with the Marlies this year scoring no points. The rearguard known more for his defensive abilities than offensive prowess has also appeared in three games with the Maple Leafs this year, also scoring no points.
The Maple Leafs next play Saturday night as the Ottawa Senators pay visit.
Back in action and needing back into the win column in the worst way, the Winnipeg Jets will host the Atlantic leading Boston Bruins. Winnipeg has lost it’s last four games in a row and six of its last seven and is threatening to fall out of the playoff race completely unless they reverse those trends.
Jan 31, 2020 – Puck drop: 7:00 PM CST Bell MTS Place – Winnipeg, MB TV: TSN 3 – Radio: TSN 1290
vs VGK 3-2 W
@ CBJ 4-3 L
2-2-1 (1 W)
Last 5 Games
1-4-0 (4 L)
David Pastrnak – 37
KYLE CONNOR – 25
Brad Marchand – 44
MARK SCHEIFELE – 31
David Pastrnak – 70
MARK SCHEIFELE – 54
The Power Play
The Penalty Kill
(17-4-6 / .925 SV%)
(4-6-0 / .883 SV%)
W @ NYI (35-37 / .946 SV%)
Last Goalie Start
L @ CBJ (25-29 / .862 SV%)
12-8-3 ON ROAD
Road v Home Record
11-11-2 AT HOME
Last Bruins Game
The Bruins went into their break on a positive note against the Vegas Golden Knights after they rallied with two goals in the third period on the way to a 3-2 win.
Fun Bruins Facts…
The Bruins are 5-2-2 vs. Central Division opponents & are 10-3-3 vs. Western Conference foes. They are 4-2-2 in their last 8 road games & are 8-5-2 in their last 15 on the road.
Chris Wagner is playing his 300th NHL game tonight.
David Pastrnak is on a very unique streak of factoring into the game’s opening goal with either a goal or an assist in the last six games played, which ties an NHL record.
Boston recently had a streak of 14 straight games where they scored a power play goal from December 14 to January 13 (16 for 50, 32.0%).
What They’re Saying…
Winning almost 60 percent of his faceoffs at 34 years old, he averages 19:18 a night on the ice. He is second on the team with eight power-play goals and eight assists for the league’s third-ranked unit. The Bruins will need Patrice Bergeron to continue at his high level for the rest of the season.
The statement released by the Boston Bruins certainly screams out sales pitch, at least to some degree, with the notion of David Backs being ‘fit and able to play’ clearly pointing out that his concussion issues should not be a consideration in any trade approach.
It was more competitive and closer that their last few games had been, but the Winnipeg Jets still lost for the fourth game in a row, this time to the Columbus Blue Jackets by a 4-3 score.
Fun Jets Facts…
Winnipeg is an even 11-11-2 at home this season and play nine of their next 10 games at Bell MTS Place. The Jets are 1-6-1 in their past eight home games.
The Jets have 10 back-to-back sets this season, the seventh of which is this weekend. The Jets are 4-2-0 in the first and 2-4-0 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.
Three of the past five games between the Jets and Bruins have been decided in a shootout, with the Jets winning two of the three games.
Winnipeg has won the past two games against Boston at Bell MTS Place and five of the past seven meetings.
Tonight is the 500th NHL game in Mark Scheifele’s career.
Nikolaj Ehlers eeds one goal to pass Marian Hossa (108) for 10th in goals in franchise history.
What We’re Saying…
During their previous meeting back in Boston earlier this month, Winnipeg surrendered their one-goal lead in the final frame of the game by allowing back-to-back goals within just 33 seconds of each other. For both teams, allowing goals during the third period has become a major issue this month. Coming into tonight, the Jets are tied for the fourth-most goals (13) allowed in the third, while the Bruins are tied for the tenth-most (11) in that same category.
The Calgary Flames have not made the playoffs in consecutive seasons in over a decade. Despite some uneven play this season, they’re in a decent position to change that.
Welcome to our ongoing look at the playoff race in the Western Conference.
The Pacific (in a snazzy table!)
2/1 @ NYI, 2/2 @ CAR
1/31 vs STL, 2/1 @ CGY
2/1 vs EDM
1/30 vs LA, 2/1 vs CHI
Golden Knights (WC2)
1/31 @ CAR, 2/1 @ NSH
2/1 vs TBL
1/31 vs TBL, 2/1 @ LA
1/30 @ ARZ, 2/1 vs ANA
Notable Central teams
1/30 @ NJ, 2/1 vs VGK
2/1 @ ARZ
1/31 vs BOS, 2/1 vs. STL
2/1 vs BOS
The tiebreakers are, in order:
Regulation and overtime wins (ROW).
Wins of any kind.
Points earned in head-to-head games between tied teams. (If they’ve played an uneven amount of games head-to-head, the first “extra” home game is thrown out.)
Typically-speaking, it’s rare that tiebreakers go further than a couple levels down. But the “regulation wins” distinction is new this season, and the idea is to de-emphasize the shootout.
Right now things are, to be blunt, pretty jam-packed. After Wednesday’s win, the Flames are two points up on Edmonton but the Oilers have a lead (for now) in points percentage because they have two games-in-hand. Saturday’s game could be huge, as the Oilers could draw even (or pass them) or potentially fall four points behind.
Beyond that, the Pacific Division has (for now) five playoff spots. The three top Central teams – St. Louis, Colorado and Dallas – are basically locked in, so it’s now a race for the three Pacific spots and the two wild-card spots. There are six teams fighting for the two wild-card spots; for now, the Pacific teams have a slight edge.
Everybody strap in, this is going to be a long and bumpy ride to the finish.
As Jacob Markstrom and his team continue to rise in the standings, so too does the dollar value on his next contract. With the 30-year-old UFA set to hit the open market, speculation on the cost of Markstrom’s next contract has ramped up. Popular consensus is that Markstrom can expect five to six million on a four or five year term, but The Atheltic’s Rick Dhaliwal speculated that the AAV of a potential Markstrom deal could exceed $6 million.
There’s no denying that he’s earned that money based on his performance this year. He’s made significant strides in his game during his time in Vancouver and has regularly stolen games for his club this season. It’s unlikely the Canucks would be in a position to win their division without him as their starter.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that a long-term commitment is in the team’s best interests, however. The Canucks’ brass has a history of cap mismanagement and with extensions looming for the team’s two best players, it’s clear that Jim Benning will have to navigate carefully and save money where he can. Handing out a contract to Markstrom near the speculated dollars and term would give him less wiggle room to do so.
As the team continues to negotiate with Markstrom’s camp, they’re also likely to at least explore potential replacements. There haven’t been any reports that the team intends on letting Markstrom walk, but reviewing their options on the free agent market would be due diligence for any team’s front office.
With that in mind, it’s useful for fans to take stock of who will be available this summer. While reviewing the goalies set to be on the open market, it’s important to keep in mind that the benefit to this route is saving money. This means that signing expensive goalies like Braden Holtby or Robin Lehner won’t be considered in this piece, as it wouldn’t allow the Canucks to save. Instead, let’s take a look at goalies who are poised to make considerably less, but could still tandem well with Demko for one or two seasons.
Khudobin’s played arguably his best hockey in these last two seasons with the Stars and could be a great value find. In 2018-19, he formed a solid tandem with Ben Bishop, playing 41 games with a .923 SV%. He’s improved on those already solid numbers through 20 games this season. Khudobin’s 8th best GSAA/60 adds another impressive layer to his statistical profile, which is better than Markstrom’s. Of course, it helps to play in one of the more defensively sound systems in Dallas.
Khudobin is capable of playing well in tandem, as a starter, or as a backup. He’s proven to be comfortable with those roles for stretches over the course of his career, including in Dallas. There’s value in having a veteran with that confidence and flexibility.
Considering his age and success during his current contract, a short term deal with a small increase to his AAV is probable. This addition to Vancouver could come with a great bang for their buck.
Thomas Greiss, 34, New York Islanders
Current contract: $3.33M AAV for 3 years
Season Stats: .925 SV%, 2.43 GAA, 7.13 GSAA
Greiss will see his three year deal expire at season’s end and will look to use the Williams Jennings Trophy he won in 2018-19 and his terrific statistical profile over the last two seasons to earn a raise.
Greiss will likely have a number of suitors on July 1, but the fact that Greiss has played behind a team coached by Barry Trotz could cause some GMs to question his true ability. The Islanders play a defensive system that allows a lot of low percentage shots from the outside. They have regularly lost the shot-share battle, but have found team success while doing so. It’s quite likely that the Islanders’ emphasis on snuffing out high-percentage shots has inflated his numbers, which makes him a difficult goalie to evaluate.
As teams consider bringing Greiss into the fold, they’ll have to decide how much to weigh Trotz’s system against his long history of above-average performance. Even a drop off from William Jennings-calibre numbers and the 3rd-best GSAA/60, the team that signs Greiss could still find themselves with a great goalie.
More than any other free agent goalie, teams may have to rely on his numbers before Barry Trotz came to Long Island. In the three seasons prior to Trotz, Greiss was a starter for two, posting excellent .925 and .913 save percentages. The third season saw him struggle to put up an .892 SV% as a backup.
Greiss will be highly sought after this summer and is due for a raise, which means the Canucks may pass on his services, but he’s still worth keeping an eye on this summer, if nothing else.
Corey Crawford, 35, Chicago Blackhawks
Current contract: $6M AAV for 6 years
Season Stats: .910 SV%, 2.96 GAA, 5.63 GSAA
Seeing Corey Crawford in a Canucks jersey would look odd to a lot of fans, but that doesn’t mean it would be a bad fit for either side. He is in his final year of a six year deal, he’s making six million and the aging former Cup champion looks poised to go to market on July 1. The Blackhawks have yet to lock down a starter for next season, but it’s more likely that they’ll opt to re-sign Robin Lehner over the 35-year-old Crawford. Lehner is younger and he’s played well for the Hawks in his show-me contract year.
What could make the acquisition good is Crawford’s hunger for the opportunity to play as a starter or tandem in a 1A-1B situation. He will be taking a significant pay cut on his next deal and will likely have to take a one-year term. His history of post-concussion symptoms which put his career in jeopardy in 2018 appears to be behind him, but it’s a factor that won’t be left out of the equation. For that reason, he could be seen as the most high-risk, high-reward goalie available.
On the plus side, he’s still performing like an above-average NHL goaltender. In his 25 games played he’s posted a decent SV% and a terrific 5.63 goals saved above average. Even more impressive is his 0.279 goals saved above average per 60, which is 7th best league-wide. In other words, he’s been able to post a respectable SV% while saving more goals than the average goalie would against the quantity and quality of shots faced despite playing behind Chicago’s porous defence.
Jaroslav Halak, 34, Boston Bruins
Current contract: $2.75M AAV for 2 years
Season Stats: .918 SV%, 2.47 GAA, -3.51 GSAA
Halak has been very reliable in Boston, playing nearly half the games since his arrival. Last season he played 40 games, posting a .922 SV% and a 2.34 GAA, which were superior to the numbers posted by the Bruins other goaltender, Tuukka Rask. As expected, his numbers have dropped from last season’s impressive level, but he’s still managing to play nearly 50% of the Bruins’ games.
Halak’s numbers with the Bruins have been underrated, but that could also be due to the system he’s found himself in. The Bruins play well defensively and an indication of that is Halak’s impressive SV% and GAA despite a -3.51 goals saved above average. Behind a Canucks’ defence, one would have to assume his SV% and GAA would dip. However, if it’s not by much, the Canucks can easily live with the decline.
The Bruins will likely want to retain his services, but if they’re serious about bringing Torey Krug back, they may look to save money on the backup position. This wouldn’t work with Halak’s looming raise. Not much has been speculated about his next contract, but it’s unlikely we see him take a pay cut.
While it’s clear that the Canucks would like to bring Markstrom back into the fold, his increasing price tag doesn’t make it easy. This could force the Canucks to dip their toes into free agency to find a short term replacement as they continue to see what they have in Demko and Mikey DiPietro. Doing so comes with risk, but it also comes with the significant upside of added cap flexibility moving forward.
The Seattle Kraken rumors are resurfacing, and we’re here to talk about the possibility of the Cephalopod Bowl between Seattle and Detroit! Draft rankings, prospects, and the Battle of Alberta also all headline in this episode of the Dub Dub.
Head over to www.wingedwheelpodcast.com to find all the ways to listen, how to support the show, and more!
The Detroit Red Wings entered the all-star break in the midst of an 0-6 straight up and 1-5 against the spread slump. The Red Wings will try to snap out of this losing streak with a road win on Friday night against the New York Rangers.
Detroit is a +140 road underdog on the NHL odds in New York at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Rangers (-175) are 5-2 in their last seven games against Eastern Conference opponents.
The Red Wings will have to wait a bit longer for the returns of Andreas Athanasiou and Jonathan Bernier as both are still nursing the injuries they were plagued with before the all-star break. Detroit needs all the reinforcements it can get with the league’s worst record of 12-35-4, worst offense averaging 2.12 goals per game, and worst defense averaging 3.88 goals allowed per game. Jimmy Howard’s last win in goal came back on October 29 as the veteran goaltender is now a staggering 0-14-2 in his last 16 starts.
In their last 10 games against New York, the Red Wings are are respectable 6-2-2 per the OddsShark NHL Database.
The Rangers received some good news for this Friday’s matchup as Artemi Panarin has been upgraded to probable to play against the Red Wings. The left winger is the unrivaled star on New York’s offense, leading the team in goals with 26, assists with 42, and +/- at a +22 through his 47 games played this season. With a record of 23-21-4, New York currently sits 11 points out of a wild card spot and appears to be heading to a third straight season outside of the playoff picture.
Friday night’s total is set at six goals at sports betting sites. The OVER is 7-1-1 in New York’s last nine games at home.
New York hasn’t been particularly strong at home this season with a 13-10-2 record at Madison Square Garden, but the Rangers will be facing a Red Wings team that is 4-19-2 with eight straight losses on the road. Detroit’s prospects of a road upset shrink significantly if Panarin is indeed healthy enough to play as expected.
Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for analysis on this week’s top games. As well, the OddsShark Computer serves up daily NHL picks for bettors.
It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for me to dig around the NHL rumour mill and give you the goods! We’re less than a month away from the NHL trade deadline and we are slowly starting to see more and more names find their way into trade talks.
There’s no doubt that the Edmonton Oilers will be buyers but the market will probably determine just how much of a buyer they are. Earlier this week, Pierre LeBrun shared a quote from an NHL executive that leads me to believe that the market might favour buyers. The quote said that a lot of teams seem unwilling to part with first-round picks for rentals. In particular, it was in regard to Senators centre JG Pageau, but it rings true with the rest of the league.
If other teams are unwilling to pay high-prices for the big names like Pageau or even Kings winger Tyler Toffoli, then it will bring down the price of other names on the market. That’s a big benefit for the Oilers. I’m sure they’d love to add a name like Pageau, but I could also see the Oilers going to the ‘second-tier’ of available forwards.
There was an interesting piece that came out this week and it was done by Craig Custance (The Athletic). He fielded trade proposals from fans and then ran them past an NHL executive to see ‘who says no’. There were three interesting proposals that involved the Oilers.
One saw the Oilers trading Jesse Puljujarvi and a 3rd round pick to Ottawa for Jean Gabriel-Pageau. Shockingly, the executive said that the Oilers would probably say no since Pageau isn’t under team control. That surprised me because, for the most part, Oilers fans don’t feel Puljujarvi has a lot of value yet this executive seemed to think that Ken Holland wouldn’t part with him for a player that might fetch a first-rounder at the deadline. Maybe Puljujarvi has more value than we think?
Another trade saw the Oilers sending Adam Larsson and a 2021 third-round pick to Toronto for Andreas Johnsson and Jeremy Bracco. The executive didn’t love the deal for either side, but he didn’t dismiss it either saying that the core players, Larsson and Johnsson, would be of interest to the teams involved. I doubt anything like that happens at the trade deadline, but the fact this executive thought it made sense makes me think we could see a deal like this in the summer.
The Leafs no doubt have a lot of teams interested in their young forwards and I don’t think they will struggle to acquire a good defenseman if they want to trade someone like Kasperi Kapanen. Elliotte Friedman even linked them to Minnesota Wild d-man Matt Dumba, who seems like he would be a great fit in Toronto. My point: the Oilers are far from the only team interested in one of the Leafs young forwards and that’s going to drive the price up, and likely out of the Oilers range.
The third proposal saw the Oilers sending Darnell Nurse to Winnipeg for Nik Ehlers. The executive said that the Jets would pass on that deal and I get the sense the Oilers would as well. I think they really like Nurse and will focus on signing him to a long-term deal before they ever consider moving him.
There was another note in this piece that caught my eye. The executive said that the Red Wings could get a first-round pick for Andreas Athanasiou, who is a player I believe the Oilers have interest in. Based on how high the executive regards both Athanasiou and Puljujarvi, I wonder if a one-for-one deal between Edmonton and Detroit would make sense. Just spitballing though.
LeBrun went on record to say that Sabres GM Jason Botterill is ‘open for business’ and that he is open to dealing defensemen Zack Bogosian and Rasmus Ristolainen. From an Oilers perspective, I don’t really see anyone on the Sabres roster that would be interesting. Their forwards aren’t much better than the Oilers. Apart from Evan Rodrigues, who still wouldn’t be a significant upgrade in the Oilers bottom six, there really isn’t anyone I’d like to see the Oilers go after.
The Winnipeg Jets are reportedly hungry for a defenseman. Could the Oilers dangle one of Kris Russel or Matt Benning to land a forward? They wouldn’t get someone like Nik Ehlers, but the Jets have some nice complimentary pieces up front. Maybe a package for Jack Roslovic?
Aaron Portzline from The Athletic in Columbus said that it’s more likely that the Blue Jackets trade Josh Anderson than extend the 25-year-old. The Oilers should be calling on Anderson, who I think would be a perfect fit in their top-six. One thing to remember is that Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen famously passed on Jesse Puljujarvi at the 2016 NHL Draft so I would doubt that he’d be interested in trading for him now. Any package likely wouldn’t involve the former fourth overall pick.