“If this isn’t rock bottom, I don’t know what is,” Vancouver Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa said after his team lost 6-1 Thursday to the Dallas Stars. During that defeat, the Roberto Luongo-free Canucks surrendered a hat trick to Tyler Seguin, the type of dynamic forward nowhere to be seen on the Vancouver bench.
Vancouver has lost 11 of its last 12 games. The once-dominant Sedin twins and Alex Burrows — three forwards making a minimum of $6 million each this year — have not scored a goal in 2014. And the one guy who can score, Ryan Kesler, wants out of town.
Off to sunnier climes, Luongo is playfully chirping his old team, which is almost as sad/amusing/awkward as that time the Canucks assistant coach tried to give Kesler a hug when he wasn’t traded on deadline day.
The kids are all right. The Avs have been on an absolute tear. Seventeen goals in Colorado’s last four games means W’s over four playoff-calibre teams: Detroit, Chicago, Tampa, Phoenix.
Love that the Blues — owners of the longest Stanley Cup drought that isn’t Toronto’s — are pushing all-in this year. The acquisition of Ryan Miller and Steve Ott is off to a decent start: three for three.
The Ducks stumbled hard after the Olympic break, dropping three straight in regulation for the first time since September. But as has been the case all season, the skid was brief. They now have points in four straight, but will a failure to add forward depth at the deadline haunt them?
With Adam McQuaid joining Dennis Seidenberg on the IR, the Bruins patched up their defence by adding Andrej Meszaros from Philly. After beating the Caps, Cats and Rangers handily, Boston is looking like the team to beat in the East. More complete than Pittsburgh.
The Blackhawks said they’d be quiet at the deadline and remained true to word. Some explosive W’s in the last week, including a 5-1 open-air beatdown of the Penguins at Soldier Field.
Big win Thursday over the Penguins. The Sharks, who were oddly quiet at the deadline, have points in three straight.
L.A. limped into the Olympic break, but the club’s stars have returned from Sochi refreshed and ready. Simply dominant when they want to be, the Kings are enjoying their second six-game winning streak of the season. The jury’s out if Marian Gaborik can provide much offence, but he certainly won’t hurt their attack.
Lost in the failed Ryan Kesler deal is how much the Paul Martin and Kris Letang injuries affect this team. The Penguins have lost four of five, giving up 21 goals in that span.
Everyone was expecting the Wild to chase a big-name goaltender (they picked up Ilya Bryzgalov), but ’90s baby Darcy Kuemper has been just fine — 11-3-2, .924 save percentage — as the Wild keep a season-best five-game winning streak rolling. Enter Matt Moulson.
The Flyers are making it increasingly difficult for us to remember when they were awful. The hottest team in the NHL over a 10-game span is now nipping at the heels of the Leafs and Habs in the standings. Andrew MacDonald could be the most important deadline pickup no one’s talking about.
With the steal of the deadline, the Canadiens suddenly have a new leading scorer in Thomas Vanek. Some recent big wins over Pittsburgh, Toronto and Anaheim have steadied a team trending down before Sochi.
So much better at home (21-11-1) than on the road (12-12-7) the Leafs put a much needed Band-Aid on the bleeding with a big overtime W at Madison Square Garden. Need to cut down on surrendering those shorthanded goals, though.
No player has put on more individual-game displays of greatness than Dallas’s Tyler Seguin. Dude has three hat tricks this season, three four-point games and two five-point games.
Why wait for Mats Zuccarello to return? Just trade for your competitor’s top scorer. Martin St. Louis reunites with Brad Richards, and the Blueshirts are looking more and more like a team that should make the playoffs. Bonus: Zuccarello is expected to be back after missing four games with a hand injury.
With contractual mistake Marian Gaborik gone, the Blue Jackets have wisely set themselves up for the future. This is quietly becoming an exciting team and could well steal a wild-card spot.
The departure of Martin St. Louis — upon the former captain’s demand — is a major blow to the Bolts, who have won just three of their last 10 and will be “different” but not better without the little guy, according to GM Steve Yzerman.
Conservative at the deadline, the Jets continue to remain in the Western Conference playoff picture, but Mark Scheifele’s MCL sprain will be a stumbling block in their pursuit to make the playoffs.
Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Darren Helm, Stephen Weiss: Those are the Red Wings top four centres. None of them are healthy. Now it’s on David Legward to hold the fort and help the playoff streak continue.
Important road trip for the playoff-bubble Coyotes. Phoenix heads to the weaker Eastern Conference for four games and must return to the desert with a bag of points in order to keep pace with Dallas.
We’re not entirely convinced Jaroslav Halak is an upgrade over Braden Holtby. Losers of three straight, the Caps draw the Penguins twice next week. Think GM George McPhee is nervous?
The offensively weak Devils added 31-year-old Tuomo Ruutu, but he only has five goals in 57 games this season. Martin Brodeur wanted out and didn’t get his wish. Stay tuned: This could create heat in the dressing room.
Coach Paul MacLean ripped his team a new one after the Sens went O-for-Alberta — not an easy thing to do in 2013-14. Ales Hemsky should provide some offence, but likely not enough to save this campaign.
It’s common knowledge that Carolina is carrying three goalies this year. Also true: they’re carrying three forwards.
Edmonton has overhauled its crease something ridiculous this season, but the end result is nice: Viktor Fasth and Ben Scrivens setting up to battle for a No. 1 spot next season. Not that it matters much, but the Oil have quietly been winning — points in 9 of 11.
[Insert rainy umbrella emoticon here.]
The Flames’ inability to trade Mike Cammalleri (doubtful to re-sign as a free agent) is a big mistake. And the club’s leading scorer, Jiri Hudler, left the Flames’ last game with an upper-body injury.
Devan Dubnyk’s gone, Pekka Rinne is back, but the former Vezina threat has yet to win since his recovery. Oh, yeah, the Preds also traded away their leading scorer, David Legwand, to Detroit.
Unlike some other teams on this list, Buffalo at least knows what it is. And with p.r. placeholder Pat LaFontaine now out of the picture, the Sabres are making swift, aggressive steps toward a legitimate rebuild.
How bad are things on Long Island? Phony owner and ex-con John Spano chirped current owner Charles Wong after GM Garth Snow fumbled the Vanek-Moulson fiasco.
GM Dale Tallon stabilized his goaltending situation, bringing back the position’s franchise leader in Roberto Luongo… and shipping Tim Thomas to the Stars before things got awkward. Florida didn’t undrgo quite the fire sale some were expecting, but should have vastly different-looking roster this time next year.