ake another move for a forward with some scoring potential
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Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:46 am
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The surprising Vegas Golden Knights and the dominant Tampa Bay Lightning were the top newsmakers in the first three months of the NHL season.
Here are story lines we expect to be important in the second half of the NHL season
1. All eyes on the Penguins Whether the two time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins miss the playoffs or rediscover their swagger, they will be a major story in the second half. With a 20 18 3 record , they are one point out of the playoff picture.
All we know for sure is that general https://www.penguinspitfans.com/kris-letang-jersey-c-7.html manager Jim Rutherford, known for aggressiveness, will not sit idly and watch the Penguins fall short of the playoffs. Rutherford has already acquired defenseman Jamie Oleksiak and he’s expected to make another move for a forward with some scoring potential.
Phil Kessel is the only Penguin playing at the same level they were at during the Penguins’ back to back title runs. The highly skilled Penguins rank second to last in five on five scoring. Their defensive play has been inconsistent. Rutherford will likely try to bolster the bottom six forward group to provide a spark.
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Keller plays the game like Patrick Kane. Barzal is a dazzling skater with magic in his hands. Boeser is a big shooter, currently on a pace to net 40 goals.
But count on Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy receiving more Calder Trophy attention in the second half. McAvoy is playing 22 58 minutes per game for the Bruins and he’s been a primary factor in their strong season.
He’s a two way defenseman with 21 points in 38 games. He’s plus 10.
Points draw the most attention early in the Calder race, but McAvoy’s value will begin to draw notice when members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association start heavily researching who deserves the award.
3. Ducks will take flight The Anaheim Ducks defensemen are all healthy. Ryan Getzlaf is back and has eight points in his past five games. Ryan Kesler is healthy. Corey Perry will be back soon.
After managing to stay afloat amid numerous injuries, the Ducks seem ready to be the team they were last season when they were eliminated in Game 6 of the Western Conference final by the Nashville Predators.
Beware of the Ducks in the second half of the season. They are starting to look like a prime contender again. The Ducks have won five of their last six games.
What kind of message would that send to their captain?
The Islanders looked sharp early, but they are 5 9 2 since the start of December.
With two Johnny Boychuk and Calvin de Haan of their top four defensemen injured and their goaltending posting a .893 save percentage, fans will be waiting for GM Garth Snow to act.
With Tavares mulling his future, it seems likely Snow will make a splash.
5. Green’s popularity to grow Several teams are looking an offensively gifted defenseman and the Detroit Red Wings Mike Green, 32, is the most intriguing puck mover in the marketplace.
He s on pace for a 45 50 point season Derrick Pouliot Jersey, and he’s playing 22 39 per game. He’s not a strong defender, but he can bolster a power play with his shot and puck movement. He can also transition the puck out of his zone.
The Red Wings will trade Green because he will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Early this season it seemed as if the Red Wings might be able to land a second round pick and a prospect for Green. Now, with so many teams looking for a defenseman, it is not unthinkable the Red Wings might be able to land a late first round pick or a desirable prospect.
Green seems like a good fit for the Edmonton Oilers if they believe they can climb back in the playoff race.