February NHL Whip Around
February 28th 2015
- Who’s Hot?
o WC: Arizona- The Coyotes were under .500 and in 6th place in their division at the end of December. Since then they’ve gone 15-7-5 & moved into second place in the pacific. Though they’re still looking like one of the weakest playoff bound teams, it seems likely they’ll be in the post season and that’s a big save after having won the President’s Trophy last season.
o WC: Nashville- The Preds have managed to navigate the logjam that is the Central division to place themselves second behind Chicago. They’re style of play is gritty and rarely leads to exciting high scoring games but they’re in good position for the playoffs & that should be enough for the fans.
- Who’s Not?
o EC: Detroit- No one could have expected the Wings to keep on the pace they had earlier in the season but 5-9 hockey could turn their season into a disaster if it continues. The results aren’t as concerning as the context. Since returning several key players from the injury report the wins have dwindled as goals against have skyrocketed. Expect the Wings to try once again to bolster their blue line before the deadline.
o WC: Calgary- The Flames have plummeted over the last two months having won just ten games since the New Year. Injuries have plagued the team but from night to night it’s one has to look hard to find the effort and the numerous fundamental mistakes are impossible to miss. No doubt Calgary will be in the market for a new coach sooner than later.
o LA King Robyn Regehr has been suspended by the league for five games following his hit on Carolina Hurricane Nathan Gerbe. While Regeher will be back in time for LA’s post season push Gerbe will likely not see the ice again until next September.
- Refs in trouble
o The February 26th brawl between Ottawa and Boston has put further stress on the officials as Referee Don Richard has been cited by the league for “allowing the violence to escalate.” Richard has been put on paid leave, the officials union plans to appeal.
- Mascot in Danger
o Minnesota mascot Nordy had an interesting second intermission during the Wild’s February 17th tilt against the Blues. The performer botched a high wire type routine leaving him suspended above the playing surface for fifteen minutes while crews attempted to safely lower the mascot to the ice. Fortunately no one was hurt though PETA has filed a complaint with the Wild.
- Player Movement
o Edmonton acquired winger Curtis Glencross from Calgary in exchange for a fisrt round pick in the 2016 draft as well as prospects M. Gernat & A. Lepkowski both of which are defenseman
o Anaheim winger Teemu Selanne incurred a concussion on the 24th possibly ending the winger’s career. Selanne will be 42 this offseason.
o Dallas Winger Mats Zuccarello fractured his wrist on February 4th. If the Stars were to make the playoffs he might be able to play however that seems unlikely.