NHL Atlantic Division Notebook: There Is A New Face In The Division

Boston Bruins

The hockey world was set on fire Sunday night when the Colorado Avalanche, Ottawa Senators, and Nashville Predators executed a three team blockbuster trade that sent Matt Duchene to Ottawa, Kyle Turris to Nashville, and young players and draft picks to Colorado.

For the last two years, Matt Duchene and the Colorado Avalanche have been at the center of NHL trade rumors. It was clear that Duchene was going to be moved, it was just a matter of when. Rumors heated up at the beginning of the weekend but were put to rest when the final details seemed to be too complicated to complete the deal.

With everything settling down, the Colorado Avalanche played the New York Islanders on Sunday night and Duchene was in the lineup. However, just minutes into the first period, Duchene left the ice and speculation of what was going on grew rampant.

Within minutes, the details of the trade were made public and we found out who was going where. MHL’s Jim Biringer broke down the details and what it means for each team.

Toronto’s Tough Streak

Over the season, I have repeatedly referenced the goaltending situation in Toronto. Due to the way the offense was performing, it didn’t raise many eyebrows. But, over the last six games, the offense has come back down to earth and the goaltending has not gotten any better.

In there last six games, the Maple Leafs are 1–5 bringing their record to 8–7–0 overall. They were in a perfect spot to challenge the Tampa Bay Lightning for the top spot in the division. Frederik Andersen’s the clear starter but nowhere near the caliber he was the past few years. Rest could be all he needs as he has played 13 of their 15 games, but it’s tough to do that when Curtis McElhinny, the teams backup, is playing so poorly. These next few weeks will be interesting, but I can totally see them being buyers sooner than later. With some cap room and the fact their rebuild is over, they should seriously consider it. This team is too good to have another year slip away.

Boston And Their Never Ending Injury Bug

No, this is not déjà vu. It’s hard to believe, but the Boston Bruins are continuing to drop like flies. It was announced this past week that David Backes is going to miss the next eight weeks after undergoing surgery on his colon due to diverticulitis. After missing the first five games of the season, Backes surprised many and was in the lineup for five straight games before succumbing to the pain and the illness. Tough does not even come close to describing how he has handled this ordeal.

Today, it was announced that Brad Marchand is going to miss the game tonight against the Minnesota Wild due to an upper body injury. David Krecji will also not play this week after being placed on injured reserve. This leaves the Bruins extremely thin upfront, relying on their youth out of their farm system. So far, their young guys have played well enough to keep the teams head above water. With games in hand, they have the chance to win themselves into the second spot in the Atlantic. The biggest thing for the team to realize is just don’t get too far behind in the standings. If they can’t buckle down and scrap out some wins, before they know it Krecji and Spooner will be back in the next few weeks, with McQuaid and Backes eyeing a mid-December return. It’s time to dig deep for the Bruins.

Has Montréal Found A New Starter?

Over their last five games, the Canadians are 4–1 and their offense finally erupted for 23 goals. But more importantly, they may have finally found someone who can keep the puck out of the net. Throughout the season, Carey Price and Al Montoya have struggled. In the teams last five games, both goaltenders each played two games and their woes continued. Carey Price allowed nine goals-against, Montoya allowed seven. Desperate for help, the Canadians called up Charlie Lindgren from the AHL to face the Chicago Blackhawks. On Sunday, Lindgren was perfect, stopping 38 of the 38 shots he faced in route to a 2-0 shutout win. It was his fourth career NHL game. In those four games, he is 4-0 with a 1.24 GAA and 0.960 save percentage.

The Canadians face-off against the Golden Knights on Tuesday night and Lindgren needs to be in net. Are the Canadians smart enough to ride the hot hand?

Quick Notes

– The Tampa Bay Lightning captured five of a possible six points over the last week with wins against the Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets and an overtime loss to the New York Rangers. Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov continue to lead the league in points having each recorded four a piece over the last week. At 11-2-2 they have the most points in the NHL and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

– The Detroit Red Wings were 2-1 in the last week. They defeated the Arizona coyotes at home before setting off for a four-game road trip through Canada where they lost to the Ottawa Senators but bounced back with a win against the Edmonton Oilers. Their road trip finishes with the Vancouver Canucks tonight and Calgary Flames on Thursday. They then return home for 13 home games over there next 15 contests.

– Last week I commented on the Florida Panthers goaltending situation. “The Florida Panthers goaltending situation has been bad this year and this past week it actually got worse” were my exact words when Roberto Luongo was placed on IR and the team signed Antti Niemi. Well, the Panthers were 0-2-1 this past week and allowed 20(!) goals to be scored against them. Things aren’t going to get any easier as six of their next seven games are on the road.

Read More:

Puck Wire: Top Hockey News From The Weekend That Was: November 6

Blockbuster Trade Sends Matt Duchene from Colorado to Ottawa

NHL Metro Division Notebook: Week 5 Recap and Stories

Photo Credit: By Lisa Gansky (Flickr: IMG_7786) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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