Noteworthy Games Tonight
Nashville is about to start their match in Dallas (2 pm). This game will be interesting. A Stars loss might be the windfall that pushes a Richards deal Monday.
There are rumors that Colorado and Los Angeles may be working on a trade involving Avs' Paul Stastny and LA's Jonathan Bernier. Again, just rumor but their meeting this evening (4 pm) will be a showcase and a good time for COL and LA to talk things over.
Carolina and Montreal, 8th and 6th respectively, play in Montreal at 7 pm. Carolina needs these points to hold on to a playoff spot and with a win would only be 2 points out of 6th, with a loss they would 6. Montreal on the other hand needs to create separation in the standings and, as of now, are only 3 points behind WASH for 5th.
Ward vs. Price, should be a good one tonight.
The night cap tonight is the West's top team in Vancouver facing the traveling Bruins. The Bruins sit 3rd in the East and this is a real test for them. Can they play with a top Western Conference team with their team right now? Or do they need more offensive fire power? This game will have some influence on Boston's moves come Monday.
Today there were some waves on the waiver wire. Buffalo's Craig Rivet was picked up by Columbus. Philadelphia found their insurance defenseman by claiming Nick Boynton from Chicago.
The Washington Capitals picked up Marco Sturm from LA after they were shutout. However, the Capitals need to make another move if they want to improve their chances at a Cup. A defensive D and a tested playoff leader forward (second line center preferably) would be great. They might have to part with a prospect to do so but if Gm McPhee and Bruce Boudreau want to keep their job they might have to accept that.
A few goalies were placed on waivers today. Ty Conklin from St. Louis, Pascal Leclaire from Ottawa, Curtis McElhinney, the newly acquired goalie, from Tampa was waived. The Islanders waived two today in G Nathan Lawson and forward Rob Schremp.
Flyers to Play Nik Zherdev
When the Flyers claimed Nick Boynton they went over the 23 man roster (and salary cap). That was until they sent forward James van Riemsdyk down to the AHL. The moved put them back down to roster max of 23 players (remember Flyers recalled D Erik Gustafsson yesterday). JVR is expected to be called back up after Pronger returns to the lineup and Boynton can join the team (he will not make it to Ottawa for tonight's game).
JVR was sent down because he possesses a two-way contract (i.e. no waivers) and made enough money to clear room for Boynton and Gustafsson.
With JVR down, Betts still out and Shelley nursing a busted face it makes sense for Nik to get some ice time.
The fact that they didn't send Zherdev down today proves that they want to keep him for some reason. Hopefully it is to play him. If Zherdev plays well tonight, he may prove to the Flyers that he will be better than any player they could get at the deadline Monday. Good luck to Z tonight, the question mark on his play alone makes that game interesting.
Quick Rumor News
Panthers-Rangers trade talks on McCabe ongoing as we speak at this hour...
This is good news for the Panthers fan(s) out there. If McCabe decides to waive, it would immensely help the rebuild in Sunrise. The Rangers have the pieces to give up and a GM that is not afraid to make, quite frankly, high risk trades. However, GM Tallon has not impressed me so much since he came to Florida and I wonder if he will get market value for the veteran Dman.
OTTAWA SUN: Chris Stevenson wonders if the Washington Capitals and Los Angeles Kings could be making the most noise by the trade deadline. Both clubs have yet to make moves while their rivals have been quite active in the trade market. It’s been rumored the Kings are interested in Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky or Florida’s David Booth but the problem is rival clubs want prospect Brayden Schenn in return. (as reported by Lyle Richardson of Spectorshockey.net)
Florida would love to have Schenn but probably won't be able to pry him away from the King's pragmatic GM Lombardi's hands. However, don't count out Booth to LA. They still have pieces Florida would be interested in. Like D Thomas Hickey and C Andrei Loktionov.