Morning Skate: Phaneuf forcing trade from Senators?

Morning Skate: Phaneuf forcing trade from Senators?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while still waiting to be able to sit down and watch that Celtics/Lakers "30-for-30" documentary.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Don Brennan says that Dion Phaneuf is forcing the Ottawa Senators to trade him by refusing to waive his no-movement clause for the expansion draft. There are reports of interest in Phaneuf on the trade market after a solid season in Ottawa, so he could be on the move again after possibly washing out of his third NHL city.

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has energy forward Brandon Prust wanting to return to the NHL after spending last season in Germany.

*Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson has undergone surgery on tendons in his injured foot but should be ready in time for the start of next season.

*Marc-Andre Fleury, unlike Phaneuf, did the best thing for his team in waiving his no-movement clause for the expansion draft and is likely to be the No. 1 goalie in Vegas next season.

*Auston Matthews is finding some valuable leadership lessons from afar while having watched Sidney Crosby during his Stanley Cup playoff run this spring.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) has the details of longtime New York Rangers D-man Dan Girardi getting bought out. That’s a tab they’ll be paying for the next six seasons even if it does give them obvious salary cap relief. That’s a long time to be holding a portion of Girardi’s salary cap hit on the books, but clearly, they needed to do it ahead of the expansion draft.

*For something completely different: It’s a really touching, appropriate move for Hollywood to send the Bat Signal over the city in loving memory of Adam West.


David Krejci Line looks to shoulder their share of Bruins offensive burden

USA TODAY Sports Photo

David Krejci Line looks to shoulder their share of Bruins offensive burden

TORONTO – The Bruins top line totaled up 20 points in the first two games, and the B’s took both of those against the Maple Leafs. Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak had zero points in Game 3 on Monday night at the Air Canada Centre, and the Bruins ended up dropping that game to the Leafs. 

So clearly the Bruins’ playoff fate could be strongly tied to the ebbs and flow of their top forward trio, but the hope with the B’s is that the formula won’t be that simple throughout the postseason. A big part of the reason the Bruins gave up a boatload to the New York Rangers in exchange for Rick Nash was to acquire another forward capable of shouldering a scoring load, and turn Boston’s second line into a much more dangerous group. 

All three members of the B’s second line, David Krejci, Rick Nash and Jake DeBrusk, all have goals during the best-of-seven series, but they also came up empty in Game 3 with Krejci and DeBrusk only managing two shots on net between them. They know that they’re capable of more given the offensive talent on the ice, and given that so much defensive attention is being paid to neutralizing Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak rather than them. 

“We had lots of good looks. I missed a couple. We had lots of good looks that just didn’t go in,” said Krejci. “So we need to work extra harder [in Game 4] to bury those chances and have them end up in the back of the net. We need to stick to the game plan and respect the game plan.”


Nash had five shots on net and some pretty good chances, but the best scoring chance was a DeBrusk dangle and pass to Krejci wide open at the net. It looked like the puck hit a rut on the ice and Krejci was never able to settle it down for a shot despite the nice-looking pass, so that line is left biding their team for another chance to carry the offense. 

“I think that’s the main reason why we’re the second line. We all have attributes that can help this team. It hasn’t really come to the table yet, but I still thought that we generated chances [in Game 3], and I think our whole team did. It just wasn’t bouncing our way,” said DeBrusk. “It’s frustrating, but at the same time you take the positives from it. It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to get harder from here on in. Hopefully our top line does their thing, but if not then we’ll be ready to hopefully help out in that category.”

The Bruins top line is ready, willing and able to shoulder the lion’s share of the scoring burden for the Black and Gold, and most nights they’re going to be able to live up to that kind of responsibility. But if the Bruins want to beat the good defensive teams and become a much more difficult team to play against in the postseason, they’re going to need to start getting production from a second line that should be built to play the power, puck possession game in the postseason.