Blackhawks

NHL Power Rankings: Trade deadline edition

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NHL Power Rankings: Trade deadline edition

The Blackhawks made the biggest splash on trade deadline week by landing Tomas Fleischmann, Andrew Ladd, Dale Weise and Christian Ehrhoff, which forced other teams in the Western Conference to respond.

The Kings strengthened their forward group by adding Kris Versteeg, and brought back a familiar face on the blue line in Rob Scuderi. The Ducks traded for Jamie McGinn and Brandon Pirri while the Stars acquired Kris Russell in an effort to short up a leaky defense.

Meanwhile in the East, the first-place Capitals added insurance up front and in back with the acquisitions of Daniel Winnik and Mike Weber. The Rangers acquired Erik Staal in a blockbuster to compete with them, while the Panthers traded for Jiri Hudler, Teddy Purcell and Jakub Kindl for the postseason run. 

Check in with CSNChicago.com for updated rankings every Monday throughout the 2015-16 campaign. Here's where we're at so far: Preseason rankings | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16 | Week 17 | Week 18 | Week 19 | Week 20

 

Rank Team
Last Week Record/Comment
1 1

45-12-4, 94 points: The Capitals added forward Daniel Winnik and defenseman Mike Weber to bolster their depth at both positions for a potential lengthy postseason run.

2   2 34-19-8, 76 points: The Ducks have been on a second-half tear, and adding Jamie McGinn (gritty forward) and Brandon Pirri (goal-scorer) provides the depth that every Stanley Cup contending team needs. They also shipped Patrick Maroon to Edmonton for a prospect and fourth-round draft pick in 2016.
3
 
3

39-20-5, 83 points: Stan Bowman circumvented the salary cap once again to fit forwards Andrew Ladd, Dale Weise, Tomas Fleischmann and defenseman Christian Ehrhoff on the roster. The Blackhawks look poised to win their fourth Stanley Cup in seven seasons.

4 4

37-21-4, 78 points: The Kings, who are by far the best puck possession team in the NHL, strengthened their already-deep forward group with the addition of Kris Versteeg and brought back Rob Scuderi, who was part of their 2014 Stanley Cup-winning team.

5   8

36-22-4, 76 points: The trade deadline is over, and Jonathan Drouin, who requested a trade, is still a member of the Lightning, which means they'll look to maximize his value in the offseason. Although suspended, GM Steve Yzerman said of Drouin this season: "If he wants to come back, the door is open."

6   10 36-20-9, 81 points: The Rangers went 9-2-1 in February, and are looking like the Stanley Cup-contending team that everyone thought they'd be. The Rangers acquired Erik Staal to bolster their top-six, and didn't give up a first-round pick. Solid deal.
7    4 36-20-9, 81 points: It's been a challenging year for the Blues, who have been decimated with injuries from the get go. GM Doug Armstrong was handcuffed at the deadline, and made a minor trade by acquiring goaltender Anders Nilsson from Edmonton with Brian Elliott on injured reserve.
8    6 31-21-8, 70 points: The Penguins took a chance on Justin Schultz by sacrificing a third-round pick for him, and it has the potential to serve as a short-term and long-term solution if the 25-year-old defenseman benefits from a change of scenery, style and secondary role.
9   8

35-19-8, 78 points: The Panthers weren't willing to part ways with a first-round pick and mortgage their future for a big-name rental player, but adding Jiri Hudler, Teddy Purcell and Jakub Kindl certainly isn't a bad consolation.

10   11 33-20-7, 73 points: The Islanders went the conservative route this year, adding forward Shane Price from Ottawa for a third-round pick. They also, not surprisingly, didn't move Travis Hamonic, who requested a trade at the beginning of he season due to family-related reasons.
11   12 31-20-11, 73 points: The Red Wings made no moves on Monday, but did shed some salary by trading Jakub Kindl to Florida for a sixth-round pick in 2017. Detroit retained 15 percent of his $2.4 million cap hit over this season and next.
12   16 31-21-11, 73 points: In the past, adding too much at the trade deadline has come back to haunt the Predators. This year, they decided to stay quiet, adding a depth defenseman in Corey Potter from Arizona. The Ryan Johansen-Seth Jones swap was good enough.
13 9

38-19-6, 82 points: The Stars shored up a leaky defense by acquiring Kris Russell from Calgary, but they vastly overpaid for him by dealing Jyrki Jokipakka, Brett Pollock and a conditional second-round pick that could turn into a first if they reach the Conference Final. A Stanley Cup victory this year or a long-term extension would justify it.

14   14 33-22-6, 72 points: The Sharks jumped out before everyone else by acquiring Roman Polak and Nick Spaling a week before the trade deadline, reiterating that they'll take another stab at a lengthy playoff run. The acquisition of James Reimer is crucial, serving as a sturdy backup to Martin Jones.
15   13

34-23-6, 74 points: At the buzzer, the Bruins landed Lee Stempniak and John Michael-Liles to provide quality depth both at forward and defense. GM Don Sweeney elected to hang on to Loui Eriksson, and remains confident that the two sides can agree on a contract extension at season's end.

16   17

28-25-10, 65 points: The Wild were quiet on trade deadline day, but made an effective move by getting rid of Nicklas Backstrom's contract in exchange for winger David Jones from Calgary. No doubt they would have liked to acquired a No. 1 or 2 center, but not a rental one.

17 18  32-28-4, 68 points: The Central Division loaded up, and the Avalanche needed to respond with a move of their own. They did that by landing Eric Gelinas and Mikkel Boedker, who will play on the top line with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog.
18   23

30-27-5, 65 points: The Canadiens officially became sellers when they dealt Tomas Fleischmann and Dale Weise to Chicago for Phillip Danault, who GM Marc Bergevin helped vouch for during his time with the Blackhawks, and a second-round pick in 2018.

19   20

28-22-11, 67 points: The Flyers are another team that made no moves on Monday, with their eyes set on the future. They traded Vincent Lecavalier and Luke Schenn in January for a third-round pick in 2016 and Jordan Weal.

20   15

28-26-10, 66 points: With the playoffs slipping further out of reach, Carolina wisely became sellers by trading Erik Staal and Kris Versteeg and stockpiling assets for the future, which was highlighted by prospect Aleksi Saarela and a pair of second-round picks in 2016 and 2017.

21 22 

30-27-6, 66 points: The biggest move by the Senators came on Feb. 9 when they landed Dion Phaneuf in a blockbuster deal from Toronto, but with their position in the standings and Kyle Turris expected to miss the remainder of the season with a high ankle sprain, they added a third-round pick in 2016 for Shane Price.

22   19 30-26-7, 67 points: Despite the temptation of wanting to aim for a playoff spot, the Devils wisely looked at the big picture and dealt Eric Gelinas to Colorado for a third-round pick in 2017 and Lee Stempniak to Boston for a fourth-rounder in 2016 and a second-rounder in 2017.
23   21 27-29-6, 60 points: The Coyotes, indeed, traded Mikkel Boedker to Colorado for veteran Alex Tanguay, and prospects Conner Bleackley and Kyle Wood, both of whom may be able to bring something to the table in the short-term and long-term.
24   27

26-29-8, 60 points: The Blue Jackets didn't make any moves on deadline day, but did sign Boone Jenner to a two-year contract extension. Scott Hartnell, a rumored target, was reportedly not asked to move his no-trade clause.

25 24

25-31-7, 57 points: The Sabres did what they should have, shipping out Mike Weber (for a third-round pick in 2017) and Jamie McGinn (a conditional third-round pick in 2016 that could turn into a second-rounder if the Ducks win two playoff rounds) away for draft picks that will benefit them in their development.

26   25

24-25-12, 60 points: A strange decision by GM Jim Benning, who admitted that the Canucks are rebuilding, to hang on to Radim Vrbata and Dan Hamhuis, both unrestricted free agents, rather than compile some draft picks and/or prospects. Something's not adding up.

27   26

26-31-4, 56 points: The Flames had a sensational trade deadline week, fetching two second-round picks (one is a conditional, which could turn into a first) in 2016, a fourth-round pick in 2018, Jyrki Jokipakka, Brett Pollock and top-tier prospect Hunter Shinkaruk for Jiri Hudler, Kris Russell, and Markus Granland.

28 28

26-31-4, 56 points: The Jets made the right decision in trading Andrew Ladd, and cashed in by acquiring a first-round pick, top-tier prospect Marko Dano, and a conditional third-rounder that could become a second if Chicago wins the Stanley Cup. On top of that, it took away a nice package from a division rival.

29   29

23-34-7, 53 points: The 2016 offseason will be a fun one to watch, simply because the Oilers are expected to make a blockbuster deal in hopes of adding a true No. 1 defenseman. Edmonton made a late trade on Monday for Patrick Maroon, a cheap but effective winger.

30   30

21-29-10, 52 points: The Maple Leafs absolutely loaded up on draft picks: 12 in 2016 (two each in the first four rounds), eight in 2017 (three second-rounders) and eight in 2018 (three picks in the first two rounds). They did, however, miss an opportunity to rack up more by keeping unrestricted free agents Michael Grabner and P.A. Paranteau.

*Advanced stats courtesy of war-on-ice.com

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

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AP

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

It was a rare sight to see the Blackhawks in a shootout on Wednesday night.

It was just the second time this season — and first time at the United Center — that the Blackhawks made it past 3-on-3 overtime. 

The last came on Dec. 2, 2017, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas. On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks were on the other end, beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a seven-round shootout. Nick Schmaltz netted the game-winner.

"We'll take it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a decent game tonight. Overtime not so good, I liked the shootout victory, Fors made some big saves for us particularly as the game got deeper. Our third was OK, I thought our first two were way better, and overtime we gave up some high quality, some bells were rings for a bit there. But it was nice to see the shootout win."

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, recording another multi-point game, his 16th of the season.

"I mean we need every point we can get at this point," Kane said. "There's still belief in this locker room. Obviously we need to go on quite a run and have a big record here down the stretch. But take it a game at a time and nice to get two points."

Anton Forsberg was a big reason the Blackhawks even recorded those two points. The 25-year-old netminder stopped 34 of 36 shots and made a handful of big saves down the stretch.

"It was really nice to get a win for sure," Forsberg said. "I would love to have a lot more wins, but right now just gotta look forward and get as many wins as possible."

Added Quenneville: "I think it was good for him to win a game the way he did. Lot of shots were on the line, as we progressed, got deeper, hitting the point first was big for him and for us and then finding a way to get the extra one was a good win."

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?