Blackhawks

NHL Power Rankings: Trade deadline edition

duncan-keith-andrew-ladd-0229.png

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

How Blackhawks plan to handle Corey Crawford's workload

How Blackhawks plan to handle Corey Crawford's workload

Corey Crawford is back and it didn't look like he skipped much of a beat. The Blackhawks were handed their first regulation loss of the season to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, but the 33-year-old netminder stopped 27 of 30 shots (.900 save percentage) in his season debut and made several timely saves to keep his team in it.

In the larger picture, it was a win based on how well Crawford looked between the pipes.

"Yeah, I think it is," coach Joel Quenneville said after practice on Friday. "It's one of things we were wondering, how he would handle post-game and how he came in today. Very encouraging signs. He felt good in all aspects of what he went through and dealt with, and practiced well today too, so that was good."

The first one is in the books.

But what's the plan going forward? Will Crawford be on a "pitch count" or will they treat him like they have in past seasons when he was healthy?

In the past, Crawford has generally started somewhere in between 55-58 games per season. Part of that has been because of injuries. Another part is the Blackhawks have had reliable backups, which allowed them to give Crawford an extra night off here and there to keep him fresh.

It's not unreasonable, though, to think Crawford could flirt with 50 starts, considering he missed only five games to start the season. And they can still accomplish that by playing it safe.

The Blackhawks have 13 more back-to-backs this season, which gives them the opportunity to start Cam Ward at some point in each of them. That leaves room for another 15 or so starts to sprinkle in for Ward that could serve as rest days for Crawford and still being on track to start around 50.

Obviously, the Blackhawks want to be careful with how much they ask of Crawford because concussions are tricky to deal with and every player responds differently to it.

His return comes at a time where the Blackhawks are slated to play seven games in 11 days after playing just two in the previous 10. Thursday marked the start of that stretch.

"He’ll tell us how he feels and we’ll go from there and make those decisions," Quenneville said.

The Blackhawks have been on record saying they prefer not to carry three goaltenders. But in this case it makes sense. At least in the short term.

Quenneville said Friday that the Blackhawks will reevaluate the situation at the end of the weekend following the beginning of a busy stretch where they'll play three games in four days.

"Yeah, that’s the mindset," he said. "Let’s see how we handle these three in four and then we’ll address it."

Crawford is expected to start on Saturday in Columbus, making it his second start in three days. That's when they'll get a better sense of how he's handling things.

If it were up to him, Crawford said he feels he's prepared for it.

"Yeah, sure," Crawford said. "Why not? I've been working hard with [strength and conditioning coach Paul Goodman]. He's got me where I need to be, so I'm in shape right now. Why not?"

Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut

crawford_usa_today_debut.jpg
USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Jamal Mayers and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Corey Crawford’s season debut after missing nearly 10 months with a concussion.

Mayers talks about the Kitty system that Niklas Hjalmarsson and Vinnie Hinostroza probably dealt with in their returns to Chicago.

The guys also discuss what’s next for Crawford, the upcoming matchup against Artemi Panarin and the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Blackhawks’ biggest areas for improvement.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!