The 2016 trade deadline was a snore-fest. A snooze reel. A yawn-a-thon.
Deadline day was boring, is one I’m trying to say. Like, almost as bad as a typical game in which both teams wheeze and gasp to barely 50 combined shots on goal.
Much like those grinding games, boring doesn’t stop something from being exhausting, so I’ll dive right into a busy Monday of recaps.
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RANGERS 2, BLUE JACKETS 1
-- Why, what a convenient segue: these two teams combined for exactly 50 shots on goal.
It makes it a little tougher for me to beat up on Eric Staal for a pretty flat debut. Zero points and just one SOG is pretty uninspiring, but it's not as if these teams were firing on all cylinders.
Or maybe he just had a slow start? I don't know. The trade deadline isn't always as smooth as it feels like in our heads.
-- In just his third appearance in February - this is the longer version of the month! - Antti Raanta won his sixth game of the season and his second in a row.
He stopped 26 out of 27 shots in this win and allowed three goals during these back-to-back wins.
-- The Blue Jackets signed Boone Jenner to a two-year contract worth a little bit less than $6 million overall on Monday.
Unlike the Nick Foligno contract, I don't think is necessarily a mistake.
It's not like Jenner's just playing way over his head. His 22 goals come via a 12.3 shooting percentage, right in line with his 12.1 career average.
Fantasy-wise, he's an interesting guy to watch. He seems to be improving and may have room to grow at 22. He brings a nice power forward element with 122 PIM in 167 career games.
FLYERS 5, FLAMES 3
He has a chance to really cash in on his contract year.
Schenn collected the first hat trick of his NHL career on Monday, pushing him to 21 goals and 42 points on the season. He's now on a three-game point streak: three goals and three assists.
-- Claude Giroux had a heck of a game, collecting four assists and looking really impressive in doing so.
Giroux now has eight points in his last four games.
-- Wayne Simmonds now has 23 goals on the season after collecting two.
Simmonds is on track to put together one of his best fantasy seasons, already setting a new career-high with 123 PIM. At 23 goals, he's in a position to set a new high mark there (his peak is 29). He may struggle to match his best mark of 60 points at 43, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.
PENGUINS 6, COYOTES 0
-- Speaking of first career hat tricks, Patric Hornqvist collected his first as well. He's 29 and 488 games, but he did it.
Before you make fun of Hornqvist (which is weird anyway), realize that as the last pick of the 2005 Draft, he's basically living on overachiever gravy either way.
(He also got an assist.)
-- Sidney Crosby collected three assists in this win. He's actually been a little cold lately - before Monday, he only had an assist during a four-game span and went without a point in six of eight games - so maybe this will ignite No. 87 for a strong conclusion to the regular season?
-- Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 30 shots for his fifth shutout of the season, and has only allowed a goal during a two-game winning streak. MAF now has victories in four of his last five contests.
-- Michael Stone had a rough game on Monday, suffering a -3 rating with zero points.
Overall, though, he's had a productive season, with a career high in points at 28. At minimum, he's a FanDuel favorite.
LIGHTNING 2, MAPLE LEAFS 1
-- Tyler Johnson scored both of the Lightning's goals, both coming during the second period.
Eleven goals and 27 points in 50 games are quite disappointing, but maybe he can at least finish the season with a strong final month?
-- Andrei Vasilevskiy has reeled off three straight wins, improving his record to 11-5-0 with a .914 save percentage.
-- Garret Sparks made his first appearance since Dec. 17, and while Sparks failed to win, he gave the Maple Leafs a real shot. Sparks made 26 out of 28 saves, including a memorable stick stop.
The Maple Leafs should give Sparks a chance to show what he can do.
RED WINGS 3, STARS 2 (OT)
-- Andreas Athanasiou scored the Red Wings' two regulation goals. He showed some nice skill last night.
-- Pavel Datsyuk showed a little magic in this one, scoring the overtime game-winner. It was the 13th of his season.
-- Jimmy Howard's showing signs of life lately.
He stopped 39 out of 41 shots in this game after making 29 out of 30 saves about a week ago. Petr Mrazek has cemented his spot on top, but if an injury or stumble happens, maybe Howard can bring some value.
SHARKS 6, CANADIENS 2
-- Joe Pavelski scored two goals and an assist, leaving him a shade shy of a point-per-game on the season (61 points in 62 games).
He's hammering away on the SOG lately: six on Monday, seven on Sunday. He has 13 SOG and five points in the past two games. Pavelski is now at +24, the best he's enjoyed in a single season. He's at +97 for his career.
-- Joe Thornton was right there with him: a goal and two assists. Jumbo Joe now has nine points in his past five games.
Brent Burns generated three points of his own.
-- Nick Spaling now has two goals in four games as a member of the Sharks. Compare that to just seven points in 35 contests with Toronto and he's off to a nice (and unsustainable) start in San Jose.
-- No James Reimer debut in San Jose yet, sorry gang.