In the midst of an eight-game losing streak, the Wild fired head coach Mike Yeo. He went 173-131-44 in four-plus seasons, helping the Wild reach the playoffs in the past three seasons. This team still needs to make moves on the personnel side. AHL coach John Torchetti will take over.
Onto the action on the ice (10 games) ...
DEVILS 2, FLYERS 1 (overtime)
— I would’ve never guessed that 56 games through the season, the Devils would be tied at 63 points for the final wild-card spot in the East. Low-event hockey at its finest, and it helps to have a goalie like Corey Schneider (31 saves). To have a 1.98 GAA and .931 SV% and only 25 wins is unfair. Over his past seven starts, Schneider has not given up more than two goals in any of them. He’ll be in the Vezina conversation, for sure.
— Realistically, the Devils are probably three high-end forwards away from being a legitimate threat. Joseph Blandisi (goal) could eventually become a top-six player. He has some sick skills, evidenced by his between-the-legs power-play goal. He has four goals and 11 points in 17 games.
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— Adam Henrique won the game at 2:58 with a power-play goal, his 19th goal of the season. He has points in four consecutive games, with three goals in that span. He’s more of a high floor type than one with a high ceiling, though don’t discount a 27-goal pace. (It’s unlikely he keeps scoring at nearly 18%.)
— Shayne Gostisbehere (goal) became the first rookie defenseman to record a point in 11 games in a row. He also had five shots on goal. This kid is the real deal, now with 10 goals and 30 points in 36 games. Connor McDavid could get a lot of late love if he continues to produce at more than point-per-game clip … but what about the Flyers defenseman, who also won’t have as many games under his belt as some of the favorites?
WILD 4, BRUINS 2
— With how competitive the Central Division is, the Wild might be in sell mode come the Feb. 29 trade deadline. They are 1-7-2 in their past 10 games, three points back of the wild-card race.
— The Bruins, on the other hand, are in the thick of things in the Atlantic Division. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with Loui Eriksson (goal), who has been crucial to this strong season. He will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, likely trying to get $6 million.
— Brad Marchand (goal) is scorching hot, now with goals in six consecutive games. During this streak, he has seven goals and nine points. He’s two goals shy of his career high, set in 2011-12 when he played 76 games. Marchand’s production is legitimate, too. He has 166 shots. His career best is 180, which came last season. He’s not setting up a lot of goals, but a 40-plus pace will make owners happy.
—David Krejci (goal, assist) also had a great game. Don’t think he gets enough love as one of the better centers. He has four points over his past four games. A 13-goal, 42-point season in 45 games isn’t bad, either.
— Zdeno Chara (goal) might not put up elite offensive numbers, but he’s still effective because of his reach and size. And eight goals, 30 points aren’t too shabby, either.
— The Wild need their goalies to be perfect as they rank 22nd in goals per game. Darcy Kuemper (15 saves) would probably like to have this game back. He’s given up seven goals over his last two starts.
— Chuck Fletcher needs to do something to jumpstart this offense. Hard to pin it all on one guy (Yeo). The Wild have gone from a 51% possession team last year to 48.5% this year. Fletcher needs to move out one of his defensemen for forward help. Mike Reilly (goal) is an example of that depth. The goal was his first at the NHL level.
MAPLE LEAFS 5, CANUCKS 2
— Leave it to the Leafs to own a guy like Mark Arcobello (two goals). Arcobello is an NHL player in my mind. His size (5-foot-8) causes him to be overlooked in more ways than one. This was his first goal in three games since he was recalled.
— All-Star Leo Komarov (goal) continued a strong campaign. The Leafs will probably put almost everyone on the block as the deadline approaches. A guy with 18 goals and 35 points, at less than $3 million for two more years, would command a decent return.
— James Reimer (17 saves) should find a new home at the deadline. A team that needs a strong backup could do well here. Reimer has had a brilliant (926 SV%) season.
— Daniel Sedin (goal) scored his first in seven games. While the points won’t stand out, a 32-goal pace would. It would be his first 30-goal season since 2011-12.
— Ryan Miller (33 saves) has one win over his past seven games. Prior to this one, he had allowed six goals in four games.
PREDATORS 5, PANTHERS 0
— Calle Jarnkrok scored twice. If the Predators could get more contributions like this from the second-tier guys, they’d be in much better shape. They are still at least one high-end forward short.
— James Neal (goal, assist) has a point in four of his past five games. He’s going to exceed the 30-goal mark for the second time in his career.
— Shea Weber (goal) potted his 11th power-play goal of the season (he has 15 altogether). While he’s been productive (36 points), it’s worth noting his projected 192 shots would be the lowest (not including the lockout-shortened season) since 2007-08 when he played 54 games.
— It’s probably time for Carter Hutton (22 saves) to get more time. He has posted two shutouts in his past three starts. But Pekka Rinne has been the guy for so long and makes the big bucks, so that’s why it’s unlikely.
— Roberto Luongo (23 saves) at anything less than his best significantly alters the forecast for the Panthers. He has given up three goals in four consecutive games. His February SV% is .879.
HURRICANES 6, ISLANDERS 3
— Even if the Hurricanes don’t reach the playoffs, they will play the role of spoiler very well. They can’t be counted out, either, as they are three points back of the final wild-card spot.
— Victor Rask (two goals) is one of several young Hurricanes players who are developing nicely. He has 14 goals and 33 points. These were his first goals in six games. Not sure if he’ll ever become a top offensive player but he should at least be a long-term asset for Carolina.
— Noah Hanifin (goal) scored his second of the year. With 11 points, he hasn’t turned heads. But he’s had a solid year on the defensive end, especially for a 19-year-old.
— Kris Versteeg (goal) could be a solid rental piece for a contender. He has a year left at $4.7 million. The Hurricanes have to commit to selling, though. That would be the smart move.
— John Tavares (goal, assist) has produced at a point-per-game pace in two consecutive years. He is a hot streak (45 points in 51 games) from extending the streak.
BLUE JACKETS 4, SENATORS 2
— Two of my favorite players for fantasy purposes are Boone Jenner (two goals) and Cam Atkinson (goal, assist). They don’t quite hold big-name value, and their price point in terms of trading for/picking them up/drafting is pretty low. Yet they produce and pile up the shots on goal. Jenner had five and also four penalty minutes. He fills up the stat sheet nicely. Atkinson had six shots on goal and two penalty minutes.
— Joonas Korpisalo (33 saves) has become a usable netminder. He has posted a .935 SV% and .934 SV% in back-to-back months. It wasn’t long ago that I wrote he wasn’t ready for the big show. He has proved me wrong.
— Bobby Ryan (goal) is on pace to have his best season since 2011-12 when he was with the Ducks. With 19 goals, he’s surpassed last year’s total and is nine points shy of last year, too (45 now).
STARS 4, CAPITALS 3
— Tyler Seguin (two goals) has reached the 30-goal mark for the third consecutive season. He could get to 40 for the first time, too. There’s no reason why he can’t eclipse 90 points for the first time, either.
— His partner in crime, Jamie Benn (goal), continues to produce, too. He has points in four games in a row, though this was his first goal in six games. Benn is on pace to hit 90 points, too.
— Alex Ovechkin has notched a goal in four consecutive games. With 35 goals, he’s not only leading the way, he’s likely to get to 50 for the seventh time in his career.
— Justin Williams and Andrew Burakovsky were the other scorers. Burakovsky is quite the talent. Need to see the shot output more consistently at two per game. He had five Saturday after none in the two games prior.
— Braden Holtby (21 saves) gave up four goals. Not often you see this as he was also pulled for the start of the third period. This was his first regulation loss in nine games.
DUCKS 3, BLACKHAWKS 2 (overtime)
— Is Ryan Getzlaf’s (goal, assist) puck luck going his way again? He has two of his six goals over his four-game point streak. Getzlaf has 36 assists, so his point total for the years isn’t all that bad. He's part of a renewed Ducks squad that looks the part of a contender, finally.
— David Perron and Jakob Silfverberg picked up the other goals. Perron has two goals, three points and eight shots on goal over his past two games. This ended an eight-game slide without a goal for Perron.
— Brent Seabrook (two goals) is having his finest offensive season. Ten goals is his career high, plus he’s on pace to record close to 50 points (48 is high).
— Corey Crawford (41 saves) can’t be the one to blame in this loss. He has gone three games without a regulation win. This was a nice rebound effort after giving up four goals on 18 shots in a loss to the Stars on Thursday.
JETS 2, OILERS 1 (shootout)
— Blake Wheeler (goal) has six goals since the start of December. It’s hard to pin it all on bad puck luck. Even though that pace is down, Wheeler has 37 assists, so he’s in good shape to post a career-best point season.
— Ondrej Pavelec (21 saves) made his first start since Nov. 21 as he dealt with a knee injury. Even if every goalie in the league was injured, I still wouldn’t want him.
— Matt Hendricks scored his third goal of the season, and first since Dec. 2. That about encapsulates his value.
SHARKS 4, COYOTES 1
— The Sharks are 11-2-3 in their past 16 games. They are peaking at a good time. I like this veteran mix heading in the playoffs.
— Tomas Hertl (goal) scored his 11th marker of the year, and his first since Jan. 26, a span of five games without one. With 27 points, the consistency hasn’t been there. 132 shots in 53 games is a good sign, though.
— Joonas Donskoi has a goal in two consecutive games. Another guy with a bright future, though it might not be here just yet.
— Martin Jones (22 saves) has given up one goal on his past 55 shots. With teams such as the Blackhawks and Kings in the West, Jones will be key in the playoffs. How he holds up with a full-season workload remains to be seen.
— Louis Domingue (24 saves) was roughed up for three goals. It seems like his Cinderella story has about expired as he has a .890 SV% in February.