Quick hits today. There will be plenty of trade news going, and we'll be sure to have all the latest on breaking Stars transactions here should the Stars condescend to pick up the phone when Peter Chiarelli desperately calls Dallas begging for some grit.
Mike Heika had a great Observations post yesterday that you should all read. Here's a snippet, but you'll want to read the whole thing. It's long and in-depth and it involves Vulcans, so I think that pretty much says it all:
There are some who will question Ruff’s strategy this season to outscore the opposition. There are some who will question his deployment of players, who will dissect his special teams play, who will ask if the Stars really were the better team in some of the games where they enjoyed a statistical edge.
You will look at the many missed chances. You will look at the countless power plays that didn’t cash in late in games. You will wonder how other teams are getting away with playing rough in front of the net at a time of year when the refs seem to be swallowing their whistles.
You will wonder if these are errors of strategy or execution or effort.
The skaters live in a different world, where so much of their performance is judged on effort. So when they seem to try harder, they naturally earn a little slack. When they seem to "put in the work," they seem to get praise.
Listen to Ruff after the game: "Effort-wise, our guys worked our tails off. I don’t know what else you can do. You can’t draw it up any better."
Well, John Klingberg could have scored in overtime, that would have been better. The defense could have prevented a few of the drive-by stick tips by using some of the wiggle room refs are affording right now. The forwards could have won more third period faceoffs.
Ruff has been criticizing his team’s finish for weeks, so maybe he was tired of knocking the forwards. He could have simply decided it was time for the goalies _ and Lehtonen mostly _ to understand the extent to which they have damaged the season. Maybe he was just human for a moment. [DMN]
Today may see some big questions answered through trades, but looking back on this season just seems to raise more questions every time. Maybe it's best to go the Community route and just blame the whole thing on a gas leak or something.
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Watching the last couple minutes of Ottawa/San Jose last night, and man, those Stadium Series uniforms are nothing to admire. Also, the Sharks didn't win a single home game in February. Is that bad?
Ruff and Lehtonen have "talked" since Lindy let loose with some criticism after the Colorado game, so that's good. [DMN]
Patrick Eaves looks ready to go. Great to see him back. [Stars]
If these are to be the last days of Erik Cole, Dallas Star, let's never forget his most unbelievable goal of the year. [NHL Video]
Numbers? Trevor Daley don't give a fig for your stinkin' numbers unless they are called Wins and Losses. [DMN]
TRADE TRACKER UPDATE THING:
Antoine Vermette was moved to Chicago yesterday for a first-round pick and a prospect. Certainly seems like the Hawks are going all-in for this year. [ESPN]
Tomas Fleischmann has been sent to Anaheim in exchange for a 3rd-round pick and Dany Heatley, who is not good. [TSN]
Tim Gleason was sent to Washington for a draft pick and a warm body, essentially. [Canes Country]
Erik Cole is so hot right now, says some website. [BR]
Devan Dubnyk has literally forgotten how to lose. Seriously, I don't think he can do it anymore. [NHL]
Joe Sakic isn't expecting to move Ryan O'Reilly before the summer. There's the usual "extension" talk that no one believes as well. [Denver Post]
Jagr is finding ways to keep pushing himself, but that shouldn't really be a surprise. [NHL]
Derek Stepan scored a crazy center-ice goal last night, but it was overturned for a delayed offside call. [NHL Video]
If you're still missing CapGeek, War-on-Ice has a pretty spiffy cap tool up now. Check it out. [War-on-Ice]
Finally, how viscerally did you react after seeing this Icethetics concept for Minnesota's outdoor game sweaters next year?