Monday NHL preview: St. Louis Blues at Toronto Maple Leafs
Monday NHL preview: St. Louis Blues at Toronto Maple LeafsSCOTIABANK ARENA
© Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
With center Brayden Schenn’s extension getting done so quickly in St. Louis, some wondered if the Blues would also be getting something done soon with defenseman and captain Alex Pietrangelo. In an appearance on Sportsnet 650 (audio link), Fox Sports Midwest’s Andy Strickland provided an update on the situation, noting that Blues GM Doug Armstrong wanted to get a Pietrangelo deal done several weeks ago. © Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
However, an asking price around the $9M per-year range appears to be too steep for the Blues. Also, Strickland notes that Pietrangelo’s representatives tend to stay away from a lot of early extensions in the hopes that getting closer to a firm deadline will work out to the benefit of their clients.
Alex Pietrangelo has winner as Blues hold off Maple Leafs for 3-2 win
TORONTO — Alex Pietrangelo scored the winner in the third period as the St. Louis Blues defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Monday night. Oskar Sundqvist and Brayden Schenn had the other goals for St. Louis (2-0-1). Jordan Binnington made 32 stops for the defending Stanley Cup champions. Frederik Gauthier and William Nylander replied for Toronto (2-1-1), which has now dropped two straight. The Leafs got 26 saves from Frederik Andersen, who returned to the crease after watching his team blow a 4-1 third-period lead in Saturday's 6-5 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the second game of a back-to-back.
With that in mind, it may be a while yet before something gets done.
There is more to report from the Central Division:
- Don’t expect the Dallas Stars to be making a big trade to shake things up. Speaking with NHL.com’s Mike Zeisberger, GM Jim Nill indicated that while he’s looking to see what’s available, trade talk around the league is minimal at the moment. Dallas is off to a rough start with a 1-7-1 record through their first nine games. With center Martin Hanzal on LTIR and not expected to play this season, the team does have some payroll flexibility to work with if they want to add someone once the trade market picks up.
- The third defense pairing in Nashville has been a concern in the early going this season but Adam Vingan of The Athletic suggests (subscription required) that it’s unlikely the Predators make a move in the near future to try to shore things up. The players that would be available at this point wouldn’t move the needle much, Vingan says. Nashville's in-house options could be tried at some point (offseason acquisition Steven Santini would likely get a chance) to see if that improves things. The team has ample cap room to try to make a move at some point if a notable upgrade becomes available, but knowing that defenseman Roman Josi’s new deal is in the works, they may have to focus on the rental market, which doesn’t really pick up until later in the season.
Related slideshow: The current captains of every NHL team (Provided by Yardbarker)
Bruce Arthur: Blues, Leafs go back to the grind, knowing it’s the style that will be important months from now
Bruce Arthur: Blues, Leafs go back to the grind, knowing it’s the style that will be important months from now“It’s all about winning the Cup, the Stanley Cup, to be candid,” Rielly said.
Anaheim Ducks: Ryan Getzlaf
The big, bruising center has been a key cog for the Ducks since he was in his first full season with the team. Interestingly enough, he’s more of a playmaker than a goal scorer, and the 34-year-old is evidently also a respected team leader. Getzlaf has had plenty of experience on that front, as he’s been the captain of Anaheim since Scott Niedermayer retired. John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Coyotes: Oliver Ekman-Larsson
The Coyotes have had a lot of turnover in recent years as they’ve rebuilt, and a lot of their players are young and unproven. Through it all, Ekman-Larsson has been there though and has been a solid player. The Swedish defenseman just took over the captain’s role last year, as for a long time that job belonged to Shane Doan. Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports
Boston Bruins: Zdeno Chara
The tallest player in the NHL is also its longest-serving captain. Chara has been the captain of the Bruins since way back in 2006. When the big defenseman retires, and he is in his 40s now, there are plenty of guys who could grab the role, but Chara’s presence will still be missed on the blue line. Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports
Buffalo Sabres: Jack Eichel
Eichel will always be compared to Connor McDavid, since he was drafted second after McDavid went first overall. Some have been disappointed in Eichel, but the Sabres haven’t exactly put a ton of talent around him. He’s averaged almost a point a game in his four-year NHL career. Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports
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Calgary Flames: Mark Giordano
Giordano just won his first Norris Trophy at the relatively old age of 35. The Flames have known what they’ve had in the excellent defenseman for a while, though, as he’s been the captain since 2013. He may not win another Norris, but Giordano is still primed to be a great defenseman and a fine captain. Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports
Carolina Hurricanes: Jordan Staal
Former captain Justin Williams "stepped away" from the NHL this offseason. Instead of waiting around to see if he would return at some point, the Hurricanes decided to stick the "C" on another veteran forward. Jordan is now the second Staal to be the captain of the Canes, as his older brother Eric was in that role from 2010-2016. This is also Jordan's second stint in the role, as he was co-captainfor a season prior to Williams' reign. James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Blackhawks: Jonathan Toews
As a rookie, Toews was a finalist for the Calder. The next year the Blackhawks named him captain. He’s excelled in that role, providing a serious, steely demeanor alongside the more dynamic Patrick Kane. Toews has had the role for a decade now, and as captain he’s won three Cups, not to mention a Conn Smythe for playoffs MVP. Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports
Colorado Avalanche: Gabriel Landeskog
Nathan MacKinnon, a first-overall pick, is the best player on the Avalanche. He’s not their captain, though. That role goes to Landeskog, the Swedish forward who was drafted second overall in the 2011 NHL Draft. Not knowing that MacKinnon would arrive someday, Colorado named Landeskog its captain when he was not yet 20 years old. He was the youngest captain in NHL history at that time. Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports
Columbus Blue Jackets: Nick Foligno
A lot of teams name their top player, or one of their best players, as team captain. The Blue Jackets took a slightly different path. After Foligno had career numbers in the 2014-15 season, Columbus decided to make him its new captain. He hasn’t approached the 31 goals or 73 points he had that year, but the 31-year-old is a solid veteran presence on a team that had a lot of turnover this offseason. Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Stars: Jamie Benn
Benn took to being captain in Dallas quite well. One season after getting the “C” he won the Art Ross Trophy. The Stars have been a top-heavy team for a little while — basically a one-line squad — but Benn has always held up his end of the bargain. Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports
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Detroit Red Wings: Henrik Zetterberg
Since you likely know that Zetterberg is retired, you can guess that the Wings don’t have a captain currently. The Red Wings have a great lineage of captains, as they went from Steve Yzerman to Nicklas Lidstrom to Zetterberg. Who’s next in line? Probably Dylan Larkin, who is already the team’s best player at 23. Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports
Edmonton Oilers: Connor McDavid
This was a pretty obvious choice for the Oilers. He was an elite prospect and then quickly became perhaps the league’s best player at a young age. McDavid has won one Hart and two Art Rosses and also took over for Landeskog as the youngest captain in NHL history. The job is his as long as he’s in Edmonton. Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports
Florida Panthers: Aleksander Barkov
Barkov became captain before last season, taking over for perhaps the league’s most obscure captain, Derek MacKenzie. The Finnish center is a much better choice. He’s an elite player, an All-Star and also a guy who handles his business. Though Barkov plays great defense, he won the Lady Byng last year. Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Kings: Anze Kopitar
Kopitar, probably the best Slovenian hockey player of all time, is quite similar to Barkov. He’s the Kings’ best forward and is just as strong defensively as he is offensively. His numbers have been up and down, as have Los Angeles’ results, but Kopitar usually paces the offense for better or worse. He wasn’t captain when the Kings won their Cups, but he was a key player on those teams. Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Wild: Mikko Koivu
The Koivus are apparently born leaders. Mikko’s older brother, Saku, was captain of the Montreal Canadiens for a decade, and Mikko is approaching a decade as the man wearing the “C” for the Wild. Koivu is 36, and his numbers are taking a dip, so he is no longer being relied upon in Minnesota — that is, outside of him being the captain, a role nobody else is primed to take. Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports
Montreal Canadiens: Shea Weber
Speaking of the Canadiens, Weber is following in the footsteps of Saku Koivu in being captain of the Habs. Weber hasn’t been with the team for all that long, but he was traded for P.K. Subban, so you might as well give him the gig. Weber is also a rarity in that he’s one of the only four NHL captains who hasn’t played for only one team. James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports
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Nashville Predators: Roman Josi
Speaking of Weber, he used to be the captain of the Predators, a role Josi now has. The Swiss defenseman is a similar kind of player to Weber, and he’s been with the Predators for a while now. Though Weber and Subban have both left Nashville, Josi is still around, with no sign that he’s going anywhere anytime soon. Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils: Andy Greene
With no disrespect meant, Greene is the least-famous captain of any NHL team. The 36-year-old defenseman became captain in 2015, after he had already spent almost a decade with the Devils. Of course, it feels like the blue-liner is basically just keeping the seat warm for Jack Hughes, who was the first-overall pick this past summer. Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports
New York Islanders: Anders Lee
Hey, sometimes captains do leave teams. You may have heard that John Tavares decided to move on from the Islanders to join the Maple Leafs. When Tavares left, Lee got the “C” emblazoned on his sweater. Hey, he was coming off having scored 74 goals over his previous two seasons, so he fit the bill. In his first season as captain, he added 28 more goals to his total. Catalina Fragoso/USA TODAY Sports
New York Rangers: Ryan McDonagh
McDonagh is no longer a Ranger, and the team is maybe waiting for another guy named Ryan to show up to get the gig. Before McDonagh, the Rangers’ captain was Ryan Callahan. Whose next in line? Well, since goalies can’t be captains, here’s an outside-the-box pick: Jacob Trouba, who joined the team this offseason. Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports
Ottawa Senators: Erik Karlsson
Karlsson is one of the best defensemen in the NHL, so losing him was a blow to the Senators. They also lost a leader, as they haven’t had a captain since he left. Ottawa also may still miss Daniel Alfredsson, who was captain from 1999 through 2013. Brady Tkachuk, who is coming off a strong rookie season, seems like he could get the role in the near future. His father, Keith, has some captain experience, so he could give his son some lessons. Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia Flyers: Claude Giroux
Giroux is an underrated player. He’s been great for the Flyers for years, which is why he was made captain in 2012. The six-time All-Star seems likely to get his number retired when he hangs up his skates, and it’s likely Giroux will be captain until that happens. He doesn’t seem likely to be calling it quits soon, though. He scored 102 points just two years ago. Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Penguins: Sidney Crosby
What’s left to be said about Sid the Kid? Crosby was the prospect every team was dreaming of when he entered the draft. The Penguins got him, and before they named him captain in 2007 he had already won an Art Ross and a Hart. The heir apparent to Mario Lemieux has lived up to all the expectations. He’s led the team to Cups. He’s going to the Hall of Fame someday. Making a young Crosby the captain was about the easiest decision an NHL team has ever made. Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues: Alex Pietrangelo
Pietrangelo is the latest captain to lift the Cup for his team. That’s a perk of being an NHL captain: You get to hoist the Stanley Cup before anybody else. Pietrangelo is probably happy the Blues made him their captain before the 2016 season. He’s been leading the blue line for years, and now he’s the captain of the whole team. Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports
San Jose Sharks: Logan Couture
Meet the NHL’s newest captain. Not that folks in San Jose are unfamiliar with Couture. He’s been a great player for the team for years. However, at first Joe Thornton was the captain, and then Joe Pavelski got the gig. Pavelski left the team this offseason, so now Couture is captain of the Sharks. Darren Yamashita/USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos
With guys like Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman popping up, Stamkos has kind of fallen through the cracks in Tampa Bay. That’s weird, and not just because he’s the captain. Stamkos will score his 400th career goal this season. He’ll probably soar past that, given that the first-overall pick in 2008 scored 45 goals last season. Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports
Toronto Maple Leafs: John Tavares
It had been a while since the Leafs had named a captain. Dion Phaneuf had the role in 2016, but after him the role had been vacant. In an interesting move, Toronto decided to give the job to Tavares. Sure, he's a great player, but they also had another great option in Auston Matthews, who was actually drafted by the team first overall. John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports
Vancouver Canucks: Bo Horvat
For the first time in a while, a player who isn't a Sedin is captain of the Canucks. Instead of going with another Swede, the team's best player Elias Pettersson, the Canucks gave the honor to Horvat. Not that Horvat is a slouch by any means. He had a career-high 27 goals and 61 points last season, and he's only 24 himself. Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports
Vegas Golden Knights: Nobody!
Hey, let’s give the Golden Knights some time. The franchise has been in existence for only two years. In both of those seasons the team hasn't named a captain. Eventually, it seems likely it will. For what it’s worth, the three alternate captains right now are Max Pacioretty, Reilly Smith and Deryk Engelland. Engelland is a local hero, as he lived in Las Vegas before he even ended up with the team, but at 37 he may be a bit too old. So let’s go with Pacioretty. Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports
Washington Capitals: Alex Ovechkin
Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby have been tied together since they both entered the league the same season. They are both future Hall of Famers, and Ovechkin is the best goal scorer of his generation, and perhaps of all time. Crosby has more Cups, though, and he also has another thing on Ovechkin. The Russian winger became captain in 2009, while Crosby became captain in 2007. Score one for Sid the Kid. James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports
Winnipeg Jets: Blake Wheeler
Wheeler has been with this franchise for so long that he played a season as an Atlanta Thrasher. While he’s not the biggest name in the NHL, he’s a really good player. Wheeler actually has scored 91 points in each of his last two campaigns. Rightfully, he was an All-Star both years, which also happened to come right after he got named captain. Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports
Travis Hamonic will not negotiate extension with Flames during season .
Hamonic isn’t a big offensive presence on the blueline but he has been considered one of the better shutdown options for years now. The right-handed defenseman now has 600 regular-season games under his belt and is logging close to 22 minutes a night for the Flames. That includes more than four minutes of short-handed ice time, something teams are always looking to improve at the deadline.