What a crazy ending to a game that I expected to be an Avalanche shooting spree. The two points in the shootout were much needed if this team intends to put together any type of playoff run. The better part about this three point game is that it didn't give a point to a divisional, or conference rival.
I don't know whether the thrown stick would have made a difference on the outcome of Hejduk's shot. I don know that the officials made the right call. Mike Smith all but admitted he let go in some post game comments. All in all, it made for some great sports drama.
The only real stand out from this game was Paul Stastny. He scored the lone goal in the first period, and continues to rack up the points. He may not break that elusive 100 point mark yet this season, but in the next few he just might. Remember he is also a very streaky player, and we are starting to see that change a bit, and him turn into more consistent point producer as of late. Now, if he can consistently produce, at nearly his point per game pace, and then learn to add a streak or two onto that, 100 points in one season is not unattainable.
The lightning are a team that is reeling, and they know it. It is tough to watch this team, and remember that just a few years ago they won a cup. The team has been through a lot of changes since, and Lecavalier looks like he is still trying to recover from the off season surgery. It doesn't look like Melrose was the problem with that team, in fact I don't believe that it is Tocchet either. I think it comes down to ownership not letting the people in place do their job. This summer there was a signing or a trade it seemed every week. Unfortunately that is not how you build a team in the new Cap era. It is done through smart drafting, then trades and free agent signings. I hope Brian Lawton can convince his ownership group that this is the case.
On to the rumor mill. Sundin threw us a curve ball and signed with the Canucks. This is going to make them a better team, how much better has yet to be answered. I don't know that this forces any team to make moves within the Northwest division. The Canucks need to get Luongo back to really have the depth they need to compete with the Red Wings and the Sharks. Elite goal tending is what pushed teams over that plateau from above average to the trend setter. Vancouver has that when Luongo is healthy. Without him they are still six points ahead of the Avs in the standings.
If we trade for something this season it will be a legitimate number two center. For us to get what we want it will likely take several things. Two players who can help out a team right now. It will likely be to a team that has good depth at forward, but not enough at D. The names we should expect to hear thrown around quite a bit are Clark, Leopold, Tjarnquist, Salei, Svatos, Arnason(of course), and sadly Wolski. If we expect something big in return, we may have to give up something big. Svatos rumors won't swirl until he is skating again, and puts up a few numbers. Wolski is playing well but will require quite a bit back in return. Clark or Leopold will fetch the most in return as well.
Here is the x factor. FG is holding pretty tight to his cap space. At the beginning of the season we saw the Goal tending as a huge problem, and that cap space was for a goalie, or for a guy named Forsberg. I am going to say it, Forsberg will not help this team. A recent surgery will not make it any easier for him to play, and reality is that he won't be able to perform at the level we loved to watch during his prime.
We could still see a goalie trade, as well as the now obvious need for a legit top six center. Any ideas on who it could be now that the Sundin saga is over?