Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau is imploring his team to get back to defensive basics.
His team lost consecutive games to the Phoenix Coyotes in 5-4 shootouts. Boudreau played each of his goaltenders and got the same result.
This left him most displeased.
“I was hoping it wasn’t a repeat,” Boudreau told reporters during his postgame briefing. “I’m more upset to give up … the last five games we’ve given up a four, four and five goals against. You can’t just give that up and expect to win this game. It’s not going to happen.
“Even though we do a lot of preaching about defense, we’re going to have to get back to basics.”
This slippage might bode well for rangy defenseman Bryan Allen, who is still trying to lock down his regular spot in the lineup. He sat out the last two games.
“We’re putting out guys that we know should be able to play and should be able to defend,” Boudreau said. “Including last game, that’s four times, we take the lead and they scored within five minutes. A lot of times within a minute.
“It’s not acceptable. If we want to be a good team, we’d better learn how to do this.”
The Columbus Blues Jackets appear ready to hold a yard sale. Everything might go!
While other teams have picked up their play – most notably Anaheim and Carolina – the Jackets are now the Team Most Likely To Dump Payroll.
Finding a taker for Jeff Carter and his staggering salary may not be easy, but expect Columbus to make every effort.
Here were some of the other rumors coming out of the All-Star Game:
Would the Dallas Stars really deal Brenden Morrow as part of a sweeping overhaul? If that team is willing to go there, the Red Wings would be just one of the possible bidders.
Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter told the world that he won’t extend his contract before the trade deadline. So teams trying to acquire him from Nashville would do on a rental basis – something that may not excite him. “I'm a Nashville Predator until July,” he told ESPN. “I will focus on making my team better.”
As always, Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke is dying to add size and grit. This has led to speculation about Ryane Clowe (San Jose Sharks) and Tuomo Ruutu (Carolina Hurricanes). The San Jose management insists Clowe is staying put this season.
Goaltender Ryan Miller is no longer regarded as a team cornerstone in Buffalo. Given the number of teams looking for help in the net, expect Miller to become the subject of much speculation. How about a straight-up deal with Anaheim, Miller for Jonas Hiller?
If Anaheim deals Hiller without getting a goaltender in return, would the Ducks send Corey Perry up to Vancouver for Cory Schneider, forward Mason Raymond and defenseman Keith Ballard? Such quality-for-quantity deals usually backfire. Depth is easier to find than high-end talent.
Buffalo also seems likely to shop center Derek Roy. Montreal was linked to him earlier and some folks think the Kings could move into play – despite that team’s apparently depth up the middle.
Meanwhile the Los Angeles Kings are looking to move chronic underachiever Dustin Penner, but what team would really covet him? Eastern Conference teams are always starved for size, but his salary will be tough to digest.
With Carolina willing to move Jarsoslav Spacek, Bryan Allen and/or Tim Gleason, the Panthers might look there once Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford lowers his asking price.
Would Rutherford trade goaltender Cam Ward? He has dismissed such speculation, but other teams are watching carefully. Ward does carry an annual cap hit of $6.3 million for the next five seasons.
If the Canadiens up to sell off some parts, gritty forward Travis Moen might attract some interest. He is headed for unrestricted free agency.
Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen is recovering from knee surgery, but not as quickly as the team hoped. He may not return to action until early March – well after the NHL’s Feb. 27 trade deadline passes.
But that won’t stop Carolina from entertaining trade offers for veteran defensemen Tim Gleason, Bryan Allen and Jaroslav Spacek. Each of those players will become unrestricted free agents after the season and Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford is looking to retool with younger players.
Each of those defensemen could have value to contending teams looking to rent some help. The Flyers, for instance, are looking to fortify their blue line after losing Chris Pronger to a season-ending concussion.
“Despite all the talk that people stir up, I'm approaching it at this stage as being more interested in hockey trades and not deadline trades or trading UFAs,” Rutherford told the Raleigh News & Observer. “If something makes sense for our organization and from a financial point of view, if it seems like something we should do, I'll do it. But I'm not out there making all the calls looking to make trades.
“If we were to trade a UFA for a veteran player, we would want control of him next year or the next few years. Usually, we have looked to bring in younger players, but a hockey deal where a veteran player is under contract also is a possibility.”
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The Hot List
Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, Boston Bruins, Joe Pavelski, Ryan Getzlaf, Alexander Semin.
The Cold List
Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers,John Tavares, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Vancouver Canucks,