NHL Weekender: Trade rumors overshadow All-Star weekend


Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

At the end of every workweek, Yardbarker takes a look at what the NHL has in store for the weekend. We'll see whose stock is soaring, who needs to get their acts together and what tilts are promising to keep you on the edge of your seat. In this week's episode, goaltender interference remains a mystery, and we get you ready to survive All-Star weekend.

Who's on fire


Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Bruins continue to impress, but the team in the Eastern Conference that's really surprising everyone is the Flyers. Philadelphia has gone an astounding 8-2-0 over its last 10 games, including back-to-back overtime wins against the Capitals and Red Wings, respectively. The Flyers may head into the All-Star break with a 5-1 loss to the East-leading Lightning, but they also have made their way into a playoff spot.

Speaking of surprising teams becoming potential playoff contenders, what has gotten into the Avalanche? Behind red-hot Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado tallied an astonishing 10 straight victories before falling to Montreal Tuesday. While typically dominant teams in the Western Conference have faltered before the break, the Avs find themselves in a position to make a push past regular-season hockey — especially if they make the right moves at the trade deadline.

Who's on a skid


Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Technically, the Rangers are no longer on a skid since they snapped their three-game losing streak with a 6-5 win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night. However, it wasn't a pretty win, and the Blueshirts have an uphill battle ahead of them after the break. With Chris Kreider and Kevin Shattenkirk both out indefinitely, New York is missing an edge it'll need as the Rangers face tough teams coming down the stretch, including Toronto, Nashville, Dallas and Boston coming out of the break.

Out west, the once-dominant Calgary Flames have seemingly lost their fire. After going into their bye with a winning streak, they haven't been unable to put another notch in the win column. What's worse is that they've lost four in a row — two games in overtime and two in the shootout. Did the break cause them to lose their edge? Will the All-Star break help them reset?

Quotables


Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, Yardbarker took a look at the fairly new "goaltender inference" challenge and speculated that the rule needed some clarification. It would seem that there is still inconsistency and plenty of questions.

Blue Jackets bench boss John Tortorella was asked about the rule and responded: "The only thing consistent about goaltender interference this year is that you never know what you're going to get."

More than likely, much of the league agrees with Torts on this one.

Trade talk


Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

You know the trade deadline is going to be bananas when captains and franchise faces are being thrown into the cyclone of rumors. Montreal's Max Pacioretty has already been in the mix for a while. Whispers are now swirling that Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh could be leaving New York, and Erik Karlsson's days in Ottawa reportedly could be numbered as well. Of course, we won't know more until after the All-Star break. Which brings us to...

What to watch this weekend


James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

NHL All-Star Game: Sunday, Jan. 26 3:30 p.m. EST, NBC

Understandably, All-Star fetes aren't everyone's cup of tea, and every NHL All-Star weekend has been kind of a letdown since the John Scott year. Nevertheless, this is a slow weekend for sports in general with the Super Bowl and Winter Olympics still a week or so away. Our recommendation is to skip over all the fluffy stuff on Friday and most of Saturday — besides the skills competition on Saturday night. The three-on-three tournament on Sunday will be entertaining because, well, three-on-three is fast-paced and engaging.

However you choose to watch the festivities this weekend, we recommend keeping the remote nearby. Unless you're an avid Kid Rock fan, you may feel the need to give your mute button a workout.

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Chelena Goldman grew up on a street where the boys played street hockey and yelling at baseball and football over the radio was a standard -- making life as a sports geek the perfect fit. She believes in dominance on the blue line, good red wine, and the theory that you can never be too overdressed for any occasion. You can find her gabbing away on Twitter at @ChelenaGoldman.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
28 SLIDES
A look back at inaugural NHL uniforms
QUIZ: Name the current captains of every NHL team

Can you name the current captain for each NHL franchise in six minutes?

Good luck!

CLUE: TEAM / SEASON NAMED CAPTAIN

Note: Four teams (Arizona, Buffalo, Toronto & Vegas) do not currently have a captain, while Carolina has co-captains. 

Score:
0/28
Time:
6:00
ANA / 2010-11
Ryan Getzlaf
BOS / 2006-07
Zdeno Chara
CAL / 2013-14
Mark Giordano
CAR / 2017-18
Justin Faulk
CAR / 2017-18
Jordan Staal
CHI / 2008-09
Jonathan Toews
COL / 2012-13
Gabriel Landeskog
CLB / 2015-16
Nick Foligno
DAL / 2013-14
Jamie Benn
DET / 2012-13
Henrik Zetterberg
EDM / 2016-17
Connor McDavid
FLA / 2016-17
Derek MacKenzie
LA / 2016-17
Anze Kopitar
MIN / 2009-10
Mikko Koivu
MON / 2015-16
Max Pacioretty
NSH / 2017-18
Roman Josi
NJ / 2015-16
Andy Greene
NYI / 2013-14
John Tavares
NYR / 2014-15
Ryan McDonagh
OTT / 2014-15
Erik Karlsson
PHI / 2012-13
Claude Giroux
PIT / 2007-08
Sidney Crosby
STL / 2016-17
Alex Pietrangelo
SJ / 2015-16
Joe Pavelski
TB / 2013-14
Steven Stamkos
VAN / 2010-11
Henrik Sedin
WAS / 2009-10
Alexander Ovechkin
WPG / 2016-17
Blake Wheeler
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mavericks issue statement in response to SI article on uncomfortable workplace

NCAA upholds penalties against Louisville related to scandal

Lindsey Vonn tears up during emotional interview

Andrew Luck: Surgery 'is not an option for me right now'

David Price warns JD Martinez that fans in Boston will boo him

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Yelich: ‘Everything changed’ for Marlins after Fernandez’s death

Mattingly fires back at Harper over Marlins criticism

Report: Jets could pay Kirk Cousins $60 million in 2018

Doug Martin released by Buccaneers

Cuban: Losing is Mavs' 'best option' for rest of season

Figure skater Scott Moir jabs Brett Favre with retirement talk

The 'All muscle hamsters go to heaven' quiz

A.J. McCarron might be the best consolation prize in free agency

MLB's top 10 second basemen for 2018

Offseason needs for every NFL team

Donovan Mitchell's limiting nostalgia

Negro Leaguers every baseball fan should know

Top 30 NFL free agents

MLB's top 10 starting pitchers for 2018

Grading the deal: Eric Hosmer finally finds a home with Padres

MLB's top 10 catchers for 2018

The 'James gang walks away with a win' quiz

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA united against racial divide

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Offseason needs for every NFL team

MLB's top 10 second basemen for 2018

The 'All muscle hamsters go to heaven' quiz

A.J. McCarron might be the best consolation prize in free agency

The 'James gang walks away with a win' quiz

Negro Leaguers every baseball fan should know

Top 30 NFL free agents

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA united against racial divide

The 'Emerald City on ice' quiz

NHL Weekender: Blackhawks, Rangers continue to free fall

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker