We’ve hit the sweet spot of the NHL season.
One month removed from the trade deadline. One month out from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The eye of the hurricane, if hurricanes had eyes that were just as hectic as the rest of the storm. Bad analogy.
So now is as good a time as ever to look back at the NHL trade deadline’s big moves and see how they’ve shaken out. You know, before all of these players turn it around in the next month and become playoff heroes.
Bang for their buck
Drew Stafford, Boston Bruins
Stafford took to the Bruins’ system like a fish to water. The veteran winger put up five points in his first five games before leaving the Bruins last week to be with his wife as she gave birth to twins. (What a month for the Stafford family, eh?)
Boston is getting what they wanted out of Stafford: power play time, effective penalty killing and a gritty two-way game their system loves.
Thomas Vanek, Florida Panthers
Florida is slip-sliding out of the playoff race, but they can’t blame their deadline acquisition. Vanek isn’t scoring (one goal so far) but he’s racking up scoring chances in bunches. It’s not his fault 16 of those 17 shots haven’t gone in.
Jarome Iginla, Los Angeles Kings
Iginla seems rejuvenated in L.A. His net-front presence is just one reason why the Kings rate as the third-best power play in the league since the trade deadline. L.A. acquired him to win their way into the playoffs, and that Iginla overtime goal was three points well-spent.
But he can’t save them. The Kings are 4-3-1 since the deadline with an 11 percent chance of making the playoffs.
David Desharnais, Edmonton Oilers
Another under-the-radar move paying off for a playoff team. The small, skilled center is looking more confident a month into his Edmonton career after three points in his last four games. As Desharnais settles into his role, the Oilers will keep reaping benefits.
Alexander Burrows, Ottawa Senators
Considering how the trade for him was lampooned in Ottawa, Burrows had a lot of expectations for a bottom-six forward. To his credit, Burrows has met or exceeded them so far. Since the deadline, only Erik Karlsson and Mike hoffman have more than Burrows’ seven points in 10 games. And most of them were are even-strength.
Jordie Benn, Montreal Canadiens
Canadiens fans already love Benn’s two-way awareness and speed, something under-valued during his time in Dallas. And he has as many goals (two) as Shea Weber since the trade. So that’s good.
Patrick Eaves, Anaheim Ducks
Mainly a win for Anaheim because we can Tweet this whenever Ryan Getzlaf assists on his goals.
THE GENERAL ORDERS THE ARTILLERY STRIKE!— Anaheim Calling (@AnaheimCalling) March 19, 2017
Ben Bishop, Los Angeles Kings
L.A’s trade for Bishop seems like a foolish waste of assets now. Not only is Jonathan Quick healthy enough to play full-time, but he’s playing at Jonathan Quick levels (4-1-0, .924 SV%, 1.89 GAA).
Meanwhile, Bishop has floundered. The former Lightning netminder is winless in three appearances with a dismal .884 save percentage and a goals against average creeping into the dreaded plus-3.00 range. The Kings neither need him or want to use him right now.
P.A. Parenteau, Nashville Predators
Missed most of the month with injuries and was invisible in the last four games. Nothing to write about here.
Valterri Filppula, Philadelphia Flyers
Since scoring in his Philly debut, Filppula has gone silent. He’s averaging a shot on goal per game, leaves a lot to be desired defensively and hasn’t quite gelled with his teammates. He may help the Flyers next season, but they’ve slipped too far out of the race to benefit from this trade this year.
Jury’s still out
Martin Hanzal, Minnesota Wild
An illness knocked him out for a week. The Wild are spiraling in a slump and could use him in the lineup more regularly.
Jannik Hansen, San Jose Sharks
The poor guy had visa issues that kept him from joining the Sharks for about a week. In the six games since, Hansen has just one point and five shots on goal. We’re willing to give this a little more time to play out before rendering a verdict. Besides, Hansen is more suited to a checking-line role, anyway.
Brendan Smith, New York Rangers
Smith is a puck-mover without much flash or pizazz. So far, he’s provided solid play in his own end without costly mistakes. His performance in the playoffs will be the true test of this trade.
Kevin Shattenkirk, Washington Capitals
Whatever instant power play chemistry we expected with Shattenkirk’s arrival in D.C. hasn’t materialized. That two-game suspension halted a four-game points streak. Since then Shattenkirk hasn’t registered a point.
But he’s generating a ton of shots and scoring chances. It’s only a matter of time for Shattenkirk to click with his new team. Washington hopes it happens in time for the playoffs.
Mark Streit, Pittsburgh Penguins
The veteran caught whatever injury bug is plaguing the Penguins’ blue line these days. But when given power play time he’s been effective (four points in nine games). If he stays healthy he could make a real difference come playoff time.