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  1. Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled defenseman Frank Corrado from the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford. Defenseman Justin Schultz has been placed on injured reserve. Corrado, 24, has skated in six games with WBS this year, tallying two points 1G 1A . He has also compiled a plus 4 that ranks second on the club. A 6 foot, 205 pound Toronto, Ontario native Carter Rowney Jersey, Corrado saw action in two games with the Penguins during last year s regular season after being acquired at the trading deadline in a deal from the Toronto Maple Leafs that sent Eric Fehr and Steve Oleksy to the Leafs. Corrado skated with Pittsburgh s Black Aces practice squad during the final rounds of the Penguins Stanley Cup run. Originally a fifth round 150th overall selection by the Vancouver Canucks back in the 2011 NHL Draft, Corrado has appeared in a total of 71 career NHL games with Vancouver, Toronto and Pittsburgh, producing eight points 3G 5A . Corrado broke into the NHL as a 20 year old with Vancouver in 2013.
  2. The Toronto Maple Leafs made a patchwork fix to their blueline this week with the addition of veteran Roman Polak. The 31 year old was brought in, according to head coach Mike Babcock, to lighten the workload on top four defensemen such as Nikita Zaitsev Mitchell Marner Jersey, who leads the club in average time on ice pulling double duty 5 on 5 and on special teams. In spite of their early success, a major area of concern for the Leafs is their defense corps. Toronto has allowed 36 goals 26th in the NHL , but have a 7 3 0 record after a 6 3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday mostly because their bevy of talented forwards led by Auston Matthews, William Nylander and James van Riemsdyk have scored 43 goals 2nd only to Tampa Bay . Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello continues to keep a watchful eye on the club and remains in contact with other clubs, hoping that he will be able to upgrade the blueline at some point before the February 26th NHL Trade Deadline. . MORE Maple Leafs Frederick Andersen much more comfortable to start year two You have to constantly just get a feel of what’s going on throughout the league, each team and primarily your own.” Lamoriello said on Sportsnet’s Hockey Central earlier this month. “It’s always timing, but you have to be aware of the situation each team might be in.” . Teams traditionally evaluate their own clubs until American Thanksgiving, and then begin to look for solutions outside of their organization to address areas of need. Others will let the season play out to see if they hang in the playoff race before deciding to shop players with expiring contracts or significant term left on their deals. Salary cap ramifications also make it more difficult to swing trades early in the season. Here are six defensemen that potentially could be available that might be considered upgrades by the Maple Leafs.. Chris Tanev Vancouver Canucks The 27 year old Toronto native has two years remaining on a five year, 22.25 Million contract 4.45 Million AAV and rumors of his availability circulated over the summer.. The Canucks started the season with moderate success under new head coach Travis Green, but might be edging towards a rebuild with the aging Sedin twins in their late 30’s. Vancouver is in need of reinforcements up front to add to their future core group of Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat and Jake Virtanen, something that Toronto has the ability to provide.. Tanev was paired with Morgan Rielly on Team Canada at the 2016 World Championships and his more stay at home style perfectly compliments Rielly’s offensive instincts.. Sami Vatanen Anaheim Ducks The Ducks are one of the few teams that could lose a blue chip defensive prospect in Shea Theodore and not bat an eye. GM Bob Murray has locked up Hampus Lindholm, Cam Fowler and Josh Manson in the last 12 months and they have even more quality on the blueline in youngster Brandon Montour, whose entry level contract is up next summer. . Vatanen, 26, has two years left at 4.875 Million AAV and is coming off a serious shoulder injury. Anaheim may be interested in adding offense, after losing Patrick Eaves to Guillian Barre Syndrome this week. Any deal likely happens after Fowler and Vatanen return from injury.. Mike Green Detroit Red Wings Green is an unrestricted free agent next July and will likely be the prize blueline rental of the trade deadline, since the Red Wings are a longshot to make the playoffs.. The 31 year old may not be a good fit for what the Leafs are looking for, since he is offensive minded 11 points in 10 games and not known for being adept in his own end, but Toronto may be one of the few contending teams with the ability to take on most of his 6 Million cap hit and give an aging Detroit club young assets in exchange.. Noah Hanifin Carolina Hurricanes The Hurricanes are the Anaheim Ducks of the Eastern Conference. Carolina is stacked on defense, with veteran Justin Faulk under contract for another two years at 4.83 Million per season and just locked up youngsters Brett Pesce for six years and Jaccob Slavin for seven years.. GM Ron Francis also has first round blueline prospects Haydn Fleury and Jake Bean in the pipeline and Trevor van Riemsdyk up for a new contract next summer. Hanifin will be looking for big money on a long term deal as Pesce and Slavin received, but with Carolina being a budget team, they may use the 2015 fifth overall pick to bolster their offense, which may not be good enough to get them to the post season.. Oliver Ekman Larsson Arizona Coyotes The Coyotes started out 0 8 1 under new head coach Rick Tocchet, likely wasting another season in Ekman Larsson’s prime. The 26 year old’s contract expires at the end of the 2018 19 season and at a certain point, Arizona GM John Chayka may have to deal the All Star defenseman if he is not open to signing an extension next summer. The cost for Ekman Larsson might be prohibitive but if the Leafs are convinced they are a difference making blueliner away from making a legitimate run at the Cup, they may be willing to pay the price. Jacob Trouba Winnipeg Jets Trouba is 23, eligible for arbitration next summer. Based on the previous contract negotiation squabble in 2016, Trouba will likely not agree to anything more than a two year deal, which will take him to unrestricted free agency.. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff faces the prospect of getting a king’s ransom for Trouba, who a club can re sign next summer to a long term extension or keep him and potentially lose him for nothing in 2020.
  3. the number of quality starts the Flyers have received from their two goaltenders through their first 11 games this year. What’s a “quality start”? As defined by Rob Vollman in the 2013 Hockey Abstract via NHLNumbers If the starting goalie stopped at least a league average number of shots, which was typically 91.3 prior to 2009–10 and 91.7 since then, or if he played at least as well as a replacement level goalie 88.5 while allowing two goals or fewer, we defined that as a Quality Start. To summarize if a goalie starts a game and ends it with a single game save percentage that’s higher than the league average save percentage, OR if he gives up two or fewer goals in a game in which he otherwise doesn’t face many shots, he gets a quality start. In layman’s terms, you can kind of use the question of “did the goalie register a quality start?” as a stand in for “did the goalie give his team a good chance to win the game?” or “did the goalie do his part?”. Because in general, if the goalie does an above average job of stopping pucks and/or holds his opponents to two goals or fewer, it’s tough to say he didn’t do his part to get the team a win. And that’s something that both of the Flyers’ goalies have managed to do in most of their games so far this season. In seven starts in the orange and black, Brian Elliott has posted a quality start five times; meanwhile, Michal Neuvirth has done the same in three of his four appearances this October. In sum, that’s eight out of 11 appearances in which you could say that the Flyers’ goalie, by at least one definition, did his job. And that ratio stacks up pretty well to those that most other teams are sporting so far this season Quality Start Percentage By Team In a season where the Flyers are currently 24th in the NHL in team wide save percentage, it’s almost hard to believe they can be towards the top of any sort of goaltending based leaderboard. Of course, this doesn’t tell the whole story of the up and down month that the Flyers have had in net. Nor does it mean that we should expect that things are definitely going to be fine in net going forward. First, to answer the question of “how can our goalies look good by any measure when it seems like they’ve just been so bad so far this season?” because when they don’t look good, they’ve looked really bad. Every time. To introduce another new term to this post, the aptly named “Really Bad Start” can be described as follows via hockey reference Really Bad Starts RBS is another stat coined by Vollman that is awarded whenever a goalie has a save percentage in a game less than 85 . A team only has a 10 chance of winning when the goalie has save percentage that low. So a RBS is what your goalie is given when he ... y’know ... plays really badly. Stopping fewer than 85 percent of your shots means giving up a goal on at least one out of every seven or so shots that you face, which is no way to win a hockey game. It’s also what’s happened to the Flyers in every game where they didn’t register a quality start — all three of them. You probably remember them , but just in case The debacle in Nashville, one that I assume needs no further introduction than that. Elliott gave up six goals on 31 shots that night. This past Tuesday’s loss to Anaheim, in which Elliott again gave up six goals, this time on 25 shots. And last Thursday’s loss in Ottawa, where Neuvirth gave up five goals on 28 shots. Three really bad starts have the Flyers tied for third in the NHL in really bad start count, though six other teams Nashville, Vancouver, Columbus, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Edmonton have also tallied three of these unenviable prizes in the early going. Only Arizona with five and the Rangers four have more. So purely from a “did he stop the puck?” perspective for now, we’ll ignore shot quality against Robert Hagg Jersey, soft goals, etc. , the Flyers’ goalies have either been “solid enough” or “intolerably bad” in every one of the team’s games so far. That makes them somewhat unique among most NHL teams; so far, only one other team Vancouver has notched either a quality start or a really bad start in every game they’ve played. To say that the team has received boom or bust goaltending in October would be pretty accurate. With that all said, if the Flyers’ goalies in particular, Elliott, who is rocking a cool .885 save percentage through seven games can’t do a better job of stopping pucks on the whole their team save percentage of .900 is 24th in the NHL , can we expect them to keep pulling together quality starts? Probably not. NHLNumbers’ DragLikePull found last year that plain old save percentage correlates with future quality start percentage better than actual quality start percentage does, and that over time a player’s quality start percentage tends to more or less line up with his save percentage. In other words, there’s not a real ability to string together quality starts that’s well out of line with a player’s save percentage. Which is to say that, though the Flyers’ goaltending has managed to keep them in most games, that’s not likely to continue if they keep letting the other team score on one out of every 10 shots, the way they have so far. The Flyers’ best chance at staying in games this year by way of their goaltending is to see their overall level of play improve, not to expect that they’ll stay close in three quarters of their games and give up a ton of goals in the other quarter. So, in sum The Flyers’ goalies have managed to keep them in most of their games this year — eight out of their first 11, in fact. That’s a pretty good rate relative to the rest of the league. But in the three games where they weren’t at least solid, they’ve totally bombed, in such ways that make it nearly impossible for the Flyers to win games. All in all, if the Flyers’ goalies namely, Elliott can’t stop more pucks than they have been, chances are they’re not going to continue to keep the Flyers in as many games as they have so far. Got all that? Now let’s hope that Brian Elliott can build off his excellent effort on Saturday in Toronto, and at the same time Michal Neuvirth can prove that his rough game in Ottawa last Thursday was more of an aberration than his otherwise strong start has been.
  4. After a career high 53 points last season, Kreider has just five points in 11 games this season for the Rangers. Chris Kreider has always wowed fans with his powerful wrist shot and blazing speed. The 19th overall pick in the 2009 draft has been one of the Rangers most promising young players for years. Now in his sixth year in the league, Kreider is at a pivotal point in his career and his production now and in the future is vital for the Rangers success. The Kreider Kreider has shown that when he is on, not only can he be one of the most dynamic players on the ice, but he also can be an invaluable piece to the Rangers success. In each of his first five seasons, Kreider has shown improvement. While it may not be the output some expected from the first round pick , the progression has always been there. However, this season, like the Rangers, Kreider has taken a large step back. It isn’t just that his point totals are down, but on the ice he hasn’t been the dominant force Kreider can be. When he is on Steven Kampfer Jersey, his speed, skill and size make him a matchup nightmare. The times when Kreider is able to put all of this together, he is the Rangers biggest weapon. If he isn’t on, not only does it show on his score sheet , but it also shows up in the overall result for the Rangers. RELATED STORY What happens if struggles continue? Sputtering Offense Despite a solid output against the Arizona Coyotes in their most recent game, the Rangers offense has been anemic in 2017 2018. The team was fourth best a season ago in goals per game, but currently sit 25th in the league at just 2.5 goals per game. Kreider is a big reason the team was as successful as they were offensively last season. His 28 goals let the team and Kreider was a reliable goal scorer for the blue shirts. The full blame can’t be put on the Ranger forward this season as no one on the team has fully performed yet. However, there is no doubt that the offense hurts if Kreider isn’t producing up to his potential like this season. If the offense continues to struggle, the Rangers will have bigger problems to worry about than just Kreider’s lack of offense. But if the offense turns it around, Kreider will be a big reason as to why that will happen. RELATED STORY No center for the Rangers The Expectation After 53 points last season, Kreider has a good amount to live up to this year. While he isn’t the only piece to the Rangers offense that needs to step up, he is a main fixture who can provide a considerable amount of offense for New York.