Yesterday, it was Victor Hedman’s turn to take his parents to see the teacher and get his player grades from the season that was. This year there were no surprises from the star pupil, which isn’t a problem, per se, but it was just ordinarily special. Know what I mean? [Raw Charge]
Every time we do player grades, the question always comes up of what do you use for the scale. The answer is always “it’s up to you.” So for me, I try to look at a player from what I expected of the player before the season and how they stacked up to that. It means that a player that did exactly what I expected them to do earns a C from me. And even then, I still admit some biases come into play when I’m writing down my grades for players.
This was really cool. Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Louis Domingue invited several artists, kids, who are battling cancer as a thank you for helping him create his Hockey Fights Cancer mask. They got commemorative gifts and took pictures and it was just a whole bunch of love.
Let’s also take “Not Today, Satan” for 500, Alex.
I’ll take “Things I will never read” for 2000, Alex https://t.co/9S0TPJzbu7— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) May 23, 2019
The Bolts at the World Championships
The Bolts are doing well at the World Championships. Nikita Kucherov, Andrei Vasilevskiy and co. have yet to drop a game. They will now play Finland, who knocked out Sweden in the quarterfinals. [Raw Charge]
Anthony Cirelli finished the group stage with 4 (3+1) points and has been effective for his team. Mathieu Joseph has 2 points so far, playing mostly on the fourth line.
Mikhail Sergachev with a rocket! It's 2:0 Russia. 2nd point for Segachev and Gusev early on in the game! #IIHFWorlds #GoBolts #VegasBorn pic.twitter.com/IP2HJTmY4w— Aivis Kalniņš (@A_Kalnins) May 23, 2019
Vasy gave a post-game interview after their 4-3 win over the USA in the quarterfinals. His answer for beating them was adorably simple. [English Russian Federation Website]
Yes, the opponents are very strong, and it was a tense game. The most important thing is that we won. How did we beat the Americans? We scored more goals. This was one of the toughest matches at this competition, but the most important games are ahead of us. We have to forget about this victory and look forward. Was I nervous in the closing stages? I simply tried to play my game. The guys did a great job, especially taking into account the strength of the opponents.
He’s not a Bolt (yet?) but Evgeny Kuznetsov is a pure and wholesome human being.
look at our extremely wholesome boi pic.twitter.com/72JjBDFZhE— summertime sporpness (@OVECHKlN) May 23, 2019
We got two coaching hires yesterday. First, DJ Smith has moved from Toronto to Ottawa after agreeing with Eugene Melnyk and the Senators to be their new head coach. [Silver Seven Sens]
Smith has spent the last four years in Toronto as an assistant under Mike Babcock, responsible for the defence and penalty kill according to Behind the Benches. Prior to that he was head coach for the Oshawa Generals for three years, a stint that included OHL Coach of the Year honours in 2013-14, and a Memorial Cup win in 2014-15 and an overall 135-53-3-13 record. He also spent six years behind the bench of his hometown Windsor Spitfires as an assistant.
Hours later, the Maple Leafs announced that they have replaced Smith’s colleague Jim Hiller, who oversaw the offense and power play in Toronto, with former Florida Panthers assistant coach Paul McFarland. Smith was in charge of the defense in Toronto and all signs point to AHL coach Sheldon Keefe getting his job once the Marlies finish their Calder Cup playoff run one way or another. [Pension Plan Puppets]
McFarland, who ran the power play on the Panthers, comes to a Leafs team that had an excellent power play by shot metrics, but disappointed people when judged by success percentage. The Panthers power play was second to Tampa last year with a 27% success percentage, while the Leafs were at 22% in eighth place. Florida had 58 more power play opportunities over the Leafs as well.
The press release from when Paul McFarland (33) was hired by Florida. Considered intelligent and relatable to young players, has a degree from Acadia University, and has his own award named after him there (wow) #Leafs https://t.co/6P3yjjQNKK— Hardev Lad (@HardevLad) May 23, 2019
There are rumors swirling everywhere that the Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota Wild are about to make a massive trade involving Phil Kessel, Jason Zucker, and Jack Johnson. The deal might die if Kessel, a Wisconsin native, refuses to waive his no-trade clause.
Penguins, #mnwild in trade talks surrounding Phil Kessel. @JoshYohe_PGH has confirmed what I reported Tuesday about potential Jason Zucker-Victor Rask for Kessel-Jack Johnson swap. Lots of details in this story + other possible landing spots for Zuckerhttps://t.co/TOM2dZhbQk— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) May 23, 2019
Achariya: Do we want Radko Gudas?
With the above in mind, it’s easy to see that Fletcher’s easiest path to putting his stamp and/or improving the Flyers going into next season will be via the trade market. While there are plenty of players across the league that should be available via trade, and Jason has looked all around the league at those, Fletcher also has some players on his roster that could very well be on the trade block themselves. First up was Shayne Gostisbehere, next was Jakub Voracek. Now it’s time to return to the defense and take a look at Radko Gudas.
Highlight of the Night: the Boston Bruins got bored of waiting for the Stanley Cup Finals so they played a scrimmage in front of a packed house at TD Garden. Brad Marchand ended up getting hurt in the game.
Brad Marchand actually did just come off the ice holding his left hand/wrist.— Amalie Benjamin (@AmalieBenjamin) May 23, 2019
(This one isn't a joke.)