Here is the May 5 edition of the Mailbag. Each week, an NHL.com editor will answer your questions using #OvertheBoards.
I believe we’ll see the Blackhawks center next season after missing this one with a medical issue. Part of that is that I’m an eternal optimist and part of that comes from TSN reporting on April 21 that, if things continued to progress well, Toews would play in 2021-2022.
Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton was asked about the report the next day.
“I mean, I have nothing new to report,” Colliton said. “We hope he is and it is obvious that he is part of our team and we miss him. But there is still a lot of time, so we will be patient. “
As for their greater need for rostering, I lean towards the defender. Brent Seabrook it’s playing hockey. Duncan Keith turns 38 on July 16. Calvin de Haan He’s been fine when he’s played, but he’s had his fair share of injuries. Nikita Zadorov could become a restricted free agent after this season, so who knows if the Blackhawks are re-signing him. Connor Murphy has been very good, and Chicago needs another player like him to bridge the gap between a veteran like Keith and young defenders like Nicolas beaudin, 21, Ian Mitchell, 22 and Wyatt Kalynuk, 24.
I’m not ready to say they need a goalie yet. They allow 33.2 shots per game, tied for 29th in the NHL. They have to fight this first.
Which team that will likely miss the Stanley Cup playoffs this season will be playing for the Cup in two or three years? Which team has a strong and bright future with their farm system and recent draft picks? – @Theashcity
I’m leaving with the New York Rangers, and it could happen as early as next season. While I understand the angst of Rangers fans who thought they would be participating this season, the MassMutual East division has been tough.
Back to my crystal ball (or in my case, a magic eight ball). I think there will be growth for Alexis Lafreniere, the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft who has scored 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in 53 games this season. The same goes for the defender K’Andre Miller (11 points; four goals, seven assists in 50 games), the 22nd pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. I think Kaapo Kakko, the second pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, will have better numbers than the 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) he has scored in 46 games this season. Coming up to Nils Lundkvist, the 28th pick in the 2018 draft who won the Salming Trophy this season as the best defenseman in the Swedish Hockey League.
Players who gain more experience in the NHL will complement what the Rangers already have. Before Artemi Panarin is a formidable playmaker and will remain so for many seasons to come. Adam Fox is a candidate for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman in his second season at 23. Fox and Ryan Lindgren combine for a strong upper defense pair. Before Mika Zibanejad is approaching 50 points in this shortened season after scoring at least 74 each of the past two seasons. They are good with the keepers Igor Shesterkin (15-13-3, 2.53 goals against average, .918 save percentage, two shutouts in 33 games, 30 starts) and Alexandar Georgiev (8-6-2, 2.69 GAA, .905 save percentage, two shutouts in 18 games, 17 starts).
The (near) future looks bright in New York.
Video: WSH @ NYR: Kakko buries Lafrenière’s dish
With six games left for the Calgary Flames and they likely won’t make the playoffs, would you see them making any big changes in the offseason? – @ SamRitter8
I was asked in November about Johnny Gaudreauthe future with the Flames, and at the time I thought he was going to bounce back. He started the season scoring 11 points (six goals, five assists) in his first 11 games, and he was productive down the home stretch. He’s on a seven-game scoring streak (eight points; three goals, five assists) and has 39 points (18 goals, 21 assists) in 50 games. Maybe it’s time for the Flames to see what they can get for the 27-year-old forward.
Gaudreau has one more season on the six-year contract he signed on October 10, 2016. The Flames would have some strengths, and maybe Gaudreau would benefit from the change of scenery.
Calgary hasn’t moved past the Western Conference first round since a six-game win over the Vancouver Canucks in 2015. It has some work to do in the offseason, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Gaudreau did. part of the changes.
Video: MTL @ CGY: Gaudreau tears the top shelf of the puck at the end of the 1st
Is getting the seed in the West more important to the Colorado Avalanche or the Vegas Golden Knights? – @adamsteinhouse
It’s important for every team and it’s going to be fun watching them fight to the end to get there. The Golden Knights are the first in the eight-team Honda West Division, two points ahead of the one-game Avalanche.
Vegas Defender Brayden McNabb April 30 said: “Our job is not done. We want to be in first place, and we have work ahead of us. “
On Monday, coach Peter DeBoer spoke about the final games of the regular season, given how important winning the West is to them.
“We’re in playoff mode here right now,” DeBoer said. “We want to make sure our game is in the right place against good teams, and this is the stage where we can make sure that is the case. The wins and points will take care of themselves if we take care of them. “
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar was asked on April 21 that the Golden Knights were gaining ground on them after Colorado postponed three games due to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. He said he hadn’t looked at the standings in months and didn’t care until the end of the season.
We’re almost there, and the Avalanche, who have played four of their last six road games, want the top spot.
“We’re trying to get on the leaderboard and catch Vegas,” Bednar said Monday. “These are important games, so we’re here to win them all if we can. “