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Stafford Hockey Club • View topic - Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty
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Postby officialsbaseball » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:52 am
ST. PAUL , Minn. (AP) The Minnesota Wild skated to the NHL trade deadline in an enviable position, on track for the playoffs with their lineup almost intact again.Though the top two teams in the daunting Central Division bolstered their rosters on the last day for dealing of the season, the Wild weren’t worried. They’ve won four straight games to surge into fourth place in the Western Conference.”I like what we have and the way we’re playing,” coach Bruce Boudreau said on Monday, about two hours before the trade deadline. ”Obviously to get into the playoffs and to go anywhere, we have to play better.”That’s essentially what they’ve done, though, after stumbling through their first 20 games. They’re 26-12-4 since Nov. 9 , and 10 of their next 11 games are against teams currently below the cut for the postseason.”We’re showing that we’re sticking to the game plan,” center Matt Cullen said. ”Early in the year, we may have changed things up a little bit if things weren’t going our way and find ourselves in trouble and dig a hole, but I think it’s been pretty good here lately.”Nashville acquired left wing Ryan Hartman from Chicago and re-signed center Mike Fisher for the stretch run. Winnipeg landed center Paul Stastny in a surprising swap with suddenly skidding St. Louis. The only move the Wild made on Monday was to trade defenseman Mike Reilly to Montreal for a fifth-round draft pick.”I don’t let it bother me,” Boudreau said. ”I’ve always believed if we do the right things, then usually good things happen. I’ve been on both sides.”They’re expecting defenseman Jonas Brodin back from a broken left hand this week, and their forward depth has been sound enough that they let right wing Chris Stewart go in a waiver claim by Calgary. That gives the Wild some more space under the salary cap for future maneuvering.”We pretty well knew he was going to get picked up,” Boudreau said. ”He’s too good a person , too good a teammate for nothing to happen to him.”The Wild, who host the Blues on Tuesday, have displayed an invaluable ability to rally lately. They turned a 2-0 deficit in the final minute of the second period against San Jose on Sunday into a 3-2 overtime victory . They trailed 2-0 at New Jersey on Thursday and charged back to win 4-2.”Lately, we’re getting that feeling that we’re never out of it,” goalie Devan Dubnyk said. ”That’s an important one to have.”Even more critical than this late-season resilience has been the productivity of these victories. Sometimes teams can get hot and still go nowhere in the standings, but the Wild have timed their streak well against slumps by some of their closest Western Conference competitors.”It’s a good sign for us, but it’s still going to be tight,” left wing Zach Parise said. ”We all know there’s not a lot of points separating the teams , so we’ve got to keep improving and worry about ourselves. You don’t want to find yourselves in a spot where you have to scoreboard watch.”— The San Jose Sharks are hoping for a better all-around performance when they hit the road for the first time this season to play the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Friday night.The Sharks (0-1-0) lost 5-2 against the Anaheim Ducks in the season opener for both teams on Wednesday night in San Jose.Sharks goalie Martin Jones stopped just 10 of 14 shots before the Ducks scored a late empty-netter to seal the win. San Jose also went 0-for-3 on the power play, and gave up two power play goals on the other end.Article continues below ...“The power play’s about confidence and obviously we struggled in preseason and didn’t look sharp tonight,” San Jose coach Peter DeBoer told the San Jose Mercury News afterward. “We’ve got to get some practice time, we’ve got to spend a little time on video. but special teams and goaltending are huge parts of the game and we lost those two battles. When that happens, you’re probably not going to win a lot of games.”The Kings will open their season without right winger Dustin Brown, who finished second on the team in goals (28) and points (61) last season. Brown sustained a broken finger in the final preseason game Saturday against the Ducks and is out indefinitely.“It’s not good to lose one of your top guys,” Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty told The Athletic. “Brownie is a guy that is very, very hard to replace. Both in the room and on the ice.”San Jose welcomed back one of its leaders on Wednesday night.Joe Thornton played his first game since Jan. 23. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee two days later and missed the rest of the regular season and playoffs.Thornton , 39, played 17:42 against the Ducks with one shot on goal and two penalty minutes.“That’s the best I’ve seen (Thornton) moving since training camp and exhibition,” DeBoer told reporters afterward. “I thought tonight he had some decent legs.”Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson will make his first appearance at Staples Center since Dec. 7, when he was still a member of the Ottawa Senators.Karlsson, one of the NHL’s top defensemen who led the league in assists with 66 in 2015-16, was traded to San Jose on Sept. 13 in a deal that sent two players, two prospects and San Jose’s 2020 first-round draft pick to Ottawa.Karlsson wasn’t much of a factor in his team debut on Wednesday. He had a team-high four takeaways, but was also the only player to finish at minus-2.“I think as the game went on , just like everybody else, it felt a little more comfortable,” Karlsson told the Mercury News. “A little bit shaky in the beginning, pucks were bouncing here and there and you’re overthinking stuff, but (as) the game went along, I think not only me but everybody else started to feel a little bit more comfortable.”
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