Nichols' Notes

Nichols’ Notes: Canucks May Cash In Markstrom Chip

Nichols’ Notes: Canucks May Cash In Markstrom Chip
Chris Nichols

Jacob Markstrom may well end up being the goaltending asset that the Vancouver Canucks auction off this off-season, particularly if they’re able to convince free agent Matt O’Connor to sign with the organization.

“Markstrom had a good year for us and we expect him to have a real good playoff in Utica, and then we’re going to have to sit down as an organization and decide which direction we go,” GM Jim Benning said. “We’ll have a good asset there in whatever way we decide to go, and that’s probably an area where we could recapture a draft pick. O’Connor has been to our development camp and we would like to try and sign him.”

Source: Kuzma/ Province

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Another goaltender who will at least continue to see trade rumors attached to his name is Boston Bruins prospect Malcolm Subban, who recently turned in a stellar 46-save triple overtime performance in Game 3 of Providence’s series.

His game, he feels, continues to show strides.

“I feel like I’ve improved a lot from last year,” Subban said. “I feel like I’m more poised in the net, more controlled, just more mature, and experience obviously helps a lot. So I feel like I’ve had a better year than last year, and I’m only getting better, and I feel like I’ve definitely improved a lot.”

Source: Isner/ Bruins’ site

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Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi will do their best to shut down Alex Ovechkin in the second round.

McDonagh broke down how the defensive coverage can work.

“He likes to make that move where he carries it in and makes a move to his forehand,” McDonagh said. “If anything, you want to try and support Dan in the aspect of maybe trying to take that ice away from him. If there’s a two-on-two situation or a one-on-two situation, he likes to get ahead of his guy sometimes. So if I can recognize that and it’s kind of them two on an island, hopefully I can come over and kind of cut that ice out for him so maybe he’s forced to go to his backhand or shoot it before he makes that move.”

Source: Cyrgalis/ Post

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Tom Wilson is still fielding questions about his hit on Lubomir Visnovsky, including having to answer to a column calling him a ‘predator.’

“They can write whatever they want, it really has no affect on me at all,” Wilson said.

“I don’t know what his goal is to write an article like that. He’s coming at me pretty hard, I guess. But at the end of the day, it’s my game. I’m playing hard and I would never want to hurt anyone. That’s never my goal. My goal is just to win the hockey game, get in on the defense and make their lives difficult.”

Source: Gormley/ CSN

Source: Brooks/ Post

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Pretty incredible back story outlining Scott Darling’s ascension to the NHL, something which is not lost on the Chicago Blackhawks goaltender himself.

“Now that I look back on the situation it’s like, ‘Holy crap,'” Darling said. “I don’t want people to think I’m cocky, but it meant a lot for me to be able to step up and answer the bell. To go from searching for a job in the minor leagues to playing in your home city for your favorite team with the weight of the city on you and then performing? It just meant so much.”

Source: Drehs/ ESPN

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Marc Bergevin on the importance of simply being yourself:

“You have to be yourself, if you try to be someone you’re not, the players will pick up on it,” he said. “When I played in the NHL, I was on a team where the head coach was a real taskmaster and the assistant coach was a nice guy, he was what you might call the ‘good cop.’

“Then our coach got fired and the assistant coach was in charge. He tried to become the bad cop, the tough coach, but we know that wasn’t him. The players felt that and it didn’t work out.

“I can’t be someone I’m not. … I’ll never change, the day it doesn’t work out with me, someone will take my place because I won’t change.”

Source: Curtis/ Gazette

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One thing on Thomas Vanek’s mind during these playoffs is improving on how he fared with the Montreal Canadiens last season, when he was playing for his third team of the campaign.

“Last year was tough for me,” Vanek admitted. “I got there at the deadline and found my niche early on and got away from that. I think you bring that experience of playing a little bit less and make sure you’re sharp, where last year I don’t think I was as good as this when my ice time was a little bit limited.

“I wasn’t as good as I should’ve been, but I’ve learned a lot from that series.”

Source: Graff/ Pioneer Press

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Devan Dubnyk on his playoff beard:

“Are you impressed with what’s on my face right now? I don’t think anyone’s impressed with what’s on my face. I’m enjoying it. It can just keep getting greasier.”

Source: Russo/ Star Tribune

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Matt Stajan may not get as much press as some of the Calgary Flames, but everyone on that team knows his worth to the organization.

“If you ask every single guy in this room right now, we have known his value since Day 1,” said Joe Colborne.

“The stuff he does off the ice for the rest of the team, you can’t put a value on it.

“He’s a glue guy. He keeps everyone together. He’s so good at bringing young guys into the group and connecting with everybody, whether it’s the trainers or the new guys. In my opinion, he’s been playing the best hockey I’ve seen him play in the past couple of months and it’s nice to see him finally getting some credit for it, outside of this room, because we all know how much he deserves it and how much he works behind the scenes and under the radar.”

Source: Duhatschek/ Globe and Mail

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Luke Richardson is ready to see what’s available on the NHL coaching front, but doesn’t see it as a slam dunk that something will materialize for him.

“Maybe I will get some interviews, but it doesn’t mean there will be job offers,” Richardson said. “Maybe there will be some feelers to see if I want to be an assistant coach. And if that’s the case, it’s an easy answer. I’m not interviewing for that. I enjoyed my time as a part-time assistant coach in Ottawa, but I knew at the end of that time, I wanted to be a head coach.”

Source: Warren/ Citizen

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UFA-to-be Barret Jackman may or may not be back with the St. Louis Blues next season, but the veteran feels good about the state of his game.

“I have lots left in me,” Jackman said. “I don’t know, four or five years. I take care of myself away from the rink. The body’s the best it’s felt in years. This is actually the best I’ve felt in years health-wise. I don’t see myself as a 40-year-old playing the game, but I’m still only 34 and feel like I’ve got lots left. I’ll continue playing.”

Source: Rutherford/ Post-Dispatch

Nichols' Notes
Chris Nichols

Chris has written about both hockey and fantasy hockey for a number of media outlets over the last 14 years, including a combined decade with Sportsnet.ca and ESPN.com. He launched NicholsOnHockey.com in February of 2014. An aversion to wearing socks sparked a move from his hometown of Edmonton to San Diego, California in the mid-'90s, and the Oilers have not won a Cup in his absence.

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