Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith has turned his season around over the past six weeks, posting a 2.18 GAA along with a .933 SV% in six appearances. In doing so, Mike DeFabo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggests that the netminder has done enough for the team to focus on other upgrades at the trade deadline, especially with the list of affordable veteran upgrades being relatively short. Pittsburgh is currently well into LTIR with winger Jason Zucker set to be back before the end of the season – he resumed skating today, per Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – so they’re not really able to use his freed-up space at the deadline. With limited resources, GM Ron Hextall may be better off trying to upgrade a regular depth spot in the lineup over DeSmith, a player who shouldn’t see much (if any) playing time when the playoffs roll around.
More from the Eastern Conference:
- Sabres winger Alex Tuch left today’s game against Los Angeles after crashing into the post. Fortunately, following the game, head coach Don Granato told reporters, including Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News (Twitter link) that the post-game testing was “as positive as it can be”. Tuch has certainly impressed after being acquired from Vegas and has collected seven goals and 16 assists in 25 games with Buffalo this season.
- While the Rangers have been perceived as a team that has some quality trade assets, Newsday’s Colin Stephenson questions how many of those can realistically be moved. The situation between Russia and Ukraine raises questions about whether or not a team will be able to get Vitali Kravtsov out of Russia if they were to trade for him while some of their younger roster players that could move in the right trade – such as goalie Alexandar Georgiev and even forward Filip Chytil – have been inconsistent. Even with those questions, GM Chris Drury still has ample prospect capital to deal from over the next couple of weeks if he wants to add some players to help New York for the playoffs.
- The Senators have placed goaltender Matt Murray on injured reserve, CapFriendly reports (Twitter link). He had a tough outing against Arizona on Saturday, allowing all eight goals but played the full game. Anton Forsberg will take over as Ottawa’s starter for the time being while Filip Gustavsson was brought up from AHL Belleville earlier today. Forsberg has been speculated as a possible trade candidate but if Murray is out for an extended period of time, that could change.