The trade deadline has come and gone and now it’s back to the grind. Rick Nash is still a Blue Jacket, Steve Ott is still a Stars, and there’s a new Pacific leader for the first time in months, and that first place position is within reach for every team except the Ducks. In this week’s Around The Pacific, in addition to our usual analysis, we’ll also include the moves the teams have made (or didn’t make) as they prepare for the stretch run to the end of the season.
Since Last Week: 3-0 since last week, winners of five straight, and 9-0-1 in their last ten. The Coyotes continue to look absolutely unstoppable, and they’ve been rewarded with first place in the Pacific Division thanks to the Sharks free fall.
Deadline Moves: The Coyotes made a move prior to the deadline, acquiring Antoine Vermette from the Blue Jackets in exchange for goaltender Curtis McElhinney and draft picks, a solid pick up that adds essential depth to the team. Vermette is considered a perfect fit in Dave Tippet’s system, a multifaceted player who can play different roles on the ice, as well as adding some offensive punch that the Coyotes need. They stayed quiet for the rest of the deadline.
Looking Ahead: The Coyotes begin a three game home stand tomorrow night versus the Vancouver Canucks. The Coyotes obviously felt that they didn’t need to make any other major moves and why should they? This team has been spectacular lately, carried by the play of Mike Smith and the stick of Radim Vrbata. They have the division lead, now they need to keep it.
Continue reading at Blackout Dallas.