Some interesting and unfortunate events have occurred this week in the NHL and we are here to break it all down for you. Stay tuned as we analyze Montreal’s recent acquirement of Eric Staal, what led to Ekblad being out for the remainder of the season, and the Buffalo Sabres losing skid.
Staal Heads North
Another day, another Staal brother traded. After rumblings about the Buffalo Sabres wanting to trade forward Eric Staal, the trade was made official on March 26th in a deal that sent him to Montreal. The official trade is as followed:
“Eric Staal was traded to the Montreal Canadiens by the Buffalo Sabres on Friday for a third-round and a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.”
This is the best atmosphere in the League by far and now to be joining the group and joining the whole city, being a Montreal Canadien, is pretty phenomenal. I’m excited– Eric Staal
Staal recently signed a two year contract, originally with the Minnesota Wild, and is set to become a free agent this upcoming offseason. The 36 year old forward has 10 points so far in 32 games and looks to make a difference with the Montreal Canadiens.
Because of the 7 day quarantine put in place for players traveling over the border, Staal will not be eligible to play with the Canadiens until April 5th. However, Ducharme has yet to comment on whether he will immediately enter the lineup for not.
Ekblad Out for the Season
After a stunning game in which Ekblad scored with 10 seconds left in OT to defeat the Dallas Stars on Saturday, he was struck with a tragic injury just a few games later.
Halfway through the game, Ekblad was hit into the boards and landed awkwardly on his left knee, clutching it with pain as he lay on the ice. As a result, he was taken off the ice in a stretcher and coach Joel Quenneville commented that he would be about for an extensive period of time.
Since that injury, we’ve learned that Ekblad fractured is left leg and is in need of surgery, putting him about for approximately six weeks. Due to the nature of this shortened season, this means he will be about for the remainder of the season.
You lose a guy like [Ekblad] and you know the severity of it, you see it, it’s not an easy game to go through. I thought the guys stayed with it and battled.– Joel Quenneville
Sabres Continues Losing Streak
While being a Buffalo Sabres fan has never been easy, it’s particularly painful as the Sabres are now on an 18 winless game streak.
After going into the third period up 3-0 on Monday against the Philadelphia Flyers, it looked like the Sabres were going to break that winless streak. However, the Flyers managed to climb their way back up in the third period as Provorov scored 42 seconds into OT to solidify the Philadelphia win.
Not really any words, to be honest.– Brandon Montour
While losing skids aren’t uncommon in the NHL, losing (more like not winning, as the Sabres have taken several games past regulation) 18 games in a row should call for some sort of major change within the organization.
We did see the Sabres recently trade Eric Staal to the Canadiens for a couple of draft picks, a sign of rebuilding as they look to gain more picks and strengthen their future, but that’s hardly a major change. Does a coach need to go? Is a block buster trade in order?
As it sits, the Sabres don’t have a chance of making the playoffs, so will they focus solely on their future or will they do what they can to fix their current situation?