Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson is looking forward to focusing simply on playing hockey now that the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline has passed and talk about him being traded put to rest, at least until after the season.
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The two-time Norris Memorial Trophy winner paces the Senators and ranks fourth in the league with 26:19 of time on ice.
When it became clear that Erik Karlsson would not be dealt at the deadline, McDonagh became the prize jewel on the blue line and Steve Yzerman, the Lightning GM, got creative and aggressive to get his man.
The Lightning, the top team in the Eastern Conference, has bolstered a defense that already featured Victor Hedman, a candidate for the Norris Trophy this season, and the always reliable Anton Stralman, also a former Rangers player.
Among the top players whose names figured prominently in pre-deadline discussions but who stayed home was Erik Karlsson, which just means we’ll have almost four months of speculation about where Karlsson will go wholesale nhl jerseys before the draft in Dallas.
As he arrived at his office at Amalie Arena on Monday morning, Yzerman had no idea what would transpire as the clock clicked down to the 3 p.m. ET deadline. He’d kicked the tires on several defensemen, including Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators and Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers.
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The Stars have had a tendency to put themselves in unenviable positions with penalties, like Antoine Roussel earning an instigator penalty off the opening faceoff Saturday that led to a St. Louis 5-on-3 when Lindell took a delay of game penalty shortly after. Ritchie also negated what would have been a Dallas power play by driving a Blues player in to the St. Louis net on the delayed penalty time. And so on.
It’s also hard to fault Lehtonen on the overtime winner by Erik Karlsson, who went in on a breakaway after John Klingberg tried to make a pass instead of shooting after a series of nice moves in the Ottawa zone.
Yzerman acknowledged that he had discussions with the Senators concerning Karlsson, but the sides could not come to a resolution.
The Golden Knights, 4-1-0 in their past five games and 8-4-0 in their past 12, lead the Nashville Predators by one point for the top record in the Western Conference, and with a win would pass the Tampa Bay Lightning for the best record in the League. Vegas trails Tampa Bay by one point.
In the first minute of the second period, the Caps doubled their lead. Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson attempted a long pass from his own end to the far side of the red line, but newly acquired Caps defensean Michal Kempny read it perfectly, smacking the puck off the stick of the intended receiver and fueling a transition play.
“Look, I can’t waste any time on it. We picked up some more injuries and we’ve got to move along quick,” Hitchcock said. “We got a point, and we tried everything we could to get the focus where it was. But some guys were good, and some guys struggled. If it’s a lesson learned for them, great. But right now, it’s a point and we’ve got to move on.”
So he comes back from his Achilles injury, then he injures the ankle. It’s compounded by the screws and nuts and bolts they put in there; in my estimation, he might not be completely and fully back to the Erik Karlsson we all know until maybe this time next year. That’s when I expect him to have that step and that jump he’s known for.
Captain Erik Karlsson has dished out a team-high 41 assists, which ranks third among NHL defensemen. Bobby Ryan, who notched three points vs. Vegas, needs just three more to reach 500 for his NHL career. Look for Mike Condon to start in goal after Craig Anderson allowed four goals on 29 shots vs. Vegas.