We were riddled with big moves last week and now we have had a chance to see a couple of games from the fallout of those transactions. Let's take a look at some of the teams with recent changes and what has happened so far.
Columbus Blue Jackets…Fired Coach Ken Hitchcock
– Kristian Huselius saw at least 17 minutes in each of the final three games coached by Hitchcock. Under Claude Noel he has seen 15:12 and 15:59. May not mean anything, or it may mean that Noel feels less pressure to play the big salary. Huselius did play on the top line with Rick Nash and Antoine Vermette still.
– Steve Mason is 2-0-0, 0.50 and 0.980 under Noel. It's early, but he seems to have found his mojo again.
– Is the team just slapping Hitchcock in the face? Philadelphia did this too – after a year or two, Hitchcock seems to be completely ineffective. They don't play for him – in this case it was particularly stubborn given that the team just continued to lose games weeks after they were under so much pressure for losing games.
– Other line combos: Derrick Brassard with Raffi Torres and Jakub Voracek; R. J. Umberger with Michael Blunden and Samuel Pahlsson. Brassard needs to do better than one point in two games if he's going to hold off Umberger from taking his spot.
– Despite being on the third line, Umberger has three points in two games. He had eight in nine before that, so he’s had a hot stick anyway. If Brassard turns things around – and he'll have every opportunity to do so – than Umberger will hit a wall eventually. Pahlsson and Blunden can't help a guy maintain a hot stick for long.
– Anton Stralman has two points and is a plus-2 under the new coach, averaging 19 minutes in ice time.
Calgary Flames… acquired Chris Higgins, Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Jamal Mayers, Ian White and Ales Kotalik
– Coach Sutter is still keeping Stajan on a line with Iginla and Hagman. They have looked fairly good out there, but pucks in general haven't been going in for this team. Stajan has a point in four games with his new team, which is a disappointing start. I'd give it two more games before getting worried. He saw over 22 minutes last game.
– Hagman also has a point in four games. I don't think Sutter is attached to having Hagman on that line. Just my gut talking.
– Same ol' same ol' for Higgins. Seeing 17 minutes of ice time in a second-line role and putting up goos