Ramblings: Panthers Producing, Tampa Chasing History, Binnington, Murray, & Couturier (Feb 20)

Cam Robinson

2019-02-20

 

Don’t look now, but the Ducks have won three of their last four games. Two via the shutout including a 4-0 victory over the Wild on Tuesday evening. None of these contests have seen John Gibson, either. Ryan Miller is healthy and providing exactly what’s expected of him: providing legitimate netminding if/when Gibson isn’t in the crease.

 

Anaheim is just three points back of the final Wild Card spot – held by the struggling Wild. This despite boasting a league-worst -50 goal differential.

 

That Pacific Division is yuck.

 

**

Those cats from Minny are trying their darndest to fall out of the playoff picture. They’re 1-6-3 over their past 10 games. They sure appear to miss Mikko Koivu a great deal.

 

**

On the other side of the ledger, the Blues simply refuse to lose. They put their 10-game win streak on the line against the Leafs on Tuesday and despite blowing a 2-0 lead in the third period, came away victorious in overtime off the stick of Ryan O’Reilly.

 

Robert Thomas has been toiling away on the fourth line during even-strength play, but the rookie pivot is beginning to look awfully comfortable on the top power-play unit. He didn’t have any points in this one but he has six in his last seven games.

 

Thomas should be considered a real threat to break out in 2019-20. Keep that one in your back pocket for draft season next fall.

 

Another start for Jordan Binnington and another victory. He hasn’t lost in a full month with 13 of his 15 starts in 2019 have been quality – meaning at or above league average save percentage – around 0.910. 

 

He’s been a key figure in the revolution happening in Missouri these days. The real question is where we peg him as an asset moving forward? Obviously, this type of run will not be sustained. No one can run hot forever. But a 25-year-old who appears capable of leading a playoff-calibre team should be worth some serious action in drafts next season.

 

**

Andreas Johnsson returned to action. He skated 15:27 alongside Nazem Kadri and William Nylander at evens. The Leafs didn’t receive a power plays in this one, but Johnsson was practicing on the left point on the second unit.