Miller, Luongo among players making immediate impact with new teams
By Amy Lilek
The dust has settled from the NHL trade deadline and now it’s time for teams to get down to business as the playoffs approach. But first, let’s take a look at some of the more notable traded players in their fresh starts with their new teams.
2GP, 0-1-1, +1, 6 SOG, 5 hits
Callahan showed some early chemistry with new linemates Valtteri Filppula and Nikita Kucherov in his first game with the Bolts, and found his way onto the scoresheet in his second with an assist on Mark Barberio's first-period goal against Boston. Martin St. Louis might be the main focus of this trade, but Callahan already looks to be a strong addition for the Lightning in his place.
1 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 3 shots, 16:38 ice time
New teammate Anze Kopitar was trying hard to show his new linemate some hospitality, but Gaborik was unable to find the back of the net in his debut. The pair showed plenty of chemistry along with Justin Williams on the King’s top line, and looks like he can help make a dangerous team even more threatening in the playoffs.
2GP, 0-3-3, +2, 3 shots, 3 hits
After a bit of a slow start in his debut, Hemsky showed why he was such a coveted player at the trade deadline. Hemsky had 3 assists in his second game with the Senators, tying his career high. He's been partnered with Milan Michalek and Jason Spezza on Ottawa's top line, and it's already paying off.
1 GP, 1-0-0, 1.000 SV%, 0.00 GAA
Luongo's 25 save shutout was his first in a Panthers uniform since April 18, 2006, and was a welcome sight to Florida fans, who witnessed the team's first blanking in over 120 regular season games.
4GP, 4-0-0, 1.50 GAA, .933 SV%
St. Louis was already considered a Cup-contender this season, but the Blues proved they're all in by acquiring Miller. He won his first game in a St. Louis sweater, making 23 saves on 25 shot and has gone on to win his next three games, giving up just six goals in that span. The returns are coming in early, but how far can Miller carry the Blues in the postseason?
David Legwand - Red Wings
2GP, 1-2-3, Even, 5 shots, 51.5% face-offs
Legwand, a Michigan native, had a rough go of it in his Detroit homecoming, going -2 and a sub par 7-for-19 in the face off dot. He was originally awarded an assist on Tomas Jurco's goal against the Avalanche, but it was later taken away. The following night, Legwand took advantage of a struggling Devils team to the tune of a goal and two assists, combining with linemates Johan Franzen and Gustav Nyquist for four goals and 11 points on the evening.
2GP, 0-0-0, -1, 4 shots
Vanek seemed to be the steal of the trade deadline with Montreal sweeping in at the last minute to get the forward on the cheap. Two games into his tenure with the Habs, he's managed just four shots but yet to find the scoresheet.
2GP, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 0 shots
Despite getting a shot to ride on the Penguins' top line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz, Stempniak has been transparent with his new team. While building chemistry can take a while, Pittsburgh has plenty of offensive firepower and the team's new forward could be a key piece for Pittsbugh come playoff time.
1GP, 1-0-0, .939 SV%, 2.00 GAA
It was a busy trade deadline for Halak, first being sent to Buffalo in the deal that saw Ryan Miller and Steve Ott go to St. Louis, only to be traded a few days later to the Washington Capitals. None of that seemed to affect Halak, as he made 31 saves on 33 shots, allow his new teammates to rally for 3-2 win.
Tim Thomas - Dallas
1GP 1-0-0, 1.000Sv%, 0.00 GAA
After the news broke that Roberto Luongo was traded to Florida, many people were looking forward to a goaltending duo of Luongo and Thomas. Unfortunately, it was over before it began, as Thomas was traded to the Dallas Stars the very next day. Thomas made his Stars debut as replacement for injured starter Kari Lehtonen in the third period of the Dallas' 4-3 win over the Wild. Thomas got the win as he made six saves in just over 13 minutes of ice time.
Tuomo Ruutu - Devils
2GP, 1-1-2, +2, 2 PIM, 6 shots, 4 hits Ruutu received a harsh welcome to the Devils, who dropped a 7-4 decision to the Red Wings. His second time out with New Jersey went a bit better: facing off against the Hurricanes - his old team - Ruutu had a nice assist on Travis Zajac's goal in the first, and scored the game-winning goal late in the third.. Success may not always be instant for newly traded players, but Ruutu is already helping his new team to victory.