From Nick Parsons
Detroit had been on the ropes for February with an injured defence and poor clutch goalkeeping. They picked up Brad Stuart, the third overall pick in 1998, a player now no better than a third-pair defenceman. When all the pieces are back the Red Wings will win the Presidents Trophy.
Dallas made one of the splashes of the trade deadline. A good scoring team with a decent power play picked up a scoring centre. There will be more goals to come for the Stars. They may become one of the NHLs more exciting teams if theyre not careful. Im expecting them to go on a rampage here.
San Jose Sharks might perk up too. They brought in Campbell to run a power play ranked seventh in the Western Conference. His success should translate directly into wins. Their penalty killing is good. The only other big problem is the lousy effort theyre getting out of Patrick Marleau. Campbells better offensive play could help here too.
Oddly, the Northwest Division, locked in a tight fight all season, did little at the deadline. Except for the Colorado Avalanche. They picked up spark plug Adam Foote and strong defenceman Ruslan Salei. With Joe Sakic returning after months of injury it is as if the Avalanche added three stalwarts to their roster. This team also seems poised to make a run at the number three seed. If so then Nashville, the sinking Vancouver Canucks, and Phoenix Coyotes may be left to scrap for eighth place.
Ignoring standings, for me the four teams in the East which will win most in this closing stages of the season are: New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, and Washington. The four in the West could be: Anaheim, Colorado, Dallas, and Detroit.