Babcock: Leafs torn between keeping, trading Van Riemsdyk

As the NHL trade deadline approaches, there's uncertainty in Toronto as to whether forward James van Riemsdyk will remain with the Maple Leafs for the balance of the regular season and into the playoffs.

The 28-year-old winger can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, and the Leafs have to decide whether to flip him prior to the deadline or hold on and allow him to hit the open market in the offseason.

For head coach Mike Babcock, the situation isn't cut and dry.

"I don't think anything is an easy decision," Babcock said Tuesday after a 1-0 win over Florida in which van Riemsdyk scored the lone goal. "We've talked about this a bunch, you always have this plan but your plan can always change.

"It depends on what people want. There's lots of times you're going through and not planning on doing anything and you end up doing something. We don't really know, in the end, what's available and what we could pursue either."

The game-winner gave Van Riemsdyk 25 goals, putting him on pace for a new career high. He's averaging only 14:35 of ice time, though, his lowest as a Maple Leaf. On top of that, Toronto is allowing 34.2 shots per game, and could certainly use help on the blue line.

At the end of the day, Babcock believes general manager Lou Lamoriello will do whatever he deems to be in the best interest of winning.

"The way I look at it is, instead of worrying about that stuff, you just keep playing good and give ourselves the best opportunity," he said. "Then, whatever is best for our team, Lou will do."

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Barrie etches name in Avalanche history with 5-point night

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie recorded five points Tuesday night against the Vancouver Canucks - enough to set a franchise record for most points in a regular-season game by a defenseman.

Risto Siltanen is the only other player in franchise history to record five points in a game, as he did so for the Quebec Nordiques in a playoff game against the Hartford Whalers in 1987.

Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock recorded five points in a game earlier this season, and the feat was twice done in 2015, but prior to that, the five-point mark hadn't been reached by a blue-liner since 2009.

The Avs were victorious 5-4 in the contest, as Barrie assisted on Nathan MacKinnon's overtime blast.

All five of Barrie's points came with the man advantage. The Avs scored five power-play goals for the first time since 1992, according to NHL PR.

Barrie now has 36 points in 45 games in another productive offensive season for the 26-year-old blue-liner.

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Canucks, Avalanche combine for 7 goals in wild 2nd period

The Vancouver Canucks and Colorado Avalanche played a goal-free opening 20 minutes on Tuesday night.

Then, the floodgates opened.

When the buzzer sounded to end the second period, the Canucks led the Avalanche 4-3.

The clubs erupted for those seven goals in a span of less than 19 minutes, beginning with Canucks winger Darren Archibald's marker 34 seconds into the frame and ending with Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog's power-play goal with 37 seconds remaining in the period.

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Better late than never: Boedker shining for Sharks when they need it most

When the San Jose Sharks signed Mikkel Boedker to a four-year, $16-million contract on July 1, 2016, they probably expected the 50-point player he had become during his time with the Arizona Coyotes.

If those were indeed the expectations, then last season's 26-point campaign would have been conceived as a huge disappointment. Through the first 48 games of this season, it seemed like much of the same for the 28-year-old, as he collected a measly 17 points.

However, in his last four games, Boedker has seemingly busted out of his year-and-a-half-long slump, scoring five goals and adding two assists during that span, including a tally and a helper in the Sharks' 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.

Whether this is just a fluky hot streak, or a player finally starting to meet expectations remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure - it couldn't have happened at a better time.

With Joe Thornton still sidelined, the Sharks need all the offense they can get. Thanks to a 5-1-0 record in their last six games, they remain ahead of the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks in a competitive Pacific Division, and Boedker's recent play is a big reason why.

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Maple Leafs’ Andersen continuing to thrive with heavy workload

The more shots Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen receives, the better he plays - and it isn't even close.

Andersen stopped all 40 shots he faced Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers, further improving his numbers this season when facing 40-plus pucks directed at him:

40+ shots Stat < 40 shots
7-0-2 Rec. 23-16-2
1.89 GA/G 2.87
.959 SV% .912
2 SO 2

Is it crazy to think that the Leafs might be better off if they allow their opponents to take more shots from the outside?

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Watch: Phaneuf pots 3rd goal in 4th game with Kings

Amazing what a trade to a better team will do.

Dion Phaneuf blasted home a power-play goal late Tuesday night against the Winnipeg Jets for his third goal in four games with the Los Angeles Kings since being traded by the Ottawa Senators.

In doing so, Phaneuf also matched his goal total from the 53 games he played with the Senators in 2017-18 before the deal.

Last Tuesday, the veteran defenseman was traded to the Kings along with Nate Thompson for Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore.

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Price passes Roy on Canadiens’ all-time goalie games played list

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price moved into second place on the franchise's all-time games played list by a goaltender, surpassing the legendary Patrick Roy with his 552nd appearance Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers, per NHL Public Relations.

Price should sit at the top of this list within a couple of weeks, as he is now just five appearances shy of passing another Habs legend, Jacques Plante.

As far as wins go, Price will have to wait until at least next season to record the most in team history, though he isn't that far off.

Goalie Wins
Jacques Plante 314
Patrick Roy 289
Carey Price 285

Price is signed through the 2025-26 season, so barring a surprise retirement or trade, he has plenty of time to reach the top of the team's leaderboard in a variety of goaltending categories.

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Price passes Roy on Canadiens’ all-time goalie games played list

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price moved into second place on the franchise's all-time games played list by a goaltender, surpassing the legendary Patrick Roy with his 552nd appearance Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers, per NHL Public Relations.

Price should sit at the top of this list within a couple of weeks, as he is now just five appearances shy of passing another Habs legend, Jacques Plante.

As far as wins go, Price will have to wait until at least next season to record the most in team history, though he isn't that far off.

Goalie Wins
Jacques Plante 314
Patrick Roy 289
Carey Price 285

Price is signed through the 2025-26 season, so barring a surprise retirement or trade, he has plenty of time to reach the top of the team's leaderboard in a variety of goaltending categories.

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