Morning Forecheck: Filip Gustavsson Wins Again, Ducks Make a Trade

Photo Credit: Justin Tang/CP

 Welcome to the Morning Forecheck where we go over the news and notes around the league! Be sure to subscribe to the site with the link at the top of the site, and follow me on Twitter @AJ_Murfy.

Filip Gustavsson Wins, Again

It probably wouldn't be a shocker if I told you that a goalie the Ottawa Senators acquired through a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins has played a big factor in their back-to-back wins against the Calgary Flames, would it?

The shocking part has been it hasn't come from Matt Murray, who was acquired this past offseason and was the starting goalie for two Stanley Cup champion teams, but from Filip Gustavsson is a perfect 2-0 in games he starts for his career.

Originally a second round pick by the Penguins (the third goalie taken that year behind Carter Hart and Tyler Parsons), Gustavsson was traded to the Senators in the trade that sent Derick Brassard to the Penguins that also included the Vegas Golden Knights as a way to buffer some money.

The Senators have been taking their time with Gustavsson, even trading for Murray and then signing him to a three-year contract to not put pressure on the Swedish goalie.

That has shown in his early play, getting to see his first game action coming in relief and stopping all eight shots he faced. Despite the clean sheet, Gustavsson was tabbed with the loss as the Senators lost in a shootout.

Now starting the last two games, Gustavsson has allowed a lone goal in each of his starts, both wins over the Calgary Flames.

The 22-year old Gustavsson stopped 30-of-31 shots at 5v5, six of which were in high-danger locations on Monday in the team's win. Wednesday night the Senators rallied back with three straight goals to get the win, all the while Gustavsson made 28 saves.

In two-plus starts with the Senators, Gustavsson is a perfect 8-for-8 on high-danger shots, and has made 59 saves at 5v5 (.967 SV%).

The Senators have a very intriguing group of young players on their roster who have been given the opportunity to play through their learning pains. While you usually want to shield your young goaltender, Gustavsson is making a case to be left in as the starter.

Anaheim Ducks Acquire Alexander Volkov

This seems like a perfect match for the two sides. The Anaheim Ducks need scoring. They own the seventh worst scoring rate at 5v5, and the second worst overall.

Volkov, who is still just 23, is a former second round pick looking for an opportunity to get some more playing time.

Anaheim added the forward in exchange for Antoine Morand and a 2023 seventh round draft pick. 

During his first two years in the AHL, Volkov combined to scored 46 goals and 93 assists in 149 games. In 28 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Russian forward has just three goals and six points overall.

Some of his advanced numbers at 5v5 show why he may be able to do more with added ice time. Of the 399 forwards with at least 150 minutes at 5v5 going into Wednesday, Volkov ranks 69th in goals per 60 minutes, 48th in shooting percentage and 72nd in expected goals per 60.

An opportunity that includes more ice time than the loaded Lightning can provide could certainly yield more results.

What To Watch: March 25th

The big ticket game for Thursday night will be when the Colorado Avalanche taken on the Golden Knights. Both teams currently sit at the top of the Honda West division, but the Minnesota Wild are picking up steam and are right behind them.

Speaking of the Wild, they play the St. Louis Blues as well. If they win and the Avalanche lose, they would become tied with each other in the standings.

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