Monday, March 13, 2023

Weekend rankings: Changes for Flyers, Kings keep rolling and April highlights

It’s mid-March, the trade deadline is over, and I just want you to know that it’s perfectly OK to admit that you’re already looking forward to April.

April rules. It’s when we get the last few weeks of the season, leading into the first round of the playoffs, which is the absolute best time of the year to be a hockey fan. It’s the time where we find out what the matchups will be, and whether of all the (non-McDavid) stars can get to 50 goals or 100 points. And if your team stinks, April is also the draft lottery. Either way, it’s what everything is building towards, and it’s pretty great.

March? Or to be more specific, post-deadline March? Eh. It’s good too, some of the time. It’s fine. The playoff race starts to form, and we get lots of low-scoring three-point games between division rivals. March is a perfectly acceptable month of the hockey calendar. It’s just not April.

And it’s OK to want to look ahead to the really good stuff. That’s what I did, and I found five gifts that the schedule-maker has left under the April tree. We can’t open them yet, but let’s pick them up and shake them. I feel like I’ve strangled this metaphor sufficiently, let’s get to the link.

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