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* Jason Robertson found his name all over the score sheet Friday – an evening that featured his 10th game with three or more points, his 100th career goal and joining elite company among active players in the process.
* Twenty-one-year-old Devon Levi had an NHL debut to remember, backstopping the Sabres past the playoff-bound Rangers to keep their own postseason hopes alive with eight contests remaining in their schedule.
* Two potential First Round matchups in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs highlight a 13-game Saturday schedule with a showdown between the Bruins and Penguins, as well as the Stars and Avalanche.
* The Flames overcame three separate deficits, including an early 2-0 hole, to record the NHL’s 138th multi-goal comeback win of the season – tying 2018-19 for the most in a single campaign in League history.
from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,
If there was ever a time when the Jets looked beatable, it was Friday night.
But the Detroit Red Wings were not the same team they were on Tuesday when they beat the Carolina Hurricanes. Goalie Magnus Hellberg didn’t play at the same level Alex Nedeljkovic was at against the Hurricanes. The previously struggling Jets claimed a 3-0 first-period lead and rode it to a 6-2 win against the Red Wings.
Winnipeg coach Rick Bowness recently called out his top players for not doing more. Connor, Wheeler and Mark Scheifele all scored for the Jets against Detroit.
“We needed something to spark us,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde told Bally Sports. “We had the first really good look; we bury that, maybe it’s different. Needed something to energize us. It was one of those nights we couldn’t keep it out of our net, especially early on. We just couldn’t build on anything.”
This was the ninth consecutive time the Red Wings have scored two or fewer goals in regulation in a road game.
via Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
Before the game, coach Derek Lalonde said forward Marco Kasper, the Wings' first-round draft pick last July who Thursday was recalled to the NHL, is likely to play in one of these final seven games of the season. But Kasper is dealing with an upper-body injury suffered late in Kasper's Swedish Hockey League season and isn't quite yet available to play.
Defenseman Simon Edvinsson was a healthy scratch Friday as the Wings keep him under nine games played (and not burning a year of three-year entry-level contract).
Watch Walman. Hellberg and Lalonde post game video below.
Not much to say about Detroit's 6-2 loss To Winnipeg tonight except... only seven games left for the Wings.
The Jets had a 6-0 lead until Detroit scored twice midway in the third period.
Next game is Sunday at 7pm in Toronto.
Detroit goals are below.
Good evening and welcome to all. How long has it been since the Wings won in the waning seconds of a game? Jake Walman made it happen last night at 19:56 of the third period, proving once again that good things happen when you SHOOT THE PUCK. Kudos for Nedeljkovic as well for holding it together quite nicely. These last few games have been extremely entertaining, and, more effort is being put forth if nothing else, and that’s all we ask. Tonight’s game in Winnipeg seems like the Wings are running a marathon out there with the back to back, so here’s hoping….
It’s the Wings vs the Jets. The puck drops around 8:00 PM and will be broadcast on Bally Sports Detroit Extra and the Red Wings Radio Network (97.1 The Ticket in Detroit) Also available on NHLPP/ESPN+ and TSN3.
It’s a Live Blog!
Remember, he is 18 years old
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Nine goals is a low total for a second-line center, but Andrew Copp has been a good facilitator, a top penalty-killing forward, a shutdown center and one of the few plus players on a minus team.
That’s why Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde is pleased with what Copp has provided.
“We’re getting to that point where you start evaluating someone on their season and we’re going to look back on Andrew’s season and he’s going to hard on himself because offensive numbers aren’t there, but he’s been very productive,” Lalonde said. “He’s been a very good player. Some nights he’s technically our (No. 1 center) depending on matchup, competition. We’ve asked a ton of him. His underlying numbers are going to be very good – expected goals for, against. That’s probably going to be my message to him.”
Copp returns to Winnipeg tonight when the Red Wings face the Jets at Canada Life Centre (8 p.m., Bally Sports Detroit Extra). He spent close to seven seasons with the Jets, who drafted him in the fourth round (104th overall) in 2013 out of Michigan.
Copp said he doesn’t expect to receive the kind of reception David Perron got in his return to St. Louis 10 days ago, but it will be emotional, nonetheless.
“It’ll be cool, getting drafted there, playing seven years, a lot of memories, a lot of good buddies still on the team,” Copp said. “It’s going to be interesting being back in the city and back in the building. Hopefully, once the game starts, that’ll get cleared out and just play the game.”
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
There is a big difference in playing against this Edmonton Oilers team, when the six-foot-two, 210-pound Kane is patrolling the left wing. And his teammates know it.
“(We’re) just more physical,” said Connor McDavid. “Bigger, faster. All the things that his game is all about.”
“He's a big body. He's physical. He's intimidating,” begins the Oilers' well-spoken winger Zach Hyman. “He's not afraid. He gets in on the forecheck. He can fight. He can score. Not many guys have that combination of skill and grit these days and he's somebody who has both.”
Kane is an above-average skater and shooter of the puck. He can pass it well enough to trade pucks with the likes of McDavid or Leon Draisaitl, though admittedly, Kane is more finisher than set-up man. He plays physical and is willing to fight, a dying art in today’s game.
“He plays with a lot of pace,” McDavid assessed. “He's a big, strong guy who gets in on the forecheck hard. I wouldn't want to be a D and go back to retrieve pucks with him (bearing down on you).”
Kane scores at an above-average rate, 13 times in 15 playoff games last season, and 15 in an interrupted 35 games this season, including the winner in Thursday’s 2-0 victory over Los Angeles. He also led that game with eight hits.
It’s been a long year, between having his wrist stepped on by Pat Maroon in November (missed 31 games), and breaking a rib shortly after he returned (missed nine more).
NEW YORK/TORONTO (March 31, 2023) – The National Hockey League, National Hockey League Players’ Association and NHL Alumni Association announced today a joint donation of $100,000 to the Borje Salming ALS Foundation.
from Matt Larkin of The Daily Faceoff,
Kasper, 18, was Detroit’s first-round selection, eighth overall, in the 2022 NHL Draft. He was the highest-drafted Austrian player since Thomas Vanek in 2003. In his three seasons playing against men in the SHL, Kasper made quite an impression. His 23 points in 52 regular-season games this season were the second-most of any player 20 or younger in the SHL.
Kasper joined the Wings for their flight to Winnipeg before they take on the Jets Friday night. He is unquestionably the No. 1 forward prospect in their farm system. At the start of this season, Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis released a list of his top 75 NHL-affiliated prospects and ranked Kasper 47th. That list included plenty of skaters already debuting in the NHL this season, however, and didn’t yet factor in Kasper’s impressive 2022-23 campaign. While Kasper doesn’t project to have an elite offensive ceiling, his intelligent two-way game could make him a highly effective No. 2 center with a potential Selke Trophy-worthy skill set someday.
While the Wings are bursting with promising young blueliners, from reigning Calder Trophy winner Moritz Seider to elite-grade prospect Simon Edvinsson to recently signed William Wallinder, they badly need an influx of top-end forward talent to support Lucas Raymond and Dylan Larkin in the long term. Kasper is a key part of that plan, as is Carter Mazur. The Wings also have two first-round picks for this June’s loaded draft.
a bit more
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
- A few sources among both teams and agents have indicated they believe there’s a deal to be made that could increase the cap closer to $2M without affecting the players’ escrow number. Their estimates are based on what they’ve heard revenues are and will be. The NHL and NHLPA can agree to raise the cap more than $1M even if all debt isn't yet paid. Has that been presented to Walsh? “No, it hasn’t been presented to me, but it sounds good,” he laughed. “When the time is right, we’ll have those conversations.”
- Sure sounds like the Calgary players had a true come-to-Jesus meeting after the horrible 8-2 loss March 20 in Los Angeles. No more whining, publicly or privately. Do your job, play hard, push for the playoffs. They are 3-1 since, two points back of Winnipeg — with a huge meeting looming next Wednesday in the Manitoba capital.
- Mattias Ekholm provided a piece of interesting insight into playing with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. He said there are moments in games where you are conditioned to let things settle, but not in Edmonton. One example is going behind your own net with time as the lines are changing. The regular play is to wait for everyone to get where they’re supposed to go, but Ekholm’s learned that, when you have two nuclear weapons, you get it to them as quick as possible, even if it seems counter-intuitive.
“I have to turn (my vision) up-ice much faster than I’m used to,” he said. Ekholm added that sometimes, when it’s a scramble in your own zone, you might try to calm it down if you can. Again, he’s noticed that those are the moments McDavid/Draisaitl are even more dangerous because structure is gone. You have to find them — or put it in an area they can get it — right away.
Gordie Howe would have been 95 today too.
from Stan Fischler of The Hockey News,
I'm 91 today; so what's the big deal?
You want a 91 big deal; check out New York Islanders great, Butch Goring; the best hockey player not in the Hall of Fame -- give or take #18, my buddy Ed Westfall.
You want a real, good, legit 91; that's Butch who's got the vim vigor and vitality of a teenager.
Me, I'm an imposter; I never graduated beyond 19 and emotionally, 12.
The only reason I'm around to make a joke about being a senior -- I hate that word -- is because of hockey. Our favorite game has kept me alive and kicking.
Don't ask me the medical reason; just take my word that the endless adrenaline push makes me want to to write about guys like Zack Parise and Brock Nelson and this here goalie who should win the Vezina; Ilya Sorokin, by name.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
It was Nedeljkovic’s third start in a row. Combined with an appearance in relief of Magnus Hellberg on March 23, Nedeljkovic is 2-1-0 with a 2.67 goals-against average and .912 save percentage since returning from the Griffins.
“It’s nice getting to play a couple of games in a row and get into a rhythm, feeling good,” Nedeljkovic said. “A couple of goals kind of beat me from afar, kind of went through me. Still a couple of things you’d like to clean up. I thought overall we did a pretty good job of limiting their quality chances.”
Jake Walman scored with 3.2 seconds remaining in the third period to snap a tie. The Red Wings (33-32-9, 75 points) surpassed last season’s totals for wins (32) and points (74).
“That’s the Ned that we know, and he played unreal tonight,” Walman said. “He for sure won us that game.”
Below find post game interviews and extended highlights.
* The Bruins beat the Blue Jackets to lock up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and the Presidents’ Trophy in their 75th game.
* Viva Las Vegas! The Golden Knights became the first Western Conference club to clinch a berth in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* Connor McDavid scored the 300th goal of his NHL career and became the first player in League history with five double-digit point streaks in a single season.
The Wings scored early in the first period to take a 1-0 lead and that is how the period ended. The Hurricanes had a slight advantage but Ned was good in goal.
For 19:57 minutes of the third period there was no scoring, then Detroit scored with three seconds left to win 3-2.
Detroit goals are below.
Good evening and welcome to all. I’m sure we’re a happy bunch after a solid effort by the Wings, and a much needed win the other night. Now, play with that same effort tonight. We’re down to the last nine games, and including tonight’s game, the Wings will have four home games left. Make them all enjoyable to watch.
It’s the Hurricanes vs the Wings. The puck is set to drop around 7:30 PM and will be broadcast on ESPN+ and Hulu. You can listen on the Red Wings Radio Network (97.1 The Ticket in Detroit).
It’s a Live Blog!
With the NHLPA's new executive director Marty Walsh taking control, TSN Hockey Insiders Pierre LeBrun, and Chris Johnston discuss some of the biggest issues the players are concerned about including the playoff format, a best-on best international tournament, the salary cap and more.
via the YouTube page of the NHL,
Unique hat trick moments, a wacky shootout celebration, a soccer maneuver from Marner and a wild contest between the Sharks and Oilers that sees four overturned goals!
from Matt Larkin of The Daily Faceoff,
As he put affectionally put it, two lifelong passions merged for former U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh Thursday as he held his first press conference since being named executive director of the NHL Players’ Association in February.
The first passion: unionism through and through, something he was born into growing up in Boston as the son of Irish immigrants, sitting at the dinner table learning from his father, a laborer, about the importance of representation. He carried that mentality with him into his political career. And even when he was criticized for being “too close” to organized labor, he explained Thursday, “I wore my unionism with a badge of honor.”
Walsh, 55, was mayor of Boston from 2014 through 2021 and left his position to join U.S. President Joe Biden’s cabinet as Labor Secretary in 2021. Under Biden, Walsh oversaw regulations to protect the rights of more than 150 million workers nationwide. He had previously been president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America and was head of the Building Construction and Trades Council in Boston.
8 1/2 minutes to watch.
from Nick Kypreos at the Toronto Star,
With the playoffs two weeks away, it feels like the goaltending position has never been more vulnerable. Gone are the times when goaltenders seemed irreplaceable.
With the exception of Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Lightning, Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers and Ilya Sorokin of the New York Islanders, the majority of playoff-bound netminders today are seen more as potential liabilities. Sorokin has been exceptional this season, often with little support in front of him. But that’s where the list ends. Notably the Boston Bruins duo of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman will still have some convincing to do come April, even after the team’s historic season.
The crazy part is, the teams with the second, third, fourth and fifth-best records in the league have all left themselves potentially exposed with questionable and unproven goaltending. The Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, Vegas Golden Knights and Toronto Maple Leafs all seem to have Stanley Cup-calibre rosters, but can we say the same about their goalies? Add these playoff teams to the mix: the Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers and, yes, those defending champs from Colorado....
... it seems NHL goalies are indeed trending in the wrong direction when it comes to dependability.
Since the 2004-05 lockout, changes have been made to help increase offence in the game. Unfortunately, it came at the expense of the goaltenders. The NHL has become faster and more dynamic with less reliance on netminders to single-handedly steal games.
The number of unproven goalies in these playoffs should favour another underdog story like Kuemper, rather than the rarity that is Vasilevskiy and his impeccable playoff reputation.
Sorry, posted this in the wrong section of KK.
from Greg Wyshynski of ESPN,
I had a conversation not too long ago with the venerable Bob McKenzie of TSN about that perception of Bedard's potential.
"I was just thinking to myself, and I didn't say it publicly, that we should just pump the brakes a little bit," he said, laughing. "I've learned that over the years with these 'phenoms.' It's in fairness to them. Our society and social media and everybody wants to make everyone the biggest thing ever and hype it. Let's just be sensible a little bit here. Recognize that there's something special in these kids, but don't set the bar unsustainably high."
What would help Bedard: If he didn't have to be a franchise's savior right off the hop, but a star player who bolsters what is already in place....
Which teams are best positioned to make the most out of Connor Bedard in the shortest amount of time?
1. Detroit Red Wings
... The current Red Wings are essentially a solar system in search of a sun. Larkin is legit. Mo Seider and Lucas Raymond have bright futures despite some sophomore year struggles. Simon Edvinsson, Marco Kasper and Sebastian Cossa are the next wave. There's a good veteran supporting cast, especially goalie Ville Husso.
If they land Bedard and he follows the same growth pattern as McDavid and Matthews, then 2024-25 is the season it all comes together. Even after Seider's next contract, Yzerman will have an enormous amount of cap space in Summer 2024 to shape the roster around Bedard. The Wings' young players will have matured, too.
more plus other teams ($)
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
The Wings came into this week saying Husso likely was done for the season — there's only two weeks left — because of a nagging injury, but by midweek, he was on the ice, sharing the net in practice and working extra time with goaltending coach Alex Westlund.
"Ville is back in the mix," head coach Derek Lalonde said. "He got some opinions on where his lower-body injury is at. We want to get him back into the rhythm and hopefully he can in some games."...
Husso's absence was an opportunity for Nedeljkovic, who is on an expiring contract, to show the struggles that landed him in the minors are in the past. Likewise, Magnus Hellberg, who was brought in to serve as Husso's backup after the team lost confidence in Nedeljkovic, is also trying to show he should be the one to stay past this season.
It had looked like Nedeljkovic and Hellberg would share the net as the Wings close out their schedule, with Lalonde saying whoever has the hot hand will get start the next game. But after seeing multiple specialists, Husso felt reassured that what bothered him won't get worse.
When he was unavailable, Nedeljkovic was called up under emergency conditions. The Wings could opt to keep Nedeljkovic if Husso is cleared to play by making it a regular call-up, because they have the roster space to carry three goaltenders. Hellberg seemed to have made a case for being the one to get an extension, but Nedeljkovic played well his first two starts, and he's got 100 NHL games on his resume to Hellberg's 21.
from Ethan Sears of the New York Post,
With each passing game, the playoffs are looking more and more like an inevitability for the Islanders.
After Kyle Palmieri’s shootout goal propelled the Isles to a 2-1 win over the Capitals on Wednesday, the Isles have two more points on the board, just seven games left and a six-point lead to work with.
That is a math problem that is becoming just about impossible for the Panthers — the first team below the cutline — to solve, even with their win over Toronto on Wednesday.
And the Isles look to have the upper hand over the Penguins as well, with Pittsburgh needing to make up five points with two games in hand to catch them for the first wild-card spot.
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