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Keith Tkachuk On The Florida Panthers

03/29/2023 at 7:52pm EDT

from George Richards of Florida Hockey Now,

Keith Tkachuk, the five-time NHL All-Star who is the father of Florida Panthers All-Star forward Matthew, had some choice words for his son’s team on a Toronto radio station Wednesday morning.

Speaking on Toronto 1050, Keith Tkachuk said his son is “devastated” with the team’s current spot as the Panthers go into tonight’s game against the Maple Leafs riding a four-game losing streak.

The position the Panthers are in, Keith Tkachuk said, are of their own doing.

Keith Tkachuk was in attendance Monday night when the Panthers lost 5-2 to the Ottawa Senators — who are captained by Brady Tkachuk — and he did not sound all that impressed with Matthew’s team.

To say the least....

“They are a soft team and they are getting everything they deserve right now.”

To continue on that point, Keith Tkachuk said for the Panthers to snap their losing streak in Toronto, they need to bring a little more toughness to their game.

“Instead of trying to get autographs on the ice from Matthews and Marner,” he said, “they probably should check them a little harder. Whatever it is, it is disappointing. I know I sound like a frustrated person, but I know every time I come and watch Ottawa, they may not be the most talented team but they’re going to play hard. \

read on

A2Y- Coach Lalonde On His Ejection

03/29/2023 at 3:47pm EDT

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

“It’s a little unfortunate,” Lalonde said Wednesday. “It’s just not the culture of our sport. Other leagues, getting ejected, being demonstrative on the sidelines or on the bench, it’s applauded sometimes. Our culture is calm demeanor. Obviously, I don’t want to put myself in those situations.”

Lalonde expects to hear from the NHL and “rightfully get scolded.” He likely will be fined.

“I’ve only been in this league a little bit and I pride myself in being mild-mannered,” Lalonde said. “I’m fairly calm on the bench. It takes a lot to get me going. But that’s just not the culture of the National Hockey League, which I really like and appreciate.”

Lalonde was upset a coach’s challenge for goaltender interference following Jeff Carter’s tying goal was unsuccessful. He had some words for the officials but was shocked to get the heave-ho.

“It was probably an accumulation of my demonstrative reaction of the initial call, which was probably a little much,” Lalonde said. “I just think he had had enough. I don’t know if it warranted (an ejection). But he has every right to do that. He’s trying to manage a game.”

Referee Garret Rank has a history of tossing coaches and players. He ejected Sidney Crosby earlier this season.

“He handled it extremely calm,” Lalonde said. “He never raised his voice. He just calmly skated away and kicked me out. Of course, I’m new in the league and they don’t want to hear much from a first-time coach.”


Early UFA List

03/29/2023 at 1:34pm EDT

from Frank Seravalli of The Daily Faceoff,

There is no sugarcoating this summer’s NHL free agent crop. There will be no hyperbole to drive ratings, or talk about a three-headed monster stalking the top of the list like we’ve had in years past. There will certainly be no Brinks trucks backing up to the house of one newly wealthy individual with $75 or $80 million inside.

Yes, 2023 will likely go down as one of the weakest overall free agent classes in more than a decade. But this class graduates to free agency at a fascinating juncture as the NHL’s salary cap could be increasing in a meaningful way for the first time since 2019.

Beauty will be in the eye of the beholder. Which is why the top available free agent is very much a debate. We’ve ranked Toronto Maple Leafs winger Michael Bunting in the No. 1 spot because he’s strung together two very productive seasons – totaling 44 goals and 109 points – on his first one-way NHL contract. There will be no shortage of teams interested after witnessing the success Zach Hyman has achieved in Edmonton upon departing Toronto. New Jersey’s Damon Severson will also be a hot commodity as a steady, right-shooting defenseman who can chew up minutes.

continued, includes Top 50 list...

'Shooter' Vrana

03/29/2023 at 1:13pm EDT

from Lou Korac at The Hockey News,

Sure, the talk will be the overtime game-winner Jakub Vrana scored when the Blues nearly coughing up a three-goal lead before recovering for a 6-5 overtime win against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday at Enterprise Center.

It was a beauty of a goal, one in which he pulled off a give-and-go with Brayden Schenn before beating Thatcher Demko from in tight for his second goal of the game, ninth of the season and eighth in 12 games since being acquired by the Blues from the Detroit Red Wings on March 3.

But the goal that really stood out was Vrana's first goal, one that gave the Blues -- at the time -- a 3-2 lead at 7:24 of the second period, a one-timer from the high slot off a pass from Brandon Saad.

What it exemplifies is that the Blues may have found their shooter, their first pure shooter since trading Vladimir Tarasenko to the New York Rangers on Feb. 9.


A2Y- A Noon Practice

03/29/2023 at 12:16pm EDT

added 12:33pm, Practice lines and pairings are below.

TSN Insiders Last Night

03/29/2023 at 12:07pm EDT
The TSN Hockey Insiders discuss how one of the bidders for the Senators has a land claim to LeBreton Flats, how 4-5 teams are pushing to have Scott Howson replaced as AHL president and CEO, why Taylor Hall's return is being hampered by the Bruins' cap issues, and more.

Plus at the end of the video, the NHL is thinking about ways to market the game.

Watch at TSN

Video - Goals Of The Week

03/29/2023 at 11:35am EDT

South of eight minutes to watch.

Video - Goalie Paddle Saves

03/29/2023 at 11:32am EDT

Six of them, all in the last week.

A2Y- Marco Kasper About To Join The Organization

03/29/2023 at 8:57am EDT

from Tony Ferrari of The Hockey News,

Last year’s eighth overall pick, Austrian center Marco Kasper, is set to join the Detroit Red Wings organization as soon as this week.

It was Rogle, his own SHL club, that reported he was on his way over to North America after completing what can only be deemed a successful 18-year-old season.

The next wave of Red Wings adds another potential pillar.

Kasper’s impact on the Red Wings organization for the remainder of this year remains to be seen. It is expected that he will play for the team as the season winds down, though.

He could play at the AHL level to gain comfort with the North American ice surface if the team chooses. Detroit is far enough out of the playoff race that the remaining games at the NHL level this season don’t have much importance, so getting Kasper into The Show immediately could give him a preview of what to expect come training camp when the young center looks to make the roster from the jump.

Kasper was a late riser in his draft year, gaining traction as a potential top-15 pick as he displayed pro-ready tools and tendencies from skating to defensive acumen. The biggest question was whether his raw puck skill and offensive upside would be high enough to warrant a selection that high.


A Dominant Win For The Edmonton Oilers

03/29/2023 at 4:41am EDT

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

So, you’re saying there’s a chance…?

If the Edmonton Oilers were going to go into these last two weeks of their schedule with even the faintest prayer of chasing first or second place in the Pacific Division, a regulation win here in Vegas was compulsory on Tuesday.

Then the Los Angeles Kings lost in Calgary, and the Oilers put up a touchdown on Vegas.

In as dominant a win against a top tier team as we’ve seen all season, Edmonton chased Jonathan Quick, went three-for-three on the power play, and pounded the Vegas Golden Knights 7-4 — a team that Edmonton could well meet in Round 1 of the playoffs.

“We play like we did tonight, and we’re out,” said Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy of that possible matchup, after his club picked up two points in its final two games against Edmonton, while the Oilers nabbed three.


Watch the game highlights below.

Early Morning Line -Rick Bowness

03/29/2023 at 4:31am EDT
“Some of these guys think they’re giving us everything in their tank, they’re dreaming. We have a lot of guys in there giving us everything they can. We just need a few more guys to jump on board. It’s not over. We’re still in eighth spot. We’re going to find out what we’re made of over the next little while.”

-Rick Bowness, head coach of the Winnipeg Jets after a 3-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks. Ken Wiebe of Sportsnet has more on the loss.

A2Y- After An Entertaining Win Over The Pittsburgh Penguins

03/29/2023 at 4:14am EDT

from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,

Trying to determine which was the most satisfying moment for the Detroit Red Wings during Tuesday’s 7-4 thrashing of the Pittsburgh Penguins was as difficult as seeking out the most satisying outcome for Red Wings players.

There were so many from which to choose.

The path Detroit took to this remarkable victory didn’t not follow the route most taken. It began with the tossing of a coach and ended with the jubilant tossing of hats on to the ice....

For starters, take the case of Red Wings assistant coach Bob Boughner. He was suddenly elevated to bench boss in the second period. Detroit head coach was sent packing. He was assessed a game misconduct after unleashing an obscenity-laced tirade at officials when a coach’s challenge didn’t go the way of the Wings.

Boughner seemed almost startled as he arrived to meet the media post game.

“You guys are just as surprised as I am,” Boughner said. “We couldn’t find the keys for Newsy. The cuffs are still on him in the back.”.

Lalonde came unglued after Detroit gave up two quick power-play goals during a five-on-three disadvantage to squander a 3-1 lead. But his hastened departure only seemed to galvanize his players to bear down and complete the task at hand.

“It says a lot about our group,” Larkin assessed. “With injuries and guys coming into the lineup, guys coming from Grand Rapids, lines changing. A lot of guys are auditioning for spots for next year but you see Big Ern (Adam Erne) block a shot in the third, Ned (goalie Alex Nedeljkovic) come in and play a really solid game. Things didn’t go his way in the second but he battled back.

“Guys playing hard and we had that emotion tonight that we had early in the season. It was good to see.”


Below, watch post game interviews and extended game highlights.

NHL Short Notes

03/29/2023 at 3:38am EDT

* With a five-point game, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins moved within four of his first 100-point season as Edmonton can now become the 14th team in NHL history to have three or more players reach the century mark in a campaign – only two of those instances have occurred since the start of the 1990s, both achieved by the Penguins (4 in 1992-93 & 3 in 1995-96).

* The Rush to the Playoffs escalated Tuesday as both the Flames and Predators earned pivotal wins to move within two and three points, respectively, of the Jets for the final Wild card spot in the Western Conference.

* The Penguins’ three-goal comeback was stymied by the Red Wings, preventing Pittsburgh from two points to set the stage for the Eastern Conference Wild Card race to take focus Wednesday on TNT, Sportsnet and TVA Sports. Meanwhile, first place in the Central Division can change hands once again Wednesday when the Avalanche battle the Wild on a national telecast in the U.S. and Canada.

A2Y- Quick Recap- Wings/Penguins

03/28/2023 at 9:50pm EDT

Detroit put a 3-spot on Pittsburgh in the first period to lead 3-0 after 20 minutes.

Just the opposite in the second period, Pens put up 3 goals. 3-3 after 40 minutes.

In the third, the Wings added 4 goals,Pittsburgh only 1. Wings win 7-4.

Team Stats

Below, all the Detroit goals plus pre-game talk and game action videos

A Stumbling Block For The Arizona Coyotes?

03/28/2023 at 9:06pm EDT

from Arizona Sports,

The City of Phoenix announced on Tuesday that its aviation department is filing legal action against the city of Tempe for the planned residential development that is a part of the new entertainment district with the new arena for the Arizona Coyotes.

The formal complaint in Maricopa County Superior Court has Phoenix, the owners and operators of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, suing Tempe for a breach of contract, “asking the court to rescind Tempe’s recent zoning and land use changes and prohibit future residential uses in an area that the Federal Aviation Administration says is incompatible with residential development.”


A2Y- It’s Up To The Wings

03/28/2023 at 6:30pm EDT

Hiya and welcome to all. This looks to be a tough game tonight, but, whatever. We(the fans) are not looking for empty moral victories, we’re just trying to find something that resembles the Wings taking pride in being able to go out there, for us fans, and not shame us. It’s up to the Wings to give the fans a reason to watch these last ten games.

Nedeljkovic gets the start in net tonight. Hirose is an emergency call up from GR, as the Wings are without Zadina, and Chiasson. Also, the Wings signed 2 players to entry level contracts. 20 year old D-man William Wallinder, and 21 year old LW Carter Mazur.

It’s the Pens vs the Wings. The puck drops around 7:00 PM and will be broadcast on Bally Sports Detroit and the Red Wings Radio Network (97.1 The Ticket in Detroit). Also available on NHLPP/ESPN+ and ATTSN-PT.

It’s a Live Blog!

Jonathan Toews On His Future

03/28/2023 at 4:15pm EDT

via Sportsnet,

Jonathan Toews admitted Tuesday this might be his last season as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Toews, 34, missed two months with chronic immune response syndrome and long COVID. On Tuesday, while talking to reporters for the first time since returning from the injury list, he expressed his frustration at the circumstances to led to his being sidelined.

“You can’t really explain because people won’t understand,” he told reporters after his team's morning skate. “It’s not like a knee injury or shoulder injury where you lay under an MRI and your proof is right there. It has been one of those complicated things. Even for me, it’s been really challenging at times to figure out what’s going on.”

After watching his long-time teammate Patrick Kane get traded to the New York Rangers ahead of the deadline, Toews said his future with the Blackhawks is up in the air as well.

“Regardless of what happens in the future this summer, it’s definitely on my mind that this could be my last few weeks here in Chicago as a Blackhawk,” he told reporters.

“So, that’s definitely very important for me to just go out there, enjoy the game, soak it in and just really appreciate everything I’ve been able to be a part of here in Chicago — and show my appreciation to the fans, as well.”

A2Y- The Slumping Kids

03/28/2023 at 2:02pm EDT

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Several young forwards are experiencing the rigors of the NHL, struggling for offense as the season winds down.

It’s one of the reasons the Detroit Red Wings are having difficulty scoring....

“That adrenaline maybe has worn off,” coach Derek Lalonde said. “It’s a hard league this time of year, too. People are fighting for position. The league ramps up a little at the end of the year, so I think it’s a good experience for him to fight through.”

Berggren admits it has been difficult.

“I have a high standard for me, so when I don’t produce like I want, like I feel I can, of course the confidence gets a little bumpy,” he said. “Every hockey player has ups and downs. I know what’s working, so I need to just continue to do that. Like I said, when I get one, I’ll probably get more.”...

Raymond has experienced a streaky second season. He has remained on Dylan Larkin’s line through much of it but practiced Monday with Andrew Copp and Pius Suter.

“You’ve seen at times the tools and the compete. I still think he’s learning that,” Lalonde said. “We’re trying to play the right way, holding everyone accountable and not cheating, being on the right side of the puck. He’s in the middle of the process and it’s going good.”

That said, Raymond is getting chances.

“I’d like to see more finish because he has been around those chances,” Lalonde said. “I still think he’s learning how to compete every day. You can see when his compete is at a very high level he’s a great player. All the tools are there.”


A Bond Between Father And Son

03/28/2023 at 12:36pm EDT

from Eric Francis of Sportsnet,

There’s a slight quiver in Troy Stecher’s lip when talk turns to the man who has meant everything to him.

His father, his best friend, his coach for life.

It’s been almost three years since Peter Stecher died suddenly, on Father’s Day, due to complications from diabetes. He was 65.

It left a void in his son’s life that he still struggles at times to deal with.

And while the affable Flames defenceman glows about the lifetime of lessons, love, and opportunities his father gave him, it’s talk of the parting gift dad left that still prompts a crack in his voice and a glistening in his eyes.

Four weeks after his dad’s passing, as he cleaned out his father’s apartment, Troy found a one-page, handwritten letter written to him by his dad.


A2Y- After The Skate

03/28/2023 at 11:15am EDT

A2Y- Watching The Standings

03/28/2023 at 8:25am EDT

via Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

Losing has its advantages in the NHL. The Red Wings’ latest struggles have lowered them into 25th place in the standings.

If they stay there, and no team jumps ahead of them in the draft lottery, they would own the eighth pick in this summer’s NHL draft. They had the eighth pick in last season’s draft and claimed Marco Kasper. This season’s draft class is said to be stronger than last season’s class.

If Detroit stays at 25th, they would also have a 6% chance of winning the lottery moving up to the No. 1 pick and a 6.4% chance of drafting at No. 2. They would have a 54.4% chance of staying at No. 8 and and 30% chance of falling to No. 9. As Red Wings fans know, the franchise historically hasn’t had any luck in the lottery.

Plus, the final standings are far from settled. The Red Wings have 10 games left, and are only three points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers and four ahead of the Arizona Coyotes. Both of those teams are playing better than the Red Wings. Detroit’s draft status could improve even more.

Carter Mazur Watch

Several reports say the Detroit Red Wings are moving toward the signing of 2021 draft pick Carter Mazur. He’s coming off 22-goal sophomore season at Denver. He plays with belligerence, and has been compared to Tyler Bertuzzi.
added 10:03am, Wings have signed Carter Mazur, press release is below.

The Edmonton Oilers First Game At Mullett Arena

03/28/2023 at 6:13am EDT

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Can you possibly play staunch, responsible, mistake-free NHL hockey for a full 60 minutes, in a building that feels like equal parts frat party and Golden Bears game?

How can you play like an NHLer when you’re Zach Hyman — who played his college hockey at Michigan — and it feels like Home Coming Weekend on a sudsy Saturday night in the Big 10?

“It’s like going back to college. A weird, kind of throwback environment,” Hyman said.

In front of a sold out house of 4,600 people — roughly 60 per cent of them here to cheer and drink beer for their Edmonton Oilers — the Oilers eked out a 5-4 win against a game bunch of Arizona Coyotes.

It was Edmonton’s only trip here all season, and one that will linger this morning in the heads of a boisterous and boozy contingent of Northern Albertans on vacation.

What a blast this was, for both player and fan, as Edmonton won on its maiden voyage to tiny Mullett Arena on the Arizona State University campus.

“The sensory input,” began Nick Bjugstad, traded from Arizona to Edmonton at the deadline, “I think the first time a team comes into this arena it's a little bit of a shock. The fans are right on top of you, therefore the rinks even smaller.”


NHL Short Notes

03/28/2023 at 5:28am EDT

* The idle Maple Leafs and Rangers both clinched berths into the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, leaving just 11 spots remaining.

* Leon Draisaitl became the fourth-fastest active skater to score 300 goals while Connor McDavid became the first player in more than 25 years to post a 140-point campaign.

* Twenty-one-year-old Matt Boldy scored his third career hat trick – and second this month – to help the Wild maintain their lead atop the Central Division in a contest that could be a 2023 First Round preview.

* The Bruins can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and the Presidents’ Trophy during Tuesday’s action, while the Golden Knights will be in a position to secure their spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Stars Of The Week

03/27/2023 at 1:01pm EDT

NEW YORK (March 27, 2023) – Los Angeles Kings right wing Viktor Arvidsson, Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki and Minnesota Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending March 26.

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