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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.

continued

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.”

more

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.”

continued

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.”

more

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.

continued

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.”

continued

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.

Buffalo's Ilya Lyubushkin Won't Skate In Warm Ups

03/27/2023 at 11:48am EDT

Goaltending Problems In March

03/27/2023 at 11:38am EDT

from Travis Yost of TSN,

March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb – unless you live in the state of California, or play goaltender in the National Hockey League.

Goalies have had a rough go of it in the past few weeks – scoring rates are once again at blistering levels, and league-wide save percentages are plummeting. In the heightened scoring era we’re living in, goaltenders were barely holding onto a 90.0 per cent stop rate league wide.

We have discussed ad infinitum what is driving scoring to the upside across the league, both at even strength and on the power play. This is a new intra-season wrinkle – attackers are again converting on scoring chances at rates we really haven’t seen before, and all of this is happening with just a dozen or so games remaining on the regular-season schedule.

The old hockey adage of teams sharpening their game defensively as the playoffs inch closer again seems specious at best – doubly so when you look at the teams (and the goalies of those teams) who are struggling so mightily this late in the year.

At first pass, you might be inclined to think the draft lottery teams – those with their eyes on the prize in the form of super prospect Connor Bedard – are the ones driving this mess. After all, the lottery provides an incentive to lose games, and injecting a bunch of skaters and goalies from your farm team is a great way to do that.

But for every draft lottery team that’s giving up goals in spades, you can find a team chasing a playoff berth in a similar position. So, that’s not quite it.

continued

A2Y- Practice Has Started

03/27/2023 at 11:01am EDT

Bill Guerin Has Done His Job

03/27/2023 at 9:07am EDT

from Jim Souhan of the StarTribune,

When their best pure defenseman, Jonas Brodin, was sidelined, the Wild surged.

With their best scorer and most valuable player, Kirill Kaprizov, sidelined, the Wild have excelled.

Their drive to the top of the Central Division standings, and toward the top of the entire NHL, has been a doctorate-level study in team-building.

The Wild have a gritty, deep, unified roster.

Dean Evason coaches with a tone that is always demanding but never strident or unreasonable.

Most of all, Bill Guerin has again proved that he is the Room Whisperer, the Sultan of Subtlety.

Remember when the Wild traded Cam Talbot for Filip Gustavsson last July?

That felt more like a move to remove Talbot from the awkwardness of being bumped from the starter's role by Marc Andre-Fleury than because Gustavsson was a quality player.

continued

Looking For Mark Scheifele

03/27/2023 at 9:02am EDT

from Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press,

It was late in the third period of Saturday afternoon’s game in Los Angeles, with the Winnipeg Jets down by a couple goals and showing no signs a comeback was in the cards, when Mark Scheifele slowly skated toward the bench following another lengthy shift in which he barely touched the puck.

He slammed the gate behind him, hard enough that the sound carried up to the press box at Crypto.com Arena. It would be the first — and only — time Scheifele made any impact on the day.

As head coach Rick Bowness and his staff, team management and ownership, and frustrated fans far and wide search for clues about why the Jets season has gone into a prolonged tailspin, look no farther than the play of the team’s top centre for the smoking gun.

Scheifele, 30, is nowhere to be found.

Consider this: Just 13 days ago, Bowness sent a strong message to his troops by sitting Scheifele and his linemates at the time, Kyle Connor and Nino Niederreiter, for the majority of the second period in what would ultimately be a 5-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. It wasn’t a move the veteran coach made lightly, but one he felt was necessary. Scheifele’s stat line that night was ugly: No goals. No assists. No shots (for just the third time in 68 games). Minus-four.

continued

A2Y- The Last Ten Games

03/27/2023 at 6:44am EDT

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Continuing to lose over the final 10 games will help the Detroit Red Wings in the 2023 NHL draft lottery, from an organizational standpoint.

But as players keep pointing out: It’s way more fun to win.

Given the strength of their schedule, fun will be challenging to have. This week offers four tests: Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes, Friday at the Winnipeg Jets, and Sunday at the Toronto Maple Leafs....

It’s on the Wings to find meaning in these remaining games. They’ve scored only nine goals over their past six games, and were unable to convert on seven power plays in the 3-0 loss to the Flyers.

Since Feb. 23, when winning seven of eight games gave the Wings a brief stay inside the playoff picture, the Wings have gone 3-11-1. Dylan Larkin has a team-leading 11 points in those 15 games, but multiple players being counted on to score have little to show: Lucas Raymond (one goal, six points, minus-9 rating); David Perron (two goals, seven points, minus-8 rating); and Andrew Copp (two goals, seven points, minus-6 rating).

more ($)

A Part Of Team Building

03/27/2023 at 6:30am EDT

from Joshua Kloke of The Athletic,

Ryan Hartman walked into the Minnesota Wild practice facility with a sense of resolve. The nine-year NHL forward had been a healthy scratch the previous evening against the Philadelphia Flyers.

But righting a wrong was only one of the items on his to-do list.

“Today,” Hartman said, nodding while looking around the Wild dressing room, “is tax day.”

As he does once a month, Hartman will work his way around the Wild dressing room and collect money from his teammates.

The previous night, Hartman pored over a spreadsheet with updated tallies of who owes what. He sent out a flurry of text messages to teammates: “This is what you owe. I’m coming for you tomorrow.”

Call Hartman what you want: the taxman, the team treasurer, the fine master. Hartman has a volunteer position in charge of handling a consistently growing pot of money accrued from Wild players. Most teams require a player like Hartman because large amounts of money changing hands among teammates is a tradition in the NHL. That money is gathered in large part to encourage team building. Part of the money collected is because players voluntarily have put “money on board,” a practice of promising an amount of money before a game a player will owe should the team win, be it for playing in their hometown or, say, if they’re playing in a milestone game.

continued ($)

NHL Short Notes

03/27/2023 at 6:14am EDT

* David Pastrnak reached multiple milestones Sunday, notching his 50th goal of the season and the 600th point of his career in Boston’s franchise record-setting 27th road win of 2022-23.

* The Kings scored seven goals to defeat the Blues and extended their point streak to 12 games, establishing a franchise record.

* Only three weeks remain until the end of the 2022-23 regular season but there’s still plenty of playoff positioning to be determined. A preview of a potential first-round matchup will air on Hulu, ESPN+ and TVAS at 8 p.m. when the Kraken visit the Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

Video- David Pastrnak Hits 50

03/26/2023 at 6:38pm EDT

A blast, at least he can tell his grandchildren it was.

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