Articles in NHL Teams

NHL Short Notes

12/11/2022 at 3:02am EST

* Sidney Crosby climbed another all-time NHL list as his longtime teammate Kris Letang returned to the Penguins’ lineup less than two weeks after suffering a stroke.

* Mitchell Marner extended his franchise-record point streak and William Nylander notched a career-high five points as the Maple Leafs rallied from three separate deficits to win the first Hockey Night in Canada in Cree contest of the season.

* Sunday’s six-game slate is highlighted by the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins visiting the Western Conference-leading Golden Knights, who are led by former Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy.

32 Thoughts Tonight

12/10/2022 at 9:24pm EST

On this edition of 32 Thoughts, Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman discuss the Oilers hosting the Flames for the 2023 Heritage Classic, Kris Letang's return to the Pittsburgh Penguins' lineup just 12 days after suffering a stroke, and more.

Watch at Sportsnet

added 3:27am 12/11/22, or watch it in the comment section...

The New Jersey Devils Could Make A Major Move At The Trade Deadline

12/10/2022 at 6:06pm EST

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

They have essentially no projected cap space, and there are nearly three months to go until the March 3 deadline hits, but if the Devils are in position to go for it, if the organization that’s been out of the playoffs nine of the past 10 years doesn’t feel like waiting in line, then who would they go after on the rental market?

A big-time goal-scorer such as Patrick Kane or Vladmir Tarasenko to play with Jack Hughes, or a lock-down center such as Jonathan Toews or Ryan O’Reilly to anchor the third line?

If the hierarchy wants to strike, if the first two months have not represented a mirage, the Devils surely have the assets to make a splash. Defensemen Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec — fourth-overall in 2021 and second-overall in 2022, respectively — would be off-limits...

more on the above topic plus others like this...

- So is Mitch Marner, who entered the weekend riding a franchise record 21-game point-scoring streak, the best player to have been selected fourth-overall in an NHL draft, and the answer to the question is a somewhat surprisingly resounding no — not unless the Toronto winger has surpassed Steve Yzerman … or Clark Gillies … or Ron Francis … or …

It was obviously a quirk, not a feature, but over the 12 amateur/entry drafts conducted from 1972-83, seven future Hall of Famers were selected fourth overall. Then two others made it to the Hall out of the four-hole in the 1990s.

Ranking the Fourths: 1. Yzerman (19830; 2. Francis (1981); 3. Lanny McDonald (1973); 4. Paul Kariya (1993); 5. Gillies (1974); 6. Mike Gartner (1979); 7. Steve Shutt (1972); 8. Larry Murphy (1980); 9. Roberto Luongo (1997).

- I’m kind of getting the idea that the Senators might not have won the summer. Anyone with me?

Video- Jeff Skinner Suspended Three Games

12/10/2022 at 2:20pm EST

NEW YORK (Dec. 10, 2022) – Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner has been suspended for three games, without pay, for cross-checking Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel during NHL Game No. 426 in Buffalo on Friday, Dec. 9, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 19:38 of the third period. Skinner was assessed a match penalty.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Skinner will forfeit $145,945.95. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Watch below.

Defense Has Made The Game More Offensive

12/10/2022 at 12:23pm EST

from Matt Porter of the Boston Globe,

Much of it — and we’ve seen this before in Boston — is about defensemen changing the game. The Orr-era Bruins (5.12 goals per game) helped the NHL hit the three goals per game mark for some 25 years, pushing toward four in the early-to-mid-1980s. Then came the frigid days of the mid-1990s and early-2000s, when bigger-than-ever players were allowed to smother opponents.

Orr was singular, but puck-rushing defensemen of his era helped crank offenses into high gear. Today’s grass-roots focus on individual skill development and skating has given the NHL more pace-pushers who happen to line up on the blue line. Glass-and-out is rare when everyone can skate and handle the puck.

As such, rigidly defined assignments are becoming less necessary. It’s hard to call today’s hockey positionless, since forwards still score the overwhelming majority of the goals, and defensemen are almost always the last skaters back. Perhaps position-light is a better term.

“At younger ages, there’s really only two roles in hockey: offense and defense,” said USA Hockey director of player development Roger Grillo, who played defense at Maine and coached at Brown. “Either our team has the puck or we have to get it back. How that looks is based on decisions made by the players.”

At the early-teenage stage, Grillo said, American amateur coaches should focus their players on understanding four free-flowing roles: a player with the puck, the offensive players without the puck, the defender who’s challenging the puck, and defenders off the puck.

“If you watch higher-end hockey nowadays, there’s really only one time you can tell who’s playing what position, if you don’t already know, and that’s off a faceoff,” Grillo said.

more and other topics too...

The Six Minute Shift By Jack Hughes

12/10/2022 at 10:11am EST

from Sportsnet,

There’s putting the team on your back, and then there’s doing what Jack Hughes did for the New Jersey Devils on Friday Night.

The superstar skater logged a mind-numbing 6:02 shift to end the game for the Devils, as the Metropolitan Division’s top team battled from behind to no avail against the New York Islanders.

Hughes’ remarkable shift set an NHL record dating back to 2007-08, though it wouldn’t be enough to prevent the Devils second regulation loss in 21 games.

The 21-year-old’s entire third period was one for the ages, as he battled furiously to keep his team in it. After scoring a goal at the 13:39 mark of the period, Hughes briefly stepped off the ice for his final breather of the game, before embarking on his record breaking shift.


How Great Is Sidney Crosby?

12/10/2022 at 9:34am EST

from Matt Larkin of The Daily Faceoff,

Where do you rank Sidney Crosby on the all-time player list? Give an exact number.

MATT LARKIN: For me, he slots in fifth. Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Mario Lemieux and Gordie Howe form my all-time hockey Mount Rushmore. But if a second group of sculptures was commissioned? Sid makes the cut along with Nick Lidstrom, Dominik Hasek and Alex Ovechkin for me....

FRANK SERAVALLI: After careful consideration, I have Sidney Crosby ranked third all-time, behind only Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr. I think at this point, Crosby has passed his mentor and former owner in Mario Lemieux and also Mr. Hockey. Those are bold statements, but I believe it speaks to the consistent excellence of Crosby’s career....

more on each of the above plus other writers chime in...

Morning Line -Darryl Sutter

12/10/2022 at 9:13am EST

“We had some guys who came for a visit, not to try and win a hockey game,” spat Darryl Sutter, alluding to the catered Columbus confab that preceded a 3-1 loss.

“Very disappointing.”

-Darryl Sutter, head coach of the Calgary Flames after a 3-1 loss in Columbus. Eric Francis of Sportsnet has more.

Videos- Two Bad Hits And A Bad Goal

12/10/2022 at 7:29am EST

Jamie Oleksiak (meeting with Player Safety today)

Below watch a Jeff Skinner cross-check (has a meeting with Player Safety today) and a misplay from Adin Hill.

Videos- Boston Bruins Not Happy With Late Winning Goal By The Arizona Coyotes

12/10/2022 at 7:11am EST

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The Bruins brought oversized offense to the NHL’s smallest rink Friday night, only to see their vulcanized onslaught (a season-high 46 shots on net) get repeatedly snuffed out by Arizona goalie Karel Vejmelka in a 4-3 loss to the Coyotes at the 5,000-seat Mullett Arena.

Setting aside Vejmekla’s stellar performance, the true showstopper of the night was an officiating crew that curiously decided not to whistle play dead with what appeared to be a blatant icing infraction in the final seconds of regulation.

With play allowed to keep rolling as the puck trickled by the side of Jeremy Swayman’s net, Coyotes forward Matias Maccelli swept in, centered out in front, and Lawson Crouse drove home the winner with but 13.5 seconds remaining on the clock.

Defenseman Derek Forbort failed to corral the loose puck behind Swayman, and Maccelli (two assists) turned the boo boo into a bonanza.

“I was shocked, honestly,” said veteran Bruins winger Nick Foligno, whose goal with 5:29 to go in regulation pulled the Bruins into a 3-3 tie. “I actually couldn’t believe it [wasn’t icing]. I was dumbfounded.”


Below watch the game winning goal and the game highlights.

NHL Short Notes

12/10/2022 at 6:31am EST

* Two division-leading teams tallied wins Friday, while Lawson Crouse scored a late go-ahead goal as the Coyotes stunned the League-leading Bruins at Mullett Arena.

* Alex Ovechkin scored the 500th even-strength goal of his NHL career and is now just four away from reaching the 800-goal milestone.

* The 2022-23 NHL season is set to eclipse the one-third mark as 16 teams take to the ice Saturday.

Video- Pierre Engvall Suspended One Game

12/09/2022 at 7:10pm EST

NEW YORK (Dec. 9, 2022) – Toronto Maple Leafs forward Pierre Engvall has been suspended for one game, without pay, for high-sticking Los Angeles Kings defenseman Sean Durzi during NHL Game No. 420 in Toronto on Thursday, Dec. 8, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 1:02 of the third period. Engvall was assessed a match penalty.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Engvall will forfeit $12,162.16. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

watch the explanation video below...

The Power Plays Are Working

12/09/2022 at 6:00pm EST

from Patrick Johnston of the Vancouver Province,

One-third of the way into the National Hockey League season, power plays are red-hot.

Going into this weekend’s action, NHL power play units as a whole had scored on 22.9 per cent of their opportunities this season.

It’s been decades since hockey fans last saw power plays finding this much success, you’d have to go as far back as the 1985-86 season to find teams scoring at a similar rate.

Yes, when goalies still stayed on their feet, wore heavy pads and ranged far from their crease. Penalty killers defended in a mostly static box, not like now with three defenders clustered tight in front of the net, the fourth skater trying to disrupt possession up high.

Goalies today are far better at their position. They’re bigger, fitter, with lighter pads and more disciplined technique.

Players too are fitter and faster, with a better appreciation for how to truly take away time and space.

For so much of the past 30 years, this all added up to a large advantage for defences.


Video- A Hearing Today For Pierre Engvall

12/09/2022 at 11:08am EST

Bad Ducks

12/09/2022 at 9:27am EST

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Nearly a third of the way into the season, the Ducks are an NHL-worst 7-17-3. They’ve won in regulation once, a 3-2 decision over the New York Rangers on Nov. 23. They’ve won four times in overtime, including a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, and twice in shootouts. They’re giving up the most goals and shots per game in the league and rank near the bottom in scoring.

The Ducks gave up the lead three times Tuesday at Honda Center before Ryan Strome finished off a two-on-one break to end the team’s losing streak at six. They’ve already endured a seven-game losing streak, in October. They’re well on the way to missing the playoffs for the fifth straight season.

But they do have something going for them as they plod toward securing the best odds in the draft lottery: Thanks mainly to the brilliance of Terry, Zegras and rookie forward Mason McTavish — and valiant efforts from overburdened goalie John Gibson — the Ducks are the most entertaining bad team in the NHL.

That can’t be much consolation for them. But for the sake of fans, they’ve at least produced some “wow” moments to break up a dreary season and the long wait for their prospects to blossom.

“I thought the record would be a little better, to be honest with you. But hey, it is what it is,” said general manager Pat Verbeek, who was hired last February, three months after Bob Murray resigned in the wake of accusations of improper professional conduct.


The Streaking Toronto Maple Leafs

12/09/2022 at 3:55am EST

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

Forever ago (or maybe it was October), when the Toronto Maple Leafs were lost, fumbling and all out of sorts, head coach Sheldon Keefe leaned hard on one adjective to describe their unrefined brand of hockey: disconnected.

The forwards weren’t helping the defencemen enough, and the blueliners couldn’t time their tape.

Reads, passes, press conferences, body language… little around the team, on or off ice, felt in sync. The coach knew it. They players felt it. And the fans could see it.

Playing for the Leafs was like inviting a blind date to a Dining in the Dark restaurant. The intentions may have been good, but when the lights flicked on, it was a mess.

My, what a difference a hot streak and some cool confidence can make.

On Thursday, from puck drop to buzzer, from crease to crease, pair to pair, line through line, the Maple Leafs submitted their most complete — most connected — 60 minutes of the season, thrashing the Los Angeles Kings 5-0.

As easy as the Maple Leafs are making wins appear during their 13-game point streak, this wagon run is the product of hundreds of tiny conversations and line tweaks, motivations and decisions.


Watch the game highlights below.

The St. Louis "Blues Are A Train Wreck Right Now"

12/09/2022 at 3:32am EST

from Lou Korac at Sports Illustrated,

There may have been remnants of it in the past judging by the number of results this season, but it was as clear as day in another discouraging loss, 5-2 on home ice by the Blues against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday at Enterprise Center.

The Blues are a train wreck right now and have no clue how to climb their way out of it.

Craig Berube is one of the most decorated coaches in Blues franchise history, of course the only coach to win a Stanley Cup just over three years ago. But the coach that helped pull the team out of the bottom of the league basement en route to a title in 2019 appears exhausted and near the end of the rope searching for answers in 2022.

And judging by some of the comments he made postgame Thursday, it smelled of a coach trying to send a message to management -- namely GM Doug Armstrong -- that something needs to be done to a roster that is obviously not conducive to the coaching style that has made Berube what he is and how he embodies the style and identity of the city of St. Louis.


Game highlights are below.

NHL Short Notes

12/09/2022 at 2:44am EST

* A two-goal lead may not be the worst thing in hockey, but it certainly isn’t the safest. A team has erased a multi-goal deficit to at least tie the score on all but two game days through the past three weeks, with the Predators and Senators becoming the latest to do so.

* Did Mitchell Marner extend his franchise-record point streak to 21 games? You better Belieb he did.

* Five of the top seven goal scorers are set to be in action during a 10-game Friday, including Connor McDavid, TageThompson and Kirill Kaprizov who will look to build on buzzworthy performances from earlier this week.

Afternoon Line -Tage Thompson

12/08/2022 at 1:47pm EST

Video- Another Edition Of Weird Stuff Happens

12/08/2022 at 11:14am EST

via the NHL's YouTube page,

Recapping a wild contest between the Kings and Kraken, craziness around the crease, quick starts around the league, a failed celly and just a few brain cramps!

Thursday Morning Hockey Thoughts

12/08/2022 at 10:14am EST

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- Quote of the week: “We’d all like to make a (bleeping) trade,” one GM said, “But there’s no room to do it.”

- Team I wonder about for Brock Boeser: Washington. This is a personal opinion, but I wonder if a Boeser-Anthony Mantha move makes any sense for both. The Capitals need a jolt, and, as GM Brian MacLellan said last weekend, can’t do anything financially lopsided until there’s clarity on Nicklas Backstrom’s availability. Mantha’s cap hit is slightly lower than Boeser’s, and he’s got one fewer year — which would appeal to Vancouver. Anyway, just an idea.

- Couple executives said they took notice of the last thing Erik Karlsson said last weekend in his Hockey Night in Canada pre-game interview: “I’ve got lots of years left in me, guys.” It wasn’t only that the said it, but the way he said it: making a point of adding that comment while taking off the headset, when it looked like the conversation had concluded. Karlsson said he wants to win, that as a child, “I use to cry after every loss,” before adding, “I don’t do that any more,” which was pretty funny.

- Also taped a podcast interview with Todd McLellan on Wednesday. One of the topics was the NHL’s scoring explosion, as league-average save percentage is on-pace to be the lowest in 16 years. My theory is that the NHL’s crackdowns on obstruction, goalie equipment, slashing and cross-checking combined with more skill than ever throughout a lineup have made it much, much harder to defend. (I don’t think too many people are complaining about it, either.)

McLellan agreed with that, but took it one step further — that it’s these great shooters and passers have found and can exploit the weaknesses in the ways goalies are taught to play....

more on the last topic plus other notes....

Goals, Goals, Goals

12/08/2022 at 8:24am EST

from Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic,

We’ve got some ’80s hockey back in vogue, minus the Cooperall pants and Jofa helmets, of course.

We’re talking about wild, high-scoring games.

On Nov. 29 in Los Angeles, it was a 9-8 overtime contest between the Kraken and Kings. Six days later, it was a ridiculous 7-6 overtime game between the Habs and Canucks in Vancouver. On Wednesday night alone, it was Tage Thompson scoring five goals in a 9-4 Sabres win over the Blue Jackets, the Oilers coming only one goal shy of that total in an 8-2 win over the Coyotes and the Canucks winning another high-scoring overtime affair, this time 6-5 over the Sharks.

These games are emblematic of a wacky NHL season full of lead changes and, of course, goals galore.

“It’s a pretty freewheeling game right now,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said Wednesday after practice in Toronto, his hair perhaps having added another tint of gray from that 9-8 game. “Probably not a lot of fun for the goaltenders or some nights for the coaches. But for the fans, it’s great.”

To wit: The NHL this season is averaging 6.36 goals per game, continuing the trend that saw the league average 6.29 goals per game last season, which was the first time above 6.04 since the 2005 lockout ended with new rules meant to open up the game and created a temporary spike to 6.17 in 2005-06 — followed by averages under six in every season from 2006-07 through 2017-18.

continued ($$)

Jesse Puljujärvi Has Lost His Confidence

12/08/2022 at 7:59am EST

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Jesse Puljujärvi is lost.

“Twenty games in and I have one goal. It’s sad,” Puljujarvi told Finnish journalist Tommi Seppälä, of YLE news agency, on Tuesday evening. “I’ve been thinking a lot how to do things differently. Right now, I just don’t have the answer.”

In a wide-ranging interview with Finland’s national broadcaster, Puljujärvi told the veteran reporter Seppälä that he isn’t sure if the National Hockey League is the place for him anymore.

“Of course I’d like to be a productive top-line player,” Puljujärvi said in his native Finnish, as translated by Seppälä. “But right now, it looks like I can't do that in NHL. Maybe some other league.”

Given a chance to discuss, or add to the quotes at the morning skate Wednesday, Puljujärvi politely declined.

This is where he is, where we are with Puljujarvi, the much-loved “Bison King” whose fan base in Edmonton is bigger than all but the top names on the Oilers roster.


Video- Tage Thompson Joins The 5-Goal Club

12/08/2022 at 3:09am EST

via the YouTube page of the NHL,

Watch the last five 5-goal scorers, including Johan Franzen, Mika Zibanejad, Timo Meier and Patrik Laine. Sabres forward Tage Thompson joined that group with his performance against Columbus on Wednesday night.

NHL Short Notes

12/08/2022 at 2:44am EST

* Tage Thompson stole the show Wednesday after a five-goal and six-point performance – all of which were tallied in the first 40 minutes – landing him on a number of noteworthy lists.

* Connor McDavid posted a four-point performance and became the first player to reach the 50-point mark in 2022-23, requiring the fewest games in his career to do so.

* Artemi Panarin posted a three-assist outing to surpass the 600-point milestone and owns a point total that only trails Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Patrick Kane since he entered the NHL in 2015-16.

* Alex Ovechkin’s “Road to 800” continued Wednesday as he found the back of the net twice and moved within 99 goals of the legendary No. 99 on the NHL’s all-time list.

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