Watch Provorov below.
Watch Provorov below.
The TSN Hockey Insiders discuss what's next in the Tanner Pearson situation, how the Hurricanes have talked to the Canucks about Bo Horvat, how the Canadiens have had preliminary talks with Cole Caufield about an extension, and much more.
from Joe Smith of The Athletic,
The morning of Dec. 2, Dean Evason led the Wild coaches’ usual staff meeting at the TRIA Rink.
Evason doesn’t use a separate office, as his predecessor, Bruce Boudreau, did. Instead, he has a desk in a room shared with his assistants, so they can communicate more quickly. There’s a big screen TV above Evason’s desk, and on this day, he went over clips from the previous night’s win over Edmonton.
One of the first topics? How the game broke down from an analytics perspective.
Enter Mat Sells, the team’s vice president of hockey strategy.
He’s the Wild’s one-man analytics staff.
“What did you see, hockey-wise?” Sells asked. “What did you see on the scoring chances?”
The staff discussed. And then the 39-year-old Sells presented the data.
“What Mat Sells does for us is he dummies the numbers down,” Evason said.
For example, they started breaking down their next opponent, Anaheim, and Sells told the staff the Ducks had the third-highest rate in the league at dumping the puck.
from John Matisz of The Score,
The NHL season has passed its midway point, and lost in the sea of first-half surprises and disappointments is one player who always seems to be hiding in plain sight, both on the ice and in our minds.
That player is Kyle Connor of the Winnipeg Jets.
In Manitoba, where they know him best, Connor is celebrated as a superstar. Elsewhere, the 26-year-old's exploits tend to be overlooked. Connor has scored the sixth-most goals since 2017-18 - his first full NHL season - but you'd probably be surprised to see his name among hockey's elite offensive dynamos.
Consider this: Connor's 197 goals in that span are 19 behind David Pastrnak, 17 ahead of Nathan MacKinnon, and 19 ahead of Steven Stamkos. From a name-recognition standpoint, Connor is the relative nobody of that group of snipers.
This season, Connor has 53 points in 44 games, tying him for 10th in league scoring. Winnipeg's coaching staff relies on him for 20 minutes a night, three of which are spent on the right flank of the top power-play unit.
"Hey, maybe it's a good thing. Maybe teams are taking him and us lighter than they should be," Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey said. "He's a fantastic player. And it's not just the last couple of years, right? He's been doing this for a while. Maybe we'll try to keep him under the radar."
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
- Vegas’s Mark Stone has said in the past he’s considered some of the reporting on his injuries to be way, way, way over the top. So I tend to be pretty careful. He’s listed as week-to-week, but we should get some indication in the next 7-10 days about this one and the severity of it. Hopefully, it’s nothing super long-term.
- With the hope that Evander Kane will be back Tuesday against Seattle, it was interesting Edmonton didn’t put anyone on waivers Monday afternoon. Mattias Janmark and Klim Kostin earned their roster spots, so the Oilers could have surprised us with an unexpected name. They need the cap space to activate Kane, which means they have another move up their sleeve, or, unfortunately, there’s another injury. We will find out soon.
- One executive said that when his team called Minnesota about Matt Dumba, GM Bill Guerin’s response was, “Make it make sense for us.” Guerin is trying to win, and, as a 1,263-game NHLer, knows how making a trade that hurts the team will play in the room. So it’s got to make them better, or give him the assets to make them better in another move.
- I’m not sure Jakob Chychrun makes sense for the Wild as a potential replacement. They’ve been very careful about adding term. It’s a tough fit for them in salary cap jail. (Horvat would be perfect for the Wild, who are looking for a scorer. But he’d be perfect for half the league.)
- In his NBC Sports Chicago interview with Pat Boyle, Patrick Kane told a good story about Connor Bedard from last summer’s BioSteel camp. “There was one play in camp, he had a two-on-one with (Connor) McDavid and he looked off McDavid and took a shot,” Kane laughed. “We were all laughing on the bench.”
He added Bedard was very noticeable, even among this group of players. “He moves so well laterally. Everyone talks about his shot, his ability to shoot from different angles and off a different foot each time. But, man, the way he moves laterally is what gives him that space to be able to do that, so pretty impressive. Everyone's wondering how is he going to do at the next level, how's he going to be. From what I saw…he’s going to be special.”
* The Jets moved into first place in the Western Conference standings – a ranking they’ve held this late in the season only once before – as JoshMorrissey became the fastest defenseman in franchise history to 40 assists in a season.
* Brock Boeser scored the second-latest game-tying goal in a win in franchise history to help the Canucks earn their fifth multi-goal comeback victory of the season – tied for the most in the NHL.
* The NHL is set for the busiest Monday of 2022-23 with 22 teams in action with storylines that include David Krejci skating in his 1,000th NHL contest and the Kraken putting their eight-game winning streak on the line.
from Dave Poulin at the Toronto Star,
The NHL press box is an information funnel. The flow is current, constant and often entertaining.
On any given night, at least a dozen teams are represented by management or scouts. The number rises as the March 3 trade deadline draws closer. Right now, the Seattle Kraken are the most popular topic of conversation, and the question being asked is: Are they for real?
My answer — which I’m getting more and more comfortable with — is yes, they’re for real. And if they continue at their current rate, they’re going to be a handful for whichever team they meet in the playoffs.
There, I’ve said it. Seattle will be a playoff team — not something that was stated often at the outset of their second season....
The problem was, they weren’t being compared to every other NHL expansion team. They were compared to one: the Vegas Golden Knights, who took the league by storm from day one in 2017-18. Everything Vegas did, Seattle seemed to do differently.
- The Knights play at spectacular T-Mobile Arena in the middle of the Vegas Strip. The Kraken play at eco-friendly Climate Pledge Arena, known for its net-zero certification and promotion of sustainability. I’m not certain that has anything to do with a strong goals-against average, but it’s clean and built to last. And there you have it, the Kraken game plan: sustainability and longevity. Play by the rules, go about your business and defer to the league’s upper class. Pay your dues. Good things will happen.
from Ben Gotz of the Las Vegas Review-Journal,
It was a bad sign for the Golden Knights that Connor McDavid got loose for a breakaway barely more than five minutes into Saturday’s game at T-Mobile Arena.
Goaltender Logan Thompson managed to stop the NHL’s top scorer, but the chances didn’t stop there. The Knights knew they needed to be on high alert against McDavid and center Leon Draisaitl. Instead, costly turnovers allowed the Oilers to burn them in transition.
The Knights, missing captain Mark Stone (upper-body injury), couldn’t keep up. They fell 4-3 in front of an announced crowd of 18,143 to drop to 0-5-1 in their last six games in the Pacific Division.
The Knights are still in first place, but red-hot Seattle is now only two points back with two games in hand.
“You can’t give up odd-man rushes,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “This is something we talked about in training camp in September. We’re going to play smarter hockey. We didn’t do it tonight.”
The game highlights are below.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- One thing the Leafs could use — a defenceman with a slapshot of consequence. When you look at scoring highlights around the NHL night after night, somebody is always scoring tip-in goals, rebound goals off slapshots, and even wide slapshots resulting in offensive plays. Toronto doesn’t score that kind of goal very often.
- Teams that can win the Stanley Cup this year: Boston, Toronto, Tampa, Rangers, Colorado, Vegas, Dallas and Winnipeg.
- This is historically odd: The Nashville Predators have drafted Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Roman Josi, Seth Jones, Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis, a bevy of superb NHL defencemen, but have never drafted a forward who scored more than Scott Hartnell.
- What a crazy season this has been for Erik Karlsson, playing for the bottom-feeder San Jose Sharks. If you can believe this, he leads the NHL in even-strength points while playing defence, which is rather startling. That’s more points than Connor McDavid, more than Sidney Crosby, more than Jack Hughes, who has one more than Jason Robertson and two more than David Pastrnak … On the other end of the spectrum, Karlsson is also last in the NHL in goals against at even strength, with 65, and no one is even close to him there.
- Joe Pavelski of Dallas, who doesn’t seem to age, has the best even-strength numbers overall in the league. He has a goal differential of +30. McDavid, alongside Alex Ovechkin, is +4.
from Russ Cohen of Phil Hockey Now,
The surging Philadelphia Flyers beat the Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday, then traveled to Washington and beat them again in the nation’s capital Saturday, 3-1.
The Flyers (18-18-7), who climbed to .500 for the first time in two months, got second-period goals from James van Riemsdyk and Wade Allison to build a 3-1 lead.
“Timely goals. Some grinding. Allie’s goal was a big goal. Not one thing. I think we played well as a team,” coach John Tortorella said.
Carter Hart was spectacular as he stopped 39 shots. Scott Laughton chipped in with a goal and an assist.
“A good win against a good hockey club. A division rival and a big four points for our team,” Hart said.
Hart stopped all 19 shots he faced in the final period.
“Carter took over the game in the third,” Tortorella said.
Watch the game highlights below.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
To beat the best, you need your top players firing on all cylinders and the Senators didn’t have that in this one. The Senators didn’t do nearly a good enough job getting to the front of the net and creating chances Avs’ backup goalie Pavel Francouz.
It’s the second time this week the Senators have been shutout after being blanked by the Nashville Predators for the first time this year in a 3-0 loss Monday....
The club wasn’t good in any aspect of the game and they hung goaltender Anton Forsberg out to dry because he couldn’t be fingered for the blame in this one. The Senators weren’t good enough to win and there haven’t been a lot of nights you can say that about them.
Thomas Chabot wasn’t pleased with his own play and owned it.
“It was probably one of the worst games I’ve played personally,” said Chabot, who was minus-3. “It happened, it’s a game but it’s unacceptable for me. You’ve got to move on, but it’s going to be a long night thinking about it. We’ve got to move on for the next game.”
Game highlights are below
* The League’s newest franchise achieved an NHL-first by sweeping their seven-game road trip.
* Alex Ovechkin isn’t done making NHL history – he scored Saturday to move into a tie with a longtime Capitals forward atop the League’s all-time list for most 30-goal seasons.
* Patrik Laine accounted for three of his team’s four goals and joined a rare list of NHL players with a double-digit hat trick total before age 25.
Frederik Andersen is tonight's recipient. It also spoiled his shutout in the Canes 2-1 win over the Pens.
via Sportsnet's YouTube page,
On this edition of 32 Thoughts, Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman break down the latest on the Vancouver Canucks' handling of Tanner Pearson's hand injury, David Pastrnak's contract negotiations, and more.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Someone is going to have to alert the Parity Police stationed at NHL Headquarters that the model is broken and there are more bottom-feeders than at any time since the salary cap was adopted in 2005-06.
For the first time in this era, there are three teams playing at a percentage of .326 or lower, these particular cellar-dwellers existing in Columbus, Chicago and Anaheim. For the second time — and for the second straight season — five teams are playing below a .400 clip.
There were only two cap seasons prior to 2021-22 in which as many as three clubs couldn’t hit the .400 bar. Indeed, in 13 of the 14 seasons from 2006-07 through 2019-20, no more than one team fit under that cutoff.
The Blackhawks, as tainted an organization as has ever existed in the NHL, is at the bottom by design in making good on management’s warped intention to dive as deep into the tank as possible. The Ducks actually spent some cash in the offseason to add a cadre of vets who might have made the club a more presentable outfit, but failed to do that. The Blue Jackets did not sign Johnny Gaudreau with any conceivable notion that they not only would be in the running for Connor Bedard, but also would be in pole position just past the halfway mark.
The cap was supposed to smooth out the extremes. The NHL was supposed to be an Any Given Sunday League. Instead, the league is in its second straight season with a subset of historically bad teams.
continued plus more topics like this with video evidence...
This is from Page 116-117: “A major change in the face-off rule affected the position of the players taking the draw and coincided with the introduction of the red line in 1942-43. Prior to that season players taking the draw would line up facing the side boards. Many coaches employed a strategy that required the players taking the face-off to actually ignore the puck and instead on the other face-off man, allowing a teammate to come in and take the puck.
from Matt Porter of the Boston Globe,
- Stars coach Dallas Eakins, formerly of the Oilers, on Taylor Hall’s years in Edmonton: “There was an immense amount of pressure on that young man. It was extremely unfair to him.” Hall, drafted first overall in 2010, has scored 0.86 points per game for his career. Among those picked No. 1 overall, Hall ranks between Joe Thornton (0.89) and Vincent Lecavalier (0.78).
- If you — the Canucks — have Elias Pettersson (age 24), Quinn Hughes (23), and Thatcher Demko (27), and know that Bedard badly wants to play for his hometown franchise, shouldn’t you tank?
- The Ducks had four regulation wins in their first 42 games. It’s bad in Anaheim.
- Entering the weekend, more than 80,000 people viewed a tweet I posted Monday night asking, “What worries you about the Bruins at this moment?” Of the 300-plus comments, it wasn’t all worries about David Pastrnak’s contract or post-Patrice Bergeron concerns. That diversity of response signals to me that all this winning hasn’t softened the paying customers.
more notes, more topics...
from Michael Traikos at the Toronto Sun,
Now, with Pastrnak’s current deal running out, the question is how much will he get paid as an unrestricted free agent this summer.
The Bruins winger, who is on pace for a career-best 64 goals and 116 points, is probably not going to challenge Connor McDavid for the scoring title. But Pastrnak does have a good chance of passing the Oilers captain — and Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon — as the highest-paid player in the league.
That is, if Pastrnak doesn’t do something foolish and takes another hometown discount.
That is what happened six years ago. Coming off a breakout season where he scored 34 goals and 70 points in 2016-17, Pastrnak accepted a team-friendly deal that carried a $6.666-million cap hit. Even back then, it was well below market value.
Now, with 89 players earning more than the 26-year-old sniper, his six-year, $40-million contract looks even worse.
It is another way of saying that Pastrnak is due for a big raise. How big will be determined by whether he wants to go against the Bruins’ internal motto of taking less for the greater good — or if he wants to test the open market. After all, for how little Pastrnak earns, he still remains the highest-paid forward on a team where Marchand only earns $6.125-million and captain Patrice Bergeron is significantly underpaid at $2.5-million.
* In true Connor McDavid fashion, No. 97 celebrated his 26th birthday by becoming the fastest player to reach the 80-point mark in a season since Mario Lemieux (31 GP), Jaromir Jagr (37 GP) and Ron Francis (44 GP) in 1995-96.
* Rookie Cole Perfetti tallied a three-assist outing en route to a franchise first as the Jets matched the idle Central Division-leading Stars in terms of points.
* Connor Bedard dazzled with a hat trick and five-point night as a follow-up to his career-high six point showing in his last game on the day he was named the No. 1 ranked North American skater for the 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft as the NHL Central Scouting Bureau released its mid-season rankings presented by BioSteel.
NEW YORK (Jan. 13, 2023) – Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for roughing Vancouver Canucks forward Conor Garland during NHL Game No. 667 in Tampa on Thursday, Jan. 12, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 19:19 of the third period. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
NEW YORK (Jan. 13, 2023) – Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for cross-checking Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Brannstrom during NHL Game No. 672 in Tempe on Thursday, Jan. 12, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 11:19 of the first period. Keller was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for cross-checking.
The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
from Joe Smith of The Athletic,
It drives some fans crazy, wondering why the team doesn’t feel the need to work on things after a loss. But coach Dean Evason’s philosophy doesn’t change whether his team has won three in a row or lost three in a row, as they have now. The Wild have practiced just twice in the first 12 days of January. They had off days Monday and Wednesday heading into Thursday’s game against the Islanders.
It’s not because Evason, an avid golfer, wants to work on his swing. It’s not because the staff doesn’t see value in practice. It’s not because players are snowed in.
“When you see the science behind it,” captain Jared Spurgeon says, “It makes sense.”
Evason says the team’s decision on a practice schedule is the result of constant communication between coaches, players and the strength and conditioning staff. He believes rest can be a weapon, especially in today’s NHL. He understands the importance — mentally and physically — of getting away from the rink.
And Evason trusts the data....
Each Wild player wears a heart-rate monitor as often as he can — from when he’s getting his gear on, to workouts, practices and games. The monitor is attached to a strap around the chest.
There’s a program called Firstbeat, which many NHL teams (and soccer clubs) use. It tracks a measurement called TRIMP (training impulse), which is based on zones of your heart rate. You accumulate units per minute. For example, if you’re above 90 percent of your max heart rate, it can be accumulating at least three TRIMP per minute, and it decreases as it goes down.
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