Articles in NHL Teams

Sean Couturier Staying Off The Ice

10/27/2022 at 2:39pm EDT

from Jordan Hall of NBC Sports Philadelphia,

Sean Couturier's on-ice rehab work has come to a halt.

The Flyers' first-line center had been skating this month in his recovery from a back reinjury. But with a back issue, especially following a reinjury, it's such a wait-and-see approach every day.

"Pretty much," Couturier said Oct. 9. "At the same time, I really want to just get out there and rip some pucks and go 100 miles per hour, but the trainers are really kind of holding me back, just really trying to slowly progress me where I don't have any setbacks."

Couturier has endured a setback given he's no longer on the ice.

"He stopped skating," Flyers head coach John Tortorella said Thursday during the team's optional morning skate. "He's just not ready to skate right now. That's a ways, that's a ways away."


Another Loss By The New York Rangers

10/27/2022 at 8:34am EDT

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

After four straight defeats (0-2-2) in which the Rangers have scored a sum of five goals and only one on the power play (at five-on-three, no less), the first instinct might be to change things up for the sake of changing things up.

To do something for goodness sakes — to do anything! — to stop the club’s longest losing streak since Gerard Gallant went behind the bench at the start of last season.

But that is not how the 3-3-2 Rangers are processing things at the moment. To the contrary, according to Very Important People Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin, who advise that this is not time to panic, not time to overthink it, but instead an occasion to stay the course.

“We can do things a little better, don’t get me wrong, but I feel we are doing the right thing a large part of the time and are just not getting the end result we want,” Zibanejad told The Post following the Blueshirts’ 3-0 defeat to the Islanders at UBS. “I think we have to be careful to understand that just because pucks are not going in that we shouldn’t abandon what we’re doing and look for a different play, or the next play.


Game highlights are below.

Early Tanking Talk

10/27/2022 at 7:49am EDT

from Greg Wyshynski of ESPN,

Is tanking worth it? Absolutely, when you're securing the services of a player like Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Kane, Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews. Or probably of Connor Bedard, whose presence in the 2023 NHL draft class encouraged some teams' apparent self-imposed mediocrity before a single puck was dropped this season.

But not everyone respects the tank.

"Is it an effective way to rebuild? Yes, if you totally lack integrity and character. Because it attacks the very soul of the game," Pittsburgh Penguins president Brian Burke told me this week.

When Burke was a general manager and his team was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, he would speak with the players. His message would be clear: Don't worry about where we'll end up drafting. Your job now is to "wreck teams' playoff hopes" and win as many games as possible.

While with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Burke remembers going to the TSN studios in Canada for the NHL draft lottery show and watching his peers' giddy anticipation of the drawing.

"Everyone was rubbing their hands together like little kids at Christmastime," he said. "Aren't we all embarrassed? Isn't this the most embarrassing thing that we do all year is come to the lottery? I was mortified."

much more ($)

NHL Short Notes

10/27/2022 at 3:16am EDT

* Ilya Sorokin made 41 saves, recorded his 11th career shutout and joined rare company in the process as the Islanders stifled the Rangers in this season’s first “Battle of New York.”

* Jason Payne and Joel Martin manned the benches for the Cincinnati Cyclones and Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL on Wednesday, likely marking the first time that two Black head coaches have gone head-to-head in a North American men’s pro hockey game.

* Shane Pinto can become the NHL’s first rookie to post a six-game goal streak since 2014-15 as his Senators look to win their fifth straight contest, all of which have come at Canadian Tire Centre.

Early Season Hockey Thoughts

10/26/2022 at 4:19pm EDT

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- Vancouver has two points in seven games. I can find one team that made the playoffs since 2005-06 in a full 82-game season despite such a poor start. That was 2013-14 Philadelphia, which was 1-6. The Flyers went 41-24-10 to get there.

Of all the things Jim Rutherford said in his riveting After Hours appearance with Scott Oake, this is the most relevant right now: “We may very well be in a rebuild in the direction we’re going. But ideally, we’d like to transition this team on the fly. We do have some core players, some young players that are really good.”...

- Several sources described Bettman’s revelation that the cap could go up $4M next season as “ambitious,” but have also indicated that the league legitimately believes this is possible based on early-season revenue projections. While I was surprised at the possibility, I wasn’t surprised that Bettman would paint an optimistic picture. That’s what he’s always done, and we shouldn’t expect otherwise. It’s also very possible he wants to show that the NHL is a healthy investment in a challenging economy. One of the indicators to watch is the Canadian dollar. Apparently, the estimates include a valuation of the Canadian buck at 75 cents.

- I see some of your DMs about the board advertising. I do think everyone is looking at solutions for horizontal movement. Vertical doesn’t seem to be as much of an issue.

- Love, love, love Mickey Redmond’s nickname for the Michael Rasmussen, Elmer Soderblom, Oskar Sundqvist line: The Treesome. And if Redmond says it, you know Red Wings fans accept it.

more Thoughts

What's Next In Vancouver?

10/26/2022 at 12:41pm EDT

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

Something has to give when you start the season 0-5-2. And unfortunately for Boudreau, who took over from Travis Green last December after a similarly ugly 8-15-2 start, the easiest thing might be canning the coach.

“There’s been a number of tough years in Vancouver. Everyone’s frustrated,” Canucks president Jim Rutherford said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “Certainly when you have a record like we do, sometimes you get put in a position that you don’t want to be in.”

After all, we all knew the Canucks weren’t going to challenge for a Stanley Cup this year. But after Boudreau went 32-15-10 last year — a 106-point pace — the hope was that they would challenge for a playoff spot. At the very least, they should be competitive. Not setting records for blown multi-goal leads or getting blown out by the Buffalo Sabres. Or playing so poorly that fans were tossing jerseys and booing the team off the ice in the home opener. ...

This is the worst start in the franchise’s history. The Canucks are the only team in the NHL without a win. And that’s in a league where Arizona, Chicago and others are trying to tank for a chance at drafting top prospect Connor Bedard.

“I don’t want to say I’m not surprised what’s happened here,” said Rutherford. “I am surprised that we haven’t won a game at this point, but I‘m not totally surprised at what’s going on.”


Another New Home For The Arizona Coyotes

10/26/2022 at 11:45am EDT

from Joshua Clipperton of the CP at CBC,

The Coyotes begin life at Arizona State University on Friday when they host the Winnipeg Jets following a six-game road trip to open the schedule....

Everything's brand new," Arizona winger Clayton Keller said of Mullett Arena's cozy confines. "We'll just go from there. The atmosphere will be cool. There's standing bleachers behind the net, which no NHL team has.

"It's unique and brings a different aspect."

There were inevitable jokes made when Arizona's move to an arena — which is named for a prominent ASU donor family — that's a fraction the size of the league's other 31 venues was announced, but NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said it will benefit the franchise both now and in the future.

"Full building every night," he said. "It could help the team and player performance when you have that type of environment....

As for playing in a 5,000-seat facility, NHL stars have mixed feelings.

"Certainly gonna be different," Edmonton captain Connor McDavid said. "Not really too sure what to expect. Definitely hope it works out."

"I don't know," Colorado centre Nathan MacKinnon added with a smile. "We'll see, I guess."


added 12:53pm, Below, check out the dressing room for the visitors for the first 4 games.

Getting Noticed In Seattle

10/26/2022 at 9:51am EDT

from Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times,

The trio of Climate Pledge Arena matchups presents an opportunity for the Kraken in their bigger, ongoing battle to define for local fans what type of team they’ll be. Establishing a stronger on-ice identity would be a step toward greater relevance in a market where their season debut was overshadowed by the playoff Mariners. They’ll also compete for attention in coming months with the surprising first-place Seahawks.

Through seven games entering Tuesday’s matchup against Buffalo, the Kraken showed signs of escaping their placement among the NHL’s bottom rungs. And that would be critical to making them a hotter ticket and filling some of the ample empty seats at an officially “sold out” home arena, where the Kraken failed to win their first three games.

But wanting it and actually going out and getting it done are different things.

This team is fast becoming a case study for glass-half-full, glass-half-empty factions. Optimists point to wins at Los Angeles and Colorado amid a .500 performance in five consecutive games against expected playoff squads as proof that the Kraken can contend all season.

And that ability to hang around, lending importance to games not just now but down the road in March and perhaps April, will be the true measuring stick for Kraken success. Expansion team or not, nobody running the Kraken expected them to perform as poorly as they did last season, and there is zero appetite within the fledgling organization for another campaign filled with struggles to build value in the product they’re trying to sell.


NHL Short Notes

10/26/2022 at 3:21am EDT

* For the third time in as many seasons, an NHL games played record has fallen. This time it was Phil Kessel skating in his 990th consecutive game, establishing the longest "Ironman” streak in League history.

* Phil Kessel’s milestone evening, taking place in the same arena in which he won the first Stanley Cup of his career (2016 w/ PIT), also included becoming the 12th U.S.-born player in NHL history to reach the 400-goal mark.

* Marc-Andre Fleury returned to his home province to play his 944th career game and passed Curtis Joseph for sole possession of sixth place on the League’s all-time list among goaltenders.

Phil Kessel Is The New Ironman Of The NHL

10/25/2022 at 10:57pm EDT

via the NHL PR department,

Golden Knights forward Phil Kessel skated in his 990th consecutive regular-season game Tuesday and passed Keith Yandle (989 GP from March 26, 2009–March 29, 2022) for sole possession of the longest “Ironman” streak in NHL history.

* Yandle had held sole possession of the League’s lengthiest consecutive games played streak since Jan. 25, 2022, when he played in his 965th straight contest to surpass longtime NHL record holder Doug Jarvis (964 GP from Oct. 8, 1975–Oct. 10, 1987). Yandle extended his run to 989 contests before he was scratched by the Flyers for their game on April 2.

* Read more below on Kessel’s unlikely streak that was preceded by a cancer diagnosis at age 19 and has included two championships, various viral moments, a plethora of pranks with teammates as well as multiple interactions with prominent members of society ranging from professional wrestlers to U.S. presidents.

TSN Insiders Tonight

10/25/2022 at 6:54pm EDT

The Canucks are the last remaining winless team in the NHL and calls for changes are getting louder and louder. How much more of this can Vancouver ownership take before undergoing a major shakeup? The TSN Hockey Insiders discuss that, Minnesota's slow start, the World Cup of Hockey and more in Insider Trading.

Watch at TSN

Still Winless In Vancouver

10/25/2022 at 4:39am EDT

from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,

Well, at least we’re guaranteed another couple of days without martial law on the West Coast.

After terrorizing the fan base with their performance, and the spectacularly quotable criticisms by their coach and president in their home-opener on Saturday, the Vancouver Canucks had a more noble 3-2 loss Monday to the formidable Carolina Hurricanes.

But it was still wholly unsatisfactory, as Vancouver dipped to 0-5-2 and remain the National Hockey League’s only winless team.

And the worst part of what could have been a bounceback night for the franchise, was that yet again the game was there for the Canucks in the third period, tied 1-1, only to have them yield easy goals to Sebastian Aho and Jesper Fast on the second and third shifts of the final frame.

In their seven games, the Canucks have been outscored 17-2 after the second intermission.


Game highlights are below

NHL Short Notes

10/25/2022 at 3:46am EDT

* Exactly half the games contested Monday featured a comeback win courtesy of the Oilers, Capitals and Senators – contests that included a three-point period for Leon Draisaitl, the 122nd career game-winning goal for Alex Ovechkin and a new franchise rookie record set by Ottawa’s Shane Pinto.

* It’s been nearly 13 years – 4,738 days to be exact – since Phil Kessel made his Maple Leafs debut. As fate would have it, the now Golden Knights forward tied Keith Yandle for longest “Ironman” streak in NHL history against the club where it all started.

* Rasmus Dahlin and the Sabres will look to keep streaks alive as Buffalo has the opportunity to sweep a road trip of at least four games for just the third time in franchise history on a 10-game Tuesday.

Not A Happy GM In Minnesota

10/24/2022 at 7:44pm EDT

from Michael Russo of The Athletic,

As much as any Wild fan, Bill Guerin is disappointed and dumbfounded by the team’s inexplicable 1-3-1 start after a franchise-record 113-point season a year ago.

He can’t believe how many good, relied-upon players are off to subpar starts. He’s dismayed by the overall defensive play. And he’s displeased with the= compete level, not so much in regards to effort but in how the team is working....

He doesn’t want to waste an option this early by storming the locker room gates and tearing into guys. And, for now, he’s letting the coaches coach and hasn’t gone the route of hosting individual meetings.

But the Wild general manager made clear during a sitdown with The Athletic on Sunday’s off day in Montreal that it’s time for Wild players to get their acts together or there is a danger of things going off the rails.

“I think it’s simple here: We’re just not a pretty team,” Guerin said, which is a stunning statement when one considers last season’s entertaining squad was a very pretty team.

“We have some skill — maybe not as much as some other teams — so when we don’t play hard, heavy, physical, when our competitive level isn’t where it needs to be, we struggle. And when we are, we’re good. That’s how we became good. We’re not doing that right now. I don’t see it. And I want to start seeing it.”

read on ($)

Quite The Honor For Stan Fischler

10/24/2022 at 5:44pm EDT

from Cory Wright of the Islanders website,

The banners hanging in the rafters at UBS Arena represent the ultimate accolade the New York Islanders can give one of its legendary players. Each one of them tells a story about a player who left an indelible mark on the franchise.

But what about the storytellers? How can a team honor the media figures who bridge the connection between player and fan? There is perhaps no bigger honor a team can bestow on a media member than naming its press box after them and on Wednesday, the press level at UBS Arena will officially be named after Stan Fischler.

"To have my name on the press box is roughly equivalent to something like having a little banner for me," Fischler said. "In my personal journalistic life, this is the crown jewel."

Fischler has been a fixture around the Islanders for 50 years. He covered the team as a writer during the first game in franchise history in 1972 and was a part of the Islanders first telecast in 1974-75. For years, he was beamed into living rooms on SportsChannel and MSG Networks, bringing his unique interview style, hockey acumen and love of the Islanders into fans' homes.


Connor McDavid Grows Off The Ice

10/24/2022 at 4:24pm EDT

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

As former Face of the Game Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins arrive for a Monday night meeting and their only visit to Rogers Place this season, you may have noticed his successor has become a more eloquent, patient and cooperative spokesman this season, whose answers to questions let us in more than they ever have.

Off camera, he’s hanging around to kibitz or answer a few extra questions now, something he’s never done before. He’s asking questions now, not just answering them. He’s talking football, or golf, or whatever’s going on in the world outside the locker room.

At long last, Connor McDavid is becoming a spokesman for the game, not a prisoner of it, ready to accept the role that his otherworldly game thrust upon him long before he was ready for that part of the job.

“I am older — this is my eighth season now, and I’m starting to understand how the league works a little bit better,” McDavid said during a candid conversation Sunday afternoon, before he settled into the Chiefs-49ers game.


Afternoon Line -J.T. Miller

10/24/2022 at 4:04pm EDT

Stars Of The Week

10/24/2022 at 1:02pm EDT

NEW YORK (Oct. 24, 2022) -- Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk and New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Oct. 23.

It's All About The Cup In Las Vegas

10/24/2022 at 8:28am EDT

from Ryan S. Clark of ESPN,

Perspective can be everything. Look no further than the Vegas Golden Knights.

Missing the playoffs for the first time in franchise history last year has led to questions that had never really been asked about the team before. Then again, this is just the sixth season in franchise history, and the Golden Knights actually finished the 2021-22 campaign well above .500 while also posting the second-most victories in a season in their brief existence.

But lofty expectations have become the standard. That is what happens when a franchise reaches the Stanley Cup Final in its first season and the Western Conference finals in two others. Arriving at those heights only to fall short has since fostered a win-at-all costs culture. It has led the Golden Knights to change coaches along with significant portions of their roster at what might be considered a breakneck pace.

This is what happens when winning a Stanley Cup is the only goal that matters.

"I think when you come here to a team like this, your goal should be to win the Stanley Cup," Golden Knights center Jack Eichel said. "I think we have the players in here to do it. I think that's the standard this organization holds themselves to. ... But it's such a long way away. Nobody has ever achieved a goal eight months away tomorrow. You have to take care of your business throughout the year and give yourself a chance."


NHL Short Notes

10/24/2022 at 12:13am EDT

* After dropping their first two games of 2022-23, the Blackhawks have rallied with three straight wins – overcoming a multi-goal deficit in each contest and joining rare company in the process.

* The retooled Red Wings are off to their best start in more than a decade, with offseason acquisition Dominik Kubalik leading the way by collecting eight points through his first five games of the campaign.

* Phil Kessel is set to tie Keith Yandle for the longest “Ironman” streak in NHL history and will do so in Toronto – a place where his stretch began nearly 13 years ago as a member of the Maple Leafs.

Hockey Notes In Late October

10/23/2022 at 9:11am EDT

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

-- A five-game assessment of the Leafs by an NHL coach: “That’s a soft team. Really talented, but soft. You don’t go anywhere being that soft.” And right after that, it was no accident the Leafs added Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Clifford to the lineup Saturday night.

- The Florida Panthers had 122 points last season with Aaron Ekblad as their best defenceman and MacKenzie Weegar their No. 2. Now Ekblad is injured and Weegar is in Calgary. And poor Paul Maurice is coaching the same kind of defence that got him in trouble in Winnipeg.

- In the 2017 NHL draft, the Dallas Stars took defenceman Miro Heiskanen and goalie Jake Oettinger in the first round and high-scoring forward Jason Robertson in the second round. That’s three all-stars in two rounds, almost a career changer for the affable 64-year-old general manager, Jim Nill.

- The Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche began the season with Nazem Kadri gone to Calgary and now captain Gabriel Landeskog is out for three months. That’s 18 playoff goals and 37 playoff points missing from the champs’ roster.

a few more notes, mostly Toronto related...

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