Articles in NHL Teams

On The Rangers Pursuit Of Patrick Kane

02/25/2023 at 5:02am EST

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

You should know that there were no concrete developments Friday in this ongoing saga. The Rangers did not place Vitali Kravtsov or Jake Leschyshyn on waivers, though neither of the “roster-management” guys participated in the club’s optional practice ahead of the Saturday afternoon match against the Capitals.

Suffice it to say, neither was given the option.

Similarly, Kane did not skate in the Blackhawks’ practice in San Jose, Calif., his absence cited as a “maintenance day.” Nevertheless, the wheels are turning. The Rangers hierarchy, led by president-general manager Chris Drury, has completed all of the required mathematical equations and all of the potential roster and lineup implications.

The Blueshirts are not somehow going to be caught pennies short when (and still if, until it isn’t) a deal is ready to go. There is a plan in place that may involve a 2024 conditional first-rounder, Zac Jones or both going the other way, even as one informant told us on Friday, “There is nothing definitive to report.”

Speculation has escalated through the week. The outside noise has made its way into the room. How could it not? That will continue to overshadow on-ice events if a trade is delayed until Friday, as it may have to be because of cap reality and roster constraints.


The Winnipeg Jets Lose Badly To The Colorado Avalanche

02/25/2023 at 12:34am EST

from Ken Wiebe of Sportsnet,

Well, it turns out the most important game of the year turned out to be the biggest no-show of the season for the Winnipeg Jets.

For a team coming off a disappointing 1-3 road trip, the Jets were expected to come out and play an inspired game against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Instead, they gave up a breakaway goal to Nathan MacKinnon 19 seconds after the opening faceoff and laid an egg in what was a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night at Canada Life Centre.

Considering the circumstances -- with the Jets well aware that the Avalanche, Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames are chasing them down and eliminating what used to be a solid cushion -- an effort like this one was inexcusable.

Rather than being up for the challenge, the Jets looked more like a team searching for answers as the stretch run is ramping up.


Game highlights are below.

NHL Short Notes

02/25/2023 at 12:08am EST

* The race to the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs continues to build as the Sabres moved into a playoff spot for the first time since Nov. 5 – which was 12 contests into their 2022-23 campaign – and are now in a playoff position this late in the season for the first time since 2012.

* Antti Raanta extended his point streak at PNC Arena to 10 games to join an exclusive Hurricanes/Whalers list as Carolina built a five-point lead atop the Metropolitan Division with its fifth straight win.

* The NHL is set for an 11-game Saturday, which will feature Patrick Marleau having his No. 12 raised to the rafters and Nazem Kadri making his first return to Colorado since hoisting the Stanley Cup with the club.

The Playoffs Without Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin

02/24/2023 at 9:18pm EST

from Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,

As long as veteran stars Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos and John Tavares have played in the NHL, the Stanley Cup playoffs have included both Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin.

Or look at it this way: Gary Bettman will in the very near future surpass Clarence Campbell and become the longest serving chief executive in NHL history. For more than half the time he’s been in office he’s been able to count on having Crosby and Ovechkin involved when the second season began....

Having superstars of that calibre has meant those teams haven’t even been able to consider rebuilding, and won’t be able to do so until they retire or leave to play for another team, the latter of which seems hard to imagine in both cases.

The NHL has been dining out on the Crosby-Ovechkin rivalry for a very, very long time. It’s been compared favourably to the Magic Johnson-Larry Bird period in the NBA.

Crosby and Ovechkin, in some ways, saved their respective franchises along the way, and did an awful lot to repair the damage caused by the NHL’s shutdown that obliterated the 2004-05 regular season and the ’05 Stanley Cup playoffs. The league enacted a slew of new rules coming out of that owners lockout and the two newcomers were able to flourish immediately. In the 2005-06 season, Crosby notched 102 points, and Ovechkin scored 52 goals.

That helped ignite a debate that raged for years. Which player was better? It hardly mattered in Washington, a franchise that had been an NHL afterthought for a quarter-century before general manager George McPhee authorized a tanking project that resulted in getting Ovechkin first overall in 2004.


Finger Pointing In St. Louis

02/24/2023 at 7:25pm EST

from Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic,

If you call Enterprise Center on Friday looking to buy an Alexey Toropchenko No. 13 Blues jersey, they might be on backorder.

It is extremely rare in the NHL for young players to speak their minds, especially a 23-year-old fourth-round draft pick with just 73 games in the league before Thursday’s game against Vancouver.

The Russian speaks impressively good English, and he did not mince words after the Blues coughed up a 2-0 lead in the final 11 minutes of regulation and fell 3-2 in overtime. The Canucks got a short-handed goal, pulled their goalie and tied the score with 29 seconds left, then won on Elias Pettersson’s OT shot.

But it wasn’t the fact the Blues, who have already begun their fire sale, lost the game. It was the lackadaisical effort by the team’s top players, which everyone in the crowd of 18,096 could see well before the final-period collapse....

“Even if we’re not in the playoff spot, I will do everything because it’s a hockey game,” Toropchenko said. “You can’t (disappear), especially when you’re playing in the NHL. You’re not playing somewhere else, on the beer league or something like that. You need to show something. You need to show heart and character and be strong everywhere. Just play from your heart. Not good.”...

The trio of Schenn, Thomas and Kyrou has a combined one point in the past four games, and that was an assist by Kyrou in last week’s 4-1 loss to Colorado. In their four-game losing streak, the Blues have been outscored 18-6, and here’s the breakdown of five-on-five goals for/against that those three have been on the ice for: Schenn (2-4), Thomas (0-6) and Kyrou (1-6).

“Not good enough,” Berube said. “Not even close.”

more ($)

Below, watch as Sportsnet's Hockey Central discusses this...

Preparing For The Trade Deadline

02/24/2023 at 7:14pm EST

via the NHL PR department,

1,226 – Number of players traded on deadline day since 1979-80. This excludes players involved in trades later invalidated by the NHL (one deal in 2022, one in 2009 and one in 1999).

674 – Number of trades on deadline day since 1979-80. This excludes trades later invalidated by the NHL (one deal in 2022, one in 2009 and one in 1999).

481 – Number of draft picks traded on deadline day since 1979-80. This excludes conditional picks where conditions were not met.

The Latest Trade Deadline Talk

02/24/2023 at 6:41pm EST

6:00pm and all is well at the KK compound. Electricity restored after 48 hours.

from Sportsnet,

In his last four games, Kane has seven goals and 10 points (including a hat trick against the Maple Leafs on Sunday). There’s no clearer way to send a message to those doubting your ability to help a contender than that.

As noted by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman during Friday’s edition of the 32 Thoughts podcast (recorded Thursday), Kane’s agent, Pat Brisson, has been quoted as saying the winger “hasn’t made a decision yet” about where he’d like to be moved.

The 34-year-old is in full control and, much like we saw last year with Claude Giroux (who also had a NMC as a pending UFA) informing Philadelphia he’d only go to the Florida Panthers, it appears that Kane may only have eyes for one club: the New York Rangers.

Can New York make space? They’re currently sitting out two players, forwards Vitali Kravtsov and Jake Leschyshyn, for what they’ve called “roster management reasons.” (Between Kravtsov’s $875,000 cap hit and Leschyshyn’s $2.3 million, those two players account for about $3M.) Here’s how Friedman explained his understanding of the situation:

“I heard that Chris Drury was calling teams and asking if there was a way he could move about $1.6 million in cap room. And if he can’t do that in a trade, I think we all need to watch the waiver wire on Friday. And that’s going to tell us what exactly is going on here,” said Friedman. “So, the fact that Brisson is still being quoted, as we tape this podcast on Thursday night, as saying that Patrick Kane has not made his decision, it says to me that the mechanism is slowly turning and everything has to get into place before anyone’s making any pronouncement here.”

What if it’s not New York…? The Rangers, after all, are far from the only interested party.

“It's not just Vegas and Dallas and the Rangers and Carolina. It’s a whole bunch of teams now, this week, reaching out and saying, ‘Look, does he want to come to us? Because if he does, we’ll see if we can find a way to make it work,’” said Friedman. “I think the list of interested teams actually grew. However, I’m not sure his list of teams he’s interested in grew by very much. And I think we all know, if the Rangers can get it done, they’re the favourites. If the Rangers actually do this and get the room and he doesn’t go there, jaws are going to drop.”

continue for more trade talk

Brad Marchand Fined

02/24/2023 at 5:10pm EST

NEW YORK (Feb. 24, 2023) – Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for a dangerous trip against Seattle Kraken forward Oliver Bjorkstrand during NHL Game No. 927 in Seattle on Thursday, Feb. 23, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

Watch below.

Eric Cernak Suspended Two Games

02/24/2023 at 5:06pm EST

NEW YORK (Feb. 24, 2023) – Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak has been suspended for two games, without pay, for elbowing Buffalo Sabres forward Kyle Okposo during NHL Game No. 921 in Tampa on Thursday, Feb. 23, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.The incident occurred at 18:23 of the third period.Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Cernak will forfeit $31,891.90. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

For a full explanation of the decision, complete with video, please click on the following link:

Ron Hextall On The Slumping Penguins

02/24/2023 at 4:22pm EST

from Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

The Penguins are 8-12-4 since Christmas with a minus-22 goal differential. Their current losing streak is their third of four or more games. That has happened only one other time during the Mike Sullivan era, four years ago in 2018-19.

Even so, he believes they can as currently constructed still make the playoffs.

“The hardest part about our team right now is probably the volatility,” Hextall said. “It’s a tough one, quite frankly, to put a finger on. ... Some nights you ask yourself, ‘What team are we?’ But I know this: We’ve shown that we’re capable of being a very good team and we’ll continue to try to make our team better.”

Hextall knows fans are frustrated. He heard them loud and clear Thursday at PPG Paints Arena, when “Fire Hextall!” chants erupted in a loss to Edmonton.

“We have high expectations, as well, and we haven’t met them. So I totally get it,” Hextall said calmly. “When you’re a GM, you know what you’re signing up for. We work in the public eye. And they pay good money to come to the rink, and they certainly have the right to chant and say whatever they choose.”

Hextall added, “It’s not going to affect anything I do or anything I don’t do.”


NHL Short Notes

02/24/2023 at 5:50am EST

* Connor McDavid, David Pastrnak and Tage Thompson combined for six goals Thursday as the Oilers, Bruins and Sabres prevailed in high-scoring games.

* For the first time since entering games on Dec. 9, the Red Wings are in a playoff position! Detroit dealt New York its first regulation road loss in nearly two months to leapfrog Pittsburgh and Florida for the Eastern Conference’s final Wild Card spot.

* Friday’s six-game slate features a pair of national broadcasts in Canada as the Sabres square off with the Panthers and the Jets face the Avalanche.

Washington/Boston Trade

02/23/2023 at 6:17pm EST

Video- Alex Ovechkin After Practice Today

02/22/2023 at 2:52pm EST

Jake Muzzin Done For The Year

02/22/2023 at 1:09pm EST

via the Toronto Maple Leafs,

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that after follow-up consultation this month with various specialists, our medical staff have determined that defenceman Jake Muzzin has been ruled out for the rest of the 2022-23 regular season and playoffs as he recovers from a cervical spine injury.

The club will provide a further update as to his status at training camp in September 2023. Muzzin skated in four games with the Maple Leafs this season and recorded one assist.

The Florida Panthers Need To Keep Winning

02/22/2023 at 9:23am EST

from Steven Goldstein at CBS News Miami,

The Florida Panthers put themselves behind the eight ball by struggling for the first three months of the season.

There were many contributing factors but the fact remained, they were 11 points out of a playoff spot on New Year's Day. They have picked up their play in a big way since, and despite a very difficult schedule have produced enough wins to be in the thick of the NHL playoff race....

As has been the case for a couple of months, every game for this team is of the utmost importance. The Panthers have played a lot of games so other teams have more opportunities for wins, putting the margin for error razor thin. They are 4-3 in their last seven games and at some point, they are going to have to go on a long winning streak. There is still plenty of time left and plenty of home games left to do it. But it needs to happen to reach the postseason.


NHL Short Notes

02/22/2023 at 4:30am EST

* Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl combined on Edmonton’s game-tying goal to reach the 800- and 700-point milestones, respectively, en route to a comeback win.

* Ryan O’Reilly scored a hat trick in his third game in blue-and-white while Mitchell Marner factored on five of six Toronto goals to tie the Maple Leafs franchise record for assists in a road contest.

* U.S.-born stars Jason Robertson and Patrick Kane will go head-to-head when the Stars host the Blackhawks in a national broadcast on TNT.

Cale Makar In Concussion Protocol Again

02/21/2023 at 2:40pm EST

from Peter Baugh of The Athletic,

Avalanche star defenseman Cale Makar is back in concussion protocol after a collision with Blues forward Alexey Toropchenko on Saturday in St. Louis, leading to his absence Sunday in a home game against Edmonton, coach Jared Bednar confirmed Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Makar got hurt in his first game back after sustaining a head injury on Feb. 7 in Pittsburgh and was originally considered day to day with an upper-body injury, Colorado said. Against the Penguins, he took a Jeff Carter shoulder to the head but returned after passing concussion protocols. The next morning, he woke up feeling symptoms and missed the next four games.
  • Against St. Louis, Makar and Toropchenko collided on an Avalanche power play. Toropchenko’s arm struck Makar’s face. The defenseman left the game initially but once again returned to play; Bednar said Tuesday that Makar once again had delayed concussion symptoms.
  • Colorado does not play again until Friday in Winnipeg, then returns home to play the Flames on Saturday. Makar will miss the weekend’s games.

Each city has an independent spotter that pulls players who they believe might have suffered a concussion. The player then gets evaluated by the trainers and doctors. In the Pittsburgh game, the spotter pulled Makar to go through protocol.

But in St. Louis, the spotter did not pull Makar from the game, according to an Avalanche spokesman, despite the fact that the defenseman grabbed his face after the play. Makar told the Colorado Springs Gazette postgame that he “got kind of bruised on the nose, just because I think my visor hit it.”

continue for more on the Avs...

A 50 Save Win from Connor Hellebuyck Over The New York Rangers

02/21/2023 at 10:51am EST

from Ken Wiebe of Sportsnet,

There are formulas, numbers and plenty of other important evidence that suggest it’s a bad idea – under most circumstances – for the starting goalie to start on consecutive days.

A growing number of coaches are leaning on that data and leaning on the backup more often, but Monday was one of those nights when the Winnipeg Jets felt it was best to ride the No. 1 guy.

First and foremost, Connor Hellebuyck didn’t have an overly taxing night on Sunday against the New Jersey Devils and, secondly, the commute from Newark, N.J., to Manhattan is pretty easy compared to most other situations when a flight is involved.

When you consider the Jets had lost consecutive games and needed a lift, it was no surprise that head coach Rick Bowness decided to go with No. 37 between the pipes in Monday’s game against the New York Rangers.

Hellebuyck did his part with a virtuoso performance, finishing with a season-high 50 saves as he essentially willed the Jets to a 4-1 victory.


Watch the game highlights below.

Keep Trying

02/21/2023 at 10:28am EST

from Cathal Kelly of the Globe and Mail,

Brendan Shanahan is the original adult, and in many ways the only one that matters, but he can’t play. Lou Lamoriello was Adult #2. Mike Babcock was Adult #3. You see where this is headed.

You hire the right managers so they can hire the right players. Sexing up the Leafs executive goosed the recruitment drive. The new Leafs are never short of boldface names. Unfortunately, a lot of them were most boldfaced 10 years before they arrived.

Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Jason Spezza, Wayne Simmonds, Ron Hainsey, Nick Foligno, Jake Muzzin, Mark Giordano – they’re all the same guy. Thirty-something, father-figure types. Even temperament, strong air of competence, history of winning. Not necessarily difference makers on the ice. A couple of them were just barely NHL-level anymore. But full-grown adults.

All the same versions of this same guy have produced the same result. None of them have worked out. No matter how much middle-aged authority the Leafs pack their dressing room with, the kids still dominate.

If you’re being kind, they are mercurial. If you’re not, they are flakes.

How do you stiffen up a bunch of wobbly-kneed types? You keep doing what you were doing until the plan works out (maybe) or you get lucky (that sounds more like it). The Leafs’ latest Locker Room Dad is Ryan O’Reilly.


NHL Short Notes

02/21/2023 at 12:06am EST

* David Pastrnak joined elite company with his third career 40-goal season as Boston defeated Ottawa and matched the NHL record for fewest games to 90 points in a season.

* Connor Hellebuyck and John Gibson both made 50 or more saves Monday, marking just the third time since 1955-56 (when shots on goal were officially tracked) that two goaltenders have posted as many on the same day.

* Tuesday’s nine-game slate will feature a showdown between the Sabres and Maple Leafs at KeyBank Center on Hulu and ESPN+.

Penguins Blow A Lead Again

02/20/2023 at 11:22pm EST

from Michelle Crechiolo of the Penguins' website,

On Friday in New York, the Islanders ended up scoring late in regulation to cap off a comeback and win the game 5-4. It was a particularly disappointing loss for the Penguins, who put forth a spirited effort and played well.

In the rematch on Monday in Pittsburgh, the Penguins again entered the third period with a lead… before eventually falling 4-2.

It was their third straight setback to a division opponent as the Penguins fight for playoff positioning. The Islanders moved into the first Wild Card spot with 65 points (and 60 games played); Florida moved into the second Wild Card spot with 64 points (60 games played); and Pittsburgh (63 points) is now in third, with Washington, Buffalo, Detroit and Ottawa all hot on their heels.

"We should play the same if we lead by two goals or one. Don't wait - try to win," Evgeni Malkin said. "Stay moving, play the same game, try on the forecheck. The last couple games, we feel pressure, you know? We need points... We start to wait too long and they start to change momentum.

"If we play the same, we fight for every inch, we try to play hard, we will win. We have a great team here. I believe in everyone. If we play the same [throughout the game], we'll be in the playoffs, for sure."


Your Move Tampa?

02/20/2023 at 6:11pm EST

from Frank Seravalli of The Daily Faceoff,

Today, we’re going to key in on the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are shooting for a fourth straight Stanley Cup Final appearance. They’re on a collision course with the Toronto Maple Leafs again in the first round. What do the Lightning have up their sleeve after Toronto’s trade for Ryan O’Reilly?

Top Objective: Depth Defender

If Tampa’s penalty kill is really a concern, or if Cooper would like to reduce Victor Hedman’s workload leading up to the playoffs, perhaps the best course of action is to acquire a defenseman who can add to their depth, aid the penalty kill and provide a physical presence. We’ve seen that Tampa is active in that market with both Ian Cole and Philippe Myers being added to the mix, though the Myers bet (and extension) doesn’t look like it will pay off.

Secondary Objective: Depth Forward

One element certainly missing in Tampa’s bottom six forward group is a burst of speed. None of Pat Maroon, Corey Perry, or Pierre-Edouard Bellemare would be considered a burner. The Bolts could use some turbo there, preferably one with term if they’re going to be giving up some of their precious few assets.

Potential Targets


The Edmonton Oilers Need Goaltending

02/20/2023 at 10:00am EST

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

The Edmonton Oilers can’t keep the puck out of their net, can’t get a save when they need one, and the big boys are taking this thing back to where it was years ago: A travelling offensive circus that shows little affinity for the dirty, defending parts of the game.

For the second game in a row, the Oilers blew a three-goal lead, losing 6-5 in overtime to the Colorado Avalanche. One game after coughing up a 4-1 lead against the New York Rangers, they leaked away leads of 3-0, 4-2 and 5-3 before losing for the eighth straight time when a game extends past regulation time.

“We score enough goals,” began honest depth winger Warren Foegele, who had a pair of goals and kept his shifts to a tidy 37 seconds, on average. “The mentality has to be to defend. We're definitely capable of that — it's just having the right mindset. Like, we don't need to score more goals. We're up (by) three.

“So we’ve got to take shorter shifts and stay above guys. For some reason, we're just not doing that.”


NHL Short Notes

02/20/2023 at 2:58am EST

* Mikko Rantanen matched a franchise record with his third overtime winner of the year to cap off Colorado’s first three-goal comeback victory of 2022-23 and the NHL’s 16th of the season.

* Patrick Kane scored a hat trick along with his four-point night and climbed multiple lists in the proces

* A six-game slate will feature four matinees as Presidents' Day and Family Day is celebrated in the U.S. and Canada, respectively, including the Bruins (42-8-5, 89 points) who can match the NHL benchmark for fewest games to 90 points in a season.

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