Articles in NHL Teams

NHL Short Notes

12/17/2022 at 3:02am EST

* Will The Great Eight tie Mr. Hockey on the NHL’s all-time goals list Saturday? Alex Ovechkin, who sits one back of Gordie Howe, has tallied eight times in head-to-head games with Auston Matthews but will be facing a familiar face who enters the contest with two straight shutouts.

* Saturday’s slate is set to feature several other games involving noteworthy players including this season’s first head-to-head contest between Connor McDavid and Trevor Zegras, who are likely to find themselves on numerous “Plays of the Year” reels as 2022 comes to a close.

* Wild forward Mats Zuccarello, Coyotes forward Clayton Keller and Blues forward Jordan Kyrou each scored multiple goals in wins Friday.

Things To Know About The Edmonton Oilers

12/16/2022 at 7:50pm EST

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Debuting a new look here, with the first “Things We Know” column Series 1, Volume 1....

Campbell has dealt with disappointment often. He was a first-rounder who never panned out, and it’s not easy to be that guy. Then he battled to make an NHL career for himself, and ended up in Toronto where he stole the No. 1 job. But it ended badly in Toronto and has started badly in Edmonton.

Campbell has the “I’m playing lousy” interview down to a tee. I’ve interviewed hockey players for 35 years. I’d rather see him tell his critics to (bleep) off, and play like he has a chip on his shoulder.

Be Mike Smith. The Oilers are missing the confidence and swagger that Smith brought to their room.

more Things We Know...


Video- The Top 50 Players Under 24

12/16/2022 at 11:20am EST

from TSN,

Cale Makar is the standard-bearer for the NHL’s younger generation.

Makar is No. 1 in Craig Button’s ranking of the Top 50 U-24 NHL-affiliated players and prospects who were 23 or younger as of the start of the NHL season Oct. 11.

Since then, the Colorado superstar has turned 24 and reached 200 career points faster than any defenceman in NHL history.

Makar, who plays the game at breakneck speed, reached the milestone in 195 games, 12 fewer than any other blueliner.

Teammate Nathan MacKinnon has famously said Makar could develop into the greatest defenceman ever.

Button doesn’t share that perspective but sees Makar ending up as one of the all-time greatest by career’s end.

“Makar has a brilliant future ahead of him,” says Button. “I think he could eventually be the third best defenceman behind Bobby Orr and Nicklas Lidstrom.”

continued

Watch below.

The Early Struggle For Linus Ullmark

12/16/2022 at 8:55am EST

from Amalie Benjamin of NHL.com,

Ullmark was at what should have been one of the highest points of his career, coming off winning the Honken Trophy, given to the goalie of the year in Sweden, in 2013-14, a season when he had a 2.08 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage for Modo in Ornskoldsvik. He had been picked in the sixth round (No. 163) by the Sabres in the 2012 NHL Draft.

It was all lining up.

"I came off a great year, goalie of the year, a lot of expectations," Ullmark, now the Boston Bruins goalie, said this month after having become one of the leading contenders for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the goaltender voted the best in the NHL. "Everything went [south]. That was when my roughest point was."

Because while the ice was supposed to be his refuge, a place where he could narrow and simplify his focus to the work and the game and the puck in front of him, his off-ice worries had started to creep in. Back home in Lugnvik, a tiny town about an hour southwest of Ornskoldsvik, his father's alcoholism had spiraled.

"I said, 'I don't know what to do,'" Ullmark recalled. "I have no idea what to do. I was thinking about quitting. I was very close to quitting and just moving home. But I got in touch with a psychiatrist that really helped me work through it, work through all of my feelings."

The alcoholism hadn't been a part of Ullmark's life growing up, not that he knew. His father, Jan-Olof, had always been around, helping to drive Ullmark and his brother Tobias, older by four years, to various hockey practices, after a stroke prevented the father from working. They'd always had a good relationship.

Then Tobias moved away, and health issues cropped up, and alcohol became both the solution and the problem.

And now Ullmark knew about it. Now he found vodka bottles around the house, heard the lies his father was telling. Now he worried and ached, the weight settling across his shoulders.

more

Bo Horvat Trade Chatter

12/16/2022 at 7:39am EST

from Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic,

The return that Vancouver could be looking for in a Bo Horvat trade is one of the interesting things to consider as this market starts to develop.

It might not be what we expect.

I assumed the Canucks would be asking for a futures-only package, as selling, retooling teams most often do when they’re dealing with an in-season trade for a pending unrestricted free agent. But so far, it seems that Vancouver is looking instead for more of a hockey deal — to upgrade at center ice and/or right-shot defense if possible and bring in a player in the twentysomething age range this Canucks management group has focused on since coming on board...

And the possibility of Horvat re-signing with his new team as part of a trade? It’s hard, but we did see it happen last season with Hampus Lindholm after being traded from the Ducks to the Bruins. I also wonder if non-playoff teams with cap room to spare would try to get in on Horvat, viewing the acquisition price as worth it in order to cut off the competition ahead of July 1 free agency. That’s a longer shot, I think, but you can’t rule it out.

I would also never completely close the door on Horvat re-signing with the Canucks, even though those chances are certainly more remote now than they’ve been in the past. Sometimes when the reality of a possible trade hits you — both as a front office and as a player — there can be a sudden change of heart.

At the moment, all signs point to the Canucks front office exploring the trade route after being unable to sign Horvat a couple of weeks ago. But stranger things have happened.

more (paid) and additional trade chatter

Edmonton Thought They Had An OT Win But St. Louis Wins In A Shootout

12/16/2022 at 2:12am EST

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Everything, as the great Bob Cole once declared, was “haaaapennninggg!”

After a game that caused Darnell Nurse to admit, “I let my teammates down,” Connor McDavid admitted something else:...

The Face of the Game isn’t even sure about the Rules of the Game.

Nurse’s poor play — he was directly responsible for two of St. Louis’ three goals in a 4-3 shootout loss — opened the door for another whacky round of video review, as the NHL’s Situation Room disallowed an overtime goal that riled up Oilers captain Connor McDavid.

Leon Draisaitl scored an apparent game-winning goal in overtime that was overturned in Toronto, where it was decided that McDavid was not in control of the puck as he entered the St. Louis zone.

Although St. Louis centre Ryan O’Reilly was waving his stick near the puck, he never touched it. McDavid cruised along as the puck went into his feet, his eyes on the puck but not his stick, and he believed he was in control of the puck the whole time.

As you watch the puck go into the skates of both players, you can argue McDavid wasn’t in control of the puck near the end of the sequence. But was McDavid in control as it crossed the line, despite the fact the puck was not physically on his stick blade?

“Since I was a kid, I thought if you have possession of the puck (going over the blue-line) that's onside. If I had possession or not, I guess that's the judgment call,” said McDavid, who was seen disciplining his hockey stick against an arena wall as he left the ice post-game.

continued, with videos...

From Both Sides - Leafs/Rangers

12/16/2022 at 1:51am EST

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

“Fundamentally as a coach I believe we can win every game. No matter what’s happening, that’s my approach,” head coach Sheldon Keefe said. “Our execution was off with the puck here today.

“Just weren’t sharp.”

Truth is, the Maple Leafs almost escaped New York with a win, despite bringing their B-game.

Passes weren’t quite as crisp, neither side gave away too much on the inside, and the Leafs’ uncharacteristically sloppy power play went 0-for-4. “Horrible, really,” Marner said.

Puck management was an issue, too. Toronto committed 29 giveaways to New York’s nine. Marner had six of those, Auston Matthews four.

And yet, at even strength, the game was a 1-1 draw, and the Leafs held an edge in most possession metrics.

“They had two scoring chances, really, and scored on them both,” Keefe said.

more, game highlights are there too...

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

NHL Short Notes

12/16/2022 at 1:25am EST

* Sidney Crosby climbed an NHL all-time list, Kris Letang scored for the first time since recovering from a stroke and the Penguins improved to 173-28-11 when the pair plus Evgeni Malkin each find the score sheet.

* Connor McDavid reached the 60-point plateau in the fewest games the NHL has witnessed in more than 25 years.

* Standout performances from three young netminders – Jake Oettinger, Carter Hart and Pyotr Kochetkov – helped each of their clubs earn wins Thursday.

TSN Insiders Tonight

12/15/2022 at 7:08pm EST
With the holiday season upon us, the TSN Hockey Insiders look ahead to TradeCentre and discuss what some teams are looking to acquire, including who the Canucks would need in a potential Bo Horvat trade, what the Oilers are hoping to buy to bolster their blueline, and how the Maple Leafs are making adjustments in order to make moves.

Watch at TSN

The Athletic's Trade Board

12/15/2022 at 9:55am EST

from The Athletic,

Here are the names generating the most buzz around the league, taking into account both the potential impact of the player and the probability he’d actually be traded, with analysis from The Athletic’s Eric Duhatschek, Pierre LeBrun and Michael Russo.

This list will be a living document, with frequent updates to rankings and analysis, based on the latest rumblings and the market’s ebbs and flows, so bookmark it and check back regularly.

5. Ryan O’Reilly, Blues

Not that I think anything is imminent — we’re only in December — but my sense this week after talking to a few NHL teams is that they expect the Blues to listen on their pending-UFA captain in the new year. The Blues continue to play inconsistent hockey, and it’s not giving anyone confidence that the season will get back on track. I think the Maple Leafs have talked about O’Reilly internally. Whether that leads to showing interest with the Blues in the new year, we shall see. Like with Horvat, the Avalanche would make sense. I mean, any contender should have interest in the 2019 NHL playoff MVP. — LeBrun

11. Matt Dumba, Wild

Traded or not, this is probably the end of the erratic defenseman’s run in Minnesota. The 2012 first-round pick once looked like he would be as good an offensive sharpshooter as there was in the NHL — until he got into a fight with Matthew Tkachuk in December 2018 and tore his pectoral muscle into smithereens. He hasn’t been the same since, yet he has survived two expansion drafts, years of trade rumors and, without a doubt, several attempts by the Wild to trade him. Even if he were willing to take a significant paycut to stay, the Wild will move on this offseason because of their perceived blue-line depth among prospects. They have playoff aspirations but may still be willing to trade Dumba in a lateral move. He has been a liability too many nights this season. — Russo


23 more ($) players

Mid-December Hockey Thoughts

12/15/2022 at 9:30am EST

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- I don’t believe in absolutes. Feelings change over time. What you think today might not be what you think tomorrow, and everyone should avoid emotional decisions. That said, we’re 11 weeks from the trade deadline, and it’s getting extremely hard to see Bo Horvat wearing a Johnny Canuck reverse retro past March 3.

I don’t profess to know Horvat well, but here’s my amateur psychology: he’s very proud to be Vancouver’s captain, definitely capable of handling the Canadian microscope. But he prefers to keep the spotlight at arm’s length and does not like his business splashed over the internet like a Kardashian. Horvat won’t do the hockey equivalent of smashing 62 home runs like Aaron Judge in the all-time contract season, but he sure doesn’t seem distracted — on-pace for 59 goals heading into Wednesday’s game in Calgary. In his mind: summers are for talking, seasons are for playing....

- It’s been such a hard season in Anaheim that one exec wondered if it would hurt players’ trade value — especially the UFAs. Really hard to ramp up to playoff/contender mode if deals don’t happen for a couple more months.

- OK, Board of Governors. I admit I left West Palm Beach shaking my head at the salary-cap situation. In the days leading up to the meeting, every conversation with a player, agent or team exec included a discussion about the cap — specifically how to boost it by more than $1 million this summer. One governor indicated the message was league revenues are up about nine per cent, but still could be short of what will be needed to raise the ceiling by $4 million instead of $1 million. More high-revenue teams in the playoffs could help for sure (Seattle is already a top-five revenue NHL team, so its rise is a bonus), but an added layer of pessimism it can happen.

“The sense I get from the questions I’m getting asked,” said commissioner Gary Bettman, “Is somehow there’s an expectation that the cap should be going up more. That’s not what the agreement provides for based on the current circumstances.” The wildest thing about this is Bettman himself was the one who brought up a rise in October — basically out of nowhere.

more on the first topic plus other Thoughts too...


NHL Short Notes

12/15/2022 at 4:31am EST

* Just two nights after becoming the third player to join the NHL’s exclusive 800-goal club, Alex Ovechkin will look to match one of its members for second place on the League’s all-time goals list Thursday.

* Bo Horvat and Conor Garland scored two goals in the first 1:48, while Spencer Martin made 35 saves to help the Canucks earn their ninth comeback win of the season.

* Brady Tkachuk posted a two-point performance and Shane Pinto inched closer to the rookie lead in goals as Ottawa held on for a win against Montreal at Canadian Tire Centre.

OVECHKIN HONING IN ON HOWE DURING THURSDAY SLATE
Fresh off his 29th career hat trick and 800th NHL goal, Alex Ovechkin (800-644—1,444 in 1,305 GP) looks to find the back of the net for the fifth straight game and tie Gordie Howe (801-1,049—1,850 in 1,767 GP) for second place on the League’s all-time list.

The 800-Goal Club Welcomes Another Member

12/14/2022 at 4:29am EST

via the NHL PR department,

THREE’S COMPANY IN NHL’S 800-GOAL CLUB

Mr. Hockey, The Great One, and now, The Great Eight.

For nearly 14 years, Gordie Howe held his place as the only player in NHL history with 800 regular-season goals. For almost 29 years more, it was only Howe and Wayne Gretzky. That changed Tuesday, when Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored goal No. 800 against Blackhawks goaltender Petr Mrazek to join the League’s most exclusive goals list.

NHL Short Notes

12/14/2022 at 4:01am EST

* Three’s company in the NHL’s 800-goal club! The prestigious cohort features Mr. Hockey, The Great One, and now, The Great Eight, who netted a hat trick Tuesday to join the League’s most exclusive goals list.


* With the “Road to 800” behind him, Alex Ovechkin sets his sights on his next stop – sole possession of second place on the NHL’s all-time goals list, a feat he is now just two tallies away from achieving.


* A plethora of other players put up big performances Tuesday, including Leon Draisaitl who joined teammate Connor McDavid as the second skater to reach the 50-point mark this season.

Video- The Gr800

12/13/2022 at 11:16pm EST

NHL Short Notes

12/13/2022 at 2:10am EST

* The Penguins, Rangers and Canadiens all collected comeback wins Monday to improve the 2022 total to 589 and establish a new benchmark for the most in a calendar year in NHL history, besting 2018 (587).

* Marc-Andre Fleury recorded his 18th 10-win season and Jordan Binnington hit 100 career victories as both goaltenders reached milestones Monday.

* Alex Ovechkin (797) continues his “Road to 800” on a 12-game Tuesday as he now sits just a hat trick away from the elusive benchmark.

Bo Horvat Appears To Be Headed Out Of Vancouver

12/12/2022 at 7:34pm EST

via TSN,

It appears the Vancouver Canucks may be looking to move captain Bo Horvat ahead of the NHL trade deadline.

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun, citing a report on Monday by CHEK's Rick Dhaliwal, tweeted that the Canucks made Horvat's camp a new contract offer a couple of weeks ago that was rejected and that the team is focused on the trade market between now and the deadline on March 3.

Horvat, 27, is in the final year of a six-year contract he signed with the Canucks as a restricted free agent in 2017 and carries a cap hit of $5.5 million. He will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

He has 20 goals and 29 points in 28 games this season. Horvat scored a career-high 31 goals last season and posted 52 points in 70 games as Vancouver missed the playoffs for the sixth time in the past seven seasons.

Horvat, who was named captain of the Canucks in 2019, has 190 goals and 395 points in 600 career games.

Stars Of The Week

12/12/2022 at 1:42pm EST

NEW YORK (Dec. 12, 2022) – Washington Capitals goaltender Charlie Lindgren, Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson and Toronto Maple Leafs right wing William Nylander have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Dec. 11.

Congratulations To The Toronto Maple Leafs

12/12/2022 at 9:09am EST

from Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,

Perhaps it’s the right time, as we head into winter with the possibilities and the angst of the playoffs still four months away, to give the Maple Leafs their due for what they have become.

Take a day off from dwelling on what they aren’t.

What they are is very good hockey club that entertains this city and its many fans across the country mightily from October to April with entertaining hockey players and a lot of watchable hockey games. The Leafs are offering up the most hockey talent this organization has presented to Toronto since the days of Darryl Sittler, Lanny McDonald and the late Börje Salming, and that was more than 40 years ago.

Since Auston Matthews arrived in the 2016 draft, the team has played 483 regular-season games. It has won 278 of them, and acquired another point in 59 other games by virtue of losing in overtime or a shootout. The Leafs have lost 146 games in regulation during that time.

So, over the past six-and-one-third seasons, almost 70 cent per cent of the time this team has either made its fans happy with two points, or were competitive enough to be tied at the end of regulation.

continued

NHL Short Notes

12/12/2022 at 3:55am EST

* Mikko Rantanen and Clayton Keller combined for the third instance in NHL history – and second in the regular season – of two players completing a hat trick with an overtime winner on the same day. The others: March 4, 2022 (Viktor Arvidsson & Jason Robertson) and April 25, 1996 (Joe Sakic & Mike Gartner).

* The Avalanche, Coyotes and Bruins all earned comeback wins Sunday, boosting the 2022 total to 586 (regular season & playoffs combined) – one shy of the most in NHL history in a calendar year behind 2018 (587).

* Jack Roslovic factored on all three of Columbus’ second-period goals en route to a four-point outing while Johnny Gaudreau scored the overtime winner to stave off Los Angeles’ comeback bid.

Has Carey Price Ruined His Reputation?

12/11/2022 at 2:56pm EST

from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,

It was all so very unnecessary. All Carey Price had to do was nothing.

He could have remained on the Left Coast, taciturn as ever, collecting the balance of an $84-million contract that runs through the 2025-26 season while unable to play hockey.

He could have basked in the adulation of the millions of fans who have backed him from the moment he was drafted in 2005 through the dark time when he entered rehab for substance use 16 years and many triumphs later.

A tall, laconic westerner who did not speak French, Price was always an odd choice as the sporting face of this city — but he could stop a hockey puck and that was enough. Had he chosen, he could have indulged his love of firearms and hunting without troubling anyone.

It wasn’t to be. In a misguided attempt to aid a gun lobby that does not need his help, Price posted on Instagram a photograph of himself in camo gear, holding a large shotgun and expressing his support for the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights, a group so morally bereft that it used the promo code “POLY” for merchandise.

The timing of the post itself, appearing three days before the anniversary of the massacre at École Polytechnique, was bad enough. Price’s fumbling attempts at damage control only made things worse.

continued

A Matured Nazem Kadri

12/11/2022 at 10:32am EST

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

The Razza-ma-Naz volume has been turned down.

Once unable to stop himself, either on ice with excitable antics in the heat of battle or from a barbed quote when a mic or notepad was near, Nazem Kadri returned to Toronto as a Stanley Cup winner Saturday, exhibiting the cool demeanor of a champion. That might also be down to the natural maturation of a 32-year-old NHLer, now a husband and father.

He reached a career pinnacle six months ago, lifting the Cup with Colorado, inviting his many critics as a Leaf playoff liability to smooch his derriere. But that was it for bravado, his day with the trophy was mostly in his hometown of London, a low key stop in T.O., then back to business as a big-ticket free agent with Calgary. There was no jewelled ring finger when he met the media pre-game on Saturday.

“You walk a little bit taller everywhere (not just Scotiabank Arena),” Kadri said before his first-period goal in an overtime loss. “But it’s something I worked very hard for. Nice to get that out of the way. Being a champion is special.”

He had been back to SBA with the Avs, but joked this would be “an expensive night” with so many ticket requests.

continued

This And That In The Hockey World

12/11/2022 at 10:22am EST

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- This is rather unusual: San Jose’s Erik Karlsson leads the NHL in points for a defenceman and in most goals for at even strength and most goals against at even strength.

- If you were putting together a Team USA for an international hockey competition, which of these forwards would not play among the top nine: Matthews, Thompson, Patrick Kane, Jason Robertson, Jack Eichel, Matthew Tkachuk, Brady Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau, Joe Pavelski, Jack Hughes, Alex Tuch, Matty Beniers, Kyle Connor, Chris Kreider, Dylan Larkin, Cole Caufield? I’m leaving out three or four obvious candidates. The depth up front is over-the-top great.

- Stats that come from nowhere: Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark is 15-1 this season with a league-leading 1.82 goals against average and a league-leading .939 save percentage.

- If you add up all their goals, regular season, playoffs, NHL, and WHA, Gretzky scored one more goal than Gordie Howe: 1,072 to 1,071. That was brought to Gretzky’s attention when Mr. and Mrs. Howe were still alive and well. If you add up all of Alex Ovechkin’s goals, he has 868, more than 200 behind Gretzky and Howe. Bobby Hull, by the way, scored 1,018 goals in his career.

more including a look at some of the NHL young stars from non-traditional markets in the US...

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