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A Bad Home Loss For The Edmonton Oilers

12/05/2019 at 9:59am EST

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

How do you lose 5-2 to the floundering Ottawa Senators, a team that came off a fifth straight loss the night before on the coast, when you are a top of the tables team playing at home with two days of rest?

How does a sinking, at times stinking, draft lottery team now have a six-game winning streak in Edmonton?

I mean, come on.

Just when you start to toast this Oilers team for their growing character, developing culture and commitment to each other, they lose by three.

At home.

To Ottawa.

continued

The Senators beat the Oilers 5-2, watch the highlights below.

Now Is The Time For The Columbus Blue Jackets To Make A Playoff Push

12/05/2019 at 9:51am EST

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

The Jackets won at least 45 games in each of the previous three seasons. The consensus three months ago, then, was that they had built something that was greater than the sum of their parts. As their hype video says, “From out of our blue, we rise.”

The new season is one-third gone now. The Jackets (11-12-4, 26 points) are in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division and in 13th place in the Eastern Conference. Their 68 goals scored and minus-16 differential through 27 games put them among the most anemic teams in the league.

Old rule of thumb: The earlier a team can get into playoff position, the better. Over the previous six years, 74 of 96 teams in a playoff spot on Thanksgiving Day went on to clinch. On Thursday past, the Jackets were in seventh place in the wild-card standings. (Insert turkey joke here.)...

Although there is a lot of hockey yet to play, you will in the coming days get as good a gauge on these Jackets as you’re going to get. Remember all that talk about proving doubters wrong? About how the team would respond after losing Panarin, Bobrovsky, et al.? About how a strong locker room would coalesce in defiance? Now is the time.

The Jackets host Panarin and the New York Rangers on Thursday. The Jackets play at Florida on Saturday and will probably see Bobrovsky in net. The Jackets play the Ovechkins in Washington on Monday.

If they have an emotional response — if they rise — you will see what has largely been missing so far.

more

Questions For Khan

12/05/2019 at 8:48am EST

Ansar Khan of Mlive answers some fan mail.

Q: Have you ever, in all your time reporting, seen a team cry out louder for new coaching? – Peter

A: You can make a strong case for Jeff Blashill being replaced. The Red Wings have the fewest points in the NHL and rank last in goals for, goals against and the power play. They have lost eight in a row in regulation and are winless in 10. Coaches have been fired for less.

But this team is so thin on talent and skill that I don’t think it would make much difference who is coaching. Expectations were low entering the season. Blashill wasn't going to be judged as much on wins and losses as he was the team's compete level and growth of young players....

Q: (Andreas) Athanasiou is leading the league on the wrong side of the plus/minus stats. Will a change of scenery benefit him and the Wings if they get current or future help for him? – C Josefs

A: I think so. Athanasiou has been in the rumor mill before, notably during difficult contract negotiations that cost him the start of the 2017-18 season, but the Red Wings were right to keep him and were rewarded with a 30-goal season in 2018-19.

But while this season has been a struggle for virtually everyone on the roster, it has been particularly difficult for Athanasiou, who has five goals and 15 points in 28 games, along with an NHL-worst minus-31 rating.

more on each of the above questions plus more Q and A...

Go With The Flow

12/05/2019 at 8:24am EST

NEW YORK, December 5, 2019 –Today, the NHL and Disney Streaming Services launched GameFlow, a new interactive tool that leverages shot pressure data to provide fans with a visual depiction of a game’s momentum. Available exclusively in the NHL® mobile app, fans can access GameFlow during or after a game via Gamecenter to follow the flow of a game and track how offensive shot pressure corresponds to goals.

NHL Short Notes

12/05/2019 at 3:44am EST

THREE HARD LAPS

* Nathan MacKinnon factored on two of three Avalanche goals and became the 11th player in 2019-20 to collect multiple points in four consecutive games.

* Edmonton, Alta. native Tyler Ennis collected three points to help the Senators register their sixth straight win at Rogers Place.

* John Carlson scored twice, including the game-winning goal to eclipse the 100-goal mark and help the Capitals earn their second five-game win streak of the season (also: 6-0-0 from Oct. 25 - Nov. 9).


An 'Ordinary' Looking Auston Matthews

12/04/2019 at 11:32pm EST

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

There is an inherent pressure that goes along with signing a giant contract in any sport. Some players need time to adjust. Some players feel the pressure. You sign the big deal and instantly expectations change. For the first time, really, in Auston Matthews’ time in Toronto, there is some wondering about who is he is and what he can become. There have been too many uninspired shifts this season, on Wednesday night, too many shifts where he’s barely noticeable. Late in the Avs game, Matthews finally got going. He had one good chance to score, set up another chance and was open in scoring position and not spotted by Morgan Rielly on another....

This is a difficult time for hockey in Toronto. The Leafs have made their coaching change. On Wednesday, they abandoned their goaltending rotation, mostly out of desperation, and Frederik Andersen was brilliant in defeat. This is a tense time for general manager Kyle Dubas. This is his team, Matthews is his No. 1 player.

And the player he has chosen to invest in most heavily mirrors his team, looking rather ordinary.

Looking nothing like a player who is supposed to move mountains.

more, the Leafs lost 3-1 to the Avs...

The Grand Rapids Griffins Are Struggling Too

12/04/2019 at 10:35pm EST

from Peter J. Wallner of Mlive,

The Griffins are mimicking the Detroit Red Wings and that’s not good. Their losing streak reached six Wednesday with a 5-2 defeat at home to Chicago that dropped the AHL team to 9-13-1-1.

Both goals came in the third as Taro Hirose scored in his Griffins debut and Evgeny Svechnikov had a power play goal in the final minute.

“Right now it seems like we’re not finding ways to win," said captain Matthew Ford. “It seems like too often there’s a breakdown, something goes wrong and one thing leads to another.”...

The Griffins are at least relative newcomers to the doldrums. They started November in third place but haven't won since Nov. 20 and are now seventh in the Central Division.

read on

added 11:11pm, Post game interviews from the game tonight can be watched below. (Ford, Hirose and Simon). Game highlights too.

Top NHL Teams in 2019/20 Season

12/04/2019 at 10:25pm EST

NHLseason is on its run and at this moment we can take a look back and see which teams have been performing well so far. Some of them are expected to be on the top, while a few are considered as overachievers. Let’s see who are the top favorites for winning divisions and challenging the Stanley Cup with the help of the betting tips experts at BettingTips4you.com.

Covering A Scrum

12/04/2019 at 5:18pm EST

from Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star,

Since we’re all sharing stories about racism, hockey, and the stifling whiteness of Canadian institutions, here’s mine.

In November of 2000, I was six weeks into a yearlong internship at the Star, pinch-hitting for a sick colleague on the hockey beat. So I showed up at Lakeshore Arena to report a story about the Edmonton Oilers, who were playing the Leafs the next night, and whose roster included five Black players.

Late in the media session, a scrum formed around Scarborough’s Anson Carter. I asked him about the role race played in his professional life, and he gave calm, thoughtful answers. When I asked whether people tried to portray him as something he isn’t because he was a Black athlete in a largely white sport, he responded that people tried but said, “I’m not a politician. I’m hockey player.”

The following morning, that same exchange appeared in a competing publication under the byline and logo of a white columnist also present at the Carter scrum.

continued

Early December Hockey Thoughts

12/04/2019 at 3:11pm EST

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- Maybe the most impossible question to answer is what Mike Babcock’s future will be. When he was fired, word was that at least two teams privately reached out to gauge his interest in coaching right away — only to be told that he preferred to take some time. I heard from people in Russia that there was KHL interest, either as a coach or a consultant. There were rumours he’d be offered a World Junior role (not as head coach, but in an advisory position) and/or the head job for the World Championships. Then came the avalanche, and now that’s all in doubt....

- Chris Chelios’s Spittin’ Chiclets interview about Babcock had some confusing timelines, because when the Johan Franzen incident occurred (as Nashville eliminated Detroit in Game 5 of the 2012 first round), Chelios was no longer on the Red Wings. He referenced a meeting Ken Holland had with the players, where the GM defended his coach. I think this has to do with Marty McSorley. McSorley worked on San Jose Sharks broadcasts, and once said none of the Red Wings liked playing for Babcock. Word got back to Detroit reporters, who asked Holland about it....

- Reminder of other situations to watch: Los Angeles with most of their veterans, with the exception of Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar; Buffalo with its defence; Carolina continues to look for a top-nine forward. Meanwhile, things have calmed in Minnesota as the Wild show a surge.

- And one GM predicts, “Watch St. Louis. They think they can repeat, and they will go for it.”

more on the first two topics plus additional Thoughts...

Steve Yzerman Will Be Watching Zadina And Hirose Tonight

12/04/2019 at 1:20pm EST

added 4:31pm, below, find the after practice talk video.

2020 Draft Rankings In December

12/04/2019 at 12:27pm EST

I am putting this in A2Y and you should know why.

from Sam Cosentino of Sportsnet,

Here’s our December list of the top 31 NHL Draft prospects.

1. Alexis Lafreniere, LW, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL): Mystery surrounding his absence from the CIBC Canada-Russia series along with an incident involving an official, have shown an edgier side.

2. Quinton Byfield, C, Sudbury Wolves (OHL): Exhibits the ability to play in all three zones. Is extremely agile for his size, yet he has plenty of room on his frame to add strength.

3. Lucas Raymond, LW, Frolunda (SHL): Numbers playing against men (five points in 16 games) are mitigating due to lack of ice-time. Should excel once again at the world juniors, which would be a big confidence booster.

read on

Practice Has Started

12/04/2019 at 11:10am EST

via Ansar Khan tweet,

lines and D pairs at practice:
Bertuzzi-Larkin-Fabbri
Athanasiou-Filppula-Glendening
Abdelkader-Nielsen-Helm
Erne-Ehn-Perlini
Nemeth-Hronek
Cholowski-Green
Biega-McIlrath
Ericsson-Bowey

added 11:59am, Khan...

power-play units in practice:
1. Bertuzzi (net front), Larkin (slot), Fabbri-Perlini (half walls), Cholowski (point).
2. Nielsen (net front), Filppula (slot), Hronek-Athanasiou (half walls), Green (point).
Perlini probably holding Zadina's spot, assuming he's back Sat.

added 12:14pm, Khan mentions a tweak to the power play...

Mattias Norstrom On Marc Crawford/Sean Avery

12/04/2019 at 10:49am EST

from Lisa Dillman of The Athletic,

Former Kings captain Norstrom talks Marc Crawford’s behavior and Sean Avery pushing people’s buttons

Norstrom, who played in 903 NHL games, appeared in 62 games in 2006-07 under Crawford. In February of that season, he was traded to the Dallas Stars in a multi-player deal which also involved draft picks.

“I never had that kind of confrontation,” said Norstrom, who was the Kings’ captain. “But he was strong-willed. I also just read that Sean Avery was one of the players that came out with information about Crow. In all fairness, that’s how Sean approached people around him and confronted people, in your face. I won’t say physical. But with in-your-face challenging. Sean did that with everyone. Players, coaches, opponents, teammates. That was his way. He wouldn’t take anything from anyone. He confronted them. In your face.

“So was Crawford. He confronted people in that sense.”

much more (paid subscription)

All Don Waddell

12/04/2019 at 10:39am EST

from Michael Smith of CarolinaHurricanes.com,

Our chat touched on a number of subjects, including the team's start, contributions from young players, Erik Haula's injury, Justin Williams and more.

Hurricanes.com: Anything new on Justin Williams?

Waddell: We continue to talk with him. I think he's working out a little bit more on his own right now. I think he's going to start coming to the gym a little more. That's a positive sign. What that end result is yet is still a mystery to all of us, but we're hopeful that maybe there is an opportunity there to have him come back.

more Q & A...

Video- Late Night Line- Joe Thornton And Tom Wilson

12/04/2019 at 2:58am EST

Video- Ryan Johansen With A Reverse Elbow On Brayden Point

12/04/2019 at 2:42am EST

Five for elbowing and a game misconduct after a review.

KK- Update On the Donation Drive

12/04/2019 at 2:32am EST

update 2:32am on 12/4/19, Thanks to all for the donations, the KK Donation Drive was a success. Original post was on 12/2/19 at 10:4am. The sticky on this post has been removed.

Last Friday, I started a KK Donation Drive and it is going okay ($525) as of this morning.

Another $500 would be great and allow me to carry on for the next 3-4 months.

As I mentioned in the original post, a huge, anonymous donation has been made over the last 2 years which basically covers my hosting fee for the hockey season.

You can get donation information in the link above or get it below.

Any little bit helps and is much appreciated.

For the 28K+ followers on Twitter, again any amount helps, just imagine if just 10% of those followers donated $5.

You would not see a KK Donation Drive for at least 2 years.

NHL Short Notes

12/04/2019 at 2:26am EST

THREE HARD LAPS

*John Carlson became the sixth player (and first defenseman) to reach the 40-point mark in 2019-20. Only one other season since 1990s ended featured as many 40-point scorers through the first 433 games, which was 2005-06 (Jaromir Jagr, Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, Peter Forsberg, Dany Heatley, Eric Staal and Joe Thornton).

* The League-leading Bruins extended a plethora of streaks to maintain their edge over the Capitals for first place in the NHL standings.

* Chris Driedger became the ninth goaltender in League history to post a shutout streak of at least 89 minutes from the first start of his NHL career – a feat last achieved by Jordan Binnington before backstopping St. Louis to a Stanley Cup.

Video- Evander Kane With A High Hit On Radko Gudas

12/04/2019 at 2:10am EST

two minutes for elbowing and a game misconduct.

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