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from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
"There’s a lot of pride in our locker room and that was a huge test, huge opportunity for us, that’s how we looked at it," captain Dylan Larkin said after Sunday's 5-3 victory. "We got back-to-back games with the same team and a team that is on a record pace. We had a great two games. We didn’t have a great second period (Saturday), but both games, we battled hard.
"Just incredible team effort both nights. It was a huge character weekend for us."...
"Two really big players for our organization and even better friends that we lost, but now we have to move on," Seider said. "I think it’s even more fun winning without those guys, to show how much character is in that locker room, to really push here towards the end of the season."...
"The one message I had with the group — we are up 4-1 after the second period and we were feeling good about the start of our third," Lalonde said. "I really thought we were leaning towards scoring our fifth goal. Instead we give up two really easy goals to make it 4-3. That was really disappointing and a little immature of our group, which is fine — we are still trying to grow. But if we are ever going to get somewhere as an organization, we will have to manage that much better. The good teams, the great teams, they manage those much better."
* Jack Hughes matched a single-season franchise mark with another multi-point outing as the Devils moved into a tie in standing points with the Hurricanes atop the Metropolitan Division.
* Kris Letang lifted the Penguins to victory with the winner in the extra frame and moved into third on the NHL’s all-time overtime goals list among defensemen.
* Maple Leafs look to set franchise benchmark for fewest games to 90 points in a season when they face the Sabres at Scotiabank Arena on a three-game Monday.
from Nolan Bianchi of the Detroit News,
"Great win. Really happy with it," Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde said. "We got rewarded today with an outcome, but our six periods on a whole, I thought, were great. Outside of the second period (Saturday) when we were really on our heels, I'm really proud of the guys and the effort and the approach this weekend."
"There's a lot of pride in our locker room and (this weekend was) a huge opportunity, huge test ... for us, that's how we looked at it," Larkin said. "We got back-to-back games with the same team, a team that's on a record pace. We had a great two games. ... I thought both games, we battled hard."...
"We're up 4-1 after the second period, and we were feeling good about the start of our third," Lalonde said. "But I really thought we were leaning towards scoring our fifth goal instead of just keeping them from scoring their second. We gave up two really easy goals to make it 4-3.
"It was really disappointing and a little immature of our group, which is fine. We're still trying to grow. But if we're ever going to get somewhere as an organization — if we put ourselves in those situations, we will have to manage that much better.
"The good teams — the great teams — they manage those much better."
After 20 minutes the Wings were up 1-0.
After 40 minutes the Wings were up 4-1.
After 60 minutes the Wings win 5-3.
Nice to see this team hold their own against the top team in the NHL.
Now bottle this motivation for the rest of the season.
Below, watch a thank you for Tyler Bertuzzi and the Detroit goals.
NEW YORK (March 12, 2023) – Toronto Maple Leafs forward John Tavares has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for slashing Edmonton Oilers defenseman Vincent Desharnais during NHL Game No. 1043 in Toronto on Saturday, March 11, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 3:41 of the third period. Tavares was assessed a minor penalty for slashing.
Good afternoon and welcome back. Once again we face off against the Broons in the second game of a back to back. We all watched as the Wings, who played well yesterday, couldn’t get the job done. I’m not slamming them. The effort was there, but, well, whatever…… I hope the Wings can turnaround and make the Broons pay.
It’s the Bruins vs the Wings in another Original Six matchup. The puck drops around 1:30 PM and will be broadcast on TNT, TVAS, SN360, and NESN. Also available on the Red Wings Radio Network (97.1 The Ticket in Detroit)
It’s a Live Blog!
from Colby Guy of Florida Hockey Now,
The Florida Panthers came into Saturday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets as the most penalized team in the NHL by a country mile.
A 20-penalty lead to be exact.
They took three more and allowed two power play goals that put them in a hole they struggled to get out of for most of the game.
The Panthers struck back with three power play goals of their own — including one by Matthew Tkachuk to cap off a two-goal comeback in the third period — but it was not enough as Mark Scheifele finished the game off in overtime as the Jets escaped Sunrise with a 5-4 win.
“It would be a bigger concern if we didn’t draw as many penalties as well,” coach Paul Maurice said.
”We are a high-event team for whatever reason; we get a bunch, we draw a bunch. We took nine penalties in four periods. We’re clearly aware of that.”
Game highlights are below.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
Rye. Sourdough. Wheat. French. Buttered. Avocado.
Or maybe just plain burnt.
Any way you slice it, it sure feels like the Buffalo Sabres are toast. And that's a shame because this is a season that has already been filled with more good moments than most of the last five years combined.
Saturday's 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Rangers made it 0-3-1 in the last four games and 1-5-1 in the last seven. You just can't stay close in the wild-card race when the Islanders, Penguins, Panthers and Senators keep winning and you're doing that.
Yes, there are still 17 games left. And the Sabres still have games in hand on the Islanders and Panthers. But the deficit is up to seven points, they're chasing multiple teams and it's going to take a long winning streak to get them back in the hunt.
The highlights from the game can be watched below.
from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Sun,
What the Ottawa Senators hoped would be a road to a chase for a wild card spot is fast becoming a road to nowhere.
For the second time in three tries on the pivotal five-game road swing, the Senators were sloppy and out of sorts Saturday, with bad discipline and pour positioning contributing to a 5-2 loss to a Vancouver Canucks squad that long ago gave up hopes of being involved in any playoff hunt themselves.
The Senators came into the late night contest with an opportunity to gain ground on their rivals in the tight race in the East, but they couldn’t find their footing until it was too late.
With even more question marks surrounding the club’s goaltending health — Saturday’s starter Mads Sogaard battled through to the end after being down on the ice following a collision in the second period — the challenge now is to immediately shake off another disappointing defeat before facing the Calgary Flames Sunday night.
It was another example of a young team losing its cool and its rhythm with a constant parade to the penalty box. As for the Senators power play, it has suddenly gone ice cold.
Game highlights are below.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Is it possible, and I am just throwing this out there, that the Rangers at this very moment are the third-best team in the Metro area in this season, in which all of our teams are in position to qualify for the playoffs for just the fourth time in the 40 seasons since New Jersey joined the fray.
Disclaimer: No one is handing out the Cup today.
The Devils have been among the NHL’s elite since the third week of the season, elevated by the acquisition of Timo Meier from San Jose in return for a package that no one in New Jersey will notice is missing.
They continue to impress even with Jack Hughes somewhat diminished since returning from a four-game absence on Feb. 18, No. 86 with nine points (1-8) in 10 games prior to Saturday in Montreal after having posted 28 points (17-11) in the 15 games before sustaining an upper-body injury. New Jersey is 7-2-1 in these contests.
The Islanders have re-established themselves as mentally as tough a team as there is in the NHL. They have survived the teeth of the winter in which they seemed tired, beaten down and done in this league dominated by high-end talent. They survived that — Bo Horvat might have had something to do with that — and are now thriving by getting to this small portion of the season in which everyone is trying to adapt to more of a playoff brand of hockey.
continued, plus more topics like this...
Finally, I don’t get it.
In his life away from hockey, P.K. Subban seems to have charity for all. Yet as a studio analyst for ESPN, he displays the same disrespect for his peers as he did while playing with reckless disregard for at least the final season of his career. Eye-rolling apparently is the (much less harmful) version of the slew-foot.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Ryan McLeod was like the kid who played with fire, and then watched the whole barn burn down.
And up in smoke with that barn went two points that the Edmonton Oilers absolutely wasted in a 7-4 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“Self-inflicted wounds,” was how Evander Kane best described it.
“You can't you can't give a team like that anything easy,” echoed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
With his team holding a comfortable 3-1 second-period lead, McLeod committed the cardinal sin. He passed the puck through his own slot.
Not up the boards. Not a bank shot off the end boards to the defenceman on the other side.
McLeod did what every Canadian kid knows to be the equivalent of, “Never lick the soccer posts on a cold winter day.” He moved the puck through the danger zone, which just happened to be inhabited by one of the most skilled hockey players on the planet — Mitch Marner.
Watch the game highlights below.
from Nate Brown of Detroit Hockey Now,
The Red Wings bulked up last offseason. Sitting with two first-round picks and three second-round choices, Detroit can add more to the prospect pipeline. There’s also the possibility of trading the capital, too.
But before those decisions even occur, how are the prospects in the system currently doing and might they find their way to Detroit next season? Here’s a look at a couple in a two-part series.
Stats: 51 Games; 23 points (8-15)
Kasper is a prototypical Yzerman pick. High hockey IQ, polished, and from the looks of it, excellent character.
Kasper was recently the recipient of the Granitpucken Award, which is given to a Rogle player every year. According to the team, Kasper has shown “incredible professionalism” and who leads with his “attitude and play.”...
Stats: 47 games; 26 points (5-21)
Probably the most anticipated prospect to make his Detroit debut, Edvinsson has gotten stronger as the year has gone on and will undoubtedly make his NHL start with the Red Wings when camp breaks next year. Then again if things continue on the positive track, might he make his way up for a cup of coffee this season?...
more on each of the above
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- Try explaining Erik Karlsson’s season in San Jose. You can’t. He has more even-strength points than McDavid and leads the NHL having been on the ice for 94 even-strength goals, 21 more than McDavid. The next 35 players with even strength points behind him are all forwards not defencemen. And yet on the other side of the ledger, Karlsson leads the NHL in being scored upon — 96 times in all. This isn’t like Bobby Orr’s 139-point season in Boston where he finished at plus-124 or even like Paul Coffey’s 138-point season in Edmonton, where he finished at plus-61.
- A long-time NHL evaluator says this about the New Jersey Devils: “Look at the Florida Panthers last year. Look at the Devils this year. Those are teams playing fast hockey. The common thread, Andrew Brunette was coaching in Florida last year and is coaching in Jersey now.”
- Please tell me that talk of further NHL expansion is just talk. Yes, expansion to Seattle and Vegas has been successful financially and on the ice in those markets and way beyond any expectations. It’s been a win-win for the NHL. But now discussion of Houston and Atlanta (again?) seems premature and unnecessary. The league needs to strengthen its own markets, not water down its product by adding additional cities
via Sportsnet's YouTube page,
On this edition of 32 Thoughts, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discuss Danny Briere's current interim GM status with the Flyers, whether he will stick around as full-time GM, some potential names that could join him in Philadelphia, and more.
* The Bruins became the first team to clinch a berth in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs and the fastest club in NHL history to reach the 50-win mark in a season.
* AustonMatthews scored his 30th goal of the season and Mitchell Marner tallied a four-point outing as the Maple Leafs outdueled the Oilers and the NHL’s top two scorers: Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
* Dawson Mercer stretched his point streak to a dozen games to help the Devils move within two points of the top-seeded Hurricanes and set up a must-watch game Sunday between the two clubs.
* Sunday’s eight-game slate opens with an NHL on TNT doubleheader and features several teams looking to “Spring Forward” in the League standings.
via the YouTube page of Sportsnet,
Academy Award Nominated Filmmaker Sarah Polley lent her voice to this stirring Hockey Night In Canada intro and we challenge you not to get fired up!
Larkin, Seider and Lalonde. Below are the game highlights.
Within the first five minutes of the game, Detroit had a shorty and a power play goal to take an early 2-0 lead.
No more scoring in the first but Boston added two of their own goals within 1 1/2 minutes or so to make it a 2-2 after forty minutes.
In the third, Boston scored with just over six minutes to take their first lead of the game.
No more scoring, Boston wins 3-2.
Below watch the Detroit goals and Seider taking a puck to the chin. He missed the last few minted of the second period, but did come back for the third with some stitches.
Good afternoon and welcome to all. Today’s game in Boston would be considered a daunting challenge by most teams. The Broons are currently sitting atop the standings with the best record in the league, but, it doesn’t mean that a loss today is forgone conclusion. I have no reason to be over optimistic, but, the Wings are coming into today’s game after finally breaking their six game losing streak with a hard fought win against the Cawks, which has to have given them a boost in confidence.
If nothing else, the guys absolutely have to go into today’s game and leave it all on the ice, as they have something to prove to themselves. It will be interesting to see how they respond, and, how hard they go against their former teammate, one Tyler Bertuzzi. Here’s hoping…
It’s the Wings vs the Bruins in another Original Six matchup. The puck will drop sometime around 1:00 PM and will be broadcast on ABC/ESPN+ and SN1. Also available on the Red Wings Radio Network (97.1 The Ticket in Detroit)
It’s a Live Blog!
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Granted your faithful puck chronicler may have stared far too long at way too many NHL ice sheets (85 x 200 feet), but I’d like to see how (if?) play and scoring would change if both goal lines were moved 5 feet closer to center ice.
The idea would expand the length of each side’s offensive zone from 75 feet to 80 feet, and shrink the neutral zone from 50 to 40 feet. Nothing much fun happens between the blue lines, so if nothing else, the shift would make the Nothing Much Fun Happening Zone 20 percent smaller.
The goal lines, currently inked 11 feet from the rear wall (the same in the international game) would be at 16 feet, an increase of 45.5 percent in elbow room back there. It would effectively open up the sheet without having to enlarge the surface area.
Keep in mind: the NHL’s Lords of the Boards never will expand the sheet, be it by width or length. The cost of retrofitting existing buildings would be too high, and worse, it would mean fewer seats (all in high-cost loge territory) for box office inventory. If they ever make a change, it will be to shrink the area and add seats. That, friends of frozen water, you can take to the bank.
That added room behind the goal line would lead to offensive approaches not possible in today’s game. The extra space would encourage clubs, at even strength and on the power play, to design strategies for two forwards behind the net, likely force defensemen to chase them, and perhaps — praise be, ice gods — detangle that gnarled forest of legs, sticks, and skates in the high-percentage scoring areas in and between the faceoff circles.
more plus other topics including a look at Quinn Huges...
from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,
In Hellberg’s case, for the most part he is delivering the goods. Over 12 appearances he’s showing a 4-6-1 record with a 3.01 GAA and .899 save percentage. Those might not be Vezina Trophy numbers but considering the circumstances, they’re not terrible, either.
Hellberg A Road Warrior For Red Wings
The home crowd seldom gets a chance to see Hellberg in action unless things are going south for Detroit. Traditionally, backup goalies do the majority of their work on the road. Hellberg’s last seven appearances have all come in away games.
Veteran netminders seem more suited to the backup role. Hellberg is 31 and Detroit are among five NHL teams that have employed him.
“Maybe a little experience, understanding your role,” Lalonde suggested. “It’s tough to get rhythm but it’s the reality of it.”
Even though he’s lost his last two starts are surrendered 10 goals in the process, Lalonde is more than satisfied with what the team is getting from Hellberg.
from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
Way back at training camp, the 2023 class of UFA forwards was something to salivate over.
But with David Pastrnak, Bo Horvat, Dylan Larkin, Joe Pavelski and Andrei Kuzmenko all inking mid-season extensions, the remaining crop has been chopped frighteningly thin.
Good luck signing a frontline centre on Canada Day.
Thirty-seven-year-olds Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci are sticking it to Father Time, but they’re much more likely to choose retirement or another encore in Boston than the open market.
Ryan O’Reilly is the best of the bunch, and he’s currently a 2C/3C on a roster with Stanley Cup dreams.
Max Domi deserves his due for a 50-point showing, but most view him as a middle-six asset.
Same goes for solid but fading two-way pivots Jordan Staal, Jonathan Toews, J.T. Compher, Nick Bjugstad, Lars Eller, and David Kämpf.
from Ethan Sears of the New York Post,
The Islanders have mastered the ability to turn a game on its head when it matters most: the third period.
In those final 20 minutes, they will scratch and claw and exhaust the opposition.
That is where they have thrived, outscoring opponents 17-1 in their last 10 third periods, a stretch in which the season itself has gone from a near write-off to a joyride that looks playoff-bound.
Believe Casey Cizikas when he says the Islanders are not out of it until the final buzzer.
Believe Anders Lee when he talks about the Islanders’ self-belief, even after their abysmal first two periods such as they played Thursday at Pittsburgh.
Believe in the Islanders, who have parlayed their last 10 third periods into a 7-2-1 stretch, bringing their playoff odds north of 50 percent despite injuries to Mathew Barzal and Jean-Gabriel Pageau that have stretched their depth to its limit.
“We stick with our game,” Lee said following the 4-3 overtime win over the Penguins on Thursday. “We play the way that we have been and we did the last 20. We can rely on our forecheck, our guys can make plays, we can score goals. Down 3-1, not going to happen every night, but we believe in ourselves.”
from Eric Francis of Sportsnet,
One by one they trudged out to the dressing room podium, hanging their heads after another devastating result.
The outcome, the questions, the frustration, all the same as they have been far too often this season.
A 3-1 loss to the Ducks of Anaheim Friday makes it three months and counting since these Calgary Flames pieced together a three-game winning streak.
Three nights after consecutive road wins seemed to breathe new life into the Flames' sagging playoff hopes, they remind everyone why they are where they are:
They can’t beat the teams they’re supposed to beat — the inexperienced, rebuilding, struggling squads all vying for Connor Bedard.
Asked what can be read into the Flames’ losing record against non-playoff teams, Darryl Sutter shrugged.
“Well, neither are we,” said Sutter with a fact that is becoming increasingly apparent.
Game highlights are below.
Brandon Montour completed Florida’s multi-goal, third-period comeback victory with an overtime goal to help the Panthers continue their playoff push as they moved within two points of the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
* John Gibson made 36 stops to surpass Guy Hebert on the Ducks’ all-time saves list.
* A busy 15-game Saturday will feature the Bruins aiming to clinch a berth in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs and become the fastest team in NHL history to reach the 50-win mark all broadcast nationally on ABC, ESPN+ and SN1. Click here for a breakdown of Boston’s clinch scenarios.
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