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Only 2 games tonight.
Chicago at Florida 7pm ET and Anaheim at Calgary 9pm.
Florida is 4 points out of the wild card spot while Calgary is also 4 points out of the second seed wild card position.
So feel free to comment on anything hockey related. You'll get your hockey fix tomorrow with 30 teams in action, starting at 1pm.
via the YouTube page of the Detroit Red Wings,
Detroit Red Wings Defenseman Jake Walman joins Daniella Bruce and Art Regner to discuss his 3-year contract extension, his success in Detroit, and more on this edition of The Word on Woodward.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
It’s crazy how history repeats itself. But here we are, 40-some years later, and we can’t wait for the same hockey game to start.
Toronto’s prodigal son will return Saturday night, skating out of the visitor’s gate under the glare of the Hockey Night in Canada lights in the jersey — must we say it? — of those damned Edmonton Oilers.
First, it was Wayne Gretzky, the Brantford kid who is the best there ever was.
And Saturday night, Newmarket’s Connor McDavid — the most dynamic, productive and exciting player in the game today, by a margin that increases each season like a Secretariat lead as he rumbled down the stretch.
In only the second Saturday night game here in his career, we all suspect that McDavid would love to follow in the steps of The Great Gretzky, who saved his best for those Beatles-like visits to the old Maple Leaf Gardens back in the ’80s. There, amidst throngs of screaming fans out on Carlton St., Gretzky averaged a goal and 2.6 points per game in his career.
from Justin Bourne of Sportsnet,
The question I’m going to get into today is, if you’re the Toronto Maple Leafs, how much do you want to acknowledge the Lightning's players who try to drag you into scrums with face-washes and jawing and other forms of emotional warfare, when there’s an actual hockey game to be won? I think it’s well-established that no team wants to be a Sedin getting rabbit punched by Brad Marchand, they don’t want to be Auston Matthews not acknowledging the choke-out attempt from Ben Chiarot, they can’t just “turn the other cheek” for seven games when both cheeks are getting punched in. But you also can’t get lost in the sauce when there’s actual hockey to be played.
Fun facts on the Lightning’s “edge”:
This season they “lead” the NHL in PIMs, they’re second in fighting majors, and they’re first in misconducts. They live in the box, totalling an average of 12:10(!) in PIMs per game, which is up from last year when they finished second in PIMs per game with 11:30. That year they finished two seconds behind the Preds 11:32 per game, which was built on the back of Tanner Jeannot’s league-leading 14 fighting majors (among forwards), so … Tampa promptly traded for him.
A stunning fact: this is the 11th straight season the Lightning have either finished first or second in the NHL in PIMs per game (it’s here I’ll note the presumably-pure-coincidence that this is Jon Cooper’s 11th season with the team). I say “first or second,” but they’ve only been second twice and have lead the league nine times. The 2011-12 season was the last time they were outside the top-two, but what’s even crazier is you have to go back to 2005-06 to find a season where they weren’t top-5 in the NHL in PIMs per game.
Even with this history of playing an, er, abrasive game, it’s increasingly become a larger part of their identity.
Even allowing for the dopey blackouts to protect some shitty RSN's interests while shutting out NHL fans in Montana, Idaho, and other places that are nowhere near an NHL city, how the f*** was Edmonton @ Boston last night only available via streaming on ESPN+ ? Seriously, what is the logic here? It's ESPN's 'Hockey Night' with a dream regular season match-up and cable/satellite subscribers were unable to watch because it was not being shown on television. Make it make sense.
-Rear Admiral of Bar Stool Sports has more on this topic.
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
Steve Montador had problems with alcohol and drugs before he played his first National Hockey League game, and agreed to assume the risks after being warned numerous times by team doctors and trainers about the long-term dangers of playing after suffering repeated concussions, the NHL said in a new court filing.
“During his life, Montador struggled with substance abuse, depression, anxiety, insomnia and strained/abusive personal relationships,” the NHL wrote. “Despite being repeatedly made aware of and informed about potential long-term risks of head injuries, including CTE, by numerous individuals as detailed above, Montador continued to play in the NHL for years.”
The NHL alleges Montador had developed a cocaine addiction and had been using ecstasy by 2003-04, his second full season in the NHL. The league made the allegations in a statement of defence filed on Tuesday, four months after a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Paul Montador, Steve’s father, was transferred from U.S. federal court to Illinois state court.
Paul Montador has alleged the NHL has promoted and profited off of violence while not adequately advising players of the risks of repeated long-term brain injuries. He first filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NHL in December of 2015.
from The Athletic,
NHL teams continue to struggle with how to handle Pride jerseys, with the Wild following in the footsteps of the Rangers and scrapping plans for players to wear them on the organization’s Pride Night on March 7.
In particular, this issue has arisen for teams with prominent Russian players since that country’s anti-gay laws were amended in early December, per the New York Times, to make it “illegal to spread ‘propaganda’ about ‘nontraditional sexual relations’ in all media, including social, advertising and movies.”
The Flyers also had one player (Russian defenseman Ivan Provorov) opt out of warmups with his teammates on their Pride Night in January because he didn’t want to wear the team’s Pride jersey, citing his Russian Orthodox religious beliefs.
The Wild abandoned their plans to don Pride jerseys out of concern for Russian players. Star forward Kirill Kaprizov, notably, had a difficult journey back to the United States after returning to Russia this past offseason.
The Rangers, who also have several prominent Russian players, cited “individual right to respectfully express their beliefs” in not wearing the jerseys after announcing they would.
Russian Penguins star Evgeni Malkin, on the other hand, did wear a Pride jersey on the team’s Pride Night on Dec. 12, just after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the new legislation on Dec. 5.
via Ansar Khan tweets,
Lalonde said Hellberg will start tomorrow and Husso on Sunday.
Lalonde said no time frame on Fabbri’s return but expected back this season.
from Giana Han and Olivia Reiner of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Less than a week after the trade deadline, the Flyers have decided to take an affirmative step in a new direction, with sources telling The Inquirer that they are firing president and general manager Chuck Fletcher Friday. Hired on Dec. 3, 2018, Fletcher had been with the organization for over four years. Former Flyer Danny Brière will take over on an interim basis.
“The Philadelphia Flyers organization has always been defined by grit, determination, and a standard of excellence,” said Dave Scott, chairman of Comcast Spectacor and governor of the Flyers, in a statement obtained exclusively by The Inquirer. “Over the past several seasons, our team simply has not lived up to that standard, so today, we will begin to chart a new path forward under a new leadership structure for Hockey Operations.
“This morning, we released Chuck Fletcher from his president and general manager responsibilities. We are grateful for his hard work and dedication to this organization, and we wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
"I've texted with him a little bit," Larkin said Thursday. "He said it’s cool playing on a good team. It’s a good team, good players. He’s going to do really well and going to go on a run and I’m really happy for him in that way.
"It’s going to be a tough game but I am excited to see how we stack up against these guys. It’s been emotional, it’s been kind of hard to see the dream of making the playoffs fade away, but we’ve kind of gotten over that and now we hit the reset button a little bit. We are still in it. You never know what can happen."...
"For me when I first came in here, I was a young guy and he would tell me to just play my game," Joe Veleno said. "If I had a turnover or made a made a bad play, he would tap me on the shoulder and be like, just keep playing. That is one thing I will remember about him."
Lucas Raymond spent most of his rookie season on a line with Bertuzzi, stoking a relationship that grew off the ice.
"Me and Tyler were very close," Raymond said. "We became really good friends and he was a big part of my time here. It’s going to be a little weird but a lot of fun to play him. We always joked around so now we can finally go at one another. He’s amazing guy, amazing player, I wish him all the best in Boston."...
"It’s going to be a weird," Zadina said. "Since I got here, I have been with Tyler on the team and hew as a huge part of this organization. I was looking up to him when I got here, my first season, so it was huge for me to see him play here and get better watching him. It’s going to be special to play against him, for sure, and hopefully he will take it easy on us."
from Lance Lysowski of the Buffalo News,
Two Buffalo Sabres stood in front of their net as Dallas Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen carried the puck through the left circle, then sent a quick pass in front.
No one was in position and ready to prevent Jamie Benn, the Stars’ captain, from firing a quick shot past Sabres goalie Eric Comrie for Dallas’ second goal in 18 seconds during the first period Thursday night in KeyBank Center.
The Sabres entered the game only five points out of a playoff spot, yet you’d never know by watching their careless decisions with the puck and leisure coverage in the defensive zone against one of the top teams in the Western Conference.
There were a few bright spots sprinkled in between the myriad of mistakes. Jordan Greenway, the Sabres’ newest forward, scored shortly after Benn to cut the deficit to two, and Kyle Okposo delivered a similar response after another Dallas goal later in the game.
Somehow, it got worse for the Sabres.
They were booed on home ice again after allowing five goals in seven minutes during the third period of a 10-4 loss to the Stars.
Watch the game highlights below.
* The Stars scored early and often at KeyBank Center in Buffalo en route to the NHL’s first 10-goal performance of the season and tying the second-most in a game in franchise history.
* Four Metropolitan Division clubs skated to victories, including the Islanders who captured the NHL’s 50th multi-goal, third-period comeback win of the season – the most in a single campaign in League history.
* Erik Karlsson established a career-high for points in a season thanks in part to his third 20-goal campaign and first since 2014-15.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
It is all but certain – as it should be – that Henrik Lundqvist will be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame this year.
He has the numbers. He has the credentials. He had a career with the New York Rangers that few goaltenders will ever match and that should see him elected without much question or debate as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
And it is all but certain – with questions needing to be asked – that Curtis Joseph will be passed over for the Hall once again, just as he has for the last 10 years, without much hand-wringing, public arguing, or debate.
Joseph won 454 games for the six NHL teams he played for. That’s five fewer wins than Lundqvist, who played his entire career with the Rangers. Of the Top 12 winning goalies of all-time, nine are in the Hall, Marc-Andre Fleury is still playing, and Lundqvist has yet to be elected – which leaves Joseph alone.
The only goalie of the Top 12 to not be in the Hall of Fame or seemingly headed there.
Goaltenders, historically, have not gotten their complete share of Hall of Fame attention. Tom Barrasso, with two Stanley Cups from the Pittsburgh Penguins, is not in the Hall. Mike Vernon, with two Stanley Cups and a 32-9 won-loss record in those championship playoff seasons, is not in the Hall. Some people believe Chris Osgood belongs in the Hall – and I’m not one of them – after being part of three Cup champions in Detroit.
added 12:11pm, Khan adds Husso not on the ice too
Some beauties here.
from Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times,
With apologies to those preferring slow, steady builds to an undefined future contention date, the Kraken’s road to a Cup Final may never be as wide open as now. If they played in the Eastern Conference they’d be 23 points out of the lead and trailing three other teams by six or more. But in the West, unlike the Colorado Avalanche compiling 119 points last season before winning the Cup, the Golden Knights entered Wednesday on pace for only 105, compared with 104 for Dallas and 103 for the Kraken and Kings.
The injury-slowed Avalanche, who the Kraken went 2-0-1 against this season, are on a 101-point pace. Colorado’s backslide has created opportunity: Namely, the home-ice advantage winning the conference would secure.
Now, studies suggest home ice matters less in the NHL than in other leagues — that there’s usually only a slight boost between a team’s regular-season home record vs. the playoffs. But there are rule advantages, such as gaining the final line change to match defensive stalwarts against top scoring lines.
Also, if the Kraken reach a Game 7, home teams win 58% of those, according to puckreport.com.
Plus, you’d think home-crowd energy in a debut playoff campaign would benefit the Kraken more than teams in markets that have seen it before. And a hyped-up crowd could fuel the Kraken’s physical play.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Dominik Kubalik didn’t come out say, “Take that!” But he clearly was thinking along those lines.
It’s sweet to snap a tie late in the third period and help your team end a six-game slide. It’s sweeter when it’s against your former club, the one that kicked you to the curb.
Kubalik’s goal with 4:07 remaining in regulation Wednesday lifted the Detroit Red Wings past the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 at Little Caesars Arena, stopping their six-game skid (0-5-1).
“It felt really good, especially against them,” Kubalik said. “You always want to beat the old team. Didn’t work the first game (4-3 overtime loss in Chicago Oct. 21), so I’m happy we did it and hopefully it’s going to give us confidence into the next games.”
It was Kubalik’s 18th goal and 39th point, which rank second and third on the team.
also Khan on Fabbri's injury,
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
• Putting a bow on what happened, and what didn't, at the trade deadline
• What to watch for at upcoming GM Meetings
• Are Houston, Atlanta serious suitors for NHL teams?
In the aftermath of the trade deadline, a question stuck with me — and I’m embarrassed to admit it’s one of Jeff Marek’s. Speaking to Arizona GM Bill Armstrong last Thursday, he asked if Ottawa offered the same deal that landed Jakob Chychrun last October, would the Coyotes have accepted?
“It’s hard to say,” Armstrong replied. “You don’t know where they’re going to finish. You have a better idea now, so it becomes more attractive…For us, to get a chance for a high pick, that’s huge for us.”
For many who followed the Chychrun saga, the return (a conditional first-round pick, a conditional second-round selection and another second) seemed light, especially since the GM himself indicated the Coyotes wanted, at minimum, two guaranteed firsts — or the equivalent....
continued with more Thoughts...
* The Bruins can become the fastest team in NHL history to reach 50 wins in a season and can clinch a spot in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs when they clash with the Oilers on Hulu, ESPN+, Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
* J.T. Miller scored twice to help the Canucks earn a comeback win against the Ducks and climbed a franchise all-time list in the process.
* The Wild defeated the Jets at Canada Life Centre on Wednesday and tied their second-longest point streak in franchise history.
BRUINS TAKE FIRST SHOT AT AN EARLY CLINCH ON NATIONAL BROADCAST
The NHL-leading Bruins (49-8-5, 103 points) can become the fastest team to 50 wins in NHL history and have a chance to clinch a playoff spot when they square off with Connor McDavid and the Oilers (35-22-8, 78 points) on Hulu, ESPN+, Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
Detroit applied a lot of pressure in the first five minutes of period one with numerous scoring chances but were held off the score sheet. Chicago added two goals in the period and after 20 minutes, it was 2-0.
A much better second period, Detroit scored early and late to make it 2-2 after two.
In the third period, Chicago scored with just under 14 minutes to play to take a 3-2 lead.
Detroit evened the game with just over 7 minutes left, 3-3.
With 4:07 left in the third, Detroit scored again to take a 4-3 lead.
No more scoring, Wings win 4-3.
Below watch the lower body injury to Fabbri (he did not return) and the Detroit goals.
Hiya and welcome to all. Tonight’s game features the Cawks at the Pizzarena. Not that it’s going to change anything that much. The Wings have been a total letdown to their too loyal fans, so stay if you want. No one can put a positive spin on the last six games. It’s all bad….
It’s the Cawks vs the Wings in an Original Six match up. The puck is set to drop around 7:30 PM and will be broadcast on TNT. Also available on Red Wings Radio Network (97.1 The Ticket in Detroit)
It’s a Live Blog, on life support…..
from Matt Weller of the Ducks website,
The GM provided some rare public candor on his team's struggles this year, the details behind his moves at the NHL Trade Deadline and a look ahead to the decisions, strategies and relationships at the crux of his organizational philosophy.
Make no mistake, Verbeek is disappointed at how Anaheim's season has played out. He knew better than any that his team was headed for a rebuilding year and expected the growing pains any young team inevitably experiences, but a bigger priority for Verbeek was establishing the principles he believes should carry the organization: building a big, strong, physical team that opponents know well in advance is a bear to play against.
"I think overall, with the way the team was penciled on paper, I would have expected the team to have done better than what our record is," Verbeek admitted. "I think early on with the team, and you're going to hear me say this a lot, the compete level wasn't at a standard of what I expected. I want us to be really hard to play against, and we were too easily pushed aside. We weren't competing hard enough to win pucks. So I think that kind of contributed early on to the record.
"I think as the season has progressed, we've certainly gotten a lot better in that perspective. There are a lot of things that different players and different teams have to go through, and they had to learn to compete harder."
NEW YORK (March 8, 2023) – Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman has been fined $4,594.59, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for slashing Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson during NHL Game No. 1018 in Minnesota on Tuesday, March 7, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 12:47 of the first period. Hartman was assessed a minor penalty for slashing.
watch the slash below...
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