Thursday, December 22, 2016

Watch: Wade Megan's First NHL Goal

Never heard of Wade Megan? Now you have.

The 26-year-old from New York was a Boston University Terrier. Today he spoke with Darren Pang about making his NHL debut.

This year Megan had 13 goals and 11 assists in 28 games for the Chicago Wolves of the NHL.

Watch: Crosby Bats another one Home

Is it a broken record? No, but it sure seems like it. Sidney Crosby has once again batted a puck out of the air for a goal. We have to go back to to look at all of Crosby's goals (sorry, busy at the moment) to get you an official number, but it seems like at least half of them have been of this variety. Uncanny. Unreal. Unsustainable? Nah, it's Sid.

The kid nets his 23rd of the season, which stretches his lead over Boston's David Pastrnak to four.

Even more amazing is the fact that Crosby now has those 23 goals in 28 games.

Meanwhile the Jackets have a 3-1 lead over the Pens late in the second period.

Watch: Hartnell Gets Mysterious Elbowing Penalty after Sid Crosby Gets Hi-Sticked by Own Teammate

Sid Crosby already has already scored his NHL-leading 23rd goal tonight in Columbus. He's also drawing phantom penalties. Check out this call on Columbus' Scott Hartnell, who is given two for elbowing when Brian Dumoulin's stick accidentally clips crosby in the face.

Naturally, Hartnell was nonplussed.

The Jackets killed the penalty and have since taken a 2-1 lead on a goal by William Karlsson at 10:15 of the second period.

The Jackets are bidding for a franchise record 11th consecutive win tonight

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Watch: Paul Maurice on Byfuglien

NHL Ironman Cogliano moves into 5th place for all-time consecutive games played

By playing his 738th consecutive NHL game, Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano passed Jay Bouwmeester to move into 5th on the NHL's all-time consecutive games played list. The guy has not missed a single NHL game since the first game of his career (Oct. 4 2007). Enough said.

Well, maybe not enough.

Here's more:

1. Cogliano's streak is the longest in the NHL in 23 years.

2. The streak began on October 4th, 2007. Jeez, that's insane. This is hockey, players blow tires on pretty much every shift!

3. He scored the first goal of last night's game to honor the occasion -- nice touch.

4. Cogliano can pass Craig Ramsay (776) to move into fourth on the all-time list by the end of the season.

5. Tops on the list is Doug Jarvis who played 964 consecutive games from 1975 to 1987.

Check out these career stats--that's a lot of 82-game seasons...

Blackhawks Activate Crawford from IR

Corey Crawford is set to return to the crease for the Chicago Blackhawks. The team announced that Crawford was activated, meaning that backup Lars Johansson will head back down to AHL Rockford.

Johansson did not play at all while up with the Hawks.

Scott Darling went 6-3-1 with a 2.12 GAA and a .930 Save Percentage for the Blackhawks in 10 December starts.

Crawford is 12-6-2 with a 2.27 GAA in 20 starts this season. He went out with an emergency appendectomy on December 3.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Red Wings lose Jimmy Howard to injury after collison vs. Bolts

Jimmy Howard has been the Red Wings best goalie this season. But he might be sitting for a while.

Howard, who is 5-7-1 with a 1.96 GAA and a .934 save percentage, was injured in a goalmouth collison that probably could have been avoided if his defensemen Nick Jensen was a little more careful.

Jensen barrels in to removed Tampa's Erik Condra from the crease and both players tumbled to the ice, landing on Howard.

Howard was helped off the ice and could not put weight on his right leg, according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.

Jensen was filling in for injured Mike Green.

The Wings drop 14-15-4 and are now three points behind the Lightning after falling 4-1.

Lightning goalie Ben Bishop was also injured in the game.

Torts on what it's like to be Bobrovsky's backup: IT SUCKS

In a very strange, roundabout way, Blue Jackets head coach gives his backup goalie Curtis McElhinney huge props for being the ultimate pro. Tortorella explains how tough it is to be the backup for a workhorse like Bobrovsky, and to have to be the guy to always show up at the morning skate to be a punching bag. Classic Torts.

McElhinney has done will with limited work in Columbus. He backstopped the Jackets to a 3-2 shootout win on Tuesday to improve his record to 2-0-2 with a 1.99 GAA.

Perron's OT Winner Propels Blues Past Stars

The Dallas Stars OT woes continued on Tuesday as the team lost for the sixth time in the 3-on-3 when David Perron scored this goal off a scramble to give the Blues a 3-2 win at American Airlines Center.

The Stars have now gone 1-8-4 in games following wins.

The Stars are 13-14-7 on the season. They are eight points behind the third place St. Louis Blues but only two points out of the last Wild Card spot in the west.

Robin Lehner, Worst Shooutout Goalie Ever?

Or, just small sample size?

Whatever the case, Lehner has allowed goals on all six of his career shootout attempts after tonight's 4-3 shootout loss to the Panthers at BB&T Center. And, Twitter is having some fun with that, as Twitter sometimes does.

Watch: The Colorado Avalanche are not very good right now

The Avalanche fall 2-0 to the Wild, and drop to 11-19-1 overall. They are 2-8-0 in their last ten.

The video pretty much says it all.

Jagr Ties Messier on All-Time Points List

Jaromir Jagr has poured in three assists to tie Mark Messier on the NHL's all-time points list.

The 44-year-old is tied with Messier with 1,887 points. Jagr did it faster though.

The Panthers and Sabres are currently at OT and tied 3-3 at BB&T Center. We'll keep you updated if anything happens.

UPDATE: Florida wins 4-3 in a shootout. Jagr will aim to pass Messier on Thursday when the Panthers host the Bruins.

Columbus wins record 10th straight by defeating Kings in Shootout

The Columbus Blue Jackets kept the holiday party rolling on Tuesday by defeating the Los Angeles Kings, 3-2 in a shootout to claim their franchise record 10th straight win.

The 21-5-4 Blue Jackets were paced by Cam Atkinson's 13th and 14th goals of the season, and goalie Curtis McElhinney's 44 saves. Atkinson and Sam Gagner scored in the shootout to propel Columbus to the win.

Columbus will face the Penguins on Thursday at home, so mark your calendars.

Watch: Crosby gives fan a stick like Santa would

Yet another reason to love Sidney Crosby. The Pens' superstar sees a young girl that has made a sign for him, and reacts by giving her a souvenir.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Laine Dishes High Praise to Nikolaj Ehlers

In Winnipeg Nikolaj Ehlers scored his first multi-goal game of the season to help the Jets defeat the Avalanche 4-1 at MTS Centre on Sunday. Ehlers, 20, went 15 games without a goal but finally broke the streak on Dec. 10 at Calgary.

The speedy Dane now has 7 goals and 19 assists and is just 12 points from matching his points total from last season.

Patrik Laine was quick to praise the awe-inspiring skills of Ehlers in the dressing room after the game.

"I honestly haven't seen that kind of guy who can skate so well," Laine said of Ehlers. "He can dangle from top speed and he can shoot the puck like everybody saw in this game. He's a special player and it's nice to be in the same line as him."

Laine added a goal and two assists in the win for Winnipeg. Here's his gorgeous one-timer that opened the scoring in the game at 7:06 of the second:

The 18-year-old now has goals to match his age, and he's third in the NHL in scoring:

Watch: Jones Scores OT Winner and Torts Gets 500th Win

Seth Jones scored at :46 of OT to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 win over the Canucks at Rogers Arena.

The victory gives coach John Tortorella his 500th career win. Tortorella is the first American coach to reach the milestone and the 24th overall:

The win improves Columbus' record to 20-5-4. They are one of five NHL teams to have hit the 20-win mark. Of those five teams they are the only one with five or less regulation losses.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Watch: Sharks Prospect Time Meier Scores First Goal against Carey Price

Timo Meier scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL period. And he scored it off of Carey Price. The 6'2" 210-lb Swiss could be a significan player in San Jose this year. He probably would have started the year with the big club if a four-week bout with mononucleosis didn't derail his training camp.

Here's a bit more from the San Jose Mercury News:

Per Elias Sports, the last Shark to score on his first shot in NHL debut was Matt Carle on March 25, 2006 in a road game against the Minnesota Wild. Meier, 20, started the game and played on a line with Donskoi and Chris Tierney. Meier was called up from the Barracuda on Thursday after he scored nine goals in his first 17 AHL games.

Watch: Price Stares Down Teammates After Being Pulled vs. Sharks

Carey price was pulled midway through the second period after stopping just 14 of 18 shots againt the San Jose Sharks on Friday night at Bell Centre.

Suffice it to say, Price wasn't happy. Check out the staredown he throws at his bench. Who's he miffed at?

Luckily he didn't decide to take the blocker to any of his teammates like he did to Kyle Palmieri the other night:

The Sharks lead 4-0 midway through period three.

Mike Hoffman Gets Two-Game Suspension for Crosscheck on Couture

Senators' Mike Hoffman was handed a two-game suspension for his crosscheck to the back of Logan Couture's head on Wednesday night in Ottawa.

Many felt that Hoffman should have been given a stiffer penalty, but the NHL Department of Player Safety bought Hoffman's explanation that his stick rode up the stick of Brenden Dillon slightly, which led to Hoffman hitting Couture in the head rather than the upper back.

It's not a great excuse in our opinion.

This is Hoffman's first suspension, which also worked in his favor.

Cody Eakin Gets Four-Game Suspension for Hit on Lundqvist

Cody Eakin will be suspended for four games without pay as a result of his hit on Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist on Thursday night in Dallas.

Here is the NHL's explanation of the hit and suspension, from the Department of Player Safety:

Watch: Boychuk Rams Eichel into Boards

The Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk rode Jack Eichel into the boards during third period action of Friday's Islanders-Sabres game. It appears that Boychuk immediately felt sorry about his actions so he spent some quality time laying on Eichel and telling him he was sorry.

Eichel was okay, Boychuk got two for boarding and the Sabres didn't retaliate. All is merry in Buffalo.

It's 2-2 with less than eight minutes remaining between the two Eastern Conference bottom feeders.

Update: Eichel left the game temporarily to be assessed, but returned shortly therefter.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Hoffman Facing Suspension after Brutal Cross-Check on Couture

Things got really heated during Wednesday night's Sharks-Senators battle at Canadian Tire Center in Ottawa. We mean REALLY HEATED. After Mark-Edouard Vlasic drew the ire of the Senators bench when he speared Erik Karlsson behind the play in the second period, Couture and Hoffman got into it mid-way through the third.

Couture knocks Hoffman to the ice, rather innocently, before heading to the slot to keep an eye on the play. Little did Couture know that he was being tracked by Hoffman, who landed a vicious crosscheck to the back of his helmet which earned him a five-minute major and a game misconduct and sent Couture to the dressing room.

Couture, the Sharks second-leading goal scorer, would not return.

Hoffman will likely be looking at a multi-game suspension for this:

It was a surprisingly chippy battle between the Sens and Sharks on Wednesday, which was won by San Jose in a shootout on a Kevin Labanc goal.

Here's the aforemontioned incident between Karlsson and Vlasic:

And here's the resultant fight:

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Watch: Babcock Upbeat After Leafs Blow another Lead

The Toronto Maple Leafs failed to protect a two-goal lead and ended up losing to the San Jose Sharks, 3-2 in a shootout, but Mike Babcock was in no mood to pick apart his young club after the Sharks scored twice in a 2:07 span to tie it.

The Leafs now have the NHL's second-worst winning percentage when leading after two periods at 10-1-5.

"I was pleased with our effort tonight," Babcock said. "I thought we did a lot of good things. I thought we were set up good. Best way to play when you have the lead is like the score is tied and you play like you want to get the next one. So you are on your toes and you continue to get after the other team and you don't just try to defend and back in and play careful."

Frederik Andersen made 40 saves for Toronto (11-11-6), which has lost five of its past six. Auston Matthews chipped in his 13th goal of the season on the power play.

The Sharks had six power plays and tied it with the man advantage at 14:50 on Joe Pavelski's 9th of the season.

Logan Couture scored the winning shootout goal to improve the Sharks' record to 17-11-1.

Jeff Carter after Kings Loss to Buffalo: "We're Fragile"

Jeff Carter is not happy about the state of his L.A. Kings.

After Tuesday's 6-3 loss to the Sabres, a game that saw the Kings blow a 2-0 lead, Carter aired out some frustration.

"It was just terrible hockey," he said, according to L.A. Kings insider Jon Rosen. "We come on a seven-game road trip, 1-0 after the first. 2-0. We get a bad bounce and then we just […] shut down. It’s been going on for a while. Our second periods have not been good and they’ve been killing us. It’s everybody. It’s top to bottom. It’s unacceptable."

He says the Kings are a fragile bunch and they've been that way all season. The Kings dropped to 14-12-2 with the loss. They are now in fifth place in the Pacific Division and 4-8-1 on the road.

L.A. is in ninth in the Western Conference, percentage points behind Nashville for the second wild card slot. They've done all that while Peter Budaj has been filling in for Jonathan Quick, who was injured on opening night.

It could be worse, but Carter wasn't seeing that way after Jack Eichel and Co. roared back to defeat them.

"We’re fragile. We’re a fragile team. You get one bad bounce against you…You know, they’ve got good players over there. They’re going to have shifts in our end. We get running around. We lose coverage. They score one goal. We’re up 2-1. 2-1 on the road is pretty good and then we just crumble, and we’ve been doing it all year. Home, away, everywhere. It’s time we take a big look in the mirror here because these next six games are pretty crucial to our year.

Head Coach Darryl Sutter was asked to comment, but he said that Carter had pretty much covered everything:

"If they’re telling you guys that, I don’t have to comment on that," he said. "They’re part of the leadership group, they’re captains, and you expect them to feel like that and say that.

Carolina Scores 4 in 4:40 to Erase Three-Goal Deficit and Beat Canucks

The Carolina Hurricanes scored six goals in a wild third period to defeat the Vancouver Canucks, 8-6, on Tuesday night at PNC Arena.

It was Carolina's seventh straight win at home and the game was the highest-scoring NHL game since 2011:

The Canes got goals from six different players in the period, scoring on six of 15 shots.

Vancouver scored four unanswered goals in the middle period to take a 5-2 lead. But he Canes had erased the deficit and taken the lead by 5:56 in the third. Jeff Skinner was Carolina's lone multiple-goal scorer in the game. He notched his 10th and 11th of the season, which leads all Hurricanes scorers.

Watch: Torts Incensed by Bad Hi-Sticking Call on Jack Johnson

Hell hath no fury like a shunned John Tortorella. Watch as the Blue Jackets bench boss looks on in agonized disbelief after Jack Johnson is handed a double-minor for hi-sticking.

Replays clearly show that it was Milan Lucic's stick that clipped the face of Connor McDavid.

Can't wait to hear what Torts has to say about it after the game.

Watch: Brady Skjei Takes Teammates Skate to Face in New York

File under: That sucks.

Brady Skjei takes Kevin Hayes skate to his face during first-period action of Tuesday night's Blackhawks-Rangers game at MSG.

Skjei would return with a lot of stitches and a full cage. He finished the game with 12:41 of TOI, a shot on goal and two hits.

Here's another angle of this scary play:

Watch: Casey Cizikas Has Wrist Cut by Anders Lee's Skate

Casey Cizikas' first shift of tonight's Islanders-Capitals game in Brooklyn ended abruptly as the Islanders' center had his left wrist cut when his teammate Anders Lee stepped on it after Cizikas had fallen along the boards.

He immediately was rushed off the ice. Cizikas returned to the game later in the first period.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Report: NHL to Review Krug Hit on Shaw

Above you see a GIF of the hit. Below you can see the whole thing:

After the game it was revealed that the Department of Player Safety will have a look-see at the play.

Here's what Krug said about the play after the game according to NBC Sports:

“I was looking at the puck, so I don’t really — I saw him and I knew who it was and I just assumed he was going to play the body because he’s a physical player. Lowered my shoulder and I don’t know what happened."

Here's what Habs' center, Brendan Gallagher, said about the hit (Gallagher later fought Krug):

“When you see your teammate get up the way Shaw did, he had blood coming from his face, Shaw would have done that for every guy on this team. It’s tough whenever you play this team. A lot of emotions involved. “There’s a lot of respect between these two teams, a lot of history. Today it got a little heated.”

Lucic on Nurse Injury: It Sucks

Eloquently, and simply put, but Milan Lucic, who was talking to media about the fact that Darnell Nurse underwent ankle surgery and will miss 12 weeks.

"It sucks for him and it sucks for us."

Nurse, 21, is a highly regarded defenseman who is considered to have tremendous upside. He was 3-2-5 in 25 games this season.

Nurse has been out since December 1. He has been a plus possession player in minutes with Matthew Benning and Eric Gryba (below stats from Corsica Hockey:

Watch: Crosby Has Scary Collision with Hanzal's Stick

This was not good. Watch as Sidney Crosby takes a stick to the face and also has his head snap back pretty hard late in first period action against the Coyotes on Monday night.

Crosby was fine. He returned to pot his 21st of the season in Pittsburgh's 7-0 win over the Coyotes on Monday night at Consol Energy Center .

Here's Crosby's take on whether the hi-stick should have been called: "That's a tough one to call, I mean Horny's coming in there and a couple of sticks are up. It happens pretty quick. I think that's a hard one for them to call."

Here's Crosby's goal, which was batted out of the air:

Therrien Post-Game: We want to be tough to play with our pace

After his team's overtime loss to the rival Bruins in Montreal, Habs' coach Michel Therien talks about what it means for the Les Habitants to be "tough to play against." A reporter tells Therrien that the Bruins 2-1 win felt like a test for Montreal's toughness (agree: it was a physical matchup that featured 18 PIMs in the first period, including a fight between Brendan Gallagher and Torey Krug), and he asks Therrien if he was pleased with his team's response:

PS... Here's some of the aforementioned physicality from period 1. See video below as Torey Krug knocks Andrew Shaw temporarily out of the game:

"We want to be tough to play with our pace, and the way we play the game and the way we approach the game," Therrien said. "When we are saying tough to play against it's not always about throwing big hits and getting caught out of position," he said.

Here's some more toughness: The Emelin hit on Marchand:
And here's Shaw on McQuaid:

And here's Emelin on Pastrnak:

And here's Gallagher and Krug mixing it up:

On the game-winner, Ryan Spooner's OT goal at 3:20, Therrien says: "When you get to the overtime you are almost flipping the coin. We got two guys caught late a little bit, on the ice too long, and it was tough for us to check because we were [on the ice] for such a long time." He added: "But... you know what? It was a good fight. We wish we would have won the game in overtime or in a shootout, but it didn't happen."

The Canadiens rallied on Paul Byron's goal at 16:48 of the third, but failed to get two points at home for just the third time in seventeen games (14-1-2).

Montreal still leads the NHL in point with a 19-6-4 record.

Todd McLellan Very High on Leon Draisaitl's Progress

Todd McLellan is very high on Leon Drasaitl, see video above to hear the Oilers' coach praise the German's praise during a press conference in early December.

Draisaitl is tied with three other players for 8th in NHL goal scoring with 13. The 21-year-old has 13 goals and 13 assists in 31 games for the Oil.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Watch: Patrik Laine Scores a Heartbreaking Own Goal and Gets a Hug

It's been a brilliant rookie campaign for Patrick Laine, but the 18-year-old Finn had a brain fade on Sunday night in Edmonton. A BIG TIME brain fade.

Watch as Laine shoots a rebound past his goalie Connor Hellebuyck and into the yawning cage after a Mark Letestu bomb ended up caroming off of his goalie's pads and right onto his stick. Hard to say what Laine was trying to do with this puck. Easy to say that he was probably trying to clear it out of harm's way but why whould he go in that direction instead of clearing it to the strong-side boards?

About the only thing that makes sense about this play is the hug that Jets' Captain Blake Wheeler gives Laine a big hug (actually Milan Lucic's reaction makes sense as well) as the rookie sits on the bench. Tough moment for the Jets, who are really struggling to get wins of late.

Still over five minutes to go in the third period, so maybe Laine and the Jets can give this sad story a happy ending?

Friday, December 9, 2016

Kane Gets Drilled by Holden and Makes J.T. Miller Pay for it

Patrick Kane got mashed against the boards when he tried to weave his way through rush hour traffic behind the Rangers goal line on Friday night at the United Center. First Kane gets nudged by Marc Staal, which changes the angle of Nick Holden's hit, making it essentially an unplanned hit from behind.

Remarkably, Kane survives the hit and gets up to gather the puck and get a good scoring opportunity.

Then he blows a fuse after Antti Raanta stones him and throws a massive elbow on J.T. Miller.

Kane would get a minor for hi-sticking on the play, which was served by Ryan Hartman.

Kane went to the locker room to get checked out and returned to action later. The Rangers notched the 1-0 OT win on a goal by Nick Holden at :55 seconds of overtime. The victory improves Raanta's career record at the United Center to 15-0-3. The former Blackhawk won back-to-back starts on thursday and Friday for the Rangers, allowing just one goal against the Jets in Thursday's 2-1 win.

Watch: Dubinsky Scores after Mrazek Never Gets a Whistle

One of the stranger goals you'll ever see happened in the second period of tonight's Blue Jackets-Redwings game in Detroit. Petr Mrazek comes way out of his net to play a puck then wants to freeze it. But the refs decide that he's not being contested and needs to "move it." So Mrazek does, and Brandon Dubinsky scores. Ref really should have blown it dead when Dubinsky was standing right in front of Mrazek there, right? Actually not right. Because Mrazek was out of the crease he needs to move it along.

The Jackets now lead 3-1 after two.

Jakub Vrana Scores First Goal and Celebrates with Ovi

Go to the dirty areas, get rewarded. That was the story for Jakub Vrana on Friday night as the 20-year-old found the twine in his 5th NHL game and Evgeny Kuznetsov scooped up the puck for him.

Note: At first we thought Kuznetsov was getting the puck for himself because points have been that hard for him to get this season (just kidding!!!).

Nice touch: sitting next to Ovechkin, scorer of 537 NHL goals, on the bench and having a laugh.

The Capitals currently lead the Sabres 2-0 after two in Buffalo.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Erik Karlsson Becomes Highest-Scoring Defenseman in Senators History

26-year-old Erik Karlsson has become the highest-scoring defenseman in Ottawa Senators history. This unassisted goal at 7:19 of the second period of tonight's game versus the Sharks in San Jose gave Karlsson his 411th point, moving him past Wade Redden on the Sens' all-time list.

Karlsson had picked up an assist (his 19th) on Ottawa's first goal, allowing him to tie Redden.

Karlson ties Mike Green for 96th on the all-time list. He also ties Green for 11th on the active list. Of all the active defenseman with 400 or more points, Karlsson is far and away ahead in the points per game category (.81).

Watch: Linesman Downed After Taking Slapper to Knee

I used to be a lineseman. I never wore shinpads. This is scary. That is all I can say.

Hope that Steve Miller, who took this slap shot from Roman Polak right off his knee, is okay.

Miller is a veteran of over 1,000 NHL games. If you don't recall, he was the linesman who was accused of taking a Stanley Cup winning puck from the Blackhawks in 2010.

Nash to Miss a Week as Injuries Mount for Rangers

The injuries keep piling up for the New York Rangers. Add Rick Nash's body to the pile of walking wounded. The club announced that Nash would miss a week with a groin injury on Wednesday. Nash joins Pavel Buchnevich, Jimmy Vesey, Matt Puempel and Mika Zibanejad as players who have been recently knocked out of the lineup.

The good news--if there is any--for the Rangers is that they have tons of depth and that many of the injuries are not that serious. Unfortunately it is going to be a while for Buchnevich and Zibanejad, two of the most exciting off-season acquisitions who were off to fast starts in New York.

Also of note: There should be more news on the severity of Nash's injury tomorrow:

New Beer Celebrates the Myth of Shayne Gostisbehere

What better way to celebrate the Flyers current six-game winning streak could there be? (Answer: none).

So go ahead, Flyers fans (and puck-moving D fans, and #CawlidgeHockey fans), pour yourself a Ghost Bear!

Galchenyuk and Desharnais out 6-8 Weeks for Montreal

The injury bug has hit the Montreal Canadiens, but at least Carey Price is still healthy. Last year it was Price's LBI that sideswipped the Habs and started an avalanche of bad things that led to missing the post-season and the eventual trade of P.K. Subban.

Pretty tough timing to have two centers go down at the same time, and especially tough to lose Galchenyuk, who is the teams leading scorer with 9-14-23.

The Habs are currently 5 points clear of Ottawa and six clear on Boston at the top of the Atlantic Division, so they do have a bit of wiggle room. They also have a healthy Carey Price, so things could be far, far worse.

As Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette writes, this might be the perfect time for the struggling Tomas Plekanec to find his game.

FYI, here's the Galchenyuk injury from last Saturday if you have not seen it:

And here's the Desharnais injury:

Philip Larsen Discharged from Hospital and Cleared to Return to Vancouver

Great news for Philip Larsen. If you did not see the hit or its crazy aftermath last night, go here. Hope he makes a speedy recovery and gets back to the ice at 100 percent soon!

John Shannon of Sportsnet has been keeping an eye on the situation. Follow his Twitter feed for more:

Statisfaction: Laine's Splits, Flyers Scorching and More

Statisfaction counts down, adds up and trips out over the numbers after each night of NHL action. Here's the December 7th addition...

1. Laine: Leading the NHL, but only three goals on the road

So, is it matchups? Is it energy? For whatever reason, 18-year-old rookie Phenom Patrik Laine has scored 14 of his 17 goals at home this season. Not to worry, he's atop the NHL leaderboard, and anyway you slice it Laine has been a true godsend in Winnipeg.

Imagine if he had a few more goals on the road though?

2. Flyers win sixth in a row

Are the Flyers the real deal in the Eastern Conference? There were a lot of goaltending and defensive worries early in the season, and those worries have come to roost in the form of an NHL-worst 87 goals allowed. But you know what? It's not slowing the Flyers down all that much. Jakub Voracek's OT winner gives Philly win No.6 in a row. Even better is the fact that the Flyers have allowed two or less goals in each of their last five games.

And they have that loving feeling:

3. Devils are the comeback kids:

New Jersey is the only team to have a better than .500 record when trailing after two periods. Pretty remarkable when you think about it. The Devils have gone 5-4-2 in games where they have entered the third period trailing. There are six NHL teams that have zero regulation wins when trailing after two. Nashville and Detroit are the only two teams that have not even mustered a point when entering the third behind.

4. Jagr's even strength Corsi among NHL's best:

We've heard a lot of talk about Jaromir Jagr hitting a wall this season in Florida. But if his Corsi is any indication (below chart is even strength, min. 300 minutes ice time), Jags is doing just fine, thank you.

As far as conventional stats go, the 44-year-old has two goals in his last five games and is 5-8-13 overall, with a shooting percentage of 7.9%, compared to 18.9% last season.

5. Antoine Vermette has been a face-off demon in Anaheim

The 34-year-old 14-year NHL vet has learned a thing about the art of the draw in his day. This year in Anaheim he's winning 66 percent of them across the board--even, shorthanded and on the power play.

That's something every NHL team would like to have as a Christmas gift. Face-offs, the ultimate stocking stuffer.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Watch: Subban Surpasses Last Season's Goal Total in Nashville Win

Nashville's P.K. Subban is picking up his scoring pace after a slow start for the Predators.

See puck. Shoot puck.

Subban scored on this long-range drive to give the Predators a 3-2 lead late in the second period of their 4-3 win over the Avalanche at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

Subban has already matched his goal total from last season. He had six goals and 45 assists in his final season with Montreal in 2015-16.

Subban is currently firing at an 11.3 shooting percentage, which is significantly higher than his career-best of 8.8. Subban's .68 points per game pace is currently shy of the .75 points per game he managed in Montreal last season.

Nashville improved to 12-9-4 with the win, but they are still just shy of the last wild card spot in the Western Conference at the moment.

Voracek's OT Winner Extends Flyers' Win Streak to Six

And, the hottest team in the NHL is...

The Philadelphia Flyers.

The Broad Street Bullies extended their NHL-best win streak to six with their 3-2 OT win over the Panthers at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night with this goal by Jakub Voracek (his 9th).

Wayne Simmonds added his 14th and 15th goal to help the Flyers improve to 15-10-3, good enough for the first Wild Card slot in the Eastern Conference standings.

Video: Laine Ties Crosby for NHL Goal Scoring Lead

Patrik Laine owns a share of the NHL's goal scoring lead after rifling this wrist shot from his "office" at the top of the right circle off a defender and past Detroit netminder Petr Mrazek for his 17th goal.

The 18-year-old now has 17 goals in 29 games, which puts him on a pace for 48 this season. That would be the fifth-highest goal total for a rookie in NHL history.

He's tied with Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead now.

Laine also had an assist and a shootout marker in Winnipeg's 4-3 shootout loss to Detroit at MTS Centre.

Philip Larsen Knocked Cold by Taylor Hall and Stretchered Off

This is about as scary as it gets. Canucks' defenseman Philip Larsen was out cold after this giant hit by Taylor Hall during the second period of New Jersey's 3-2 win over Vancouver at the Prudential Center.

The hit by Hall appears to be clean. As a former teammate of, Hall expressed concern about Larsen's health.

“I feel terrible, he’s a former teammate of mine,” Hall told reporters of his Oilers teammate from 2013-14. “I’m looking to make contact there but never want to see a guy lying on the ice like that. I just would have loved to make a hit there and continue to play, so I hope he’s all right.”

Here is Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins talking about the hit:

According to Sportsnets Dan Murphy, Larsen's condition had improved significantly before he was taken to the hospital.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Watch: Nick Foligno Suffers Water Bottle Malfunction

Nick Foligno scored his 9th goal in Columbus' 3-2 win over the Avalanche on Thursday. He also got blasted by a sketchy water bottle. No upper body injury was reported.

As you were. Nothing else to see here...

Watch: Sidney Crosby Scores a Double Back-Tap Tap in

The man they call the kid scores goals they call sublime. Not pretty. Not elegant. But poetic. Watch as Sidney Crosby banks a puck off of Antti Niemi's back--not because he wants to score, but because he wants the puck to bounce off Niemi's back and up into the air so he can bank it off of Niemi's back a second time, and into the goal.

That's how Sid rolls. In sequences. He's an illusionist. He can see the future and therefore he can shape the future. Crosby now has 16 goals in 18 games and the Pens improve to 14-7-2 with a 6-2 win over Dallas at PPG Arena.

Paul Maurice says Connor McDavid is Connor McJesus (without actually saying it)

It's nothing you haven't heard before--yeah, yeah, yeah, Connor McJesus is awesome--but it's nice to hear Paul Maurice give his take on the miracle that is Connor McDavid. One, because Maurice is an awesome interview that knows a thing or three about a thing or two and, two, because he gets that McDavid's combination of speed and hands is basically out of this world.

Yep, he's good. Real good. McDavid stretched his lead over the field by tallying three assists in Edmonton's 6-3 lead over the Jets at MTS Centre tonight.

In other news, Connor McDavid is no Wayne Gretzky. Wait, what? That doesn't fit the narrative at all. Ah, but the NHL those days was freewheeling. Today's tight-checking, low-scoring, big-ass-goalie padded NHL is a whole different ball of wax. Let's give McDavid 48 points just for putting up with those big-ass-goalie pads, and call the two players equally great, shall we?

Watch: Sam Henley Gets First NHL Goal and Mom is Pumped

Nice moment in Colorado tonight as Sam Henley scored in his NHL debut after being called up from San Antonio. The 23-year-old Quebec native has been in the AHL for two seasons but Henley, signed as an undrafted free agent by the Avalanche in 2014, made his cup of coffee count by scoring the equalizer at 14:25 of the second.

Check out the reaction of his mom and girlfriend--beautiful stuff.

The red-hot Blue Jackets came away with the win on a Boone Jenner goal at 8:54 of the third to improve to 13-5-4.

Colorado, struggling pretty mightily, drops to 9-12-1 and 0-3-1 on their current five-game homestand.

Watch: Lundqvist Beat by 100-Footer in Buffalo

It's a busy 12-game slate to kick off December in the NHL. And, here's the first goal... (It goes to Johan Larsson (4) at :18) And yes, Henrik Lundqvist wants this one back.

Special points go to Rick Jeanneret for the enthusiastic call. No, I won't be telling by grandkids about this goal, but nothing like a little hyperbole in a situation like that--especially when it comes from a broadcasting legend like Jeanneret.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Eichel Tower is Back in Buffalo

Jack Eichel made his return from a high ankle sprain in Ottawa on Tuesday night, and the 20-year-old delivered, assisting on the Sabres first goal and then scoring Buffalo's second goal as the Sabres went on to notch a 5-4 win over the Senators.

"More than anything you just want to be out there and feel good and feel confident about your game and try to help contribute," said Eichel, who scored 58 points in his rookie season for Buffalo. "You watch so much hockey that it makes you that much more excited to come back and play. I think that’s the case here."

Will the Sabres be a much better team now that Eichel is back? They improved to 8-9-5, just four points from the last Wild Card spot in the east with the win. It will take Eichel some time to get into game shape, but the Buffalo power play is already looking more menacing.

Eichel played with Evander Kane and Sam Reinhart at even strength, logging 13:43 even strength ice time and 17:07 overall.

Watch: Johansen Dangles, Dekes and Roofs

Absolutely sick goal from Nashville Predator forward Ryan Johansen here. And it looks even better in slo-mo:

The Preds improved to 11-8-3 with the 5-3 win over the Avs, and they are now 8-1-1 at home.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Proof that Barry Trotz is a Tough, Tough, Tough Man

Here's your proof. What else could you want?

Mrazek Robs Lehkonen with Glove Love

Absolute. Highway. Robbery. And one of the best saves you'll ever see, by Detroit's Petr Mrazek during the first period of Detroit's tilt with Les Canadiens at the Joe.

As for Artturi Lehkonen (in his first game since Nov.5), if he could have this one back he'd probably take a moment to make sure he got this puck up high where mama keeps the peanut butter.

Islanders Lack Puck Luck in San Jose

How do you spell negative puck luck, people? I-S-L-A-N-D-E-R-S.

Watch as Brent Burns scores from just inside the red line after his slapper deflects off the stick of Thomas Hickey and past Thomas Greiss. Nothing is going right for the 6-10-4 Islanders. They tied the game with under a minute left in San Jose on Friday only to relinquish the tie 35 seconds later on a Patrick Marleau goal.

Connor McDavid: Human Highlight Reel and High Jumper

What's next, pole vault? Connor McDavid does a nifty job of avoiding an Anthony Duclair check and flies into a soft landing in the laps of the surly fellows on the Arizona bench. Luckily for McDavid he wasn't hurt on this play, and double lucky that nobody on the Arizona bench wanted to draw the ire of Milan Lucic so they gave Connor a soft, friendly lift and off he went.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Watch: Travis Konecny Picks a Fight with Brandon Pirri

He may be just 5'10" 175, but Flyers' rookie Travis Konecny proved during Saturday's matinee at Madison Square Garden that he's not afraid to throw down. Watch as Konecny hunts down Brandon Pirri after the Ranger boarded his teammate Brandon Manning along the near boards moments earlier.

Konecny proceeds to toss Pirri about a bit before slugging him a few times for good measure while he's on his back on the ice. That's Flyers hockey for ya. Konecny picked up an instigator penalty and a misconduct. Neither player had a point in the Rangers 3-2 win.

The Rangers improve to 15-6-1 with the win while Philly drops to 9-10-3.

Tanev Lays Dangerous Hit on Sissons from Behind

Brandon Tanev tattooes Colton Sissons from behind and a melee ensues during Winnipeg's battle with the Predators in Nashville on Friday night. Tanev appears to be wondering what he did wrong as he heads to the box, but it's pretty clear from the replays that this is a serious boarding infraction. Maybe Tanev didn't expect Sissons to sort of duck away as he's playing the puck, but Tanev has to be a little bit more careful there.

The action of Sissons head against the glass is not what anybody wants to see.

Tanev got the five-minute major and the Predators answered with James Neal's 10th goal to take a 3-1 lead.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Chad Johnson Has Two Shutouts in His Last 5

Chad Johnson called it "your prototypical road game."

Whatever it was the Flames will take it and so will Johnson, who has now gone 6-3-1 on the season for the Flames. He's been pressed into duty as Brian Elliot has faltered. Elliot is 3-9-0 with a 3.43 GAA.

This is Chad Johnson's team if he keeps this up. He has allowed just six goals in five games, including his 5th and 6th career shutouts. Johnson has a 2.08 GAA and a .922 save percentage in his ten games.

One More Random Stat: Johnson went 22-16-4 impressively in 45 games with the Sabres last season. 45 is the most games the 30-year-old has ever played in an NHL campaign.

Watch: Vanek Goes Around the World in Shootout vs. Buffalo

In his second game back from a four-week hiatus due to injury, Thomas Vanek registered an assist and was a plus-1 in Detroit's 2-1 shootout win over the Sabres. He also did this sick (see video above) around-the-world trick before lasering a snapshot past Robin Lehner in the second round of the shootout.

The 32-year-old Vanek missed nearly four weeks with a lower-body injury, but when he has been in he has been good for Detroit. He's produced 9 goals in 9 games. Detroit is 9-10-1 after 20 games, and is currently 14th in the 16-team Eastern Conference (some games still going on here on Thanksgiving Eve).

Sid Strikes Back, Pens Hammer Rangers

Pens answer Rangers behind Sid the Kid Crosby's two goals and three points. Final score? 6-1, Pittsburgh. The Pens improve to 12-5-3 and drop NYR to 14-6-1.

Want to know the story of this game (or at least one of them)? Watch the Penguins spend over a minute and a half in the Rangers zone at 5 on 5 before Conor Sheary scores to make it 5-1 pretty late in the second. At one point before the goal, Rangers broadcaster Joe Micheletti says "Their arms are going to get tired, passing it this much." Full credit to Pitt, no credit to NYR:

Ovechkin Hattie Leads Caps Past Blues

I'll be honest. I was cooking chutney with my wife when this game was going on. Washington won, 4-3.

Therefore I will keep my reporting on the subject sparse. (TIDBIT: Ovechkin scored his 92nd game-winning goal to lift the Caps past the Blues)

I will tell you this: The Great 8 is going good. The Caps improve to 12-5-2 with the win over the Blues, and Ovechkin now has 16 career hat tricks and 534 career goals. Simply put, the guy is one of the most incredible players we've ever seen in this sport. For those who wish to bask in the glory, here's a snipe by Ovi from tonight's hat trick. How does he shoot this puck with so much velocity?

Auston Matthews Snaps 13-Game Goalless Drought

Everybody in Toronto can breathe a little easier right now. Auston Matthews, the No.1 overall pick and scorer of four goals in his NHL debut, has regained his scoring touch. The 19-year-old has scored a pair tonight (see first goal above, second goal below) at the Rock in New Jersey, snapping a 13-game drought that saw him take 45 shots on goal without finding the twine.

Check back later for an update on what is sure to be an eight-goal night for the rookie.

Ward Wins Fifth Straight for Surging Carolina

Red-hot Cam Ward guided the Carolina Hurricanes past the Maple Leafs, 2-1, on Tuesday night at Air Canada Center in Toronto. Ward has won his last five starts and the Canes (8-6-4) leapfrogged the Leafs in the standings with the win.

Carolina has now killed 22 straight penalties in their last ten games.

Ward improved to 6-1-2 in November. The 32-year-old is in the first year of a two-year, $6.6 million deal with the Canes. His current 2.27 goals against average projects out to a career-high for the 12-year veteran.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Caggiula providing a spark for Oilers in first two games

Video: Drake Caggiula's first NHL point from Saturday's game vs. Dallas

Story: Drake Caggiula was talked about a lot in training camp, but when an injury took him down in an October 6 pre-season game, the Oilers--and Caggiula--had to wait for the kid to make an impact.

He's doing it now.

Caggiula played his first two games this week for the Oilers and Edmonton won both, over Dallas on Saturday and over the Blackhawks on Monday. He already has two assists and is a plus two in 28:49 of ice time for the Oilers, with most of his ice time spend with Tyler Pitlick and Matt Hendricks. The possession numbers have not been there (Caggiula has a 10 CF and a 41 CA) but he has not been on the ice for an opposition goal and he's also contributing on the penalty kill.

Sportsnets Mark Spector was raving about Caggiula on TSN's Hockey Central at noon on Tuesday.

"He's a really good player, for a guy that hasn't played any pro hockey," Spector said of the former UND standout. "I'm really skeptical about these unsigned NCAA guys. I'm on the record saying that eight of ten of them are overrated... He's very mature he's well-rounded, he's cool. Some guys are leaders. This kid in college was a major leader on a really good team at UND."

Spector says he thinks Caggiula could pencil in as a future third-line center that plays with bite and knows his role.

"Is he going to be a second-line center in the NHL? I don't know. Is he maybe going to be that third-line center that every good team has? Think back in history of all the winning clubs. Dallas had Guy Carbonneau as their third-line center, I always thought John Madden was a great third-line center, the Oilers had Craig McTavish. Every team has a solid citizen playing third-line center for them. I think that's who [Caggiula] might turn into.

Watch: Beaulieu Injured by Puck to Throat

Montreal Canadiens' defenseman Nathan Beaulieu was injured when he took a puck to the throat off the stick off of Sens' center Derick Brassard during the second period of Montreal's 4-3 loss to Ottawa at Bell Centre on Tuesday.

According to reporters on the scene in Montreal, Head Coach Michel Therrien said that Beaulieu's injury was nothing serious. The 23-year-old was transported to a local hospital for assessment after he left the game:

Sean Couturier out with a Sprained MCL

Flyers' center Sean Couturier left Tuesday night's game with the Panthers with an injury to his left knee and did not return. Word is that Couturier has sprained the MCL and will need further evaluation.

The video above shows Couturier getting tangled up in his own zone with Panthers' forward Vincent Trochek. Trochek bumps Couturier and then is knocked forward onto Couturier's knee after he makes his initial hit. Not pretty.

It was Flyers' reporter Tim Panaccio who reported the injury as MCL sprain.

Ladies and Gentlemen, YOUR Vegas Golden Knights

We have a team name and we have a team logo. Ladies and gentlemen, your Vegas Golden Knights, the NHL's 31st team. Do we like the logo? It immediately struck me as a winner. I immediately got a strong Darth Vader vibe from it, which is always nice.

Check out this statement on the Knight motif, per Puck Daddy Blog's Josh Cooper, from Golden Knights' owner Bill Foley:

“We selected ‘Knights’ because knights are the defenders of the realm and protect those who cannot defend themselves,” Foley said in a statement. “They are the elite warrior class.”

Brent Burns Signs an 8-Year Deal with Sharks

The San Jose Sharks locked up their No.1 defenseman Brent Burns through the 2024-2025 season for an AAV of $8 Million. Burns will recieve $54 million of his pay in the first six years of the deal and average $5 million per year in the final two years.

Here's what the big man has to say about it:

The 31-year-old has gone 7-9-16 for the Sharks this season, and has averaged 22 goals over his last three season with San Jose.

Erik Karlsson Reaches 400 Points

Erik Karlsson became the first NHL defenseman to record his 400th point before his 500th game since Brian Leetch in 1993. He achieved the milestone on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal (see video above).

Karlsson is now one of 12 active defensemen in the 400-point club. He recorded his 297th assist and 400th point before giving Ottawa a 4-3 lead in the third period by scoring his 104th goal and 401st point. Karlsson is apparently already zeroing in on catching Mike Green and his 406 points.

(See video of Karlsson's very lucky goal, which was shot from the boards and glanced off a defender's skate before sliding past Carey Price, below).

Here's the list of the other active defenders in the 400-point club, from @TheSaucerPass:

Dale Weise scores his first goal as a Flyer

Flyers' Dale Weise pots his first as a Flyer (in his 16th game) to give Philly a 2-0 lead over the Panthers on Tuesday night in Florida. Weise signed a four-year deal with Philadelphia on July 1 (AAV $2.35 million).

28-year-old Weise had a career-best 14 goals last season with Montreal and Chicago.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Statisfaction, Friday Nov 11 2016

Your Daily does of NHL stats, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... (Plus a daily video above: Nikolaj Ehlers sends an own-goal past Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson in OT)

1. Hossa ties Beliveau on the all-time goals list.

Marian Hossa is the gift that keeps on giving. The Slovakian netted the tying goal at 19:37 of the third to send Chicago and Washington to OT on Friday night. The Caps got the 3-2 win on a Marcus Johansson winner, but Hossa notched yet another milestone--his 507th career goal.

Here's the goal -- right place, right time...

2. Toronto opens floodgates

The Leafs scored four goals on six shots in the third to defeat the Flyers, 6-4, on Friday night at ACC. Toronto got goals from six different players and won for the first time when trailing after two periods (1-2-0) and they got this *dope* celebration from Mitch Marner:

3. Devils are best when trailing after two:

New Jersey improved to an NHL-best 3-1-1 when trailing after two when Andy Greene scored on a penalty shot in OT to lead New Jersey to a 2-1 victory over Buffalo.

Here's the goal:

Here's the teams with more than one win when trailing after two thus far this season:

4. Matt Moulson has 5 PP goals for the Sabres

The 33-year-old Ontario native has more power play goals than his former team, the New York Islanders, this season. Moulson is tied with Patrik Laine and Wayne Simmonds for the NHL lead. The Islaners (along with Arizona, Ottawa, Vancouver and Calgary) have just four power play goals as a team this season.

5. Brooks Orpik and Nate Schmidt Top Pair?

A dive into Corsica hockey reveals that when Washington's Brooks Orpik and Nate Schmidt are on the ice together, the Caps generate over 73 percent of all scoring chances. That's tops among pairings with 100 minutes or more of ice time, percentage-wise, at even strength. Here are the top 5:

We do realize that this is a No.3 pair on the Washington defense and gets easier assignments than the other two pairings, but still it's a commendable job by these two. More on the pairing from the Washington Post here.