Quick Recap- Detroit Red Wings-Dallas Stars
Jakub Vrana had a night with 4 goals to lead the Wings to a 7-3 win over the Stars. Give the Wings credit, they have nothing to play for except pride while is in a battle for a playoff spot. Detroit goals are below. Team Stats
TSN Insiders Tonight
TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger and TSN Senior Hockey Reporter Frank Seravalli joined host James Duthie to discuss the latest on the Women’s Worlds, the NHL at the 2022 Olympics and possibilities for this year’s NHL playoffs if the border between the United States and Canada remains closed. Watch and read the transcript from the segment at TSN.
Eight Games To Go
There's not much to talk about. Eight games to go. The only entertaining aspect about the remaining games, is the joking and banter among the 19, which is much appreciated. It's a Live Blog!
Lucas Raymond Signs His Three-Year ELC
DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings today signed left wing Lucas Raymond to a three-year entry-level contract beginning with the 2021-22 season.
Stream- The Morning Skate Today
Watch the Morning Skate below and as always, I will update this post with any worthwhile news.
The Nashville Predators Lose A Point Which May Come Back To Haunt Them
from Gentry Estes of The Tennessean, A season once drowning in disappointment was saved in time for the Nashville Predators to play meaningful games and chase a playoff spot at the end of a shortened regular season. But on Wednesday night in Chicago, the added significance only made a fresh setback even tougher to swallow. The 5-4 overtime loss to the Blackhawks will go down as a stunningly disappointing moment in this season, especially if the point the Preds dropped by blowing a late three-goal lead ends up costing them in the NHL's Central Division three-team race for one playoff spot. "We were playing really good until that moment," said forward Mikael Granlund. "I think we got a little loose there, and it just happened. ... We had a great chance to get two points, and we only got one tonight. That's on us." continued Watch the game highlights below.
Video- Not Your Ordinary NHL Video
via the YouTube page of the NHL, Recapping another legendary equipment manger moment, a way-too-many-men penalty, fluke bounces, mad scrambles and a wild Joe Thornton cameo.
NHL Short Notes
THREE HARD LAPS * The Golden Knights defeated the Sharks and became the NHL’s first team to clinch a berth into the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. * The Blackhawks kept their playoff hopes alive after scoring three third-period goals in a span of 2:51 to erase a 4-1 deficit and defeat the Predators. * Alex Ovechkin has scored some monumental goals against the Islanders as of late. Will the trend continue tonight at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum?
Filip Zadina’s Complete Game
from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News, The plays have been happening more frequently over the last month to six weeks, showing the completeness and competitiveness of a young hockey player who is growing his game. And though this is about Filip Zadina, it’s not plays of the jaw-dropping variety offensively. No booming shots off one-timers or nifty passes showcasing Zadina’s playmaking ability. You can find Zadina's exploits with the puck on the stick on YouTube and they are impressive. But just as impressive have been recent defensive plays. Those might be tougher to find, but just as important. There was a play earlier in the month, with Tampa Bay looking to clinch the game in the third period, which had Zadina backchecking vigorously, skating hard down the ice, and getting his stick on a pass to Brayden Point near the net. In doing so, he upended what looked like a sure-fire scoring chance. continued
Wednesday Hockey Thoughts
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, - Injuries aren’t just a factor for teams, they are also affecting the officials. Three linesmen who retired last season (Scott Driscoll, Darren Gibbs, Brian Murphy) were not replaced. Four others — Derek Amell, Greg Devorski, Brian Mach and Steve Miller — have been out most of the year. As a result, the NHL’s needed to use minor-league referees as linesmen on a few occasions. The league is also down two referees: Tim Peel (suspended) and Chris Rooney (injured). This doesn’t include short-term injuries, which pop up from time to time. It’s been a struggle. - Get well soon, Carey Price. The Canadiens’ netminder was injured Monday night in the first period of their 4–1 loss to Edmonton and will miss at least a week in concussion protocol. Cayden Primeau is up on an emergency basis, and could face Calgary this week. The secondary concern is the roster headaches this creates for Montreal. If they activate Cole Caufield, it will be their last available post-deadline recall. (You get four, and the previous were used up by Paul Byron, Xavier Ouellet and Alexander Romanov.) Adding Caufield would put someone on the taxi squad (Byron?) who cannot be recalled. It’s an extremely delicate dance, and I wouldn’t want to depend knowing only an injury could make someone like Byron eligible again. -. Spencer Knight made his NHL debut Tuesday night, as the Panthers beat Columbus 5-1. He might have played sooner, but had to get his equipment modified to NHL standards. His chest protector, pads and pants all had to adjusted. (It’s possible he wears one of Sergei Bobrovsky’s old chest protectors.) - Chris Johnston reported last week that the NHL sent a note to all teams warning of increased scrutiny on long-term injury usage, specifically when it came to cap manipulation. I don’t get riled up about this issue, since I try to manipulate the rules of every pool I’m in. But it drives some teams absolutely crazy. more Thoughts
Topics Of Discussion For The Virtual Meeting Of The GMs Today
NHL GMs (virtual) meeting set for 1 p.m. ET. Some agenda items: - IIHF update on Olympics/men's worlds - NHL draft update - Critical dates - Covid protocols - Hockey ops chat - Some rules discussions, etc@TSNHockey @TheAthletic — Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 21, 2021
The Second Best Team In New York Is Striving To Be Better
from Neil Best of Newsday, In case it was not evident before Tuesday night, the Islanders reminded everyone that they are the best hockey team in New York State, routing the Rangers, 6-1, at Nassau Coliseum. Up next, three games against the Capitals, with whom they are tied for first place in the East Division. Fun? Sure. But even in a 56-game sprint, this regular-season story is starting to get a little stale. Just wake us in mid-May, will ya, guys? In the meantime, let us say a few words before it is too late about another interesting New York hockey team, one built for the near future more than the present. Will the Rangers catch the Bruins for a playoff spot? That is increasingly unlikely. Tuesday’s loss, combined with surging Boston’s 2-0 victory over the Sabres, left the Rangers six points out with 10 games to play, two fewer than the Bruins have left. It was a cold, hard slap in the face after four consecutive victories over the Devils’ JV squad. Humbling? "Yeah, sure," Brendan Smith said. "They’re a good squad. They’re playoff-ready, and we got a little taste of that, for sure." Said coach David Quinn, "When you lose 6-1 in the fashion we did, it certainly is humbling, that’s for sure." The good, big-picture news for the Rangers is that making the playoffs is of secondary concern. Competing for them is the point, as the young Blueshirts try to deliver on the organization’s famed "we’re rebuilding" letter of Feb. 8, 2018. continued
The Wings Have To Be Better
from Ansar Khan of Mlive, Several blowout losses aside, the Detroit Red Wings are better defensively than they were last season. It is the one area in which they have improved. That wasn’t apparent, however, from their rash of fundamental defensive mistakes in Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. Blown coverage allowed the Stars unfettered access to the area in front of the Detroit net, leading to three goals. Another was the result of a turnover. Dallas capped the night with an empty-net goal. “I think this crew has been pretty good defensively. We haven’t given up many Grade A (scoring opportunities) compared to the rest of the league,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “Tonight, I thought we were terrible defensively in those situations. We competed like crazy in the offensive zone. We were on them. We worked hard. Then they came down and we gave easy goals away. We have to be a great defensive team. What happened tonight isn’t good enough.” continued from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
Goaltending An Issue For Toronto After Their Fifth Consecutive Loss
from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun, William Nylander showed up on time on Tuesday night. Not all of his Maple Leafs teammates could make a similar claim. We’re looking at you, goaltender David Rittich. After getting a reprieve for missing a team meeting on Monday, Nylander redeemed himself with a couple of assists on two John Tavares goals against the Vancouver Canucks. As effectively as Nylander played in the offensive zone, Rittich was wretched at the other end, allowing two soft Canucks goals in the third period. The result was a 6-3 Leafs loss, marking the first time Toronto has lost five in a row since Mike Babcock’s last stand as Leafs coach. The Leafs had lost six consecutive games when Babcock was fired on Nov. 20, 2019, and won its first three under Sheldon Keefe. The fall on Tuesday came 48 hours after the Leafs lost 3-2 in overtime to the Canucks, a loss that included a couple of weak goals on Jack Campbell. “I’m concerned about our goaltending,” Keefe said. “We got to get that sorted out. I’m not concerned about our team. I believe in our group. We played well enough to win, we played well enough to win the other night. But we got to get better goaltending to give our group confidence.” continued Below are the game highlights.
NHL Short Notes
THREE HARD LAPS * The Penguins achieved a first-of-its-kind NHL win after withstanding a six-goal, third-period rally by the Devils. * Spencer Knight, the first goaltender born in the 2000s to appear in an NHL game, turned aside 33 of 34 shots to earn a win in his League debut. * The League-leading Golden Knights look to extend their lengthy winning streak in the second half of an NBCSN doubleheader.
Quick Recap- Detroit-Dallas
The Wngs failed to start the game on time and found themselves down 3-0 after 20 minutes. Dallas basically sat on the lead and won 5-2. Detroit goals are below. Team Stats added 11:48pm, Below, find a mix of media post game. added11:59pm, Sam Gagner and Jeff Blashill in one video, watch below.
Video- Matt Martin Hit On Jacob Trouba
Trouba has not returned.
Two Games In Two Nights
This is a very quick turnaround. Two games in two nights makes for at least one tired team. Yesterday's game wasn't too bad. It was kind of boring actually. The good news is, the home stretch is in sight, and we'll soon be able to forget about another awful season. It's a Live Blog!
Video- It’s Been A While Since We Have Heard From Pierre McGuire
via the Bob McGown podcast YouTube page, NBC hockey insider, PIERRE MCGUIRE joins the podcast to let Bob and John know why Sidney Crosby is the most disrespected superstar in the NHL. That leads the gentleman to discuss the top talents in the league, and who is at the top of Pierre's list when it comes to the greatest hockey player playing in the NHL today. The three also chat about how the size of goaltenders equipment has gotten out of hand, the shelf life of an NHL coach today and Pierre informs us as to why thinks having playoff experience isn't going to make or break your post season performance. Watch the 46 minutes show below.
A Statement From The NHL
NEW YORK (April 20, 2021) – “While we hope the end of the trial offers a chance for healing, we remain committed to actively engaging in the movement for equality and we invite our fans to join us in supporting systemic change.”
Greatness On Ice
from Frank Seravalli of TSN, On the night Patrick Marleau made history, Connor McDavid offered yet a reminder that his shortened season may be history in the making. McDavid scooped up a loose puck just inside the Edmonton Oilers’ blueline, fired up the jet packs and picked his way through two Canadiens defenders – including one (Jeff Petry) who will receive Norris Trophy votes this season – to break open a tied game with less than five minutes to play. Another three-point third period? Yawn. That was McDavid’s league-leading 130th end-to-end rush, according to Sportlogiq, some 28 more than New York Islanders centre Mathew Barzal, the NHL’s next closest player. “I’m never really afraid to take on two defenders,” McDavid told reporters postgame. “It can get me into trouble sometimes … [but] I was able to get it in good stride and I was just trying to make a play.” Yes, the greatness of hockey’s most highly evolved player is on display with such regularity that we’ve run out of superlatives to describe McDavid. Nights like Monday, when No. 97 takes a game over, have become routine. continued Witness another great goal from McDavid below.
This Is Exactly Joe Micheletti Said About Blashill And Yzerman Talking At The End Of The Season
On Blashill, "his contact expires after this season, has had a lot of good conversations with Steve Yzerman, the general manager over the year. They are going to wait until the season ends and then they'll address his situation..." Joe Micheletti's exact words. He said nothing about a new contract but you decide. #RedWings joe micheletti, #NBCSports, reporting "yzerman and blashill are having good conversations" about new contract stuff like that not reported on national game broadcasts about yzerman's teams unless true increasingly, expect blashill back@DetroitRedWings — gregg krupa (@greggkrupa) April 20, 2021
NHL Short Notes
PATRICK MARLEAU BECOMES ALL-TIME NHL LEADER IN GAMES PLAYED Sharks forward Patrick Marleau surpassed Gordie Howe for the most games played in NHL history when he skated in the 1,768th regular-season game of his career on Monday in Las Vegas. Howe had held the distinction since Nov. 26, 1961 when he overtook Ted Lindsay (999 GP) and became the first player to appear in at least 1,000 career NHL regular-season games.
Quick Recap- Wings-Stars
I've been fighting a 'blah' feeling all day and it would be unfair for me to do the recap of a Detroit 3-2 shootout loss. Detroit goals are below, called by the Dallas Stars broadcasting crew. Team stats and the post game media talk will be posted either late night when most of you are sleeping or early in the moring when most of you are still sleeping. See you tomorrow at 8:30pm ET, same teams, different channel
Video- Game 1768 For Patrick Marleau
Congrats Patrick Marleau. If Gordie Howe was still around, he would have been the first to shake your hand, of course followed by a sneaky elbow to the ribs. added 10:31pm, Below a longer version with Randy Hahn, the TV voice of the San Jose Sharks.
Videos- The Talk After The Wings Shootout Loss To The Stars
The 'blah' feeling I was experiencing today has been replaced with just get the job done. So we have Luke Glendening and Jeff Blashill up first and below find the game highlights.
No, I'm not quoting scripture here, but, to Red Wings fans this day marked the return of one of our own. Two years ago today, one Steven Gregory Yzerman returned home where we believe he belongs. No, he hasn't changed water into wine. In fact, since his return Wings fans still have plenty of whine. Those expecting miracles will just have to slow it down a notch or two, keep the faith, and, trust the Yzerplan. In his short tenure as GM he has made a few trades, delt a player who was once considered untouchable, and most importantly, garnered a ton of picks in order to build a viable, competitive, shot at a Stanley Cup team. No one in their right mind should think this rebuild was going to happen overnight. Oh, did I mention there's a pandemic to boot, so try working around that obstacle. Needless to say, we're still here, all 19 of us. Through thick or thin, and as far as I can tell, we're all in. It's a Live Blog!
Stars Of The Week
NEW YORK (April 19, 2021) – Buffalo Sabres goaltender Dustin Tokarski and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center RN Michaela Pastorius have been named the NHL’s “First Stars” for the week ending April 18. Throughout the 2020-21 season the NHL is celebrating the remarkable efforts of the off-ice stars who make it possible for us to play our games amid a pandemic by honoring frontline healthcare heroes from the regions represented by the League’s weekly and monthly “Stars.” Pastorius works as a nurse at Buffalo’s Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, where just a few years ago she was walking the same halls as a patient battling a cancer diagnosis. Pastorius put nursing school on hold while going through treatment, but vowed to finish her degree and now works alongside the nurses who once cared for her as a patient. The inpatient unit at Roswell Park where Pastorius works – known as 6West – is typically for cancer patients with solid tumors, but has become a designated COVID-19 space over the past year. Pastorius understands what these patients are going through and brings a positive attitude to the floor despite the incredibly challenging and emotional experience of the pandemic on both patients and staff. "When I was going through inpatient chemotherapy at Roswell Park, the Buffalo Sabres gave me motivation to continue fighting,” Pastorius says. “The amount of support the Sabres show for Roswell and its patients felt personal to me since I am such a big fan . . . The appreciation I had and still have for their support is bottomless.” Rounding out the “Three Stars” of the week are New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin and Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone. More on each NHL player’s performance can be found below:
Video- Jeff Blashill Today After The Morning Skate In Dallas
Blashill says Joe Veleno on the trip but won't play in either game in Dallas.
Bob McKenzie’s Mid-Season Draft Rankings
from Bob McKenzie of TSN, The TSN Mid-Season 2021 NHL Draft Rankings have become a Power Ranking. As in, Owen Power. It’s unanimous - 10 out of 10 NHL scouts surveyed by TSN have the 6-foot-5 1/2 University of Michigan freshman defenceman at No. 1. The Mississauga, Ont., native has solidified and enhanced his No. 1 standing from last fall’s preseason rankings, when only four of those same 10 scouts had him ranked first overall. That said, it should be noted that Power’s No. 1 status on draft day is not an absolute lock. His mantle is not unassailable. Most of the scouts who ranked him first do allow for the possibility he could still be challenged for top spot and a name other than Power could be called out on July 23. He is, however, the consensus favourite. “I don’t know what percentage number you would want to put on it,” said one scout, “60, 70 per cent? I’m not sure. It’s certainly more than 50 per cent, but this is not a draft where there’s one dominant prospect who is the unquestioned No. 1 choice. I mean, it’s close enough between Power and the other top guys that you couldn’t rule out someone else. There are some defencemen who could still challenge him and if the team picking first overall this year really wants or needs a forward, well, there are a couple of forwards who could still be [viable options at] No. 1.” It’s a draft year like no other. continued, with 100 names on the list...
The State Of The Detroit Red Wings
from Max Bultman of The Athletic, Unsatisfying as it may be, Yzerman’s Day 1 decision to not set a timetable was probably for the best. Because while the Red Wings are finally starting to see some fruits of the rebuild (in Zadina, Rasmussen, and soon, Seider), their odds of making the playoffs next season are no better than they were the day Yzerman took over. Moving players like Mantha certainly doesn’t speed up the path to the postseason, and it may well delay it. More hard years await. And while the arrival of players like Seider and Raymond, on top of growth from the existing core, should result in positive momentum, Detroit can’t expect a neat, step-by-step ascent from the bottom to the middle to the top. In all likelihood, Detroit will remain at the bottom of the pack next season, barring a major unexpected push this offseason. Even a 2023 playoff berth seems too ambitious at this stage. Both as the captain of the Red Wings’ last great era and as the architect of the NHL’s current juggernaut in Tampa Bay, Yzerman has built up the credibility to ask for that kind of patience in Detroit. When he said there was a lot of work to do on Day 1, he meant it. And two years later, it looks like he was right. What’s jarring as his tenure enters Year 3, though, is how much work still seems to remain, and just how long it might take to accomplish. much more (paid)
Video- Alex Edler Will Have A Hearing Today
Vancouver’s Alexander Edler will have a hearing today for Kneeing Toronto’s Zach Hyman. — NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) April 19, 2021 Watch the incident below.
Up Or Down Time
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, Stock up Michael Rasmussen Rasmussen had a goal and two assists last week, tallying his second multipoint game of the season when he contributed two assists April 12 at the Hurricanes. (His first was Jan. 28 against the Stars). Rasmussen, a first-round pick in 2017, is noticeable every game for how he uses his big body to protect the puck, or drive to the net for a scoring opportunity. He led his team with six shots on net Saturday and nearly scored. He’s playing with so much confidence, and the improvement from even the start of the season is remarkable. Jakub Vrana What a debut for the trade-deadline acquisition: Out of the penalty box and straight up the ice for the winning goal. Vrana looks like he can be a good fit — he has won puck battles, and gone to hard areas. As his comfort level with new teammates grows, and as he finds chemistry on a new line, Vrana could be a bright spot over the final 10 games. Stock down Dennis Cholowski The first time the 2016 first-round pick was called up this season, he appeared in two games before being sent back down. He has been up again since April 10, with steadily growing minutes — and no points. Saturday, he played 21:19, and 5:14 of that was power-play time. That’s the area where Cholowski, 23, needs to make an impact if he’s to gain traction. He’s an NHL-caliber skater, but needs to be more assertive with the puck. more ($$$), no other players in the down section, also in the up are Stecher and DeKeyser.
NHL Short Notes
THREE HARD LAPS * History will be made when Sharks forward Patrick Marleau steps on the ice tonight at T-Mobile Arena. * Braden Holtby made a season-high 37 saves and Vancouver scored three unanswered goals – bookended by tallies from Bo Horvat – to rally past Toronto in its return to action. * The Islanders and Flyers required overtime in six contests during their eight-game season series, which concluded on Sunday.
Video- The Vancouver Canucks With An Incredible 3-2 OT Win Over The Toronto Maple Leafs
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun, To twist an old Neil Young song, rust never sleeps. The Vancouver Canucks, three weeks after COVID-19 halted their season, far back in the playoff race and with many of their players still out or ailing, gave the fully charged Maple Leafs all they could handle Sunday night at Rogers Arena. Braden Holtby, who was having a sub-par year before the COVID outbreak, denied the best Leaf shooters much of the night as the Canucks won 3-2 in overtime. Bo Horvat’s second of the game, the OT winner, sent the Canucks’ bench into emotional celebration. But midway through the game, Canucks Alex Edler took the fight a little too far, sticking a knee into Toronto spark plug winger Zach Hyman. Hyman limped off and did not return; Edler received a major, misconduct and possible Player Safety Department discipline. Though a couple of Leafs were optimistic Hyman’s injury wasn’t serious, head coach Sheldon Keefe said “we’ll see tomorrow.” continued Below, find the game highlights plus a sensational save by Braden Holtby.
A Home & Home Series Times Two
from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News, In a scheduling quirk — thank you, pandemic-shortened and affected NHL schedule — the Wings play the Dallas Stars four consecutive games. The Wings are in Dallas for games Monday and Tuesday, then return for games Thursday and Saturday at Little Caesars Arena. Are these the playoffs? No, of course not. But there’s a good best these games will have a feel of something extra, given how important they are for Dallas. “(We’ll) treat it like first four games of a playoff series, two games there and we have two games at home,” forward Dylan Larkin said. “It’s going to be physical and going to be tight checking and we need to respond to that. It’s a great challenge. “I know our guys will look at it like that, and we have to step up and rise to the occasion for that one.” The defending Stanley Cup finalist Stars are three points behind Nashville (49-46) for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division. Chicago is in between with 47 points. Dallas has played two fewer games than Chicago (45-43) and three fewer games than Nashville (46). more
Videos- Tom Wilson Hit
Yes, Tom Wilson has a reputation, but this was the correct call. No penalty on Wislon. As you can imagine, social media wants the scalp of Wilson. Call it what you want but this guy just loves hurting people pic.twitter.com/0ZRSkjQw1K — big heatdaddy (@DanyAllstar15) April 18, 2021 Much longer version is below.
What Changed With The Florida Panthers?
from Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, That sounds lofty, even theoretical. Here’s what it means: Patric Hornqvist, one of the veterans Zito brought in this season, said something as everyone moved off the ice after a pre-season practice. “He said, ‘Where’s everyone going? We’re not done,’ " Zito said. “Did some players need to hear from a guy like him about putting in more work? He even said it to [goalie Sergei Bobrovsky], who’s one of the hardest-working guys I’ve seen. ‘Hey, we need to work on the penalty kill.’ " Maybe the change in the standings started there. Maybe it started with coach Joel Quenneville getting some players he needed for this team. Maybe it just was Zito signing Hornqvist, Carter Verhaeghe, Radko Gudas — you can go down the roster of new, supporting names brought in before this season. This moribund franchise had signed new players for years. Just the previous year, they brought in so many players the news conference had to have two shifts because there weren’t enough seats at the table to accommodate them all at once. Here’s the difference: These signings led to wins. Again, serendipity? Again, luck? The nucleus of this team, the stars like Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Frank Vatrano and until his injury Aaron Ekblad, were brought in by previous general manager Dale Tallon. more
Hockey Notes On A Great Spring Sunday Morning In Motown
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, - On Saturday night, Patrick Marleau tied Howe by playing in his 1,767th game. (Marcel) Dionne is more impressed with Ovechkin than he is with Marleau, who on Monday, barring an injury, will pass Howe. “What is he scoring now, a goal or two a year? I’m not that impressed with that. I give him credit for playing that long. Just not how he’s doing it.” Marleau, for the record, has four goals this season. - So if J.T. Miller doesn’t say anything, would the Vancouver Canucks have been playing on Saturday night? Would the NHL have turned its back on its players’ health and safety? Would the NHL Players’ Association have protected its membership? Would Canucks management and ownership have stepped in? Odds are the games would have gone on as scheduled without the Miller interview and to hell with the health of those putting their lives on the line. - The top four goaltenders in all-time wins are Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy, Roberto Luongo, and now Marc-Andre Fleury. All of them Quebecois. And there’s not a single Quebec goalie of consequence (apologies to Jonathan Bernier) playing in today’s NHL. - Didn’t understand all the praise for GM Steve Yzerman for getting a first-round pick and more for Anthony Mantha. Mantha has a big shot to go along with big shooters like Ovechkin, John Carlson, Nikita Kuznetsov in Washington. The Capitals get a player now. The Red Wings get a player and a draft pick, who might be a player by 2024. Mantha can be a playoff series difference-maker now for Washington. more
19 Detroit Thoughts
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, With a nod to his number he wore, now raised to the rafters in Little Caesars Arena, here are 19 thoughts on what Yzerman has accomplished since April 19, 2019. - Trading Anthony Mantha was not an indictment on the state of the rebuild, it was an indictment on Mantha. Yzerman said early on he wanted to observe the team he took over from his predecessor, Ken Holland. Yzerman saw in Mantha what others in the organization had seen for longer: That the nights he was unnoticeable outnumbered the ones where Mantha dominated. Anyone who remembers Yzerman knows how competitive he was as a player — he played on one knee, basically, at the end of his career, and still gave it his all. Yzerman had had enough, and that’s what led to the trade. - Since Yzerman took over, 14 NHL regulars are no longer part of the roster. In addition to shedding Mantha, Athanasiou and Abdelkader, Yzerman opted not to re-sign Jimmy Howard, Thomas Vanek, Luke Witkowski, Trevor Daley and Jonathan Ericsson. He did not issue a qualifying offer to Martin Frk, Madison Bowey and Christoffer Ehn, and also traded Mike Green and Jacob de la Rose. Niklas Kronwall retired. - Even with holding on to Bernier, Staal, and Luke Glendening, all pending unrestricted free agents, Yzerman carries 12 picks into the 2021 draft, including five in the first two rounds. That potentially could speed up the rebuild. - One of the most important prospects is Moritz Seider, the defenseman Yzerman drafted sixth overall in 2019. Loaning Seider to Rögle in the Swedish Hockey League meant a season-long commitment — other European leagues allowed players to be recalled once hockey started up in North America — and it has worked wonderfully. The 20-year-old has flourished, tallying seven goals and 21 assists in 41 games, and is in position to win a championship. He’s poised to join the Wings’ lineup next season. more (paid subscription)
NHL Short Notes
THREE HARD LAPS * Oilers captain Connor McDavid is set to return to the ice and can accomplish a rare feat with his 70th point of the season. * Jeremy Swayman became the ninth different rookie goaltender to post a shutout in 2020-21. The most in a single season in NHL history is 17. * Tyler Toffoli joined rare company by scoring his 20th goal with the Canadiens in fewer than 40 games.
The Vancouver Canucks Prepare To Play Again
from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet, Given two more days to prepare for the worst month of their hockey careers, the Vancouver Canucks will have a full lineup when they end an unprecedented 24-day layoff Sunday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. They don’t know who will be coaching (bench boss Travis Green was among the hardest hit by the organization’s COVID-19 outbreak) or who will be playing (except injured star Elias Pettersson won’t), but at least the Canucks will have a team. They wouldn’t have had one Friday had the NHL not revised Vancouver’s schedule a second time and pushed back its re-entry into the stretch drive for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With 19 games in 32 days, the Canucks may well finish a regular season that has been officially declared a disaster while the top four teams in the Canadian division are playing playoff games. After a year in which the NHL thought it had seen everything, it turned out nobody had seen anything like the Canucks’ COVID-19 outbreak, which was made exceptional – and especially dangerous – because it was driven by the aggressive P.1 variant. None of the league’s earlier outbreaks, including those similar in scope and duration to the Canucks’ crisis, were caused by any of the coronavirus variants that have built a gigantic third wave in Canada. A Canucks’ official described it this week like this: 10 days into the NHL’s earlier major outbreaks, nearly all the players involved had recovered enough to resume training; 10 days into the P.1 variant outbreak in Vancouver, not only were a lot of players still sick but a few were actually getting worse. continued
It’s All About The Playoffs For The Core Of The Toronto Maple Leafs
from Damien Cox at the Toronto Star, So the Leafs are really pretty much the same team they were before the deadline, perhaps slightly improved, with the same strengths and same weaknesses. No. 1 on the list of those weaknesses is the uncertain situation in net, and while four different masked men have now earned points for Toronto this season, we all are pretty familiar with the NHL’s rule that you can only play one at a time. Currently, that looms as a prickly problem for Keefe. He’s got lots of goalies hailing from lots of different places, and he just needs one of them to play well enough to get the club past the first round of the playoffs. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? The fate of this team in this bizarro season rests on Keefe identifying a goalie, and on whether Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews, John Tavares, William Nylander, Morgan Rielly, Jake Muzzin, Zach Hyman and perhaps one or two others have the ability to play much better in the playoffs this spring than they did in last summer’s bubble playoffs. Joe Thornton and Jason Spezza are nice stories and occasional contributors, as is Wayne Simmonds. But the big money boys have got to come through. For 44 games, this team has performed very well. If it can hang on to first place, sometime next month it will likely face Montreal in the playoffs. That could be loads of fun and the stars will need to come out. Dubas has so far declined to touch the core of this team, believing it will mature and eventually perform at a level that might get the Leafs to within striking distance of the Cup. Soon, we will see if he was right. Or, more accurately, whether he was right within the context of a season like no other. more
Poor Handling By The NHL
from Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press, COVID-19 is no joke. But the way the NHL has mishandled an outbreak on the Vancouver Canucks sure is, suggesting a tone-deaf league that will always put profit over people, including forcing a sickly bunch to hit the ice when it was unsafe to do so. Only a player-led revolt and some public shaming forced a last-minute change of plans that is just slightly less egregious. If NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and company had their way, the Canucks would have hosted the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night, their first game since March 24 and the start of a murderous stretch of hockey that would involve 19 games over 31 nights. It would have come after just one measly practice, with multiple players still in virus protocols and others still working their way back from battling serious symptoms that were a result of the more potent Brazil variant. That, folks, was a recipe for disaster. Instead, Vancouver was given an extra two days to gear up for what will now be 19 games over 32 days starting Sunday, which is still ridiculous. continued
Video- Coach Blashill After The Morning Skate
5 1/2 minutes long, conference begins with a question about Lucas Raymond.
The Mantha-Vrana Deal
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe, Up until the Red Wings and Capitals stunned the trading floor on Monday, the best deadline deal belonged to the Islanders, who jumped out ahead by five days and added dependable ex-Devils Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac to a strong group of forwards. But then, just as the dealin’ was nearly done, the Capitals filched the single-best talent that few knew to be available, acquiring 6-foot-5-inch right winger Anthony Mantha from the Red Wings. “Wow!” said one front office executive, praising Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman for the deal.... The Capitals, always enamored by size and skill (why not?), surrendered slick Czech forward Jakub Vrana and Slovak right winger Richard Panik, whom Yzerman drafted for the Lightning in his Tampa GM days. They sweetened the package even further with first-round (2021) and second-round (2022) picks. Sweet haul, no doubt. But the best player in the deal is Mantha, who pitched in with 1-1—2 in his Capitals debut Tuesday night. Few in the league have the new age Big M’s size and skill, which the Red Wings no doubt viewed to be true in November when they extended his deal for four years at a $5.7 million cap hit. Five months later, what, he’s trade bait? The asterisk on Mantha, age 26, is his erratic consistency and motivation. He can appear maddeningly disengaged, even now seven years into his pro career. In part, that label was why, even with his size, he lasted until No. 20 in the 2013 draft (three picks after the Senators grabbed Curtis Lazar, don’t ya know?). Vrana, 25, will be a restricted free agent in the summer, and the Capitals were concerned he might earn Mantha kind of money via salary arbitration. Now that’s Yzerman’s worry. Stevie Y is hoping Vrana (career-high 25 goals, 52 points) might find Detroit a comfortable fit with fellow Czechs Filip Hronek (D) and Filip ZadinaRW). If he’s right, that might bring some added value to the deal. Detroit is a hard sell these days. The deal is somewhat reminiscent of the Bruins abruptly dishing Joe Thornton to the Sharks 23 games into the 2005-06 season, when no one knew the former No. 1 pick (1997) was being shopped... more and other topics too...
Patrick Marleau About To Replace Gordie Howe In Most Games Played
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com, Growing up in Aneroid, Saskatchewan, Patrick Marleau looked to see which players from his province had made the NHL. At the top of the list was one of the greatest of all time, the one who had played more NHL games than anyone else, Gordie Howe. "It gives you hope," he said. "It gives you hope that maybe that could be me one day playing in the NHL, since these other guys before me did it coming from small farming communities in Saskatchewan." Playing in the NHL is an accomplishment in itself. Out of everyone who has laced up a pair of skates, only 8,102 have appeared in the League in more than a century, starting with its first season in 1917-18. The number is 8,074 including only the regular season. Marleau is about to reach one of the greatest milestones in the sport considering that, and it's all the more special because he is passing none other than Mr. Hockey. Marleau is scheduled to tie Howe's record of 1,767 NHL regular-season games when the San Jose Sharks play at the Minnesota Wild on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; BSN, NBCSCA, NHL.TV) and break it at the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday. continued
Be Prepared For Ads On The NHL Sweaters
from Mark J. Burns of SportsBusiness Journal, NHL jersey advertising could become a reality as early as the 2022-23 season, multiple sources tell Sports Business Journal, cautioning that nothing has been finalized or approved by the league’s Board of Governors. In recent weeks, NHL clubs have been conducting valuation work -- some with third-party sports sponsorship and marketing agencies as well as valuation firms -- to determine what a jersey patch and helmet decal could both be worth before eventually providing that data to the league, sources said. In other words, what’s the business and revenue case for formally adopting the new sponsorship assets, some sources described. The exact location of a jersey patch, chest or shoulder, is also still being discussed and evaluated, sources said. Jersey patch sizing is unknown at this time. continued
A Streak Of Sorts
For the first time this season the Wings have posted three wins in a row. To many of the Wings faithful this represents a streak of sorts. Improvement with some consistency, even at a snails pace is better than none, and, the addition of the two new players seems to have sparked the team on a bit. It's the best effort we've seen this season. Vrana scored his first goal as a Wing, which was also the game winner, on a nice feed from Lindstrom as he(Vrana) exited the penalty box, and skated in alone, ripping a nice shot into the back of net. I don't remember the last time that happened, but, it sure felt good. One more win against the Cawks tonight would really go a long way as far as holding the interest of 19 Wingaholics for the remainder of the season. It's a Live Blog!
A Bad Look
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post, The NHL and NHLPA have handled the unprecedented challenges posed over the past 13 months admirably, balancing the well-being of the industry with the safety of those under their charge. But sending the Canucks back to work after the most serious outbreak of COVID-19 encountered by any NHL team so they can dutifully play out the string of a season gone horribly wrong seems a story that belongs under one of those generic headlines we’ve read all too often: “CORPORATION ORDERS EMPLOYEES BACK TO WORK” Please do not talk to me about the integrity of the schedule or the integrity of the playoff race in the Canadian division. Neither exists under these conditions. The five teams that have a sum of 19 games remaining against Vancouver will in essence be picking at the carcass of a club whose players, staff members and respective families have been struck, and struck hard, by the P1 variant of the virus. Playing these games — when they start Sunday night, the Canucks will be scheduled to play 19 games in 32 days, an insane burden even if placed on the healthiest and best conditioned of teams — will add mockery to the playoff race, not justify it.... continued plus more topics including... So I hear or read about the Blue Jackets’ upcoming decision whether to “rebuild or reload,” and wonder if we are taking about the same Blue Jackets who have won one playoff round in their history. That one triumph came two years ago while they still had all the guys who left town as soon as they could.
Video- Saturday Headlines
via Sportsnet, Elliotte Friedman and Chris Johnston look at the latest news from around the NHL, with the Canucks recovering from COVID-19 and the playoff situation for all the Canadian teams.
Quick Recap- Wings-Blackhawks
The Wings started strong and had numerous scoring chances in the first period but could not score. With less than 30 seconds left in the first, Chicago scored and it became an uphill battle for Detroit. Chicago added a goal in the second and two goals (one ENG) in the third to make the final score 4-0. Team stats added 10:20pm, Below find post game talk and game highlights.
Video- Patrick Marleau Visits With Ron MacLean And Kelly Hrudey
Before Saturday's game. via Sportsnet, Patrick Marleau joined Ron MacLean and Kelly Hrudey to talk about tying Gordie Howe’s record for NHL games played, and looks back at his favourite memories of the legendary Howe.
NHL Short Notes
THREE HARD LAPS * It's been a long road to the top, but Sharks forward Patrick Marleau finally matched “Mr. Hockey” on the NHL’s all-time games played list. * The Coyotes overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Blues after Oliver Ekman-Larsson guaranteed a win for Leighton Accardo, who the club honored in a pre-game ceremony. * Sunday’s six-game slate opens with the Bruins facing the MassMutual East Division-leading Capitals on NBC.
Ranking The Top Prospects
Chris Peters of HockeySense does a great job with prospects. His site is subscription only but this time of year is well worth it. Consider a subscription if you can. 1. Owen Power, D, Michigan (Big Ten) With his season over, there isn’t a ton more Power can do to solidify his case to be the No. 1 pick in the draft, but he’s done enough this season to earn the pole position at this point. As has been the case throughout the season, the race for No. 1 remains tight with opinions widespread on who it should be. To me, the player with the most translatable skills to NHL impact and potential stardom remains Power. His maturity is already beyond his years and he’s taken the right approach to his development, excelling at each step without rushing the process.... 2. Matty Beniers, C, Michigan (Big Ten) Beniers does the things every team needs in a center to win games. He’s got the skill and speed to pressure teams offensively, but then he’s able to be among the best defensive centers you can throw over the boards. His work ethic on and off the puck is unrivaled in this class, which makes him both difficult to play against and a coach’s dream. He has that natural toughness that doesn’t manifest itself in big hits or over-aggressiveness, rather he’s going all out in the corners, at the net front, with one goal in mind – the puck belongs to him and it’s going to be a fight for you to try and keep it.... 3. Dylan Guenther, RW, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) My, oh my, what a start for Guenther since the WHL returned. He’d been among the top scorers in the league since the puck dropped and never really looked back before leaving for Canada’s U18 camp. We should take some of the numbers with a small grain of salt just because of the way the WHL schedule is set up this season. When you remove the grueling travel and almost 40 games from the schedule, it does make for a better chance at more sustainable production in a smaller, more controlled sample. Even without that, though, you just need to look at Guenther’s skill set to see why he is among the exceptional in this draft class and averaged a WHL-best two-points per game before departing. more on each of the above plus 42 more names...
Lucas Raymond Signs His ELC
DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings today signed left wing Lucas Raymond to a three-year entry-level contract beginning with the 2021-22 season. Raymond became the Red Wings' highest draft pick since they took Keith Primeau third overall in 1990 when he was drafted with the fourth-overall pick at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft last October. The 19-year-old spent the 2020-21 campaign with Frolunda in the Swedish Hockey League, notching 18 points (6-12-18) and 12 penalty minutes in 34 games. Despite missing 18 games due to injury, Raymond still finished 10th on the team in points and tied for fourth in SHL scoring among junior-aged players, with fellow Red Wings prospects Moritz Seider and Albert Johansson among the group of players ahead of him. His offensive output also bested his SHL rookie-year totals of 2019-20, when he tallied 10 points (4-6-10) in 33 games. Raymond debuted professionally with Frolunda at age 16 and has skated in 77 games with the team since 2018-19, totaling 30 points (12-18-30), a plus-eight rating and 16 penalty minutes. He also won back-to-back championships with Frolunda in the Champions League tournament in 2019 and 2020.
Schedule Changes For The North Division
NEW YORK (April 16, 2021) – The National Hockey League today announced the following updates to the 2020-21 regular-season schedule for the Scotia North Division:
The Too Old, Too Slow Montreal Canadiens
from Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette, The perfect symbol of the 2021 Montreal Canadiens is their captain, Shea Weber. I have nothing against the Man Mountain, but he more than anyone perfectly represents general manager Marc Bergevin’s lack of a vision for this team. Weber has played some great hockey, though not recently. It’s not his fault. He’s just too old for today’s game, just like another Bergevin acquisition, Eric Staal. As an aside, it’s hilarious to note that three key members of the current Habs squad — Weber, Staal, and Corey Perry — were all on that epic Canadian team that won Olympic gold in … 2010! That plays right into the jokes about how Bergevin is building the perfect team to win the 2010 Stanley Cup, complete with a big, lumbering defence corps that seems so out of line with today’s speedy National Hockey League. But let’s return to the curious case of Weber. He looks terrible out there. He keeps making costly mistakes that would result in anyone else being benched by interim head coach Dominique Ducharme. The entire Canadiens team, with the exception of Jake Allen, sucked eggs Wednesday in a must-win game against the Calgary Flames. But it was Weber who made sure they lost with a boneheaded play in his own zone that led to third Calgary goal and the final nail in the coffin. more
Time For The Chicago Blackhawks To Change Their Name And Logo
from David McGrath of the Chicago Tribune, So if in 2021, in the middle of the season, or at the end of the playoffs, which the Blackhawks may still manage to squeeze into, would it be that big a deal if they shortened their name to simply the “Hawks”? And if instead of the head of an Indian person with war paint and feathers, they changed the logo and mascot to that of a literal winged bird? Say, for instance, the red-tailed hawk, common in Illinois, which would then not necessitate changing the team’s colors. It’s an opportune time to do so, since the U.S. Senate has just confirmed Deb Haaland as secretary of the Interior, the first Native American in history to hold a cabinet post. And after decades of protests and complaints about the stereotyping and dehumanizing that results from sports teams’ use of logos, mascots and names based on Native Americans, hundreds of high schools, colleges and pro teams have eliminated offensive monikers. more
It Was A Very Optional Practice Today For The Wings
Very limited optional practice today for #RedWings. Fabbri, who’s missed six games, is skating. Svechnikov, scratched last night due to an upper body injury, is not. Wings host Blackhawks tomorrow at 7 on ?@BallySportsDET? Plus. pic.twitter.com/OhamihuqxY — Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) April 16, 2021
The Kraken Coach
from Stan Fischler of The Fishler Report, Who cares that the soon-to-be 32d NHL team hasn't played a game yet; the Kraken's future is as bright as searchlights on the city's Space Needle. Enthused fans have shown their dedication by flooding the Kraken combine with ticket info and requests. Meanwhile, the Seattle savants would love some news about their pre-natal franchise. One question that will grow in heat during the next month comes down to who the estimable Ron Francis chooses as head coach. A few of the marquee names have a certain glow about them. A couple even wear Stanley Cup rings. Try these on for size and see if you like them: MIKE BABCOCK: He's a proven winner -- despite what the Toronto media says -- and still has the glow, although it's fading fast. CLAUDE JULIEN: The French-Canadian maestro won a Cup in Boston and got the best out of a mostly mediocre Montreal market. Claude is lower key than Babcock but just as savvy. JOHN TOTORELLA: Another Cup-winner, Torts does well in his first year and that's vital with this new franchise. He'll get attention by intimidating the media, benching stars and wearing his emotion on his spectacles. BRUCE BOUDREAU: Cousin Brucie would be the Don Cherry of the Northwest in the best possible way. His players, the press, the fans -- everybody -- will love this guy. His resume is lengthy and impeccable; MY CHOICE: Cousin Brucie because I like smart coaches who are as funny as they are smart. more hockey topics...
Cole Caufield Is One Step Closer To His NHL Debut
via Sportsnet, The Montreal Canadiens have recalled forward Cole Caufield from the Laval Rocket, their AHL affiliate, on Friday and assigned him to their taxi squad. The team has not officially said when Caufield could make his NHL debut, but the earliest date would be Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators. Caufield, who won the 2021 Hobey Baker Award as the best player in the NCAA, was one of the most prolific scorers in college hockey this year, scoring 30 goals and adding 22 assists in 31 games for the University of Wisconsin. In two AHL games with the Rocket, Caufield scored three goals and added an assist. Montreal also recalled goaltender Cayden Primeau on an emergency basis.
On The Road For The Canadian Division Later In The Playoffs
from Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, A little update on a story I first reported on in early March regarding what happens with the Canadian division winner once we’re down to the NHL semifinals. As I wrote on March 5, the idea of the Toronto Maple Leafs, for example, playing past the second round of the playoffs in nearby Buffalo remains on the table. And given where the COVID-19 numbers are these days in my country, it’s looking less like fantasy and at least like a realistic possibility that this happens. The new wrinkle now is that the NHL will want to put the Canadian division playoff winner in a U.S. NHL facility closer to its semifinal opponent. So sure, if the Leafs happen to come out of the Canadian division and match up with the New York Islanders, then yes Buffalo would still make sense for the Leafs in that case. But if it’s Toronto-Vegas in the final four, then maybe Arizona or L.A. would make more sense for the Leafs? Or if it’s Colorado-Toronto, would Chicago make sense for the Leafs as a home base? Again, whether it’s Edmonton, Winnipeg or Montreal (or Calgary!) coming out of the Canadian division, the league will have a plan in place. Here’s another wrinkle to consider: I’m told whichever U.S. adoptive city the league would potentially choose for the Canadian division winner, it’s most likely that’s their home for the remainder of the playoffs. They wouldn’t move the Canadian team around to another locale if it reached the Stanley Cup Final no matter what the championship matchup is. continued (paid)
NHL Short Notes
THREE HARD LAPS * Igor Shesterkin became the NHL’s second rookie goaltender to post consecutive shutouts in 2020-21. * Brad Marchand, Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers each found the back of the net on Thursday to extend their respective streaks of consecutive 20-goal seasons. * Patrick Marleau (1,765 GP) heads into a back-to-back set between the Sharks and Wild sitting three games from passing Gordie Howe (1,767 GP) for the most regular-season games played in NHL history. Click here for a look at Marleau’s journey and what was going on in the world at the time of his debut in 1997.
One Last Look At Detroit’s Win Over Chicago On Thursday Night
from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News, The Red Wings couldn’t have scripted a better evening all the way around. Newcomer Jakub Vrana scored a goal in his debut. Troy Stecher scored two goals in a game for the first time in his career. And, for the first time this season, the Red Wings own a three-game win streak. The Wings took all the positives and rolled them into a 4-1 victory over Chicago on Thursday night at Little Caesars Arena. It wasn't perfect — the Red Wings were called for too many men on the ice twice in the second period, and that's tough to do — but it was a good 60 minutes of hockey for a team that appears to be finding itself (albeit too late in the season). "We want to build on this as a group," Stecher said. "Everyone has something to play for, whether it's ice time, or a future contract, there's always something to play for. To string three wins in a row, we're having some fun. "We're playing with a purpose and playing for each other. We're not getting worked up over little mistakes, mistakes are going to happen through a game. The biggest thing is confidence, and having fun." continued Below find extended game highlights plus more complete interviews with Troy Stecher and Jeff Blashill.
Power Play An Issue In Toronto After A Loss To Winnipeg
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, An optimist would find comfort in the fact that the referees typically start hiding their whistles by the time the playoffs arrive. Because at this stage, the only thing that could have the Toronto Maple Leafs feeling good about their power play is the prospect of having fewer of them. On Thursday, the punchless PP was the main culprit for a 5-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets — bringing a nagging itch to the surface. They’ve been able to string together a lot of wins while going 1-for-42 with the man advantage since March 9 because of excellent results at even strength. But there are going to be times where you can’t outskate that level of futility. In tight games against quality opponents, special teams are often the difference. “I think it’s quite obvious the impact that the power play could have had on the game today and [we] failed to get it done,” said Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe. continued Game highlights are below.
Videos- Post Game Talk After A 4-1 Home Win Against Chicago
Troy Stecher and Jeff Blashill in the first video, the game hghlights are below.