Ottawa Senators take 1-0 lead in first period

The Ottawa Senators began the game with such a burst I couldn’t help but ask: “Are the Penguins receiving a visit from The Ghost of Keith Primeau?”*

Ottawa Senators 1, Pittsburgh Penguins 0

Penguins lead series 3-2

For newer hockey fans (or those with hazy memories), then-Flyers forward Primeau scored an overtime game winning goal against the Penguins in one of the longest playoff games ever. That goal changed the series completely, taking a Penguins lead and turning it on its head.

Am I saying that Ottawa winning that game directly parallels the Primeau-fueled Flyers turnaround? Not necessarily. After all, the Pittsburgh Penguins still have a 3-2 series lead. Besides, a one-goal lead isn’t exactly insurmountable. I’ve been pretty hard on Marc-Andre Fleury lately but he had a great first period. The only goal Fleury allowed was on a Matt Cullen breakaway. The former No.1 draft pick saved 10 out of 11 shots while Pascal Leclaire went 10-for-10.

There might be some controversy regarding a near-goal that needed to go to a replay. It seemed like the Twitter consensus was that it was actually a goal – some went as far as to joke that Leclaire’s black pads helped obscure the puck – but it stayed 1-0. Then again, there has been a lot of hand wringing over officiating in this series, so perhaps it’s just twisted justice?

It’s obvious that the Senators aren’t going to roll over and die while the Penguins seem like they have their game back together. Expect updates as this game goes along.

* – Note, I’m aware Primeau is alive.

Scroll Down For:

    Dahlin headlines Sweden’s roster for World Junior Summer Showcase

    Leave a comment

    Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, potentially the NHL’s first overall draft pick in 2018, will suit up for Sweden at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Michigan.

    Dahlin, who doesn’t turn 18 until April, has wowed scouts with his skating and puck-moving ability. At the 2017 World Juniors, he participated as a 16-year-old, garnering tantalizing reviews in the process.

    Top-10 picks in the 2017 draft, Elias Pettersson (5th, Vancouver Canucks) and Lias Andersson (7th, New York Rangers), will also be in Plymouth representing Sweden.

    Click here for Sweden’s and Finland’s Summer Showcase rosters. The tournament runs from July 29 – Aug. 5 and also features players from the United States and Canada.

    Among the draft-eligible Finns to watch is 17-year-old forward Jesse Ylonen, who could be a late first-rounder in 2018.

    Related: USA Hockey invites 42 players to World Junior Summer Showcase

    All of a sudden, hope for hockey in Houston


    Leslie Alexander’s decision to sell the NBA’s Rockets has revived hope for a hockey team in Houston.

    That’s because Alexander is arguably the biggest reason that Houston doesn’t already have a team. The 72-year-old billionaire controls Toyota Center, where the Rockets play. Without getting into all the details, he’s essentially been the only one who could bring an NHL franchise to the city.

    From the Houston Press:

    But Alexander selling the Rockets (and the lease that goes with it), opens up an NHL-ready hockey arena in Houston. And that’s something that Seattle, which the NHL seemed to favor, can’t offer, and unlike Quebec City, Houston offers up a huge media market with many, many large corporations around to buy up luxury seats.

    Houston is certainly a big city. In fact, only four metro areas in the United States — New York, L.A., Chicago and Dallas — have higher populations.

    And Houston is growing fast.

    Jeremy Jacobs, the influential owner of the Boston Bruins, has not hidden his desire to put an NHL team in Toyota Center. Back in 2015, he told, “I would love to see one in Houston, but we can’t get into that building.”

    Perhaps soon the NHL won’t have that impediment.

    Predators hire new assistant coach in wake of Housley departure

    Leave a comment

    The Nashville Predators have hired Dan Muse as an assistant coach.

    Muse, who spent the last two years as head coach of the USHL’s Chicago Steel, will be in charge of the Preds’ forwards as well as the penalty kill, while associate head coach Kevin McCarthy  — in the wake of Phil Housley’s departure — will now have responsibility for the defense and the power play.

    Muse led the Steel to a championship in May. He also won an NCAA title in 2013 as an assistant coach for Yale.

    “Dan comes to us as a successful young coach that brings great energy and passion to the game,” said Preds head coach Peter Laviolette in a statement. “He has worked his way up through the coaching ranks, first winning an NCAA title at Yale in 2013, and then taking a Chicago team that had missed the playoffs eight straight seasons and turned them into the Clark Cup champions in just two seasons. We are excited to welcome him to the organization and look forward to his contributions to the coaching staff.”

    Senators avoid arbitration with Ryan Dzingel

    Leave a comment

    The Ottawa Senators have narrowly avoided arbitration with Ryan Dzingel.

    Per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Dzingel has signed a two-year deal with a cap hit of $1.8 million.

    Dzingel’s hearing was scheduled for today. Last season, the 25-year-old forward had 14 goals and 18 assists in 81 games.

    Earlier this week, the Sens also avoided arbitration with Jean-Gabriel Pageau, though that case didn’t go down to the wire like Dzingel’s did.

    Pageau and Dzingel were the only Sens with arbitration hearings scheduled.

    Related: Sens want to avoid arbitration with Dzingel