Dan Boyle content with Sharks' effort this year

Last season, in what was almost certainly a big ‘choke job’ by the
San Jose Sharks in the playoffs, Dan Boyle was as outspoken as ever
against his team. He was upset with the lack of effort from the players,
with the coaching staff’s preparations and just about frustrated with
everything in general when it came to the Sharks.

This year, after a sweep at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks at
the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks, how does Boyle feel about his team?
David Pollack:

“Last year I was critical of some of the effort, but I
think guys worked really hard. I can’t be critical of the effort we
gave,” said Boyle, who had the puck on his stick, skating alone when
the final buzzer sounded.

“It’s a sweep on the board,” Boyle said,
“and a lot of people are going to say it was a one-way series, and
that’s fine. But anybody who knows anything about hockey, three of those
four games could certainly have gone our way.”

I know that saying this wasn’t a ‘choke’ by the Sharks and that you
have to be happy with their effort will certainly do little to alleviate
the pain of the loss, but there’s no doubt that this season was
different for the Sharks. Sure, it’s incredibly disappointing and you
have to wonder how a team with so much promise fell short time after
time each postseason.

The Sharks are now facing an uncertain future, after revamping their
roster last season in a last-ditch effort to make a final push for the
Stanley Cup. That they fell short may speak to just how much the Sharks’
core of players may need to change. With Marleau and Nabokov facing
free agency, that’s certainly a possibility.

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    Struggling Coyotes waive veteran d-man McBain

    GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 26:  Jamie McBain #21 of the Arizona Coyotes in action during the preseason NHL game against the Los Angeles Kings at Gila River Arena on September 26, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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    Off to a disappointing 1-4-0 start in which they’ve allowed 21 goals, the Coyotes made a roster move on Monday, placing blueliner Jamie McBain on waivers.

    McBain, 28, signed with the Coyotes on the second day of free agency, after scoring nine points in 44 games for the Kings last season. The former Hurricane and Sabre also played in four postseason games for the Kings, averaging just under 11 minutes per night.

    McBain was a prominent fixture on the Arizona defense to start the year, dressing for the club’s lone win — over Philadelphia in the opener — and subsequent losses to Ottawa and Montreal.

    He actually played a season-high 18:49 against the Habs.

    With McBain out, head coach Dave Tippett has gone with a six-man defensive unit of Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Alex Goligoski, Connor Murphy, Luke Schenn, Michael Stone and Jakob Chychrun.

    Stone returned from a knee injury two games ago, which pushed both McBain and Kevin Connauton to the sidelines.

    With nearly 350 games on his resume and a reasonably cheap pricetag ($650,000 cap hit), McBain could be a candidate to get plucked off waivers, tho it seems highly unlikely.

    Teams have been loathe to add blueline help via waivers thus far, with the likes of Mark Barbeiro and Cody Goloubef passing through unclaimed.

    Goalie injury wave hits Boston, Subban recalled on emergency basis

    Malcolm Subban
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    The injury bug that’s sweeping NHL creases has hit Boston.

    Ahead of Tuesday’s home tilt against the Wild, the Bruins — without the services of Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin — goalie recalled Malcolm Subban from AHL Providence.

    It wasn’t immediately clear what happened to Khudobin, who played in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to Montreal. Rask, who hasn’t suited up since Thursday’s win over New Jersey, was absent from practice with no clear word on what his ailment is.

    All this points to Subban, 22, potentially making his second career start tomorrow night against Minnesota. The former first-round pick’s had a nightmare start to the year in Providence, going 0-3-1 with a 4.50 GAA and .846 save percentage.

    “I don’t know if he’s where he wants to be or where we want him to be,” head coach Kevin Dean said, per the Journal.

    As mentioned above, Boston isn’t the only team dealing with goalie injuries at the moment. The L.A. Kings are without Jonathan Quick and Jeff Zatkoff, forcing No. 3 netminder Peter Budaj into the starting role.

    The Coyotes have listed injured starter Mike Smith as week-to-week with a lower-body ailment, the Penguins are still without Matt Murray (hand) and Nashville had to play without Pekka Rinne on Saturday night, as he dealt with a bout of food poisioning.

    ‘Lots of try,’ but Coyotes still winless on tough road trip

    New York Rangers' Josh Jooris, right,reacts after scoring past Arizona Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue during the first period of the NHL hockey game, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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    Two more games and it’s over.

    Two more games and the Arizona Coyotes can go home.

    The ‘Yotes lost their fourth straight road game Sunday in New York, falling 3-2 to the Rangers. They play at New Jersey tomorrow and at Philadelphia Thursday. Then, mercifully, the six-game trip will be done.

    “We knew this was going to be a tough trip,” head coach Dave Tippett said, per the Arizona Republic. “We were going to find out about our team. Every game we find out a little more. There’s some areas that are improving. There’s some areas that still need lots of work. We got lots of players that are getting good experience right now.”

    The Coyotes actually played quite well in New York. The game was tied, 2-2, until Dan Girardi scored early in the third. Arizona ended up outshooting the Rangers, 29-26.

    But a 1-4-0 record has the Coyotes in last place in the Pacific Division. It’s an early hole for this young team, with five rookies on the roster, including three teenagers. And even when they finally get home, tough games await against Colorado, San Jose, and Nashville.

    “Lots of try in our group. Lots of try,” Tippett said. “But we’re giving up three goals a game now. We gotta find a way to be better defensively.”

    Arizona’s next opponent, New Jersey, isn’t the most offensive team in the league. In fact, the Devils rank dead last in scoring, with just eight goals in five games. And the Flyers haven’t been all that great either.

    So perhaps the Coyotes can still salvage something from this trip. It’s been a tough one so far, but end it on a high and the flight home will be that much more enjoyable.

    Related: The Coyotes are in a tough spot

    Isles bring back Steve Bernier on two-way deal

    NEWARK, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Steve Bernier #16 of the New York Islanders skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on September 25, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Islanders 4-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    After attending training camp on a PTO, Steve Bernier has signed with the Isles.

    On Monday, the club announced Bernier had agreed to a one-year, two-way deal, which gives him a second go-round with the club. Last year the veteran forward caught on with the club and proceeded to score six points in 24 regular-season games, and appear in six playoff contests.

    A former first-round pick, Bernier’s deal comes with the Isles dealing with a few injuries up front — Shane Prince is currently week-to-week with a lower-body injury, and Mikhail Grabovski is out indefinitely with post-concussion symptoms.

    The Bernier deal could also give the Isles flexibility with their two 19-year-old rookies, Anthony Beauvillier and Mathew Barzal, as both are eligible to be returned to junior (and the Isles would prevent “burning” a year on their entry-level deals if they do it before the nine-game threshold.)

    That said, Beauvillier is off to a terrific start, with five points through five games. Barzal has been less effective, dressing just once.