2010 NHL Scouting Combine: Hall, Seguin answer weird questions

tylerseguincombine.jpgJob interviews are awkward. They’re quite a bit like blind dates; there’s a lot of pressure and the person is only meeting a compromised version of yourself.

The NHL Scouting Combine includes a 20-minute interview that gives teams a chance to “get to know” prospects. What that seems to come down to, at times at least, is teams asking potential players some really strange questions. TSN shares some of the oddness.

Fellow top prospect Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spitfires also fielded an off-beat question.

“They asked me, ‘If you were getting invaded by a country in a war and you had to take one family member with you, who would it be?’

“There was no right answer, but it was just a weird question,” Hall told TSN.

The story states that Hall’s competitor for the No.1 pick, Tyler Seguin, was asked what he liked better: “a gun or a poem?” Somewhere, I wonder if Axl Rose was putting together random interview questions. (For the record, Seguin said he chose a poem. Good move.)

Do these Q&A sessions really prove anything? I doubt it. Still, teams are desperate for every little nugget of information. Now we just need to hear about hilarious Wonderlic scores too.

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    Point gets Lightning extra point against Kane, Blackhawks

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    The Tampa Bay Lightning edged the Chicago Blackhawks – barely – on Wednesday to leapfrog back over the St. Louis Blues for the top record in the NHL.

    The Bolts capitalized on a power-play opportunity in overtime, with Brayden Point scoring the decisive goal in a 3-2 OT win. It was an exciting overtime period, with Point being stopped all in alone earlier in the OT, and the same happening to Patrick Kane on a breakaway.

    Kane had been getting the best of the Lightning earlier in the game, scoring the first two goals of the contest in the first period. Not a lot of players can make plays like this off the rush:

    Then again, few teams can score a goal this pretty, especially while shorthanded:

    Steven Stamkos and Vladislav Namestnikov collected assists on Wednesday, but the top line (including Nikita Kucherov) failed to score a goal, though they created quite a few chances. The best – at least in regulation – came when Stamkos seized an opportunity against the Blackhawks, but Corey Crawford was game:

    Wow.

    Again, both goalies made some big stops. Here’s that Kane miss in OT, with Andrei Vasilevskiy depriving number 88 from a hat trick:

    So, with that, the Lightning hold a one-point standings edge (34 to 33) over the Blues in the early race for the Presidents’ Trophy, and most importantly, gives them a five-point edge in the Atlantic Division. Tampa Bay’s impressive start to 2017-18 is especially notable since they’ve played one fewer game than St. Louis and two fewer than the Toronto Maple Leafs (the second-ranked team in the up-and-down Atlantic).

    Check out the logjam at second-to-last in the competitive Central for Chicago, as of this writing, with these three teams all at 21 games played:

    Dallas Stars: 11-9-1, 23 points
    Blackhawks: 10-8-3, 23 points
    Minnesota Wild: 10-8-3, 23 points

    It has to be a little frustrating for the Blackhawks to see a two-goal lead dissolve, but plenty of teams would struggle to secure such an edge against the powerhouse Lightning. Maybe the Blackhawks will gain some confidence in merely sticking with them (and grabbing a point for their troubles).

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

    Much-needed response from Oilers vs. Red Wings

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    One win can’t cleanse the palate of a bitter 21-game start, but beggars can’t be choosers, and the Edmonton Oilers really needed a W tonight.

    That’s not to say it would be easy, either, as they faced a rested Red Wings team in Detroit to close off a back-to-back after Tuesday’s humiliating loss to the St. Louis Blues. Edmonton got that sorely needed response, chasing Jimmy Howard and beating the Red Wings 6-2.

    While Connor McDavid (two assists) and Leon Draisaitl (one helper) made their typical impacts, it’s especially heartening for the Oilers to see less-obvious names show up in the box score. Jesse Puljujarvi, Jujhar Khaira, Mark Letestu, and Drake Caggiula ranked among goalscorers, while Ryan Strome collected a pair of assists.

    Any bit of confidence gained, particularly for supporting cast members, could be very important for the fledgling Oilers.

    It doesn’t take long to ruin the party; now at 8-12-2, the Oilers’ 18 standings points still leave them at second-worst in the West.

    Still, all the Oilers can do right now is gradually, slowly dig themselves out of the troubling hole they’ve created for themselves. This won’t be easy, and even this early on, they might need a few other teams to hit a wall.

    But, hey, it’s better than the nothing this team showed last night, right?

    Catch up on Edmonton’s struggles

    Why they’re the NHL’s most disappointing team

    The uncomfortable parallels between McDavid and Jack Eichel

    These struggles are the results of some bad moves from Peter Chiarelli

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

    Scott Darling: Latest goalie beaten from center ice (Video)

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    Here’s a thought: considering an 82-game regular season and about a two-month-long postseason, it’s almost a little surprising that we don’t see more center-ice goals.

    Such a goal can happen in so many ways. A puck can take an odd bounce. A goalie might take his eye off the puck for a second while deciding what to do next, much like an NFL receiver who drops an easy pass while dreaming of those sweet, sweet, yards up ahead.

    So, let’s not be too hard on Carolina Hurricanes goalie Scott Darling, who padded Mika Zibanejad‘s already-robust goal totals with the center-ice flub you can see in the video above.

    If you prefer a GIF form, this one nails the spirit of the thing:

    (Agreed, little emoticon monkey. Agreed.)

    Since we’re on the subject of goals netminders would want back even more than usual, we might as well also consider Tyler Ennis beating Chad Johnson here:

    Ouch. Hey, we’ve all been there (vaguely speaking).

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

    WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks – Lightning, Wednesday Night Rivalry

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    The latest edition of “Wednesday Night Rivalry” features a rematch of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, as the Tampa Bay Lightning host the Chicago Blackhawks.

    During that competitive series, the Blackhawks were the favorites. The tide has turned now, however, as the dynamite duo of Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov have propelled the Bolts to the upper crust of the NHL. Chicago, meanwhile, strains to remain a contender.

    But it’s worth noting that the Blackhawks cannot be taken lightly. They still feature Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Corey Crawford, so tonight should provide plenty of entertainment.

    Along with watching on NBCSN, you can also check the action out on online and via the NBC Sports App.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE