The PHT Nightcap: Thursday, July 29th

Even in the depressingly hockey-free summer, we expect to be a productive bunch here at Pro Hockey Talk. Sometimes it might be difficult to follow our pace. We understand that. For that reason, whenever we can, we’ll put all of the day’s stories in one convenient post called the PHT Nightcap. Enjoy, hockey fans.

Aaron Downey will get a tryout with the Detroit Red Wings

Marty Turco’s agent claims he’ll find an NHL home – On the same day as Antti Niemi’s arbitration case, no less. *Scratches chin*

Thrashers sign Andrew Ladd – He might not be a particularly consistent scorer, but you can’t question his toughness. (Unless you’re grading on a hockey player scale, I guess?)

Lightning re-sign Vladimir Mihalik – Mihalik happens to be on the bottom paring of one of my NHL ’10 franchise teams. Yup, that’s the only comment I have about him.

Tampa Bay makes ECHL’s Florida Everblades a new affiliate – Everblades, as in Everglades. That soothes my pun loving soul right there, folks.

Canucks color commentator Tom Larscheid retires

Sabres’ Tim Kennedy receives $1 million arbitration award – Is he really worth $1.4 million less than Clarke MacArthur?

Senators re-sign Peter Regin – Let the fun … Regin? *cough*

Kings D-man Matt Greene to miss three to four months after surgery – OK, it might be time for LA fans to start worrying a bit.

Stan Bowman gives a press conference regarding Antti Niemi – And pretty much repeats what everyone else said about the situation …

Sharks close to re-signing Setoguchi, also open talks with Joe Thornton – San Jose is wise to go with a one-year deal with Devin Setoguchi … they don’t want to get Cheechoo’d again, do they?

Arbitrator rules that Blake Wheeler should get one-year, $2.2M deal – Not a bad price for the budding power forward. The question is, will the Bruins pay him that much or will someone else nab him?

Sharks extend Jason Demers’ contract for two years – He’s still a bit raw, but there’s no denying his offensive talents.

Cover art for “NHL Slap Shot” – I’m really intrigued about EA Sports’ first hockey title for Nintendo’s Wii console.

NHL ’11 to introduce “the hustle button” – Smells like a speed burst button to me, folks.

Could Zdeno Chara, Joe Thornton’s new contracts create new trends? – The Ilya Kovalchuk contract situation might put a wrench in NHL teams’ plans to hand out “lifetime” deals, so will those new negotiations start new trends?

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    Hitch’s recipe for more goals is a pretty simple one

    Ken Hitchcock, David Backes, Dmitrij Jaskin, Paul Stastny, Patrik Berglund
    AP
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    Ken Hitchcock wants the Blues to spend more time attacking and less time defending.

    Because hockey isn’t rocket science, that’s why.

    “To score and win games in the National Hockey League…you have to spend as much time in the offensive zone as you can,” Hitchcock told the Post-Dispatch.

    “When you’re occupying the offensive zone more, you’re forechecking more. When you’re occupying the offensive zone more, the goalie has to make saves. They’re having to defend more. And the opposing team takes penalties on you. So they’re all connected. … What I want to see from us is staying on the puck for longer stretches.”

    According to the stats, the Blues have not been spending as much time in the offensive zone as we’re used to seeing from them. In fact, in their last 20 games, they rank in the bottom third of the league in score-adjusted Corsi. That compares to their first 20 games when they were in the top third.

    The result is fewer shots, and more importantly, fewer goals. The Blues have fallen all the way to 25th in offense, averaging just 2.37 goals per game. Last year, they finished fifth (2.91).

    Yes, some of that may be due to the absence of Jaden Schwartz, and he should be back soon. But there’s a reason people are watching GM Doug Armstrong as the Feb. 29 trade deadline approaches. This team could probably use another piece up front.

    The Blues host Minnesota Saturday.

    St. Louis has scored just five goals in its last five games.

    Goalie nods: Lindback ‘really excited’ for first start in almost three weeks

    Anders Lindback
    AP
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    Tonight in Anaheim, Anders Lindback will make his first start for the Arizona Coyotes since Jan. 16.

    The Coyotes have been riding rookie Louis Domingue since just before Christmas, but Domingue has allowed five goals in each of his last three starts, including last night’s 5-4 loss to Chicago.

    Lindback’s last appearance came Tuesday in relief, when he allowed one goal on 10 shots in a 6-2 loss to the Kings.

    Lindback was in goal for one of Arizona’s three victories this season over Anaheim, stopping 33 of 36 shots in a 4-3 overtime win on Nov. 9. However, his .896 save percentage ranks among the lowest in the league.

    Frederik Andersen is expected to start for the Ducks.

    Elsewhere…

    — No word yet on a Penguins starter in Tampa, but Ben Bishop will go for the Bolts.

    Cam Ward will start for the Hurricanes in Winnipeg, where Connor Hellebuyck is expected for the increasingly desperate Jets.

    — Joonas Korpisalo was solid last night in Vancouver, but the Blue Jackets have not announced their starter for tonight’s game in Calgary. Karri Ramo will be in goal for the Flames.

    A ‘pretty solid two-way player,’ Sundqvist to make NHL debut for Penguins

    Pittsburgh Penguins' Oskar Sundqvist (49) collides with Minnesota Wild's Jason Zucker (16) in the first period of a NHL preseason hockey game in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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    The latest Penguins injuries, these ones to Evgeni Malkin and Eric Fehr, have led to an opportunity for Oskar Sundqvist.

    Sundqvist will make his NHL debut for the Penguins tonight in Tampa. The 21-year-old center has five goals and 11 assists in 39 AHL games this season.

    “Sunny’s a pretty solid two-way player,” coach Mike Sullivan said, per the Tribune-Review.

    “I don’t think he’s going to dazzle you with flashy plays, but I think he’s a guy who plays the game the right way. He’s hard to play against because of his size. He’s got a long reach, and he’s got a good stick.”

    Sundqvist was selected 81st overall by the Pens in 2012. He’ll become the fourth player out of that Pittsburgh draft class to make his NHL debut, after Olli Maatta, Derrick Pouliot, and Matt Murray.

    Veteran Matt Cullen will replace Malkin on the second line, skating with wingers Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel.

    Related: Nick Bonino out ‘at least a month’ with hand injury

    John Scott’s wife gives birth to twin girls

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    As if John Scott wasn’t already having a great week, now he’s the proud father of twin girls.

    The Montreal Canadiens shared the good news via their Twitter account today.

    Scott, the unlikely 2016 All-Star Game MVP, is currently back home in Michigan; however, he’s expected to resume his career at some point with Montreal’s AHL affiliate in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

    When, exactly, he suits up for the IceCaps remains to be seen, but it won’t be tonight or tomorrow.

    Related: Therrien on Canadiens possibly recalling John Scott: ‘You never know’