The PHT Nightcap: Thursday, September 9th

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.

Mike Gillis joins Twitter – There’s a Dan Ellis joke floating around there somewhere, but I’m tired of that story already.

Kings prospect Brayden Schenn gets injured – Yet I bet that Brian Burke is still pissed the Kings drafted him.

Milan Lucic says his ankle is healed, he’s excited for next season – Watching Lucic in that Boston-Carolina series from the 2009 playoffs on NHL Network was a real treat last week. The Bruins could be a team to watch next season if Lucic is indeed 100 percent.

Robyn Regehr shrugs off trade speculation – Well, he’s not too preoccupied by that whole “NHLPA team representative” thing, either…

Columbus signs first rounder Ryan Johansen – Time will tell if they made a “reach” for Johansen.

Alex Tanguay hopes to re-charge his career this season – While people lampooned his addition and the Olli Jokinen signing, I think Tanguay has “steal” potential. Then again, I thought the same way about Tampa Bay adding Tanguay last summer, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Video of Mike Modano as a Red Wing – Don’t claw your eyes out Stars fans. Don’t click on the link, either.

Richard Park leaves NHL for Swiss league

Dan Ellis quits Twitter – He put his foot in his mouth, no doubt, but all this means is that another expressive hockey player will clam up. These guys aren’t common, at least on the record.

Derek Meech clears waivers – Not exactly shocking for such a middling defenseman.

NHLPA reps must approve or deny Donald Fehr by Saturday – Well, allegedly. Don’t be surprised if they fail to reach that deadline.

City of Glendale might have to cough up some money by Sept. 15 – Unless something miraculous happens.

Blues introduce Jaroslav Halak, Halak introduces new helmets – It’ll be interesting to see if Halak can make it happen as the Blues’ clear No. 1 next season.

Boyle family celebrates birth of new baby boy – Wesley Ocean Boyle > Apple Martin.

Former Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington could avoid jail time – No, the crime isn’t murdering Canadian hockey.

Chicago’s John Hancock center to install ice rink at 94th floor – Naturally, I made some Zdeno Chara/Tyler Myers jokes.

Fantasy hockey talk: suggested stat categories – Yes, I know I’m a nerd.

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    Tippett wins 500th game as ‘Yotes bury Flames in overtime

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    GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Coyotes grinded their way through the tough stretches, relied on great goaltending and won it on a big goal at the end.

    Call it a Dave Tippett special.

    Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored in overtime, Mike Smith stopped 25 shots and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 Friday night for coach Tippett’s 500th career victory.

    “I’ve been involved in a lot of ugly games in that 500, so it’s probably fitting that was an ugly game,” said Tippett, who has 229 wins with Arizona and the rest with Dallas.

    It certainly was right out of the Tippett playbook.

    The Coyotes played a solid first period and both teams scored goals in the second on caroms: Martin Hanzal early for Arizona, Mark Giordano late on a power play for Calgary.

    Arizona followed with a series of penalties, but Smith was sharp for the second straight game to send this one to overtime.

    The Flames had the edge early in the 3-on-3 overtime, leaving the Coyotes gasping for air. Arizona flipped the ice for the final stretch, leaving Calgary’s players winded and scrambling.

    Arizona won it with 39 seconds left on the clock when Brad Richardson sent a pass from behind the goal to Ekman-Larsson, and he one-timed it past Karri Ramos.

    After the game, the Coyotes handed their championship belt, awarded to the player of the game, to their low-key coach after his milestone victory.

    “Coaches don’t have many milestones, but that’s a big one,” Smith said. “Players have milestones all the time, but coaches only have winning, which is all that matters, really.”

    The Flames certainly had their chances to win.

    Calgary had a rare power-play goal when Giordano scored his fifth of the season, but the Flames failed on five other chances with the man advantage to lose to Arizona for the first time in six games.

    Ramos stopped 18 in his first loss in five career games against Arizona and the Flames lost for the first time in six 3-on-3 overtimes.

    “It was a good road game,” Flames coach Bob Hartley said. “We played smart, we played hard, it’s just the result, we wish we could change it.”

    The Flames were coming off one of their worst performances of a disappointing season, blowing an early two-goal lead and a one-goal lead in the third period for a 5-3 loss to Anaheim on Tuesday night.

    The Flames went straight to Arizona, where they watched the Coyotes beat Anaheim 4-2 on Wednesday night.

    They played well and so did the Coyotes in a crisp first period.

    Arizona needed 29 seconds of the second to take the lead, when a sharp-angle shot by Tobias Rieder hit the far post and caromed off Hanzal into the goal.

    Smith stopped 29 shots against the Ducks and was sharp again, turning away some tough chances when the Flames picked up the pressure after Hanzal’s goal.

    The Coyotes took a series of penalties, though, and Giordano scored late in the period by wristing a loose puck through Smith’s legs to tie the game at 1-all. That ended a 0 for 16 streak on the power play for Calgary.

    Arizona kept sending players to the penalty box in the third period. The Coyotes killed off one penalty early and were called for another 8 seconds later but killed off both to get the game to overtime.

    “Obviously, we’d like to score on those power plays and grab some momentum, but we did some good things,” Flames defenseman Kris Russell said. “I thought we played a good game throughout, but at the end of the day, on special teams, we get one there, that’s the difference in the game.”

    NOTES: Coyotes captain Shane Doan missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury. … The Flames entered the game 29th on the power play with eight goals in 58 chances (13.3 percent). … Calgary C Jiri Hudler returned after missing two games with an illness.

    Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

    Niklas Kronwall
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    When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

    (His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

    It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

    He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

    First, the Kronwalling:

    Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

    It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

    Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

    Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

    Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

    Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

    It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

    To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

    The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

    That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

    They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

    Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


    More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

    In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

    Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

    Jack Eichel
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    The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

    You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

    That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

    Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.