Nightly Recaps – Friday, October 15th

Colorado 3 – New Jersey 2

All right, so the Avalanche were outshot 43-22 by the Devils. Big deal, the Avs made their shots count more and drop the Devils on the strength of goals by Cody McLeod, T.J. Galiardi, and Chris Stewart. Craig Anderson stopped 41 shots en route to the win. Meanwhile, the Devils had solid games out of rookie Matt Taormina and Ilya Kovalchuk as they each had a goal and an assist.

Toronto 4 – NY Rangers 3 (F/OT)

A bad night for the Rangers injury-wise was made worse by losing to the still undefeated Maple Leafs 4-3. Phil Kessel had two goals for Toronto and Clarke MacArthur continued to stay hot scoring his fifth goal of the season. Brian Boyle had two goals for the Rangers who lost Chris Drury and Marian Gaborik to separate injuries in the second period.

Pittsburgh 3 – NY Islanders 2 (F/OT)

The Penguins power play has been a point of contention for the team and their fans of late, but it would be a power play goal from Alex Goligoski in overtime that saved the Penguins. The Islanders fortunes nearly turned on a questionable “illegal check to the head” major penalty to Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang, but the Isles scored just once on the major. Brent Johnson won his second game of the year for Pittsburgh while Rick DiPietro took the loss for the Isles.

Chicago 5 – Columbus 2

Patrick Sharp couldn’t help but keep shooting the puck. Sharp had two goals and racked up 13 shots on goal in the game, setting a new franchise record. Considering how long the Hawks have been around, that’s an impressive feat, especially with Bobby Hull being a legendary Hawk. Marty Turco got the win in goal stopping 30 shots as the Blue Jackets couldn’t keep up with Chicago. Columbus goalie Steve Mason had to have flashbacks to last season getting blitzed with 40 shots on goal, stopping 35.

Montreal 2 – Buffalo 1

A stern, defensive effort from Montreal coupled with an enraging offensive effort from Buffalo turns into a one-goal win for the Habs. Go figure. Alexandre Picard and Josh Gorges score for Montreal while Derek Roy scored his fifth goal of the season already for Buffalo. Carey Price stood tall for Montreal in goal stopping 22 shots. For Buffalo, things weren’t as cheerful as Tim Connolly was benched for most the third period and coach Lindy Ruff is saying rash things about earning ice time.

Atlanta 5 – Anaheim 4 (F/SO)

It was a good night to have the last name “Stewart.” After Colorado’s Chris Stewart scored the game-winner against New Jersey and had two points, his brother Anthony decided to one-up him against Anaheim notching a hat trick in a shootout win over the Ducks. Nigel Dawes scored the winning goal in the shootout. If there’s an upside for the Ducks in a game that saw them blow two different leads, including a two-goal lead in the third,  it’s that they outshot the Thrashers 41-33.  Toni Lydman had a goal in his first game back to action for Anaheim. Teemu Selanne and Corey Perry each had a goal and two assists for the Ducks.

Los Angeles 4 – Vancouver 1

It’s becoming the rivalry that most fans get to miss out on thanks to being played out west, but LA and Vancouver rarely, if ever, don’t play a thoroughly entertaining and fiery game. Tonight was no exception and the Kings took advantage of some poor defensive efforts from Kevin Bieksa and Andrew Alberts to win easily. Bieksa and Alberts were each a -2 on the game while forward Raffi Torres was a -3. Meanwhile the Kings got two goals from captain Dustin Brown and 25 saves from Jon Quick to earn the win. Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo had a night to forget making just 15 saves in the loss.

It’s Montreal Canadiens day at PHT

P.K. Subban,
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An injury to Carey Price essentially meant the beginning of the end to the 2015-16 season for the Montreal Canadiens.

With their No. 1 goalie, their most valuable player, out of the lineup, the Canadiens tumbled down the standings and missed the playoffs. The fan base in Montreal would feel even more frustration in the summer as general manager Marc Bergevin suddenly sent fan-favorite and right-shooting defenseman P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators for right-shooting defenseman Shea Weber in an absolute blockbuster deal.

Weber is four years older than Subban and under contract until 2026. Subban’s deal expires in 2022.

Subban feels closer to winning a Stanley Cup in Nashville than he did in Montreal. Weber isn’t going to try to be the next P.K. Subban in Montreal. And Bergevin, surely, has been feeling the heat for the controversial trade. Some in the media have called it the worst trade in franchise history. Subban is not only very talented on the ice, but he was popular away from it, too, in the city of Montreal.

Not only did the Habs lose Subban in the deal, but their analytics consultant, Matt Pfeffer, didn’t have his contract renewed because he reportedly disagreed with the trade. Pfeffer later confirmed he made a “passionate” case to keep Subban in Montreal.

The deal occurred on the same day the Edmonton Oilers traded star forward Taylor Hall to New Jersey for defenseman Adam Larsson. Yet, this Subban-Weber trade has provided material for the hockey world to debate and discuss just about every week for two months now. And you can bet that will happen when the season begins.

The Habs also signed forward Alexander Radulov to a one-year deal worth $5.75 million.

This is Radulov’s third stint in the NHL. He’s supremely talented and the Habs could use a player that can score goals. But he’s also been at the center of off-ice disciplinary issues, including a team-imposed suspension for reportedly violating curfew when he was in Nashville.

And getting back to Carey Price: He has been deemed to be 100 per cent healthy heading into the new season, after playing in only 12 games last season with a knee injury.

Crouse brings the ‘total package’ of size, skill and speed to Coyotes

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL - JUNE 25: Lawson Crouse attends the Top Prospects Media Opportunity at the Westin Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort on June 25, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Lawson Crouse has joined a talented group of young forwards in Arizona, after the Coyotes acquired the 2015 first-round pick from the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

The Coyotes had to take on the contract of injured forward Dave Bolland, but in their minds, it was worth it to get a player like Crouse, who certainly brings size up front at six-foot-four-inches tall and 212 pounds. He had 23 goals and 62 points in 49 games this season with Kingston in the OHL.

“He’s a unique guy because usually when you add a guy with the type of size he has you usually give up a little bit in skating or you give up a little bit in skill,” said general manager John Chayka, as per the Coyotes website.

“He’s a guy that you add the size and he actually enhances that for your entire group. In our opinion, it was a guy that’s rare to find, difficult to obtain. Certainly, once they become established in the league, those players are locked up well into their 30s and then you end up trying to maybe overpay for a player that has these attributes that’s not in the prime of his career.”

Crouse, who turned 19 years old in June, now joins the likes of Max Domi, Dylan Strome and Anthony Duclair as part of Arizona’s group of up-and-coming young forwards. He has familiarity with all three from playing in the OHL or for Team Canada at the world juniors.

“He can fly. He’s fast and he hits and he scores goals. You kinda get the total package,” Strome told Sportsnet.

The Las Vegas Desert Knights? Maybe . . .

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 22:  New Las Vegas NHL franchise owner Bill Foley addresses the media during the Board Of Governors Press Conference prior to the 2016 NHL Awards at Encore Las Vegas on June 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The NHL's board of governors approved expanding to Las Vegas, making the franchise the 31st team in the league. The team will start play during the 2017-18 season and play at the newly built T-Mobile Arena.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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There’s been another possible development in the search for a team name for the Las Vegas NHL franchise.

The Las Vegas ‘Desert Knights’ could perhaps be a thing.

Maybe.

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Last week domain names were registered that might be an indicator that the NHL team scheduled to begin play in 2017 could be called the Las Vegas Desert Knights.

Last week the domains lasvegasdesertknights.com, vegasdesertknights.com and desertknightshockey.com were privately registered to Moniker Privacy Services, which is the same company that procured the domain name to NHL.com.

DetroitHockey.net first reported the new domain name Thursday morning.

Foley said via text message he had no comment regarding the process when reached by the Review-Journal.

As the Las Vegas franchise continues to hire key members for its hockey operations department, there is growing intrigue when it comes to the search for a new name.

What will this new franchise be called?

The wait continues, and there has been a lot of space dedicated to speculating and discussing the possibilities.

It’s been reported that the expansion franchise could use one of at least three ‘Hawks’-orientated names. Owner Bill Foley also said this summer that Las Vegas can’t use a ‘Knights’ nickname is Canada, because London’s OHL franchise was also named the Knights.

Stay tuned . . .

Las Vegas hires former Panthers director of player personnel Scott Luce

ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 24:  Director of scouting Scott Luce of the Florida Panthers smiles before day one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 24, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Scott Luce has gone from the Florida Panthers to the Las Vegas expansion franchise.

The new NHL organization — still searching for a team name — announced Thursday that it has hired Luce as its new director of amateur scouting.

Luce spent the last 14 years in Florida, as a scout and as director of player personnel.

Luce was let go earlier in the offseason, as the Panthers underwent massive change within their front office, with the promotion of Dale Tallon to president of hockey operations and Tom Rowe to GM, and more attention to analytics.