Florida Panthers v Boston Bruins

Riding the Zamboni – Thursday, November 18th

If you found yourself turned off by the hat tricks tonight and you fancy yourself more of a shutout person, don’t worry you had something to cheer for tonight as well. All in all, a satisfying night to be an NHL fan… Well, unless your team lost. In that case, there’s always another game.

Boston 4 – Florida 0

With Milan Lucic netting a natural hat trick in the game, he provided all the offense the Bruins would need for the night. Former Panther Nathan Horton added three assists and fan-favorite Shawn Thornton had a goal and a fight. Oh yeah, and that goalie Tuukka Rask managed to get his first shutout of the season stopping 41 shots in the affair. Tomas Vokoun was the Panther of note in this one stopping 36 shots in the loss. Former Bruin Dennis Wideman was a -2 on the night and was the recipient of boos from some of the Bruins faithful proving that B’s fans can have selectively mean memory.

Toronto 3 – New Jersey 1

Break up the Leafs already. Toronto won their second straight game knocking off a floundering Devils team. Mikhail Grabovski, Phil Kessel, and Kris Versteeg each had goals while youngster Nazem Kadri had two assists in leading the Leafs to victory. Jonas Gustavsson was brilliant for Toronto stopping 29 shots in the win. Meanwhile, the Devils saw their lone goal come from Dainius Zubrus and saw Martin Brodeur leave the game after two periods after re-aggravating his elbow injury.

Tampa Bay 8 – Philadelphia 7

No, that’s not a typo. 15 goals between two teams, four goalies played in this one with all of them taking a statistical beating but it was the Lightning coming out on top. Steven Stamkos had a hat trick and two assists while Martin St. Louis had five assists as both players finished the night with five points. Nikolay Zherdev lead the way for Philly with two goals and an assist. What do Ville Leino, Kimmo Timonen, Jody Shelley, Mattias Ohlund, Pavel Kubina, Johan Harju, Mathieu Roy, and James Wright have in common? They were the only skaters to not get a point in this game.

Nashville 3 – Montreal 0

The return of Sergei Kostitsyn to Montreal saw him only land on the score sheet thanks to a minor penalty, but it would be Marcel Goc who lead the way offensively for the Predators. Goc had two goals for Nashville and Pekka Rinne stopped all 30 shots he saw as the Preds knocked off the recently streaking Habs. The loss snapped the Habs four-game win streak and while Carey Price played fine, the Habs top line didn’t as Mike Cammalleri and Tomas Plekanec each finished the game with a -3 rating.

Dallas 5 – San Jose 4 (F/OT)

Another night, another tremendous collapse and overtime loss for the San Jose Sharks. After getting dropped in OT by the Avalanche last night, the Sharks go and do it again tonight giving up two late goals to James Neal and Mike Ribeiro to send the game to OT. Ribeiro would sting the Sharks one more time in the extra session to win it for Dallas. Ribeiro finished with those two goals while James Neal had two goals and an assist to lead the way. Both goalies in this one stayed busy with Kari Lehtonen had 35 saves in the win while Antti Niemi made 36 saves in the loss. For San Jose, getting tough at the end of the game could go a long way to helping them out. Thus ends your obvious statement of the night.

Flyers’ Read out four weeks with reported oblique muscle pull

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 02:  Matt Read #24 of the Philadelphia Flyers takes the puck in the second period against the Ottawa Senators at the Wells Fargo Center on April 2, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The Philadelphia Flyers have had their share of good news lately. They’ve won five in a row and goalie Steve Mason has been solid in that span, being named on Monday the NHL’s first star for the week.

But it hasn’t all been positive.

Forward Matt Read is out of the lineup for at least four weeks with an upper-body injury, the Flyers announced Monday. The injury occurred during Sunday’s game against the Nashville Predators.

It’s been reported the injury is an oblique muscle pull.

With Read out, the Flyers have recalled Taylor Leier from the American Hockey League.

Leier has been very productive in the minors. In 22 games this season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, he has six goals and 20 points.

Ken Holland is all for expanding playoff format to include Wild Card play-in game

Colorado Avalanche v Detroit Red Wings
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The topic of a possible Wild Card play-in game being added to the NHL’s playoff format isn’t new.

General managers around the league have talked about it before. The idea recently seemed to gain traction with at least the small majority, too.

Hockey insider Bob McKenzie once polled all 30 GMs to get a sense of how many would be in favor of such a thing — and 16 of those GMs were. You can count Ken Holland with the Detroit Red Wings as someone who would like to see a Wild Card play-in game.

From TSN:

Holland is also a baseball fan and likes the way MLB has created must-watch play-in games. In baseball, there are three division winners in each league. Those three teams qualify for the division round of the postseason. Two wild-card teams in each league square off in a one-game play-in to decide the fourth divisional qualifier on each side.

“I’m all for an extra team in each conference qualifying for the playoffs and having a wild- card play-in game,” said Holland. “It would add excitement down the stretch for many more teams fighting for the additional wild-card spot and two extra teams would be involved in the playoffs. Those play-in games would be dramatic.” 

Of course, the interesting thing about that is the Red Wings have a streak of 25 consecutive playoff appearances on the line.

But their best days — when Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg led them to a Stanley Cup in 2008 and the final the following year — are long behind them. The organization has undergone substantial change with Zetterberg getting older, the loss of Datsyuk to the KHL and Mike Babcock joining the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Red Wings could be in real danger of missing the post-season under its current format in 2017.

Detroit is two points out of the second Wild Card spot in the East, with New Jersey and Boston still ahead of them, although not currently in a playoff spot.

Boeser, DeBrincat, and McAvoy headline USA’s preliminary World Juniors roster

TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 09:  Brock Boeser #16 of the North Dakota Fighting Hawks celebrates his goal in the first period against the Quinnipiac Bobcats during the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championships at Amalie Arena on April 9, 2016 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Three forwards — Brock Boeser, Alex DeBrincat, and Colin White — and two defensemen — Chad Krys and Charlie McAvoy — make up the five returnees that were named today to the preliminary roster for the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team.

Other recognizable names include first-round draft picks Luke Kunin, Clayton Keller, Logan Brown, Kieffer Bellows, Jack Roslovic, and Tage Thompson.

“This is a talented, versatile group of players that has found success across all levels of hockey,” said general manager Jim Johannson from USA Hockey. “There is depth at every position, and while we still have some difficult decisions to make, we feel each of these players can fit the style of hockey Coach Motzko (U.S. head coach Bob Motzko) first implemented at our National Junior Evaluation Camp last August.”

Click here for the full preliminary roster. D-man Jack Ahcan (St. Cloud State) and goalie Jake Oettinger (BU) are the only ones who have yet to be drafted. Oettinger doesn’t turn 18 until later this month.

The players will attend training camp Dec. 16-20 in Buffalo, then an additional camp in Oshawa, Ontario, from Dec. 20-24.

Of the 27 camp invitees (three goalies, eight d-men, and 16 forwards), only 23 will make the cut.

USA won bronze at the 2016 World Juniors in Finland.

Related: Barzal, Strome, Patrick among invitees to Canada’s World Juniors camp

Galchenyuk (lower body) out indefinitely, more tests coming

MONTREAL, QC - NOVEMBER 16:  Alex Galchenyuk #27 of the Montreal Canadiens skates during the warmup period prior to the NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at the Bell Centre on November 16, 2015 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in overtime.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
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The update on the injury Alex Galchenyuk suffered during Montreal’s win in L.A. on Sunday wasn’t definitive, but it was ominous.

From the Habs:

Galchenyuk suffered a lower body injury on December 4 in Los Angeles. He went for medical testing in St. Louis earlier Monday, and will be out indefinitely.

He will be further evaluated by team doctors in Montreal on Wednesday. An update will be released later this week.

The injury occurred in the third period of Sunday’s game, when he collided with Kings center Anze Kopitar.

Galchenyuk, 22, leads the Canadiens with nine goals and 23 points in 25 games this year and is one of the club’s top faceoff men, at least in terms of draws taken. He also averages over 16 minutes per night and features prominently on the power play.

So, needless to say, this is a potentially massive loss for Montreal.

The Habs will wrap their three-game road swing in St. Louis tomorrow, and are then back in action Thursday, when they host the Devils.

If Galchenyuk is out for a significant length of time, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Martin Hanzal-to-Montreal trade rumblings start up again.