Dallas Stars v Carolina Hurricanes

Riding the Zamboni – Monday, November 29th

Pittsburgh 3 – NY Rangers 1

In a game that’ll be talked about more for Sidney Crosby’s supposed “slew foot” on Ryan Callahan, it saw Crosby extend his consecutive points streak to 13 games with an assist and made the Penguins 9-0-1 over their last ten games. Maxime Talbot, Kris Letang, and Chris Conner scored for the Pens while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots in the win. Henrik Lundqvist saved 24 shots in the loss while Marian Gaborik scored his fifth goal of the season. As for slew foot mania, we’ll surely be talking about this more tomorrow.

Dallas 4 – Carolina 1

A sloppy game from the Hurricanes turned into a definitive win for the Stars. James Neal had two goals and Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist for the Stars as they won their fourth straight game. Kari Lehtonen was strong in net stopping 27 shots.  Eric Staal had Carolina’s lone goal. The game got a bit feisty in the third period when Steve Ott and Tim Gleason exchange pleasantries after Gleason put a wicked hit on an unsuspecting Adam Burish.

Edmonton 4 – Ottawa 1

In a game that should’ve been one that saw the Sens get on a win streak, it turns out they lose in one of their worst efforts of the season giving them losses in six of their last eight. Stuffing the Sens was former goalie Martin Gerber who saved 22 shots in the effort. Tom Gilbert, Andrew Cogliano, Gilbert Brule, and Taylor Hall did the scoring for Edmonton while Brian Elliott was mediocre in stopping just 21 shots. Nick Foligno scored his first goal of the year for Ottawa.

Calgary 3 – Minnesota 0

The Wild’s second period woes continued in what was an all-around awful game for Minnesota. After a scoreless first, Calgary got goals from Jay Bouwmeester and Jarome Iginla in the second to put the Wild out of their misery. Niklas Hagman added a third goal in the third period to ice it. Jose Theodore played strong despite the outcome saving 28 shots. Meanwhile, his counterpart Miikka Kiprusoff was flawless in stopping 32 shots in earning the shutout.

Anaheim 2 – Los Angeles 0

A lackluster effort out of the Kings turns into a strong win for the crosstown rivals from Anaheim. Jonas Hiller stopped 27 shots to earn the shutout while Cam Fowler and Jason Blake had the goals for the Ducks. Blake’s goal came late in the third as the Kings were trying to tie the game, but a two-on-one with Teemu Selanne turned into the nail in the coffin for the Kings. The loss dropped the Kings to 10th in the Western Conference. Don’t take that to mean things are bad though, things are so tight in the standings that they’re just three points out of second.

Oilers go captain-less, name four alternates instead

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Edmonton’s made a fairly significant shift in its leadership group.

The big news is the Oilers won’t have a captain this season, as Andrew Ference will relinquish the “C” he’s worn for the last two years.

Ference will, however, remain part of the group and wear an “A” as part of a four-man alternate captain collective, one that also includes Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall.

The news of Ference being removed as captain doesn’t come as a huge surprise. The veteran d-man is a well-respected leader, but isn’t expected to be in the lineup every night this season.

The decision to go without a captain, though, is something of a surprise, especially given what new head coach Todd McLellan endured during his final season in San Jose.

The Sharks’ captaincy issue — stripping Joe Thornton, then going with four rotating alternates — was an ongoing problem, something that players, coaches and GM Doug Wilson had to repeatedly address until it blew up in spectacular fashion.

That said, the circumstances in Edmonton are quite different.

It’s believed the club’s intentionally keeping the captaincy vacant, on the assumption that Connor McDavid will evolve into a superstar and, subsequently, the club’s unquestioned leader.

Finally, McLellan noted that with Eberle currently sidelined, a fifth Oiler would be added to the leadership group — veteran forward Matt Hendricks, who will serve as a temporary alternate.

Brandon Sutter didn’t have the greatest preseason

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When Brandon Sutter was acquired by the Vancouver Canucks, GM Jim Benning called the 26-year-old a “foundation piece for our group going forward.”

Sutter was quickly signed to a five-year extension worth almost $22 million, more evidence of how highly management thought of the player.

Fast forward to yesterday, when Benning was asked the following question:

“What does it say that you made the trade for Sutter, you called him a ‘foundation’ player, and it took him until the final night of the preseason to find a spot (with the Sedins) on the wing, which isn’t his natural position?”

Here was Benning’s response:

“Well, [head coach Willie Desjardins] wants to try that out, he thinks that’s going to be a good fit. At various times, the Sedins played with wingers with speed, with [Ryan Kesler], who could get in on the forecheck and had a good shot. Sutter brings some of those qualities, too.”

While all that may be true, Sutter was not signed to play the wing; he was brought in to play center, specifically on the second line. He finished the preseason with zero points in five games. And as mentioned, he’ll start the season on the wing, not his natural position.

Meanwhile, youngsters Bo Horvat, 20, and Jared McCann, 19, had outstanding camps and are expected to start the regular season (tonight in Calgary) centering the second and third lines, respectively.

Though Sutter did finish the preseason with 12 shots on goal, up there with the most on the Canucks, it’s fair to say he did not look like a “foundation” player.

“I haven’t seen him play his best,” Desjardins said last week. “I see a guy who’s big and a good skater and who understands the game real well, but just hasn’t got that involved.”

Now, we are only talking about the preseason here. New players often take time to get comfortable. Perhaps playing with the Sedins can provide Sutter with some confidence.

“I know he’ll be there and I totally believe that,” said Desjardins.

But it hasn’t been the best start, and if it wasn’t for the encouraging play of the youngsters, it would be a far bigger story in Vancouver.

Related: Canucks roll the dice on rookies, waive Vey and Corrado