Martin St. Louis

Taking a look at a recent run of last minute goals

When I saw that Martin St. Louis scored a game-tying goal with nine seconds left in last night’s come-from-behind win for the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Toronto Maple Leafs, I couldn’t help but think that there have been a lot of last minute (or so) goals lately. But perhaps it’s just a matter of paying more attention than usual?

Apparently Adam Kimmelman of noticed the same thing and pointed out six instances of five teams stealing points in those late game situations since November 19.

In three of those situations over 11 days, Kimmelman recalls three instances in which those teams stole wins. The Lightning beat the Leafs, the Coyotes stole one from the Oilers and the Red Wings earned an unexpected two points versus the Flames.

While two other teams fell short of snatching wins despite three instances of late game heroics, they at least earned a point they maybe shouldn’t have. The Hurricanes did so against the Penguins on November 19, the Capitals accomplished the same thing the next night and then Washington coughed up a point to the Hurricanes on the 28th.

So, does this mean that there have been a lot more last minute goals lately? Not necessarily, but clearly there have been quite a few examples in the last two weeks. So, as they say, you haven’t won until the fat lady sings … especially against the Hurricanes.

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.