Detroit Red Wings’ Nicklas Lidstrom (5) of Sweden, pushes Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby (87) away from the goal during the third period of their NHL hockey game on Monday, March 22, 2010 in Detroit. The Red Wings won 3-1. (AP Photo/Jerry S. Mendoza)
–Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere took the league by storm last year and obviously, people noticed. Starting on Friday, he’ll have a beer named after him. The Conshohocken Brewery is coming out with the “Ghost Bear Golden Ale”. (Bardown)
–No one expected rookie Brandon Carlo to make the Bruins out of camp, but he’s been terrific in his first NHL season. Thanks to his reach and wingspan, he’s been able to be effective in his own zone. “The one thing is that he’s so long and his stick is so long, it gives him time to recover because as a young kid in the league you’re going to make a lot of mistakes. He has the ability to come back and recover,” said teammate Torey Krug. (CSN New England)
–The Pittsburgh Penguins have an interesting dilemma with the upcoming expansion draft. First, they need to figure out if they’ll keep eight skaters and one goalie or seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie. Once that’s settled, the team will need to figure what to do with Marc-Andre Fleury and a youngster like Derrick Pouliot. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun takes a closer look at their situation. (ESPN)
–Through 24 games, Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has yet to pick up a single penalty minute. Some people might see that as a positive thing, but others might feel he’s too soft. So, which one is it? We know what MacKinnon thinks: “I’m being aggressive. I’m playing regularly, just not taking any minors. I think it’s a good thing. Usually I’m good for some roughing penalties and I’ve asked a couple guys to fight this year. I’m not trying to have zero penalty minutes,” said MacKinnon. (Denver Post)
–Injuries have hit the Tampa Bay Lightning pretty hard this year, but they have a bargaining chip named Ben Bishop. Is it time for them to trade him? Here are five reasons why they should. (The Hockey News)
–The San Jose Sharks are having some fun on social media. Their latest hilarious video involves players guessing which teammate of theirs is depicted in a young fan’s drawing. It’s pretty funny:
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
The Montreal Canadiens aren’t in crisis mode, but as far as this so-far outstanding 2016-17 season goes, they are finally facing some adversity.
Alex Galchenyuk, one of their most promising young players, is out indefinitely. There are murmurs that captain Max Pacioretty isn’t getting along with head coach Michel Therrien.* Tuesday presented a body blow or two to boot.
For one thing, the Canadiens gave up a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 to the St. Louis Blues in overtime. Jaden Schwartz grabbed an assist and scored the game’s last two goals, including the OT-winner:
Losing to a contender like the Blues, especially while still grabbing a “charity point,” isn’t that big of a deal. A possible David Desharnais injury makes things a little dicey, however:
Really, though, it’s not all that bad for Montreal. They managed a 2-2-1 mark during a five-game road trip heavy on quality opponents.
Also: six of their next seven games come at home, where they’re 12-1-1. So things will look brighter soon enough.
Still, with some injuries and a big road trip to end 2016 and start 2017, there may be some moments where Montreal looks vulnerable.
Ultimately, fighting through stretches like these could very well benefit the Habs later on.
* – Ah, the old standby: “Player X isn’t seeing eye-to-eye with Therrien.”
From the Blues’ side:
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.
Ristolainen’s first goal of 2016-17 was a big one, as it clinched the contest in OT:
Evander Kane scored two goals of his own, including one in the dying seconds of regulation to allow Buffalo to get a standings point (and then a second) in the first place.
Kane finished with two goals, O’Reilly generated two assists and Ristolainen managed a one-goal, two-assist performance.
It would be wrong to say that the marquee names didn’t show up at all. McDavid generated two assists and Eichel also nabbed a helper.
You’d be correct in saying that other young players stole the show, though, and the Sabres were the biggest beneficiaries.