A photo of their son and brother stands at left as Krysten Boogaard, center right, mother Joanne (blonde hair) and father Len, left, console each other as brother Ryan, right, speaks during a memorial at Xcel Arena Sunday, May 15, 2011 in St. Paul, Minn., for New York Rangers and former Minnesota Wild NHL hockey player Derek Boogaard who died Friday in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
With their former captain now a member of the Boston Bruins and their coach on year-to-year deals, it’s appropriate to say that the St. Louis Blues are in a period of transitions.
It’s also a convenient choice of words, as it sounds like the Blues are going to change the way they transition on the ice.
That’s the indication given by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and players like Chris Porter approve.
“The play in the neutral zone will fit this team great with the speed and the size that they already have in place,” Porter said. “I don’t think it’s a huge adjustment for the guys, I think it’s just a little tweak here or there.”
Perhaps hiring Mike Yeo had something to do with taking a more modern approach?
Either way, getting more aggressive makes a lot of sense for the Blues, at least on paper.
Of course, there’s a give-and-take when it comes to situations like these, and becoming more attack-minded sure makes retaining Kevin Shattenkirk that much more important. The underrated blueliner still expects to be moved despite being named an alternate captain, yet you wonder if these changes might prompt GM Doug Armstrong to try to pull some strings to keep him around.
Even if the Blues eventually need to part ways with Shattenkirk, there are some other nice assets who can use this change as a catalyst to push this team up another level.
In an ideal scenario, the Blues would enjoy those improvements and keep Shattenkirk to reap those rewards.
Rough news for the Ottawa Senators on Sunday: forward Clarke MacArthur needed help off the ice following a big hit during a team scrimmage.
MacArthur has been hoping to return to NHL action after some serious concussion issues, so this is a troubling situation. More than a few people wonder if this might end his career.
Update: Here’s a GIF of the hit.
Robin Lehner is a big goalie, and barring possible language barrier issues, sure seems to have a pretty big personality.
That at least seems to be the case with the Buffalo Sabres’ top guy, who provided the Buffalo News’ John Vogl with a great quote:
“There’s a lot of pressure on me, and that’s fine. … I know I’m a good goaltender,” Lehner said.
As much as the Sabres feel like a work in progress, acquiring Lehner was one of GM Tim Murray’s boldest moves. Murray was able to observe Lehner in Ottawa, and despite some struggles, the big Swede (6-foot-5, 240 lbs.) was sneaky-good in 2015-16.
Twenty-one games serves as a limited sample size, yet a .924 save percentage seems quite promising. His 107 career regular season games are spread over six seasons, so to some extent, the 25-year-old is still something of an unknown entity.
If nothing else, it looks like he could provide some Bryzgalovian entertainment.
Back in March, Ben Scrivens admitted he was happy to avoid a fight with a guy he called a “bit of a psycho.”
Sounds like a guy to watch.
TORONTO (AP) When the World Cup of Hockey started, Team Europe was not picked as a team to beat.
In fact, the unique team made up of eight nations outside of the continent’s traditional hockey powers was expected to be out of the best-on-best tournament.
Team Europe had other plans.
The blended group of players opened the tournament with a 3-0 win over the U.S. and then beat the Czech Republic in overtime to seal a spot in the semifinals before losing to Canada.
“I know nobody really expected us to be here right now,” Danish and Detroit Red Wings forward Frans Nielsen said Saturday. “But when you look in the room and go over the team, there’s not a lot of players better than (Anze) Kopitar in this tournament. We got (Marian) Hossa. We got some good guys on the backend and good goaltending.”
The Europeans will face Sweden on Sunday for a spot in the best-of-three finals against the winner of Saturday night’s Canada-Russia game.
When Team Europe players have faced Sweden for their countries – Switzerland, Denmark, Slovakia, France, Germany, Slovenia, Austria and Norway – in previous, they didn’t have a legitimate chance to win.
They do now.
A veteran group of skaters and a star in Kopitar along with Slovak and New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak give them a shot on any sheet of ice.
“He’s the kind of goalie that almost every night, he gives you a chance to win,” said Nielsen, who played with Halak in New York. “And, he’ll make that save when you need it.”
Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger said he’ll likely save his rah-rah speeches for another team because this one simply doesn’t need it.
Krueger began to sense something special was in store for Team Europe nearly a year ago when several candidates to be on the team met when Boston and the New York Islanders played. When the entire group gathered nearly three weeks ago in Quebec, Krueger got even more excited about the natural chemistry the team already had from their shared experiences.
“We didn’t have to do a lot of extra team-building,” Krueger said. “It just happened with a combination of leadership and personalities and character and will – of pure will – of these eight nations that are forever underdogs, forever going home when the final four is staged, forever watching other teams play in finals of best of best. That opportunity has fueled the fire that taken us here.”